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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Faces of SWR – Janet Kimantas

Janet Kimantas joined SWR because it’s an organization that depends on and values its volunteers as much as its staff. She was motivated to get involved because she was looking for a challenge that would also be rewarding. Janet believes that what you get out of an experience is based on your contribution, and she […]

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Faces of SWR – An Introduction

Volunteers are key contributors to success at Sustainable Waterloo Region. Throughout 2015, we had over 80 people volunteer with the organization. We are booming with local talent, personality, and motivation. Part of what makes our team so special is what our volunteers bring to the organization, but what makes it even more special is the […]

Change is Good

Evolutionary theory has taught us that it is not the strong that survive, rather it is those that can adapt best to their environment that survive and thrive! As a true lover of change, my faith in this tenet has been tested in the past few weeks, and has remained strong. I have now finished […]

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It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Last December, I vividly remember walking into the SWR office (unit 430C in the Tannery building at the time) the morning after some sneaky ‘elves’ had decorated for the holidays. I remember I was getting in early on a Monday morning, in a now-familiar effort to get ahead of the week. I remember it was […]

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My Doubts Dug up from the Foundation

Planning my first event at Sustainable Waterloo Region clouded my head with the wave of emotions it brought: I was nervous because I was filling in the shoes of a more than capable individual that seemed to have no flaws; I was excited because I love planning and organizing events; I was slightly confused because […]

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What Makes an Organizational Culture?

What is an organizational culture? Further, what is this culture of sustainability we speak so much about and all aspire to be a part of here at Sustainable Waterloo Region? To me, it’s an environment that is open, flexible, motivational, and downright inspiring that also provides critical extracurricular opportunities for social interaction, professional development, and […]