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The Co-operators grants $29,625 to students' sustainability projects

Mar 18, 2014

GUELPH, ON, March 18, 2014 /CNW/ - Today, The Co-operators announced a total of $29,625 in funding to seven IMPACT! alumni who are leading innovative sustainability projects. The latest round of grants from the IMPACT! Fund supports a wide range of initiatives, from recycling plastic debris to sustainable performance art.

Since its inception in 2009, the IMPACT! Fund has supported alumni from IMPACT! The Co-operators Youth Program for Sustainability Leadership as they work to make their campuses and communities greener and more sustainable. Through the IMPACT! Fund, The Co-operators has granted $288,750 to alumni from across Canada.

"Many of the young people participating in the IMPACT! program are already sustainability leaders in their communities," said Kathy Bardswick, president and CEO of The Co-operators. "I'm very impressed by their knowledge, skills and passion, and we're pleased to provide financial support to their innovative projects, so they can create a more sustainable future."

Funding was announced today for the following:

Alyssa Kostello, Vancouver, B.C.  – NOW! Theatre
Alyssa's NOW! Theatre project aims to promote the use of sustainable practices in the performing arts. This $6,000 grant will be used to better advertise the Act NOW! Sustainability Performance Art Competition and for the production of the project's first play.

Andrew Almack, Vancouver, B.C. – Plastics For Change
Plastics For Change recycles plastic debris collected from the environment into certified product lines. Andrew's grant of $1,750 will cover a feasibility study that will evaluate the potential to support green employment programs for marginalized people through plastic collection as well as a social plastic certification mark. The study will also look at the potential for shredded waste plastic to be used as filament in 3D printing.

Jonathan Fung, Toronto, Ont. – Connecting Environmental Professionals Toronto
Johnathan will use his $4,775 grant to help create Connecting Environmental Professionals (CEP) Toronto. CEP Toronto will act as centralized group for emerging and experienced environmental professionals. Operating under the three principles of education, engagement and employment, CEP Toronto will offer accessible and affordable events and services to like-minded people.

Keleigh Annau, National – Lights Out Canada
Earth Day 2014 will mark the ninth anniversary for Lights Out Canada, and their first as an incorporated non-government organization. Keleigh founded the organization based on a simple idea: turn the lights out in schools, teach students about climate change and support them in taking action. The $7,100 in funding will assist with growing the reach of the program, continuing to improve lesson plans, and to assist with forming the Lights Out Canada Board of Directors.

Robyn Mitchell, Vancouver, B.C. – Contrast
Contrast is a social enterprise that will seek to alleviate poverty and empower men and women from Vancouver's downtown eastside by teaching them to sew and produce handmade garments using digitally designed textiles printed with photographs they have taken of their community. The $5,000 grant will cover photographic and digital equipment.

Stephanie Brown, Ottawa, Ont. – Looking Beyond the Label
Looking Beyond the Label involves 10 video blog posts that will each focus on explaining the origins of common ingredients used in all-natural body care products, as well as a post that explains what to pay attention to in body care product labels. The project also includes an afternoon workshop for youth to make body care products. The $5,000 grant will be used for materials and equipment.

For more information on each project, please visit

About The Co-operators:
The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian-owned co-operative with more than $34 billion in assets under administration. Through its group of companies it offers home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm insurance, as well as investment products. The Co-operators is well known for its community involvement and its commitment to sustainability. The Co-operators is listed among the 50 Best Employers in Canada by Aon Hewitt; Corporate Knights' Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada; and the Top 50 Socially Responsible Corporations in Canada by Sustainalytics and Maclean's magazine. For more information visit

SOURCE The Co-operators

For further information: Leonard Sharman, The Co-operators, 519-767-3937

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