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SPF Projects

The Sustainability Projects Fund has supported more than 250 projects on McGill's campuses, contributing to a wide range of sustainability initiatives. These projects also advance the implementation of the McGill University Climate & Sustainability Strategy.

Browse projects by Strategy category below, and check out our YouTube channel to see some of their impacts.


Research & Education

Helium Recovery Project

We propose to purchase and install a system for recovering and recycling the limited resource helium, a critical component for the important scientific technique of NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance).

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Sustainability Faculty Fellows

The Sustainability Faculty Fellows - also known as the Sustainability Learning Communities project - project provides support for those faculty members at McGill who value education for sustainability by identifying, connecting and enhancing their efforts; it transforms coursework so that all McGill students can emerge as critical and engaged citizens as per the goals of Vision 2020.

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Climate Change Artist in Residence

Use new media art as a creative catalyst to engage our community & enhance the visibility of climate research at McGill through collaboration with climate researchers and hosting of public workshops.

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Buildings & Utilities

Shut Your Sash

A pilot campaign that aims to promote awareness about energy consumption in McGill laboratories and reduce it by implementing sustainable fume hood usage/practices. The campaign promoted energy-conservation by shutting the fume-hood sashes during periods of inactivity. This campaign consisted of three phases: 1) communication; 2) distribution of educational material; and 3) monitoring of sash height, including an inter-lab competition.

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Greening Indoor McGill Initiative

Greening Indoor McGill Initiative promotes the use of indoor plants to improve air quality and promote a healthy aesthetic through the greening of indoor environments for McGill faculty, staff, and students. The impacts of these activities will be realized in both improvements to indoor environments and the creation of a McGill network to maintain and expand such improvements.

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McGill Spin Bike Gardens

The McGill Spin Bike Gardens were designed and installed in 4 key locations on McGill’s downtown and Macdonald campuses to provide enjoyable mental and physical health breaks for students, staff and faculty. The gardens consist of quiet, magnetic-resistance spin bikes surrounded by plants and meditative art and are located in areas where students and staff are busy at work, so that briefly accessing cardio activity is easily attainable.

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Waste Management

Plate Club

The Plate Club is a service on campus that offers the free use of quality reusable dishware and utensils in place of disposable, typically paper or Styrofoam, items. The Plate Club offers their inventory to members of the McGill community in the SSMU cafeteria, and to groups holding events; their ultimate goal being to reduce waste while promoting sustainability and awareness on campus.

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Little Free Libraries

The Little Free Libraries are designed for sharing books; all the printed materials put in these wooden boxes are donated or exchanged, as opposed to loaned in the tradition of a typical library. The goal is to entice communities to give, exchange, and take books with the aims of encouraging sustainable literacy practices, all the while developing a space for university students, faculty, and staff to revitalize and recycle printed books.

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Zero-Waste Action Plan Implementation

The Zero-Waste Action Plan Implementation project aims to transform McGill into a zero-waste campus by paying special attention to the design consistency of the waste system and by driving campus community engagement. To facilitate this transformation, waste management and coordination capacity will be increased by hiring a Zero-Waste Coordinator to begin the implementation of the 2018-2025 Waste Reduction & Diversion Action Plan.

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Travel & Commuting

Active Transportation at Gault

This project will provide staff with the option to use bicycles to travel between buildings instead of ATV or regular car or electric golf cart, to promote exercise and reduce carbon footprint.

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Bringing the Flat Back to Campus

The Flat Bike Collective aims to increase its visibility and accessibility on campus, particularly in context of Mon Campus a Velo 2019, to encourage members of McGill community to bike to McGill.

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SAVR Initiative

The goal of the Sustainable Alternatives for Vehicle Replacement (SAVR) Initiative is to support transition of unit fleet vehicles to sustainable alternatives by subsidizing vehicle purchase costs while decarbonizing our fleet by reducing fuel consumption & greenhouse gas emissions.

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Food Systems

McGill Feeding McGill

The mandate of McGill Feeding McGill is to provide locally grown fruits and vegetables from the Macdonald Campus’s Horticultural Research Center to McGill University’s Food and Dining services operated residences and the general student community. In 2010, resources from the SPF helped pay for 2240 student hours, technician hours, 200 reusable plastic food grade bins, seeds and irrigation supplies, land and machinery rental fees.

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Mac Regenerative Food Hub

This project hopes to establish a collaborative and resilient network of sustainable food systems around Macdonald Campus, fostering partnerships and enhancing local initiatives within the community.

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Season Extension Technology to Meet the Need for Local Food

Installing a field high tunnel and a greenhouse to extend the production season of pesticide-free crops for the McGill feeding McGill project

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Procurement

Sustainable Orientation

The Sustainable Orientation project aims to introduce and mainstream sustainability to new students by raising awareness and modelling best practices during orientation through more sustainable programming and materials (SSMU handbook, Frosh T-shirts, tote-bags, and planning). This projects seeks to address sustainability-related issues pertaining to past orientations, which have normalized a culture of throw-away consumerism that is replicated throughout students' university careers.

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Buy Your Own Bulk

The Buy Your Own Bulk project, also known as BYOB, aims to create a non-profit student-run retail service, with the goal of enabling the Macdonald campus community to purchase dry food items at a lower cost than in grocery stores, while maintaining a zero-waste policy.

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Promoting SPE Certification

The Promoting SPE Certification Project aims to educate McGill students about the value of selecting sustainable and nutritious food items in dining halls by promoting the Sustainability Certification (SPE) criteria that harmonizes with McGill's sustainability policies. The project will empower students to make sustainable and healthy choices by providing labeling and meal selection strategies through short videos.

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Landscapes & Ecosystems

Gault Nature Reserve Community Access

The Gault Nature Reserve Community Access project seeks to increase sustainable access to the Gault Nature Reserve (GNR) in a variety of ways. Most significantly, this project plans increase access by developing a new trail which meets sustainable standards at the foothill of the mountain that connects the the GNR, allowing visitors to more easily reach the network of trails. This project will also allow the GNR to become part of the electric network of charging stations and give the opportunity to electric cars to visit the main entrance.

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Macdonald Campus Orchard

The Macdonald Campus Orchard project aims to revitalize the campus apple orchards. The orchards at the Horticulture Centre are now over 30 years old and are past their viable economic, environmental and educational life-span.

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Macdonald Campus Tree Planting Initiative

The goal of the project is to plant 200 trees at Macdonald Campus in honour of McGill's Bicentennial. There are three planned phases: Fall 2020, Spring 2021, and Fall 2021.

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Community Building

Little Free Libraries

The Little Free Libraries Project aims to change how the McGill community thinks about printed books through the creation of several autonomous and sustainable wooden installations, known as the Little Free Libraries. The Little Free Libraries are designed for sharing books; all the printed materials put in these wooden boxes are donated or exchanged, as opposed to loaned in the tradition of a typical library. 

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Interactive Accessibility Map

The Interactive Accessibility Map project aims to create an online, interactive campus map that shows accessible routes through the built environment. The map will be designed to function similar to Google Maps, allowing users to make better-informed decisions when navigating campus, as well as providing information on accessibility services in their destination building.  

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Discover Sustainable McGill

Campus Life & Engagement hosts some of the largest events on campus, which are often the first contact students have with McGill. Given the size and complexity of these events, it can be difficult to integrate environmental sustainability into the way they are run. Practices such as distributing single-use plastics, lack of waste sorting support, and insufficient water refilling infrastructure are issues that require time and dedicated attention.

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