Skip to main content

News Releases

Students' sustainability projects to have greater IMPACT! thanks to funding boost

Jan 17, 2011

GUELPH, ON, Jan. 17 /CNW/ - Eight Canadian students involved with IMPACT! The Co-operators Youth Program for Sustainability Leadership have received additional funding for projects aimed at bringing about social and environmental change. In 2009, 13 recipients received a total of $49,685. Now, based on the success of their respective projects, eight IMPACT! alumni will receive an additional $34,000 to continue to lead social and environmental programs.

The students are alumni of the inaugural IMPACT! Conference, which brought together 180 Canadian university and college students at the University of Guelph in September 2009. A second such event featuring Dr. David Suzuki will be held  September 15-18, 2011 at the University of Guelph. Students aged 19 to 25 who will be attending a Canadian university or college are eligible to apply. The unique bilingual conference is a three-day, all expenses paid event during which student sustainability leaders explore real solutions with national businesses and academic leaders. Applications are open until January 23.

The eight students receiving the additional funding through The Co-operators Foundation - Impact! Fund are:

Keleigh Annau of Mount Allison University, who received an additional $5,000 for Lights Out Canada, an outreach project aimed at educating high school and post-secondary students across Canada about climate change and energy conservation.

Alla Guelber, a Calgary resident studying at Concordia University, received $5,000 for the Green Jobs Workshop, a partnership with Alberta Acts on Climate Change that provides a venue for young professional Albertans to share ideas and build capacity for job creation in the environmental sector.

Émanuèle Lapierre-Fortin of the University a Guelph was granted $1,500 for her work with UoG Net Impact, which will be organizing a No Impact Week on campus in the spring of 2011. Described as a "one-week carbon cleanse," the campaign will encourage students to lower their environmental impact through lifestyle changes, community action and participation in environmental politics.

Alison McDonald of Trent University received $5,000 for her partnership with the Seasoned Spoon Cooperative Café at the university, through which they are building a root cellar for the café to store local foods. They are also working to reduce waste and greenhouse gas emissions, and to educate students and the community about sustainable food systems.

Marco Mwenda of Assiniboine Community College received a $5,000 grant to support the Marquis Project in Manitoba, which engages Manitobans in sustainable international projects. The funding will help them create an educational climate change program for people in rural Manitoba and the African nation of Tanzania.

Ellen Quigley, from the University of Saskatchewan, received $5,000 for Water Water Everywhere, through which she has partnered with the City of Saskatoon's Water Treatment Division and We Are Many to supply and promote the use of tap water, rather than bottled water, at events in Saskatoon. The new funding will support the expansion of the project to other parts of the province, including Regina and Moose Jaw.

Eliese Watson, a student at Mount Royal College, will use her $5,000 grant to build on the success to date of A.B.C. - Apiaries and Bees for Communities, which promotes urban bee-keeping as a way of building more diverse ecosystems in urban centres. The new funding will help with the creation of a new textbook and workbook on the subject.

Sara Wicks of the University of Guelph received $2,500 for Reduce the Juice, a youth-led alternative energy project that includes solar energy generation at Waterloo Collegiate Institute. The additional funding will be used to install a large LCD sign at the school displaying real-time information about the production of solar energy and the related reductions in carbon dioxide emissions.

For more detailed information about these projects and the IMPACT! conference, visit

About The Co-operators:
The Co-operators Group Limited is a 100 per cent Canadian-owned co-operative with more than $42 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 owned by 47 Canadian co-operatives, credit union centrals and like-minded organizations. It is well known for its community involvement and its commitment to creating a more sustainable tomorrow. In 2010, The Co-operators was ranked #2 among the 50 Best Corporate Citizens in Canada and listed among the 50 Best Employers in Canada. For more information visit

For further information:

Kelly Rutherford
The Co-operators
519-824-4400 ext. 302044

Back to news releases

Find us on:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube