Toronto Sustainability Summit

Thursday April 13, 2017

For a complete program to the Toronto Sustainability Summit please click here.

The University of Toronto has a long and outstanding record of global leadership in research and innovation in fields related to energy, environment, climate change, sustainability, cleantech, biofuels, environmental policy and law, and human factors of adoption.  The Toronto Sustainability Summit will celebrate this achievement and explore ways in which the University can collaborate and partner with surrounding governments, industry and investors to amplify its collective efforts to impact the environmental issues facing our society.

The summit will bring together individuals from various sectors and backgrounds, such as policy makers, academics, business leaders and entrepreneurs, to exchange ideas with government on ways to inform and shape public opinion and public policy to meet the challenges of climate change; to enhance industry research partnerships with the aim of building a less carbon intensive society, reducing greenhouse gases and moving towards clean energy; and to encourage and foster sustainable start-up companies developed from research at the University that can have an impact on this global issue.

The Toronto Sustainability Summit will:

  • highlight U of T’s work with the City of Toronto to drive sustainable innovation in Toronto, Ontario and Canada with government, policy-makers, industry, and  the investment community;
  • showcase the research, innovation and entrepreneurial activities occurring in the many areas of sustainability, cleantech and clean energy at the UofT and open the doors to further collaborations and partnerships;
  • bring together industry, researchers, academics, students, start-up founders, investors, government agencies and others to explore potential opportunities for collaboration and partnership while learning about the sustainability innovation occurring at U of T.

Event Schedule Summary:


8:00 – 8:50 : Registration and Light Breakfast
8:50 – 9:00 : Entrance into Auditorium
9:00 – 9:10 : Welcome and Opening Remarks

Meric S. Gertler, President,

University of Toronto
9:10 – 9:40 : Opening Keynote

Hon. Glen Murray

Ontario Minister of the Environment and Climate Change

Andrew Bowerbank

Global Director Sustainable Building Services, EllisDon
9:45 – 10:35 : Session 1

Green City, Green Campus

This session will highlight the University’s role in promoting the local societal impacts of climate change as well as discuss ways the University is and can partner with the City of Toronto through social innovation and policy to address these issues.


Jennifer Keesmaat

Chief Planner,
City of Toronto

John Robinson

Professor, Munk School of Global Affairs
Professor, School of the Environment
Presidential Advisor on the Environment, Climate Change and Sustainability
University of Toronto

Sara Hughes

Assistant Professor,
Political Science, UofT

William Fleissig

President & CEO
Waterfront Toronto

Ron Swail

Chief Operations Officer,
Property Services and Sustainability, UofT
10:35 – 10:45 : Networking Break
10:45 – 11:40 : Session 2

Global Impacts of UofT Climate Change Research and Innovation

This session will highlight Applied Researchers at the University of Toronto working in various areas of sustainability.  Researchers will engage with members of the investment community to describe how their research can reach markets and have a global impact.

Ted Sargent

VP, International, UofT
University Professor, Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering

David Sinton

Professor, Dept. of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

David Zingg

Director, Centre for Research in Sustainable Aviation
University of Toronto Distinguished Professor of Computational Aerodynamics and Sustainable Aviation

Heather McLean

Professor, Dept. Civil Engineering

Greg Evans

Professor Dept. Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, Director, Southern Ontario Centre for Atmospheric Aerosol Research (SOCAAR)
11:45 – 12:30: Session 3

UofT Research leading to Sustainable Start-ups

This session will more broadly focus on the entrepreneurship landscape for cleantech and sustainable companies as well as highlight the innovation and entrepreneurship occurring at UofT.  The panel will consists of academics, researchers, entrepreneurs and investors to discuss translation of innovation into successful sustainable start-ups.



Tom Rand

Senior Advisor, Cleantech; Managing Partner, ArcTern Ventures

Richard Blundell

Executive Director, Executive Programs
Adjunct Professor, Rotman School of Management

Cynthia Goh

Director, Impact Center
University of Toronto

Gimmy Chu

CEO, Nanoleaf

Darren Anderson

Chief Communications Officer & VP Regulatory, Vive Crop Protection

12:30 – 12:45 : Remarks on Cleantech Research, Innovation and Science

Hon. Reza Moridi

Ontario Minister of
Research, Innovation and Science
12:45 – 1:00 : Closing Remarks and Introduction to Sustainability Showcase

Vivek Goel,
Research & Innovation,

University of Toronto
1:00 – 2:30 : Lunch
University of Toronto Sustainability Showcase – Exhibitor Hall



Ardra Bio produces completely petroleum-free, high purity, and sustainable biochemicals for the cosmetics market, as well as for pharmaceuticals and foods.


BioZone is a Centre for Applied Bioscience and Bioengineering Research at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering.
It’s multi-disciplinary team consists of internationally renowned researchers who work at the interface of biology and engineering and share a common vision: to use the most advanced and innovative biotechnology to address urgent societal needs in energy, environment, and health.


UofT’s solar vehicle team improves efficiency through innovative solutions, within the limits of our resources, in the field of solar automotive technology by optimizing vehicle aerodynamics, photovoltaic power systems, and mechanical systems.

The Green Chemistry Initiative (GCI) is a student-run organization based in the Department of Chemistry in the University of Toronto. We aim to provide green chemistry resources in order to promote sustainability in chemistry research and education.

The Impact Centre explores questions at the intersection of science, business, policy, and society. We conduct research on all aspects of innovation, from ideation and commercialization to government policy and broader themes such as the connection between science and international development.


The Institute for Sustainable Energy (ISE) at the University of Toronto is an inclusive, multidisciplinary centre designed to bring together researchers, students, and teachers from across the university, together with partners from industry and government, with the goal of increasing energy efficiency and reducing the environmental impact of energy use and conversion.


Nanoleaf is a green technology company that’s transforming the way we light up our world with impeccably designed, ultra energy efficient LED lighting.


Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) has played a key role in the innovation and development of Ontario’s cleantech sector. Through its various programs and strategic initiatives, OCE has funded projects, created jobs, and grown the Ontario economy in an environmentally-responsible way.

In partnership with industry, OCE co-invests to commercialize innovation originating in the province’s publicly funded colleges, universities and research hospitals. OCE also supports and invest in early-stage projects, where the probability of commercial success and potential total return on innovation are substantial. Another expanding focus for OCE is the development of the next generation of innovators through our entrepreneurship fellowships and programs for students and youth across Ontario.


OTI Lumionics is building the flexible future of lighting using organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs). OLED is a new technology that enables paper-thin flexible sheets of light. The company hopes to make OLED — a new technology for energy-efficient lighting made of carbon based dyes — accessible to innovative new product applications.

The Sustainability Office (SO), a part of the Facilities & Services Department (responsible for all building services and operation), acts as a resource hub for sustainability awareness, services and collaboration on campus, and engages the campus community through a variety of programs, social media, communications, and outreach.



About the Office of the Vice-President Research and Innovation, University of Toronto

The Vice-President, Research & Innovation (VPRI) portfolio plays an important role in supporting U of T as a top public research university in the world. It’s mission is to create the most supportive environment possible so that UofT researchers, innovators and learners can do what they do best — advance understanding and apply new knowledge.

The work of the VPRI supports, fosters and promotes the research and innovation culture and activities of our faculty and students across our three campuses, along with our partner hospitals, funding sponsors, and partners in the public and private sector.


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