At the most recent SWR Board meeting we supported a motion for full partnership with the Region of Waterloo’s TravelWise program, as it moves beyond its two year pilot and expands on its mandate. TravelWise will continue to provide incentives to employers to support their efforts to reduce the number of people driving alone to work, and will now also support employers in setting forward-looking targets alongside these incentives.

Meanwhile, we’ve started to convene some powerful conversations about a zero-impact sustainability incubator building here in Waterloo Region.

In both cases, these are new initiatives that complement existing SWR programs like the Regional Carbon Initiative, and also focus the organization on the areas we excel at: Building networks. Setting direction. Reporting on results.  And both fit within our role in Waterloo Region’s sustainability movement: fostering collaborations that enable organizations to convert their sustainability interest into action

We’re thrilled to be having audacious conversations like these – they are exactly what we hoped would result from spending the past year listening to dozens of key influencers and supporters in preparation for writing SWR’s first strategic plan.

If you’d like to learn more about Sustainable Waterloo Region and our future direction, check out this short video.

Still not satisfied? Feel free to download a new one-page overview of SWR, a summary of the plan or for the real curious reader – the full strategic plan.

We recognize that Sustainable Waterloo Region is at a critical time in its short history. Our flagship program, the Regional Carbon Initiative, is getting results, sustainable in its own right and starting to be shared across the province. Because of this, we’re also in the midst of a leadership transition. Meanwhile, we’re part of a collaboration that is on-track to have Waterloo Region’s first-ever climate change action plan approved by all area Councils.

We’re proud of these initial successes. But as a team, our vision is for so much more: an environmentally and economically resilient community that prioritizes the well-being of current and future generations.

We hope this plan both guides us, and makes clear for you, the direction we’re headed in as we seek to scale our impact towards realizing this ambitious vision. We’ve called it “Our Compass”, given the intention behind it: to guide how we focus & grow our efforts, while not purporting to have a crystal ball to predict all the opportunities, challenges and community priorities that lay ahead.

More than ever, we feel like we’re poised to bring big, bold ideas to life, working together to build an even stronger sustainability movement in Waterloo Region. We’re optimistic. Why? One of our newly updated values sums it up:

Our Collective Potential: We are not willing to sit on the sidelines, waiting or hoping for others to create the kind of community and the kind of world we dream of. Instead, we’re active players in the process, and we value our collective potential for impact toward a more sustainable community.

With excitement for what lies ahead,

Mike Morrice                     Susan Jantzi

Executive Director          Chair, Strategic Planning Subcommittee; Board Member