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  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 45.51
Liaison Mat Thijssen
Submission Date Nov. 6, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Waterloo
AC-10: Support for Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 4.00 Mat Thijssen
Sustainability Manager
Sustainability Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have an ongoing program to encourage students in multiple disciplines or academic programs to conduct research in sustainability? :
No

A brief description of the student research program, including the incentives provided and any positive outcomes during the previous three years:
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Does the institution have a program to encourage faculty from multiple disciplines or academic programs to conduct research in sustainability topics?:
Yes

A brief description of the faculty research program, including the incentives provided and any positive outcomes during the previous three years:

The University of Waterloo hosts multiple research institutes on campus that are directly focused on sustainability-related topics and issues. Research institutes receive central funding to support administrative activities, and provide support for interdisciplinary research projects, grant applications, knowledge mobilization, and conferences. At the University of Waterloo, these include:
- Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy: Supports researchers exploring through engineering, policy, planning, governance, and economics lenses, including areas such as smart energy systems, renewable energy, distribution and delivery systems, low-carbon fuels, energy storage, and energy conservation and efficiency. Projects occur from local scales to global.
- Water Institute: The Water Institute facilitates collaboration, supports excellence and promotes innovation in interdisciplinary water research and education. Today, more than 150 faculty members from all six University of Waterloo faculties and 19 departments are members of the Water Institute. Waterloo has emerged as an internationally recognized research institution known for excellence in a diversity of water-related areas, including surface and groundwater hydrology, mathematical modeling, drinking water and wastewater treatment, ecohydrology, aquatic ecology and toxicology, and water management and governance.
- Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change: brings together experts across disciplines to consider the impacts of climate change from every angle. A fresh approach, built on smart science, working toward achievable solutions. Established in 2008, IC3 seeks to advance research on climate change by facilitating interdisciplinary research and providing relevant scientific information that empowers business, government and civil society to prepare and respond effectively to weather events and climate change.
- Waterloo Centre for Automotive Research: Includes collaborative research projects on vehicle lightweighting, hybrid and electric drive train systems, battery storage and smart vehicle technologies.
Some selected positive outcomes from these research institutes over the past three years include:
- Substantive research programs including in fisheries, wastewater remediation from mines, and water monitoring
- Launch of the Affordable Energy for Humanity global initiative to expand clean, affordable energy access
- Launch of Partners for Action and Intact Centre for Climate Adaptation to develop public partnerships and programs that advance flood resiliency and climate change adaptation
- Launch of the Green and Intelligent Automotive (GAIA) Lab to conduct active research on drive trains and vehicle fuel efficiency


Has the institution published written policies and procedures that give positive recognition to interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary research during faculty promotion and/or tenure decisions?:
No

A brief description of the institution’s support for interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary research, including any positive outcomes during the previous three years:
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Does the institution have ongoing library support for sustainability research and learning?:
No

A brief description of the institution’s library support for sustainability research, including any positive outcomes during the previous three years:
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The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.