About the SPF
The Sustainability Projects Fund (SPF) has been created to help promote and build a culture of sustainability at McGill, with the primary purpose of the fund to create opportunities for the McGill community to actively engage in sustainability initiatives on campus.
How does it work?
Any member of the McGill community can submit a project application, a detailed four page proposal outlining a project idea, anytime throughout the year. Submitted applications are reviewed by the SPF Working Group, and selected applications receive funding for their projects, in addition to feedback and guidance from the Working Group and SPF Administrator.
The Working Group
A Sustainability Projects Fund Working Group is a parity committee charged with providing feedback on project applications by consensus.
The Working Groups includes the following voting members:
- 4 students
- 2 undergraduate students, nominated by the SSMU
- 1 undergraduate student, nominated by the Macdonald Campus Student Society
- 1 graduate student, nominated by PGSS
- 4 academic or administrative staff, nominated by the administration of McGill University.
The Working Group is chaired by the Associate Vice-Principal (University Services), who serves as a non-voting member. The Sustainability Projects Fund Administrator stewards the Working Group as a non-voting member, and acts as a liaison with applicant teams. Relevant resource people, without vote, may also be asked to attend as required at the request of the Working Group.
Funding for the SPF
The Sustainability Projects Fund was created through the approval of a 'non-opt-outable' student fee of $0.50 per credit (with a maximum of $15/year) to be collected from each SSMU, MCSS, and PGSS student. This amount is then matched by the administration with funds which may include: possible contributions through internal and external donations; centrally managed capital and operating budgets of the University; and grants from external agencies and non-governmental organizations.
The estimated yearly total of the SPF is $840,000. Any unspent funds remaining from one year will be rolled over into the fund balance of the subsequent year. No money from this fund may be allocated to any project or undertaking that does not fall under the jurisdiction of the Sustainability Projects Fund Working Group, as described below.
Allocation of Sustainability Projects Fund
A portion of the fund monies will be reserved to fund the position of Sustainability Projects Fund Administrator for duration of the initial the three-year period of the SPF, in addition to two or three student positions which will work in in tandem with the SPF Administrator position. The SPF Administrator will serve as Steward of the SPF Working Group, coordinating applied student research, facilitating the application process, ensuring that approved projects are executed as planned, and tracking progress on sustainability accomplishments achieved through the SPF. The balance of fund monies will be dedicated to a wide variety of sustainability projects.
Click here to see the SPF Application Criteria
The origins and history of the SPF
In the fall of 2009 McGill's three student societies—SSMU, MCSS, and PGSS—came together with the McGill administration in a partnership to create this Sustainability Projects Fund. The proposal was passed by student referendum in November 2009, with 79 per cent of voters on the downtown campus voting to adopt the fund. Some 5,300 students voted, the second-highest total in SSMU history.
The Sustainability Projects Fund has been created for an initial three-year period. The three-year period corresponds to the maximum allotted time for ancillary fees to be collected prior to a mandatory referendum for review, as dictated by Article 1 of the SSMU Constitution. This initial period will serve as a basis for future decisions regarding a possible extension or any changes to the contributions to the fund. Decisions about how to proceed after the initial three-year period will be made based on an assessment of the tangible and measureable impacts of the fund over the course of the initial three-year period.