Objective A4:

By 2020, celebrate sustainability research as a core thematic strength of Waterloo’s reputation and identity

Progress: Somewhat complete

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Description: Waterloo continues efforts to strengthen identification of sustainability research as a foundational step to help better communicate the wide breadth of researchers who are conducting related research, whether from a technical, natural sciences, or human systems perspective.


Objective A5:

By 2025, become a world leader for research excellence in 5 sustainability related themes

Progress: Somewhat complete

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Description: Waterloo has a wide breadth and depth of sustainability-related research across all six faculties. Key focus areas and clusters of research exist on water, energy, climate change, and various aspects of sustainable transportation.

While global benchmarking on specific themes (instead of disciplines) is still maturing, some early indexes are placing Waterloo quite highly.

Further data collection on bibliometrics and funding is underway, and will help Waterloo benchmark its research inputs and outputs related to sustainability.


Objective A6:

By 2025, establish Waterloo as a “go-to” hub for knowledge and expertise on sustainability challenges

Progress: Mostly completed

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Description: Waterloo mobilizes its sustainability research expertise far beyond the academy. Forthcoming reports will identify the various sustainability-related partnerships and efforts. Waterloo gained significant momentum on this objective in early 2018 with the launch of SDSN Canada, hosted within the Faculty of Environment. This will strongly position Waterloo as a Canadian hub of expertise and catalyze further partnerships and research on sustainable development priorities within Canada and internationally.

Waterloo placed very prominently nationally and internationally on the THE Global Impact ranking in 2020. This reflects a combination of traditional research, but also community partnership, knowledge mobilization, and campus stewardship.


Objective A7:

By 2018, implement 3 new sustainability-related projects annually on campus using faculty and student expertise; by 2025, implement at least 8 new projects annually

Progress: Started (2025 objective)

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Waterloo has engaged multiple student project teams in hands-on and real-world projects using campus data and challenges. To scale up efforts, the Sustainability Office will be establishing a platform to identify ongoing collaboration opportunities between academic and operational groups on campus, in order to assist in co-creation of impactful projects.