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Sustainability Projects Fund

How to Apply

All current members of the McGill community are encouraged to apply for support from the Sustainability Projects Fund.

Application Process

  1. Review SPF Reference documents
  2. Download the appropriate application form
  3. Submit your application
  4. Await review by the SPF Governance Council
  5. Work with the SPF team to get your project started!

There are five paths to applying to the SPF, depending on the funds needed to get your project started. View specific instructions for each funding stream below. 

Tiny Stream (Under $300)

The Tiny Stream is a simpler, faster application process for ad-hoc initiatives like sustainability-focused events and projects that contribute to a culture of sustainability at McGill. 

Applications for Tiny Stream Projects are due on the 1st and 15th of every month. Please apply at least one month before the start date of your initiative.  

Successful Tiny Stream projects in the past have included Purchase of Reusable Dishware and Research Sustainability Network Launch Speaker Series

Submit a Tiny Stream application 

Under $5,000

Projects requiring under $5,000 start with a Cover Page and Project Plan. Once they have been submitted, SPF staff will get back to you with feedback within two weeks. Sustainability-focused events that contribute to a culture of sustainability at McGill may apply for funding through the Under $5,000 Stream.  

Applications for Under $5,000 Funding are accepted on a rolling basis.  

Successful Under $5,000 projects in the past have included Little Free Libraries, Wong Community Gardens, and Active Transportation at Gault

Submit an Under $5,000 application 

Over $5,000

Projects requiring over $5,000 require two steps. First, submit your Cover Page and Project Overview (Part 1). Within two weeks, SPF Staff will get in touch to walk you through your next step: the Project Plan (Part 2), which includes all the nitty-gritty details of your initiative. 

Applications for Over $5,000 Funding are accepted on a rolling basis.  

Successful Over $5,000 projects in the past have included Spin Bike Gardens, Macdonald Campus Tree Planting Initiative, and Green Labs Certification

Submit an Over $5,000 application 

Big Wave (Over $100,000)

The Big Wave funding stream supports large-scale, transformative projects that have a long-lasting impact on McGill's campuses needing between $100,000 and $400,000. Due the scale of these projects, teams will have the opportunity to receive a portion of their funding for the design phase, before moving on to project implementation. 

The Big Wave Stream accepts pre-applications on October 1, February 1, and June 1. 

Successful Over $100,000 projects in the past have included Electric Vehicle Subsidy and Improving McGill's Waste Systems to Achieve Zero-Waste

Submit a Big Wave pre-application 


Green Labs Expansion

The Green Labs Expansion is a $50,000 envelope of SPF funding to assist labs on McGill campuses to adopt sustainable best practices learned from previous SPF projects. Teams can request a maximum of $5,000 for their project. Approved funding will be available to teams for one year to assist them in creating a proof of concept to secure long-term funding for these practices.

Past successful Green Labs projects include Green Labs Initiative at the Neuro and  McGill-Wide Green Labs Initiative.

Submit a Green Labs Expansion application


Project Eligibility

Sustainability can mean many things. We recommend that you become familiar with the SPF Sustainability Brief and McGill's Climate & Sustainability Strategy 2020-2025 to see where your project fits in.

In order to be eligible for funding, projects must be:

At McGill

Projects are led by a current student, administrative staff, or academic staff and primarily impact the McGill campus community.


Projects focus on environmental initiatives that integrate social and economic considerations and advance sustainability on campus.

In Need of Seed-Funding

Projects are either new initiatives or ones that complement, build upon or scale existing initiatives.


Projects are action oriented and aim to make tangible change happen on McGill campus(es). These typically do not include research projects.

Evaluation Criteria

The SPF Governance Council considers scope and scale when evaluating project applications. Typically, projects are evaluated on: 


A need or issue has been identified, best practices and other funding sources have been researched, and other projects have been consulted for lessons learned.


The project creates a positive change and its impacts will be shared with the community on a long-term basis, institutionalization, or potential to scale, when possible.


The project is well-planned, has realistic goals, activities and timeline, mitigates risks, and has a budget that makes sense.


The project is inclusive, collaborative, interdisciplinary, and considers the voices of all McGill community members.


The project team has consulted with relevant stakeholders and gained their support and permission if needed.

Capacity Building

The project is a learning opportunity for stakeholders, and includes training, volunteerism, job creation, or complementary applied student research.

Non-Eligible Projects

The SPF cannot support all sustainability-related projects on campus. Some non-eligible projects include:

  • Research
  • Feasibility studies
    • Exception: A feasibility study may be funded through the Big Wave (Over $100,000) stream during the pre-application phase, only to preface a project's implementation.
  • Projects requesting ongoing operating expenses
  • Projects that solely benefit an individual and not the community, group, or project
  • Projects where a one-off event is the primary focus (e.g. symposium, case competition)
    • Exception: Sustainability-focused events, funded through the Tiny Stream (Under $300) and the Under $5,000 Stream.
  • Projects that have already been completed
  • Expenses that occur off campus
  • Projects that involve take-back recycling box programs
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