Strategic Goals

Our overarching goal is that the Institute be part of the solution to the challenge of climate change and work actively to support environmentally and socially sustainable health systems, the health of populations, and health equity. Throughout the Strategic Plan, the committee has outlined a series of goals that will be undertaken throughout the first year of implementation, separated into 4 categories, Education, Research, Operations and Cross-Cutting Initiatives.

Education

Education

Our goal is to provide opportunities for all Institute students in all Institute educational programs to develop and mobilize knowledge related to the environment, climate change and sustainability, specifically as these issues affect health systems and the health of populations.

Specifically, we aim to ensure that:

  • All students in all our educational programs achieve core competencies related to the environment, climate change and sustainability, including the nature of the challenge, the role of health systems, and discipline- or program-specific opportunities for change.
  • All students have opportunities to add additional environment, climate change and sustainability expertise to their program of study, including through community-engaged learning, research or professional practice.
  • All faculty are supported in their educational efforts to advance knowledge and practice-change related to the environment, climate change and sustainability, as these issues affect health systems and the health of populations.

We will deliver these aims, in a staged process over time.

In Year 1, we will achieve the following:

  • We will identify a set of core competencies related to the environment, climate change and sustainability for all graduates of the Institute’s educational programs.
  • A majority (>50%) of all Institute courses will be certified as “green courses,” through the self-certification program hosted by the University of Toronto Sustainability Office: http://www.fs.utoronto.ca/SustainabilityOffice/Programs/GreenCourses/

In Year 1, we will develop the following, for delivery in subsequent years:

  • An implementation plan and timeline for embedding core competencies into all Institute educational programs.
  • An overview of educational “pathway” opportunities, to allow students to add additional sustainability expertise to their program of study, including through community-engaged learning, research or professional practice.
    • To include on-campus educational opportunities within the Institute, through the Faculties on our Executive Committee (the Dalla Lana School for Public Health, the Faculty of Medicine, the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, and the Faculty of Information) and through other programs and Faculties on campus, such as the John H Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design;
    • To include off-campus opportunities for experiential learning, research or placements, which can support health system partners.
  • A strategic collaboration with Public Health Sciences in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health,[ii] and other faculty across the university, with an interest in environment, climate change and sustainability curricula in population health and health systems, which provides opportunities to:
    • Identify and address pedagogical issues in a “core competencies” approach to student education;
    • Identify relevant graduate curricula for educational “pathways” for interested students;
    • Support faculty in their efforts to integrate these issues into curriculum and teaching strategies;
    • Develop cross-faculty opportunities for student engagement.

The Institute provides many learning opportunities and supports many learners. While it is expected that such learning activities will increasingly be enriched by attention to the environment, climate change and sustainability, we focus initially on building these issues into our formal educational programs.

NB. The collaboration with Public Health Sciences in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health (DLSPH) on education has begun

Research

Research

Our goal is to advance research-based knowledge and impact on the environment, climate change and sustainability in relation to health and health systems.

Specifically, we aim to support:

  • Health system stakeholders to identify and address environment, climate change and sustainability challenges through the development, synthesis and mobilization of research-based knowledge.
  • Institute-affiliated researchers to pursue opportunities to include environment, climate change and sustainability issues as relevant components or considerations in all the research they do, wherever these issues might feasibly be interrogated.
  • Institute-affiliated researchers to develop focused projects or programs of work that address issues of the environment, climate change and sustainability, as these issues affect health and health systems.

We will deliver these aims, in a staged process over time.

In Year 1, we will achieve the following:

  • Generate and disseminate knowledge about research needs and opportunities related to the environment, climate change and sustainability that Institute-affiliated faculty and students are pursuing or aim to pursue.
    • This will involve a survey of students, alumni and faculty (adjunct, core, status) to gather knowledge on involvement in, interest in, and needs in relation to, the environment, climate change and sustainability in health and health systems;
    • Dissemination of regular profiles about Institute-affiliated research, or health system partner interests, related to these issues through existing communication channels e.g. Connect, IHPME website.

In Year 1, we will develop the following, for delivery in subsequent years:

  • Plan for targeted outreach with research groups associated with and related to Institute activities.
  • Plan for Institute Research Day devoted to these issues.
Operations

Operations

Our goal is to mitigate the environmental impact of all Institute activities, and foster socially and environmentally sustainable practices.

