A blue-teal gradient with icons representing a bike, an EV, a bee, a sapling, and a tomato with the SPF logo

Sustainability Projects Fund

About the Sustainability Projects Fund

Kickstart your project

Do you have a sustainability project you want to get started? 

Explore past projects

Since 2010, more than 300 sustainability projects have been funded by the SPF.

The Sustainability Projects Fund (SPF) mandate is to build a culture of sustainability on McGill campuses through the development and seed-funding of interdisciplinary projects. It creates opportunities for the McGill community to actively engage in sustainability initiatives on campus, empowering individuals to be change agents in their own studying and work environment.

The SPF is the largest fund of its kind in Canada, valued at more than $1 million annually.

It is supported by a student fee of $0.55 per credit to be collected from each Students Society of McGill University (SSMU), Macdonald Campus Students Society (MCSS), and Post-Graduates Students' Society (PGSS) student, matched, dollar-to-dollar, by the University.

Sustainability Projects Fund at a Glance

Since 2010, there has been more than:

$10 millionallocated
300projects kickstarted
7,500volunteers mobilized


Frequently Asked Questions

When is the deadline to submit my application?

Application deadlines depend on the project stream you’re applying to. For projects requesting under $300 (Tiny Stream), applications are accepted on the 1st of every month. The Under $5,000 and Over $5,000 project applications are accepted on a rolling basis, while the Big Wave (Over $100,000) Stream accepts pre-applications on October 1, February 1, and June 1. 

How long will it take to hear back?

For Under $300 applications, SPF Staff will get in touch with you within the two weeks following the application deadline. 

For Under $5,000 and Over $5,000 streams, SPF staff will be in touch within two weeks after you submit your application to provide feedback. The timeline for learning whether or not your application was successful depends on the Governance Council meeting schedule. 

The response time for Big Wave applications depends on how efficiently you complete Stage 2 of the Big Wave application process after receiving the Governance Council's initial feedback. 

Can I get feedback on my idea before I submit my application?

Yes, you can get in touch with the spf.sustainability [at] mcgill.ca (SPF team) for feedback before you submit your application, but all project teams will receive feedback on their application before it is handed over to the Governance Council. 

Is there a budget limit?

The SPF funds projects of all sizes, from under $300 to a maximum of $400,000.

What kind of projects are eligible for funding?

Projects supported by the SPF must be

  • At McGill,
  • Sustainability-Focused,
  • In Need of Seed-Funding, and
  • Action-Oriented.
 

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

  • Research
  • Projects requesting ongoing operating expenses
  • Projects that solely benefit an individual and not the community, group, or project
  • One off-events

Learn more about eligible projects on the How to Apply page.

How long do I have to use the funding?

Teams have 12 months to use the allocated funding. The start date will be determined once the application has been approved.

How is the funding allocated?

The SPF Governance Council is the group responsible for ultimately deciding which projects receive funding. It is composed of four staff members and four students to match the make-up of the fund itself.

The SPF Steward and SPF Administrator from the Office of Sustainability sit on the Governance Council as non-voting members and as such, have no say in which projects receive funding.

Once a project is approved, the funding will be held in a specific account and distributed to the team as needed.

I don't have a project idea right now. Is there another way to get involved with the SPF?

We recommend following the McGill Office of Sustainability on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter for opportunities to get involved. You can also subscribe to our newsletter for upcoming events and volunteer opportunities. 

Can I get involved in an ongoing project?

Some SPF projects welcome volunteers. We recommend exploring the SPF project archives and getting in touch with teams through the contact information provided.

Can I get reimbursed for a project I am already working on?

No, funding is not eligible for expenses made prior to applying. 

Who can apply for funding?

Any current McGill students, staff and faculty can apply for funding. 

Does the SPF fund research?

The SPF does not fund research projects. For sustainability-related research, get in touch with the McGill Sustainability Systems Initiative.  

Does the SPF fund events?

The SPF’s mandate is to kick-start initiatives that will have a long-term impact on campus. For that reason, the SPF does not typically fund stand-alone events. However, the Tiny Stream and Under $5,000 Stream can provide support for small-scale, sustainability-related events.

Does the SPF fund paid positions?

The SPF can fund paid positions, such as internships or administrative staff, for no more than 12 months. Please get in touch with spf.sustainability [at] mcgill.ca (the SPF team) for more information about funding available for paid positions. 

Does the SPF fund conferences or conference attendance?

No, the SPF will not fund conferences or conference attendance. 

Have a question that isn't answered here? spf.sustainability [at] mcgill.ca (Get in touch with the SPF team).

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