The Co-operators awards Impact Fund grants to Canadian students’ sustainability projects

Guelph, ON (Dec. 17, 2014) – The Co-operators has awarded $108,808 in grants to 26 young Canadians leading innovative sustainability projects at universities and colleges and in communities across the country. The funding provided through The Co-operators Foundation’s IMPACT! Fund, supports sustainability solutions and practices that positively impact Canadian communities and affect change.

Since its creation in 2009, the IMPACT! Fund has supported 103 sustainability projects and disbursed $432,668 to alumni from IMPACT!, the Co-operators Youth Program for Sustainability Leadership, as they work to make their communities greener and more sustainable.

“We’re proud to support these recipients and their projects, some of which were conceived during the IMPACT! program,” said Kathy Bardswick, president and CEO of The Co-operators. “It’s great to see them come to fruition, with our support, in communities and on campuses across the country.”

IMPACT! The Co-operators Youth Program for Sustainability Leadership is an award-winning initiative recognized for helping young Canadians become more effective sustainability champions, and being a model for corporate-community partnerships.

The following IMPACT! Fund grants were announced today:

  • Ethan Doney, St. John’s, N.L.
    Memorial University of Newfoundland, 2014 Alumni
    Because of the short growing season in Newfoundland, the Memorial University Campus Greenhouse Project (MUN CGP) was created to provide fresh vegetables to students year-round, and engage them in the growing process. The $5,000 in funding will be used to construct a greenhouse in the university’s existing Community Garden.
  • Abigail Hann, Port Blandford, N.L.
    Memorial University of Newfoundland, 2014 Alumni
    The creation of the Port Blandford Community Garden will increase food security in Port Blandford � a town with no other food sustainability initiatives � and make fresh vegetables more accessible to residents. $4,463 in funding will be used to purchase building materials, soil, and plants.
  • Joshua Mohan, Charlottetown, P.E.I.
    University of Prince Edward Island, 2014 Alumni
    Treeternity is an educational program for children in grades 5 and 6 that teaches them about the importance of old-growth forests. It includes bussing students to a plot of land acquired from the government to plant trees. The $5,000 in funding will be used to transport the students to the tree plantings.
  • David Guerin, Candiac, Que.
    Universit� de Sherbrooke, 2014 Alumni
    Serrebrooke is about urban agriculture and sustainable buildings. The $5,000 funding will go toward designing and building a greenhouse on the Universit� de Sherbrooke campus that will produce organic vegetables year-round, sustainably. David will leverage interdisciplinary collaboration to design it, and will rent the space to students as a social enterprise to raise funds for awareness of urban agriculture.
  • Michel Scult�ty-Ouellet, Sherbrooke, Que.
    Universit� de Sherbrooke, 2014 Alumni, 2013 Montreal Champion
    Co-op�rative de v�lo La D�raille is a bike co-op at Universit� de Sherbrooke. The $3,500 in renewal funding will be used to build a self-serve outside bike repair station; a bike that makes smoothies; and a mobile workshop to repair bikes on the road while raising awareness and visiting high schools.
  • Caroline John, Ottawa
    Royal Roads University, University of New Brunswick, 2011 Alumni
    Urban Shades Community Garden will allow residents to garden together twice a week and share in the produce, increasing food security in the community. The $2,500 in funding will go towards building raised beds for native, resilient plants as the soil has been contaminated.
  • Danielle Prapavessis, Ottawa
    University of Ottawa, 2013 Ottawa Champion
    Seed by Seed will select five local schools and build year-long partnerships, funding each school’s project that raises awareness about food issues for students. The $5,000 renewal funding will be used as bursaries for the participating schools.
  • Jessica Peters, Kingston, Ont.
    Queen’s University, 2014 Alumni
    Jessica will collaborate with Queen’s School of Business’s Centre for Responsible Leadership to provide the Social Return on Investment Workshop for Master of International Business and MBA students pursuing a certificate in responsible leadership. The $5,000 will be used for website design, creation of promotional materials, hiring of a workshop facilitator and materials.
  • Howard Swartz, Kingston, Ont.
    Queen’s University, 2012 Ottawa Champion
    The Kingston Student Housing Co-operative will engage with its members through the Energy Demand Dashboard that tracks utility and energy consumption. The dashboard will serve as a basis for community education about sustainability and energy challenges. $1,600 in funding will be used for website development.
  • Jonathan Fung, Toronto
    University of Waterloo, 2011 Conference
    Connecting Environmental Professionals Toronto (CEP Toronto) connects and builds a network of young professionals, working in environment-related industries, in Toronto. The $5,000 renewal funding will be put toward four conferences and events, website expenses, and commercial insurance.
  • Andrew Silverthorn, Toronto
    Ryerson University, 2014 Alumni
    The Community Food Room Hydroponics Project will increase food security at the Ryerson Student Union food bank by providing locally grown, organic vegetables during the winter months using a hydroponic system. Students will also be able to grow their own food. $4,065 in funding will be used to buy, build and set up the system.
  • Catherine Tran, Toronto
    University of Toronto, 2014 Alumni
    National Sustainability Network Post-Secondary Students will be an online network to connect university and college students, allowing them to collaboratively share resources and best practices. The website will link existing post-secondary student-focused school and community groups for environmental and social impact. The $1,180 in funding will be used for website development.
  • Paul Wartman, Mississauga, Ont.
    University of Guelph, 2014 Alumni, 2012 Guelph Champion
    Many Rivers Permaculture will use the $5,000 in renewal funding to continue preparing a curriculum and logistics for a youth training camp in 2015, as well as build a new community report to help with community-based outreach and marketing. 
