Overview | Categories | Funding | Applications | Projects | Details
The Sustainability Action Fund (SAF) supports projects and initiatives that improve sustainability at the University of Waterloo. Project funds are distributed based on a call for applications, with successful applications determined by the President’s Advisory Committee on Environmental Sustainability (PACES) and its subcommittee.
Applications for Fall 2018 are closed and successful applicants will be contacted shortly.
Projects should support at least one of the following focus areas as they relate to campus sustainability:
- Curriculum development
- Sustainability in entrepreneurship
- Knowledge mobilization
- Climate change
- Waste management
- Student engagement
- Employee engagement
- Community engagement
- Policy and governance
Applicants may request between $2,000 to $30,000 in funding per project. Total available funding for the Fall 2018 application period is $91,000. Project funds must be spent by April 2019.
Projects with ongoing costs CAN resubmit proposals during future calls for applications, although these will be evaluated against other applications and previous project successes.
Applicants must complete the Sustainability Action Fund Application Form and upload by 11:59pm on the deadline date. Application instructions:
- Download and complete all sections of the Application Form
- Sign into the SAF upload page with the above link using your WatIAM username and password
- Upload the Application Form and any additional supporting documentation. If you have multiple files, save them and upload as a single PDF file or Zipped folder.
Late applications will not be considered until future funding proposals.
Prior to submitting projects to PACES for consideration, the Sustainability Office may follow up with applicants by email or by phone to clarify and gain more details about any items included in the application.
These are not in any way a confirmation or rejection of funding, but an opportunity to explain ambiguities to enable PACES to make the best possible project selection decisions. Any information discussed over the phone or email will be added as supplemental information when sent to PACES.
Secure Bike Cage - This project aims to develop a bike cage with secure access near the motorcycle parking beside EV3 and ML. The cage will hold approximately 48 bikes. SAF funding will build momentum for project development. Led by students from the Faculty of Environment (Fall 2017).
Used Clothing Store - This project will launch a new used clothing store to expand and make permanent the existing Used Clothing Sale organized by Sustainable Campus Initiative. The group collects gently used clothing from residences and drop-off locations across campus, and resells them to students at affordable rates. The SAF will cover costs of purchasing a washing machine and dryer to wash the clothes. Led by Sustainable Campus Initiative (Winter 2018).
Library Waste Receptacles - This project will support expansion of Waterloo's new universal waste standard into Library locations in Davis Centre and Dana Porter. As a major traffic area for students, the libraries offer a strong opportunity to support waste reduction efforts. The SAF will support project costs. Led by the Library (Spring 2018).
Arts/ENV Gardens Signage - This project aims to educate users on the unique naturalized and native species features of the Arts-Environment Gardens in between PAS, HH, and EV1. The gardens feature native and non-invasive species across seven themed plots, and the new signage will create interactive information to inform users of the space about sustainable landscaping practices. Led by Faculty of Arts, Ecology Lab (Spring 2018).
Water Bottle Refill Stations - This project launched a new water bottle refill station in the Columbia Icefield gym to encourage reusable water bottle use and provide feedback by tracking usage. The SAF covered the station and installation costs. Led by Sustainable Campus Initiative (Fall 2017, completed Winter 2018)
E-Waste Collection Stations - This project launched three new collection stations to make it easier for employees and students to properly recycle their electronic waste. The SAF covered the purchase of the new stations, which are serviced by Waterloo's Central Stores team. Led by Sustainable Campus Initiative (Fall 2017, Completed Winter 2018)
Waste Station Expansion - This project supported the launch of standardized waste receptacles at Food Service locations across campus as the foundation for user-friendly, attractive, and well-designed waste stations across campus. The program also facilitated public organics collection in key areas. SAF funding supported a portion of implementation costs. Led by Plant Operations - Custodial Services (Fall 2017, Completed Spring 2018).
Sustainability Guide - This project ensured all incoming students had the opportunity to receive information about sustainability as part of their orientation kits. All first-year students received postcards linking to the online Sustainability Guide, which lists programs, services, and tips to support sustainable living. Led by the Sustainability Office (Spring 2018, Completed Fall 2018)
Any University of Waterloo student, staff, or faculty member can submit a project proposal.