Specifically, we aim to ensure:

  • That the environmental impact of Institute operations is understood, measured and reported on.
  • That environmental and social sustainability considerations are taken into account in decisions about Institute operations, including the use of physical space, the purchase of goods and services, and the engagement of personnel.
  • That staff, students and faculty are engaged in and empowered by efforts to enhance sustainable operations.

We will deliver these aims, in a staged process over time.

In Year 1, we will achieve the following:

  • Measurable improvements in the sustainability of office operations in IHPME at 155 College, as assessed by the “Green Office Self-Assessment Tool” supported by the University sustainability office: http://www.fs.utoronto.ca/SustainabilityOffice/Programs/GreenOffice/SelfAssessmentTool/
    • As of June 2017 our operations have been assessed as “sprout”. Within a year our goal is to be assessed as “tree” after implementing recommendations from the self-assessment tool (see Appendix 2)
  • Engage the Office of Environmental Health & Safety to conduct an ergonomics assessment at IHPME at 155 College.
  • Organize well-being activities during lunch and breaks at IHPME 155 College.
  • Encourage staff at IHPME at 155 College to participate in the Green Ambassador program supported by the University sustainability office.
  • Communicate regularly on sustainable operations.

In Year 1, we will develop the following, for delivery in subsequent years:

  • Plans for next steps in sustainable office operations at IHPME at 155 College.
  • Consultation with Facilities & Services about building retrofits at 155 College.
  • Plans for extending the impact of sustainable operations through collaborative engagement and outreach, for example, through collaboration with other occupants at 155 College, or with operations across the diverse sites where members of the Institute community work.
  • Considerations for an Institute-wide carbon offset policy.
Cross-Cutting Initiatives

Cross-cutting Initiatives

Our goal is to support broader and deeper impact through efforts that synergize our educational, research and operations activities, that mobilize our students and alumni, and that facilitate awareness through regular communication and transparent reporting on progress.

Specifically, we aim to ensure:

  • That we communicate regularly and widely, to increase awareness, foster engagement and build capacity.
  • That we report publicly on progress, using appropriate measures and assessment schemes where possible, to track and compare efforts and accomplishment.
  • That we mobilize the expertise and energy of students and alumni in addressing these challenges.
  • That we seek cross-cutting opportunities that leverage our educational, research and operational activities, and extend impact through collaborative activity.

We will deliver these aims, in a staged process over time.

In Year 1, we will achieve the following:

  • A student-led student engagement strategy (Appendix 3).
  • Regular reporting and communication, through the Institute website and “IHPME Connect,” to make our activities and accomplishments visible, and raise awareness of these issues.
  • An application to the Connaught Global Challenge Award, in collaboration with colleagues in Public Health Sciences at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, and others across the university.[i]

In Year 1, we will develop the following, for delivery in subsequent years:

  • Identify ways to participate in collaborative measurement and reporting schemes, such as the “Lancet Countdown”.[ii]
  • Plan for a “Listening tour” with health system partners – to identify opportunities for collaboration related to the environment, climate change and sustainability, including through educational initiatives (e.g., community-engaged learning opportunities such as placements or practica), research-based knowledge or operations.
  • Identify opportunities for alumni engagement.
  • Identify additional opportunities for collaborative, cross-cutting activity.

The Connaught Global Challenge Award is an annual award to support team initiatives with up-to $250K of funding: “The program aims to heighten UofT’s contribution to important issues facing society through the advancement of knowledge, and the transfer and application of solutions. Global Challenge teams will represent new collaborations involving leading UofT researchers and students from multiple disciplines, along with innovators and thought leaders from other sectors.” See: http://www.research.utoronto.ca/research-funding-opportunities/connaught-global-challenge-award/

The Lancet Countdown represents an “international, multidisciplinary collaboration between academic institutions and practitioners across the world” to track progress on “health and climate change,” by fostering the development and use of indicators and indicator domains relevant to the health implications of, and the health sector’s role in tackling, climate change. See: Watts N, Adger WN, Ayeb-Karlsson S, Bai Y, Byass P, Campbell-Lendrum D, Colbourn T, Cox P, Davies M, Depledge M, Depoux A. The Lancet Countdown: tracking progress on health and climate change. The Lancet. 2016 Nov 14.