Waterloo supports dozens of sustainability research clusters and groups, with collaboration and interdisciplinary innovation happening across all six faculties. Formal sustainability research Centres and Institutes on campus include:
- Centre for Control of Emerging Contaminants
- Centre for Ecosystem Resilience and Adaptation
- Centre for Groundwater Research
- Centre for Pavement and Transportation Technology
- Heritage Resources Centre
- Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change
- Water Institute
- Waterloo Centre for Automotive Research
- Waterloo Institute for Complexity Innovation
- Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy
- Waterloo Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience
Founded in 2009, the Centre for Control of Emerging Contaminants is a collaborative project with several universities, the Province of Ontario, municipalities, and the private sector to develop technologies that remove harmful contaminants from drinking water and waste water.
The Centre for Ecosystem Resilience and Adaptation focuses on the growing crisis of environmental degradation. Researchers works to develop new approaches to conservation and restoration, explore the role of protected areas to facilitate resilience and adaptation, and understand the capacity for ecosystems to adapt to change.
With roots dating back to 1982, the Waterloo Centre for Groundwater Research brings together scientists with shared interests in hydrogeology. The centre promotes independent and collaborative research, builds partnerships, disseminates knowledge, and provides education and employment opportunities for students related to groundwater.
Founded in 2005, the Centre for Pavement and Transportation Technology is a partnership between universities, the public sector, and the private sector to find new technologies to manage Canada's infrastructure. These include approaches to lengthen the lifespan of infrastructure and re-use of materials in pavement.
Established in 1980, the Heritage Resources Centre improves the understanding of natural and human heritage. The centre expands knowledge of heritage planning, encourages collaboration between relevant stakeholders, and provides consultation for many groups.
Founded in 2008, the Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change links researchers from across the University of Waterloo to advance understanding of the physical science behind climate change, its natural and human impacts, and approaches to mitigate its effects and adapt to change.
Formed in 2009, the Water Institute coordinates the diverse groups of researchers exploring water science, technology, and policy. More than 125 members from all faculties contribute research to issues ranging from aquatic ecology to atmospheric sciences, water governance to toxicology.
Founded in 2004, the Waterloo Centre for Automotive Research (WatCAR) researches new advancements in hybrid and electric vehicles, vehicle lightweighting, and vehicle automation systems. WatCAR is currently constructing a $10m "Dream Facility" for research that will develop the green cars of the future.
Launched in 2010, the Waterloo Institute for Complexity and Innovation fosters interdisciplinary research on many sustainability-related issues that require complex systems thinking and collaboration. They apply complex systems analysis and approaches to compounding problems such as climate change, population growth, class divides, and energy shortages.
Founded in 2008, the Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy brings together over 100 researchers from across campus, all exploring technological and policy innovations that will enable a shift to clean energy.
The Waterloo Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience supports collaborative research projects across faculties and universities that generates new knowledge about social innovation, including the dynamics of learning, adaptation, and resilience.