Accelerating Integration of Sustainability into the Curriculum Project

QNC pathway


Our purpose is to make environmental sustainability competencies more readily available and intentionally integrated in the curriculum of all University of Waterloo students, in order to prepare them for career success in light of a rapidly changing planet. 

Goals and outcomes

This project will identify a flexible framework through which climate and sustainability competencies can be integrated into any program of study as they are relevant, and identify processes and tools to support program administrators, chairs, instructors, and central support units to utilize the framework.

There are two phases to the work. In the first phase, the scope of what should be included in this climate and sustainability framework will be defined, best practices from other post-secondary institutions will be collated and a working group will be established to translate these into strategies for program-level integration.  In the second phase, pilot projects will be launched with undergraduate program partners to test the recommended strategies.


No career is likely to be unaffected by climate change and sustainability considerations. Our graduates need core competencies and discipline specific knowledge of climate change and sustainability if they are to be global citizens prepared to thrive in an age of rapid change.

This project will aim to consider how curriculum offerings could be adapted to allow all students to develop foundational and discipline specific sustainability competencies. Our goals are to create opportunities for collaboration, interdisciplinary work, and shared resources by reaching out to faculty, staff and students to better understand the range of supports programs may need to build these student competencies. 

Approach and process

The first phase of the project will occur from S23 to W24 terms and will include conversations with faculty, staff and students and peer research. Please see the timeline outlined below.

Term Outcomes
Spring 2023
  • Consultation and engagement with groups across campus to solicit input and feedback on opportunities, barriers/constraints, and existing initiatives. Map existing curriculum content related to sustainability across the University and gain feedback from faculty.
  • Research best practices adopted by other universities with similar goals.
  • Establish working group of faculty, staff and students to analyze and synthesize feedback and research.
Fall 2023
  • Develop report with recommendations for implementation.
  • Consult and engage with students, instructors, and other stakeholders to get feedback on proposed strategies and other considerations that may have been missed earlier.
Winter 2024
  • Incorporate recommended edits to recommendation and subsequent report.
  • Seek recommendation approval from appropriate groups as determined by the working group, including groups consulted in research and consultation.
  • Interim project evaluation to determine extensions to phase 2.

Project leads

This is a collaborative project supported by the Sustainability Office alongside the project’s Working Group. This group is comprised of interdisciplinary academic leaders, passionate students across all faculties, and staff experts.