Global Sustainability Hub

Student Sustainability Initiatives

Undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Waterloo are working together to promote sustainability and solve sustainability challenges. Shown below, student led initiatives in sustainability include the Undergraduate Student created E-books, the Sustainability and Social Entrepreneurship Fellowship and the Graduate Student created Status on Sustainability Infosheets & Infographics.

Sustainability Project E-Books

Each year since 2020, as part of CIVE 230 – Engineering and Sustainable Development, undergraduate students are required to complete a deliverable for the sustainability project. This project enables students to explore sustainability challenges and solutions in various regions around the world. The results of these projects are compiled into E-Books that can be found on the Open Educational Resources (OER) Commons page, showcasing the students' work on global sustainability issues. Each of the four E-Books from 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023 are pictured below.


2023 E-Book title page named "Faces and Places of Sustainability in Africa"


2022 E-Book Title Page named "The Engineers of Tomorrow"


2021 E-Book Title Page named "Connecting Sustainable Cities For The Future"


Title page for 2020 E Book named "The Sustainability Contribution Project"

Sustainability and Social Entrepreneurship Fellowship

Starting in 2023, the University of Waterloo partnered with Harvey Mudd College and the Turkstra Chair in Urban Design. The Sustainability and Social Engineering Fellowship aims to bring 3rd year engineering students from around the world together to solve multiple sustainability projects.


In 2024, with the support of Andrew Farr, Commissioner of Public Works in Halton Region, and Douglas Wright, Engineer in Residence at the University of Waterloo, students from Tecnológico de Monterrey (Mexico), Harvey Mudd College (USA), Khalifa University (United Arab Emirates), and the University of Waterloo (Canada) are collaborating in Waterloo to explore the transition to a circular economy. Their focus is on ensuring that essential services such as water, wastewater, solid waste management, and transportation in Halton Region remain both environmentally and financially sustainable.

Through lectures delivered by various faculty members from the University of Waterloo and professionals from the public sector, students gain a comprehensive understanding of the region's infrastructure systems. Following the lectures, students are tasked with developing sustainable engineering solutions for Halton Region, culminating in a final presentation to regional officials.


Last year, in 2023 with the help of Kelly Scherr - the deputy city manager of environment and infrastructure in London, Ontario and the University of Waterloo’s Douglas Wright Engineer in Residence, 9 students from various schools including Tecnológico de Monterrey (Mexico), Harvey Mudd College (USA), Khalifa University (United Arab Emirates) and University of Prince Edward Island (Canada) came to Waterloo. Their mission was to explore and address the housing challenges in the City of London, aiming to help the city fulfill its pledge to build 47,000 units by 2031. For more information see the article Working together to solve problems.

The 9 students that participated in the fellowship in 2023

Status on Sustainability Infosheets & Infographics - COMING SOON

Funded in part by the Sustainability Action Fund (SAF) at the University of Waterloo, graduate engineering students have created 7 peer reviewed sustainability infographic sheets on topics including: Air Quality, Building Adaptation, Building Performance, Building Systems & Materials, Energy, Transportation and Urban Infrastructure. Each sheet investigates a topic on a global, national (Canada), provincial (Ontario), municipal (Waterloo Region) and University level (University of Waterloo).

Air Quality

Blue skies with some clouas

Building Adaptation

View from top of skyscraper

Building Performance

British Columbia's Institute of Technology Health and Sciences Centre

Building Materials

Construction site with various construction Materials


Solar panels and Wind turbines


Bus, car and street car in Toronto

Urban Infrastructure

Aerial photo from CN tower