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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
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.75 / 2.00 Mat Thijssen
Sustainability Manager
Sustainability Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have one or more active student groups focused on sustainability?:
Yes

A brief description of active student groups focused on sustainability:

Sustainable Campus Initiative - Its primary activities involve education and advocacy that help bring about positive behavioral and social changes in the community. SCI provides volunteer opportunities to over 200 students every term with projects such as workshops, rallies, social events, performances, fundraisers, and infrastructure and operational improvements. It also provides environmental consulting services to students and various organizations at the University of Waterloo and in Waterloo Region (taken from: http://www.feds.ca/sustainability/).


The website URL where information about the student groups is available (optional):
Does the institution have gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems?:
Yes

A brief description of the gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects:

UW Campus Market Garden – Their mission is to improve students’ access to local, sustainably, and ethically-grown food, as well as raise awareness about local, sustainable food systems. Student volunteers grow the produce in a campus garden and sell it to students on campus every week during the growing season


The website URL where information about the gardens, farms or agriculture projects is available (optional):
Does the institution have student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes (e.g. cafés through which students gain sustainable business skills)?:
Yes

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:

ES Coffee Shop - The Environmental Studies Coffee Shop is a student run coffee shop operated in EV1-138. The Coffee Shop is dedicated to offering premium quality coffee and foods from local shops while maintaining high environmental standards. Their coffee is Fair Trade certified, and is roasted locally in the KW area. The Coffee Shop is operated by volunteers, and managed by two UW students


The website URL where information about the student-run enterprises is available (optional):
Does the institution have sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives through which students can develop socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives:

Sustainability Action Fund - 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). Any student, staff, or faculty is able to apply to the fund.


The website URL where information about the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives is available (optional):
Does the institution have conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience?:
No

A brief description of the conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability:
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The website URL where information about the conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability is available (optional):
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Does the institution have cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience?:
No

A brief description of the cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability:
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The website URL where information about the cultural arts events, installations or performances is available (optional):
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Does the institution have wilderness or outdoors programs (e.g. that organize hiking, backpacking, kayaking, or other outings for students) that follow Leave No Trace principles?:
No

A brief description of the wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles:
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The website URL where information about the wilderness or outdoors programs is available (optional):
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Does the institution have sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences (e.g. choosing a sustainability-related book for common reading)?:
No

A brief description of the sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:
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The website URL where information about the sustainability-related themes is available (optional):
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Does the institution have programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills?:
Yes

A brief description of the programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills:

The Ecology Lab provides opportunities to engage with the University of Waterloo community, prospective students, local schools, and even internationally through our established outreach programs. Whether it is an enrichment program or workshop for a couple of hours, or a day-long competitive event, they offer field and lab activities designed for the students. In addition, Sustainable Campus initiative often hosts workshops on various sustainability skills, and the Sustainability Office has integrated a session into the Maximize Potential leadership program for residence students.


The website URL where information about the sustainable life skills programs is available (optional):
Does the institution offer sustainability-focused student employment opportunities?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution:

Waterloo’s Sustainability Office regularly hires a co-op student to assist in the coordination of events, campaigns, research projects, and program implementation. In addition, Sustainable Campus Initiative offers an honorarium for executive positions.


The website URL where information about the student employment opportunities is available:
Does the institution have graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions?:
No

A brief description of the graduation pledges:
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The website URL where information about the graduation pledges is available (optional):
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Does the institution have other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives?:
Yes

A brief description of the other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives:

Multiple design teams on campus including:
1) Midnight Sun Solar Team - Founded in 1988, the Midnight Sun Team arose with the concept of a solar powered bike. Named after the natural phenomenon in the Arctic, the Midnight Sun is when the sun remains visible for 24 hours a day during the summer – the ideal situation for sustainable solar power. Now, as the largest student run project on campus, we have moved on from bikes to designing and producing world-class solar race cars for competitions around the globe. With a team of almost all University of Waterloo undergraduates and funding from our sponsors, we have managed to build and race 10 solar race cars (taken from http://www.uwmidsun.com/)
2) UW Alternative Fuels Team – Formed in 1996 with a focus on technology changes in vehicles to make them more environmentally friendly, including conversions for electric vehicles. http://ecocar3.org/waterloo/about-us/
3) Warrior House – Formed in 2018, this student design team is focused on working with local partners do design home concepts that are affordable and meet net-zero-energy requirements. They have worked collaboratively with Habitat for Humanity KW in the past. https://uwaterloo.ca/architectural-engineering/current-undergraduate-students/student-teams


The website URL where information about other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives is available (optional):
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Estimated percentage of students (full-time and part-time) that participate annually in sustainability-focused co-curricular education and outreach programs (0-100):
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Many of the above initiatives, student groups, clubs, and societies are available online on the Sustainability Website: https://uwaterloo.ca/sustainability/get-involved/student-groups

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.