Sustainable Waterloo Region (SWR) is pleased to announce that the Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA) has joined the Regional Sustainability Initiative as an Observing Organization!

The BSIA is a collaborative partnership between the University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University, and the public policy think tank, the Centre for International Governance Innovation. The unique integration of each institution’s culture gives the BSIA an unmatched ability to connect today’s experts with tomorrow’s leaders in critical debate and analysis. 

In 2020 the BSIA established a volunteer Global Climate Action Committee. This committee drafted the recently-approved BSIA Net Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions Plan, which has established short, medium and long term goals. Through membership in the Regional Sustainability Initiative, the BSIA will establish the processes for measuring and determining their baselines for emissions related to School emissions, creating carbon budgets for School-funded travel, reporting School carbon emissions, and for reducing emissions. The BSIA has set two targets for 2026, a 10% reduction target for building-related emissions, and a 30% reduction for travel-related emissions, and has set an ambitious long-term goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2040. Through their membership, they will also gain access to an extensive member network to share best practices across industries and organization sizes on how to best advance sustainability of their operations. 

“We’re thrilled to welcome the Balsillie School of International Affairs to the Sustainable Waterloo Region’s network of organizations,” says Tova Davidson, Executive Director of Sustainable Waterloo Region. “The School is a pillar of interdisciplinary research in our region, and we’re excited to see what unique contributions they will make to our local sustainability conversation. By joining our network, they demonstrate their commitment not only to international policy work but also to their own local action and environmental footprint.”

Joining the Regional Sustainability Initiative aligns with the BSIA’s mission to shape the future of global governance and public policy through their network of scholars and programs. The organization’s diversity will be a strength in addressing their sustainability as they draw together experts from many disciplines who will, no doubt, have unique contributions to make to sustainability in Waterloo Region.

“The BSIA’s decision to adopt these new climate action commitments was prompted by Race to Zero for Universities and Colleges, and reflects the deep concern BSIA members feel about this issue and the significant climate- and environment-related expertise of the School’s faculty and students,” says Ann Fitz-Gerald, Director of the BSIA. “Our decision to join SWR is based on the valuable assistance and guidance we feel the organization can provide us with in turning our emissions reduction and education goals into reality. We very much look forward to working with SWR in the years to come.” We are thrilled to have the BSIA, a pillar of interdisciplinary research in our community, join the other 90+ who are contributing to making Waterloo region a sustainability hub!

Media Relations Contact:

Tiffany Bradley
Administrative Manager, BSIA

About Sustainable Waterloo Region

Sustainable Waterloo Region is an environmental non-profit organization that fosters collaborations that enable local organizations to convert their sustainability interest into action. These organizations participate in our programs to achieve environmental and economic benefits. By building networks, setting a common direction for results, and publicly reporting on progress, we are working to maximize both the individual and collective successes of organizations in Waterloo Region.

About the Regional Sustainability Initiative

The Regional Sustainability Initiative facilitates setting voluntary reduction targets in greenhouse gas emissions, waste, water, and waste diversion by organizations committed to sustainability within Waterloo region. Every organization’s sustainability journey is different; our milestones provide a customized approach to inspire action and support transformation in organizations of varying size and industry.


Tova Davidson

Executive Director

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