All successful applicants will be required to submit a project completion report to PACES at the culmination of the project, detailing the project outcomes, including successes, challenges, and how funds were spent.
Based on the information received during the applications, the President’s Advisory Committee on Environmental Sustainability will utilize the following criteria to determine which projects will receive funding. Please note that projects do not need to meet all criteria to receive funding, but projects that meet a broad variety of criteria are more likely to be successful.
Feasibility & Logistics
- Does the project support effort in the focus areas listed above?
- To what degree does the project have the potential to reduce environmental impact, directly or indirectly?
- Is the project technically feasible in the identified timelines?
- Is the project scalable and/or replicable?
- Does the funding request reasonably match the project outcomes?
- Does the project have the potential to reduce operational costs or create efficiencies?
- Does the project have clear ownership and a long-term maintenance or business plan?
- How will the project generate positive social impact on campus or in the community (i.e. procuring equipment from responsible vendors, or improvements on campus such as physical and mental wellbeing, inclusivity, and diversity)?
- Have alternative options been identified that would generate similar impact?
- How many members of the campus community will the project engage?
- Will the project encourage more sustainable behaviours on campus?
- Will the project increase awareness of campus sustainability issues?
- Will the project increase the University’s reputation or demonstrate community leadership?
- Will information and statistics about the project be available to enable future evaluation, study, and research?
Eligible expenses can include:
- Staffing costs (i.e. co-op students, part-time staff, etc.)
- Capital expenses (i.e. renovations, equipment, site improvements)
- General supplies (i.e. workshop materials, paper)
- Marketing (i.e. printing, advertising)
- Incentives (i.e. prizes, giveaways)
- Information technology (i.e. computers, software)
- Event expenses (i.e. food, venue rental, audio-visual, speaker gifts)
- Travel (i.e. airfare, accommodation, mileage, food)
Ineligible expenses include:
- Ongoing operational costs (i.e. staffing/wages for a pre-existing position)
- Hospitality for project staff and volunteers (i.e. food, drink, gifts other than for event expenses)
- Any project costs that would normally be covered by other University of Waterloo departmental budgets
- Consulting fees
Please note that all expenses must comply with existing University of Waterloo policies and procedures, available on the websites of the Secretariat of the University and/or Finance. In particular:
- Policy 17 – Quotations and Tenders
- Policy 22 – Regulations Governing the Installation of Equipment in University Buildings
- Policy 31 – Travel
- Policy 53 – Environmental Sustainability
- Guideline re: Eligible Hospitality Expenses
- Guideline re: Travel Expenses
- Procedures re: University Contracts
Distribution of funds
Successful applicants will receive notice from the President’s Advisory Committee on Environmental Sustainability regarding approved funding for the project, as well as any considerations or exclusions for funding at the Committee’s discretion.
To submit project expenses:
- Whenever possible, please send all invoices for approved project expenses to the Sustainability Office.
- For any approved expenses paid personally, please retain all original itemized receipts from registered businesses.
- For faculty and staff: Contact Sustainability Office for instructions on processing through Concur
- For students: Contact the Sustainability Office to complete an in-person expense claim.
- For any approved compensation expenses, please have the department leading the project submit appropriate forms to the Sustainability Office to add account information on appropriate hiring or reimbursement forms.
- For any internal payments between University of Waterloo departments (i.e. ordering from Catering Services), please retain proof of expenses and submit them to the Sustainability Office alongside a memo requesting the transfer of funds.
- For any expenses not covered by the above cases, please contact the Sustainability Office to discuss before making payments.
The President’s Advisory Committee on Environmental Sustainability will not reimburse costs above those outlined in the application. However, the Committee recognizes that projects can sometimes incur unexpected costs. If there are substantial changes in the project, please contact the Sustainability Office to discuss the reason for the changes prior to incurring additional expenses.
Applicants are responsible for any and all approvals from relevant University departments required for project implementation.