  • Linda Bui, Brampton, Ont.
    University of Toronto, 2013 Guelph Champion
    The Greenhouse Project will use funding to expand a local community garden by adding a greenhouse to allow the crops to be grown throughout the winter, and continue the flow of donated vegetables to local food banks. The greenhouse will also be used to run workshops for children and youth. The $5,000 in funding will be used to buy materials to build the greenhouse.
  • Joy Liu, Hamilton, Ont.
    University of Waterloo, 2014 Alumni
    Environment Hamilton Youth Taking Root is a network of environment clubs in Hamilton (all school levels including post-secondary) allowing for the exchange of ideas and collaboration. Funding of $3,110 will be used to create a website, host workshops, and create promotional material.
  • Melissa Sauro, Windsor, Ont.
    University of Windsor, 2014 Alumni 
    The Youth Advising City Councillors project will place youth with Windsor city councillors, where they will attend council meetings, compose policy briefs and advise councillors in order to engage more young people in political decision-making. The $5,000 in funding will be used to purchase iPads, data service, newspaper subscriptions and office supplies.
  • Laura Husak, Winnipeg
    University of Manitoba, 2014 Alumni
    Bridging Urban and Rural Sustainability Education with Harvest Moon Learning Centre builds on Harvest Moon’s existing resources to design experiential learning, available year-round, for youth and students. A ready-to-use curriculum will be developed to be delivered to teachers and youth agencies. The $5,000 in funding will pay for workshops and materials.
  • Mahrukh Tahir, Calgary
    University of Calgary, 2014 Alumni
    Losoca (Local Social Careers) will connect millennials with established industry professionals, share Toronto and Calgary job opportunities, and publish young professional success stories in order to inspire them to create social value in their work and seek employment in purpose-driven careers. $3,505 in funding will be used for the launch event and for website and video equipment.
  • Jill Doucette, Victoria
    University of Victoria, 2009 Alumni
    Vancouver Island Green Business Certification provides affordable certification in both environmental and social sustainability for small businesses. The $4,000 renewal funding will be used to update the website, provide new workshops, and film a promotional video to expand the certification to other cities.
  • Alyssa Kostello, Vancouver
    Capilano University, 2014 Alumni, 2012 Vancouver Champion
    NOW! Theatre will use $4,975 in renewal funding to put on two new productions, using green practices in classic plays, and to hold a company retreat to strengthen the team and receive new sustainability training.
  • Jenny Ma, Vancouver
    British Columbia Institute of Technology, 2013 Vancouver Champion
    Vancouver Honeybees helps the community sustain the local honeybee population in order to stave off the worldwide decline in the bee population. The $5,000 renewal funding will be used to buy a mobile honey house allowing on-site harvesting for participating beekeepers, and to provide a mentorship program teaching owners how to keep bees in backyards, rooftops, and community gardens.
  • Robyn Mitchell, Vancouver
    Capilano University, 2013 Vancouver Champion
    Contrast Clothing is a not-for-profit social enterprise that provides employment while teaching sewing and photography skills to underprivileged people living in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. The garments are produced in a way that is less harmful to the environment than other clothing manufacturers’ practices. $5,000 in renewal funding will be used for sewing materials, promotional materials, and website creation.
  • Joanne Tang, Vancouver
    Simon Fraser University, 2014 Alumni
    Joanne will create “The Local Foodie Project”, a blog on which to document her journey eating locally to raise awareness about the importance of consuming and supporting locally sourced food, as a way of dispelling the notion that eating local is difficult and expensive. The $2,250 will be used to purchase video equipment to produce educational video interviews with local farmers for the blog.
  • Erzsebet Institorisz, Richmond, B.C.
    Kwantlen Polytechnic University, 2014 Alumni
    The Green Seeds Impact! Program will use original songs to raise awareness of environmental issues faced by multicultural societies and what can be done to reduce our carbon footprint. The program will make presentations at preschools and elementary schools, later expanding and customizing the program for high school audiences. Funding of $4,460 will be used to record songs, buy ukuleles, and purchase promotional material.
  • Andrew Almack, Port Moody, B.C.
    Williams School of Business, Bishop’s University, 2013 Vancouver Champion
    The Plastic Bank recycles plastic waste gathered from shorelines into source stock for 3D printing. The renewal funding of $4,500 will be used to create better and cheaper materials to lower the overall costs of 3D printing. 
  • John Hu, Burnaby, B.C.
    University of Manitoba, 2013 Vancouver Champion
    HEAL � Healthy, Eco, Age-Friendly Cities for Living will provide art-based workshops as a way of helping marginalized groups including seniors, people with disabilities and aboriginal families to tell their stories and share their ideas on what makes a city healthy, age-friendly and sustainable. The $4,700 in funding will be used for art supplies and the creation of a website to showcase the art.

About The Co-operators

The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian-owned co-operative with more than $37 billion in assets under administration. Through its group of companies it offers home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm insurance, as well as investment products.

The Co-operators is well known for its community involvement and its commitment to sustainability. The Co-operators is listed among the 50 Best Employers in Canada by Aon Hewitt; Corporate Knights’ Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada; and the Top 50 Socially Responsible Corporations in Canada by Sustainalytics and Maclean’s magazine.

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