Latest News

Township of Wilmot Featured in Case Study
Township of Wilmot Featured in Case Study
Having been a member of the Regional Sustainability Initiative since 2015, the Township of Wilmot has become the first township in Waterloo Region to set a public greenhouse gas reduction target. They are working towards reducing their emissions by 25% using 2012 as their baseline. Some of their projects are already showing successful savings in both cost and energy usage. Check out their case study to learn more ...
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Change Management and Sustainability
Change Management and Sustainability
On June 13th, professionals gathered at the Walper Hotel in Kitchener for a Change Management and Sustainability event, where change management practice, tools, and how to apply them were discussed. Matthew Day, Manager of SWR’s Regional Sustainability Initiative, opened the event with a brief overview of Regional Sustainability Initiative’s end-of-year member survey. The top three goals across all members were: reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, reducing energy use, and increasing employee engagement. The goal of employee engagement stuck out because many members expressed a desire for ...
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Event Recap – It’s All About the Numbers
Event Recap – It’s All About the Numbers
On May 22nd 2018, Paul Rak (President and founder of Cambridge-based VeriForm Inc.) made the business case for implementing low-technology sustainability initiatives into everyday business operations. The event took place at Waterloo North Hydro and was attended by an assortment of professionals looking to learn how to optimize sustainability, efficiency, and cost-savings in their operations. Rak began by giving an overview of the company, when they started their journey towards sustainability, and the results the company has achieved since. VeriForm is a metal fabricating company which specia ...
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Evening of Recognition 2018 Recap
Evening of Recognition 2018 Recap
Thursday, April 12 was a big day for Sustainable Waterloo Region and the many program participants and volunteers who help make everything we do such a success. On April 12, we celebrated our 9th Evening of Recognition. The Turret at Wilfrid Laurier University was standing room only as sustainability leaders gathered to celebrate their successes and achievements, swap stories, and share learnings. That the event was held at Laurier was particularly meaningful; for 10 years, Wilfrid Laurier University has played a critical role in helping SWR and all Regional Sustainability Initiative members a ...
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10 ways our volunteers ROCK!
10 ways our volunteers ROCK!
Over the four years that I have been at Sustainable Waterloo Region, I have been repeatedly amazed and touched with the kinds of time and talent that are shared in this community to work together for the creation of a shared vision of the future. From students to community leadership, the volunteers at SWR are incredible. I could try to articulate all the things that people have done, but my memory is, as many of you have heard me say” like a steel sieve”, so I would rather share the top 10 ways that volunteers make all of us at SWR so very grateful. Professional expertise. Many of our volunt ...
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Volunteers Support Professional Development
Volunteers Support Professional Development
I’ve been a member of the SWR team for a long time, starting as a volunteer back in 2008. The volunteer structure at SWR is very close to my heart. Over the years, I’ve seen the power of this model and what it’s done for the organization, helping us to reach higher and do more, with limited financial resources. I’ve also seen the valuable and transferable work experience that volunteers have gained from being part of the SWR team. Recently, in the last year and a half, I’ve come to truly appreciate a new layer that’s been added to the model. To set the context, historically our Human Resources ...
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Thank you to all the Green Team volunteers
Thank you to all the Green Team volunteers
What many folks might not realize about sustainability-focused efforts is that not all organizations have the capacity to have a designated role for this. On many occasions, it is the voluntary work of one or handful of employees who are passionate about the environment. The effort to pull together a green team, engage the whole organization, integrate sustainability awareness, report on energy consumption and waste diversion – these tasks are completed alongside their primary role but with equal amounts of enthusiasm. This is why at the Regional Sustainability Initiative, we refer to them as ...
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5+ Years’ of Volunteerism and Counting!
5+ Years’ of Volunteerism and Counting!
Sustainable Waterloo Region’s greatest resource is our people. We are able to accomplish SWR’s great work with a committed team of volunteers and a small staff driven by a shared passion to achieve an environmentally sustainable Waterloo Region for current and future generations. Fueled by this passion, our volunteers join us for any number of reasons; from gaining meaningful work experience, to expanding professional networks, connecting with other like-minded individuals, or contributing their professional expertise to improve their local community. Our volunteer base is dynamic: as we welco ...
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What is Stephen Harper Reading?

What is Stephen Harper Reading? Every two weeks since April 2007, celebrated Canadian Author Yann Martel (author of the Man Booker Prize winning, ‘Life of Pi’) sends a letter and book to Prime Minister Stephen Harper in an effort to humbly, “make suggestions to his stillness”. On March 30, 2009. Martel sent him a book […]

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RCI Case Studies Part 3 – The City of Waterloo

Throughout the winter and into the spring of 2011, three Wilfrid Laurier University students – Mara Silvestri, Sarah Morgan and Jennifer Carreiro teamed up withSustainable Waterloo Region to profile three members of the Regional Carbon Initiative for Sustainable Waterloo Region’s 2nd Annual Evening of Recognition. As part of a class project, the group visited the sites of Pano […]

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RCI Case Studies Part 2 – Enermodal Engineering

Throughout the winter and into the spring of 2011, three Wilfrid Laurier University students – Mara Silvestri, Sarah Morgan and Jennifer Carreiro teamed up withSustainable Waterloo Region to profile three members of the Regional Carbon Initiative for Sustainable Waterloo Region’s 2nd Annual Evening of Recognition. As part of a class project, the group visited the sites of Pano […]

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RCI Case Studies Part 1 – Pano Cap Canada

Throughout the winter and into the spring of 2011, three Wilfrid Laurier University students – Mara Silvestri, Sarah Morgan and Jennifer Carreiro teamed up with Sustainable Waterloo Region to profile three members of the Regional Carbon Initiative for Sustainable Waterloo Region’s 2nd Annual Evening of Recognition. As part of a class project, the group visited […]

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Building a community through social media

On March 22, we hosted our second annual Evening of Recognition. You can read Mike’s blog about it here so I’m not going to speak too much about the event itself; instead, I’m going to share one of the elements that really stood out for me – the social media buzz that accompanied the event. […]

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Landscaping firm quietly transforms its business

AYR – Ahhhhh …. the peace of an early summer day in Ontario. The sun is shining. The birds are chirping. You decide to relax and read on your patio for a spell. Then, the lawn care and landscaping crew arrives next door. The roar of gasoline-powered lawn mowers, equipment and trucks sends you scurrying […]

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The New Website Has Launched!

In just over 2 ½ months we went from early conversations about improving the old Sustainable Waterloo Region website to launching the new site in time for our second annual Evening of Recognition. Idea to action. It’s a common theme around Sustainable Waterloo Region these days. The result is a new website that we hope […]