On Thursday evening, the University of Waterloo was honoured to receive the "Breakthrough Award" from Sustainable Waterloo Region for its accomplishments in 2017.
Sustainable Waterloo Region (SWR) is a local non-profit organization that works with over 70 public, private, and civil-society organizations to help them convert sustainability interest into action. At their annual Evening of Recognition, which brings together hundreds of business and community leaders, SWR celebrates the progress that had been made to build a more sustainable future during the previous year. It also presents awards to recognize organizations who have made exemplary progress.
Jean Andrey, Dean of Environment, and Mat Thijssen, Waterloo's Sustainability Manager, were thrilled to accept the award on behalf of the University.
"Waterloo has made substantial progress over the past year," says Thijssen. "We have a long history on campus of sustainable action and education, so it isn't like we are starting from scratch, but we have reinvigorated many efforts and it is wonderful to see us being recognized for it. I am very grateful for the hundreds of employees and students across campus who are involved in what we've done and what is coming next. It would not be possible without our teams in Plant Operations, Food Services, Central Stores, academic units, participating Green Offices, Sustainable Campus Initiative and other student groups, and so many more."
Waterloo received the award in recognition of the development of Policy 53: Environmental Sustainability, creation of its first Environmental Sustainability Strategy, release of its annual Environmental Sustainability Report, and establishing a waste reduction target. Other notable accomplishments during 2017 were the launch of the Energize Sustainable City Challenge, creation of the Sustainability Action Fund, and hosting Bike Month, Earth Month, and Waste Week activities.
The University is a member of SWR's Regional Sustainability Initiative, the TravelWise program, and has various staff, students, and faculty working with SWR programs as co-op students, volunteers, board members, and advisors. For more information on Sustainable Waterloo Region, visit sustainablewr.ca