uOttawa has a well-established standard of excellence in managing and reducing its own environmental impact. Sustainability initiatives on the campus date back to 1974 when the first engineer was hired to manage campus energy consumption. The University of Ottawa was one of the first Canadian campuses to ban bottled water and was awarded a 2015 Ontario Minister’s Award for Environmental Excellence.
Today, uOttawa’s objective is to become a Zero Waste campus. Ambitious goals have been set to reduce consumption of water and fossil fuel energy, as well as greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, despite continued campus growth of both its population and buildings. The University of Ottawa builds all it's major buildings to a LEED Silver certification standard.