Campus Sustainability Grants


Help make our campuses more sustainable and make your ideas come to life with our Campus Sustainability Grants.

Recurring Grants

Funded through energy savings from the University of Alberta Energy Management Program, these grants are open to students, staff and faculty.

What type of projects are funded?
Projects should use a campus-focused approach to align with the Energy & Climate Action office’s objectives of minimizing the impact of the university on the environment, facilitating innovations in research and operations and advancing collaborative solutions to sustainability problems on our campuses.

Full details can be found in the Campus Sustainability Grant Guidelines.

Major Grants
  • Between $2,000 and $50,000
  • One submission opportunity per year
  • Deadline: May 15, 2024
Micro Grants
  • Up to $2,000
  • Submissions are accepted and adjudicated on an ongoing basis


If you have an idea, email us at, and we'll happily help you take the next step.

Funded projects

Congratulations to all successful applicants! View a full summary of awarded projects or select ones below.

Green & Gold Garden Drip Irrigation System


Green & Gold Garden, ALES | $4,000

The Green & Gold Garden on South Campus implemented a drip irrigation system, which reduced the amount of water used, decreased the areas watered to minimize weed growth, and yielded more produce. The garden also purchased hoops, shade cloth and propagation trays in order to better adapt to climate challenges. They just had their most productive season ever, which included 3,500 feet of carrots, 300 kale plants, 2,800 hills of potatoes, 1,650 feet of beets, 900 feet of corn, and 5,100 heads of garlic, among others.

Community Clean-Up


Student Group, Engineering | $600

Engineers for a Sustainable World planned this event to help campus and community residents to meet friends and develop an appreciation for their community and the environment that surrounds them. The event attracted 30 University of Alberta students who went around the Kinsmen Park area of Edmonton to clean up trash that had accumulated over the winter months. A total of 247.5 lbs of trash was cleaned up, and many students who participated voiced their satisfaction over making a difference in their community and showed great interest in other sustainability initiatives.

FAB Studio Gallery LED Lighting


Staff, Fine Arts | $5,200

The Department of Art & Design switched their old halogen lighting equipment to LED lights in the drawing studio. This switch lowered energy consumption, reduced waste (as LED lights have a longer lifespan) and made the learning environment safer for students, as the halogen bulbs emitted more heat and risked being a fire hazard. The students are now using modern industry-standard equipment and learning how to be more sustainable in their field.

We're Ready! Community Disaster Preparedness pilot workshop

Grad Student, Department of Sociology | $2,000

The We’re Ready! Community Disaster Preparedness pilot workshop was designed to build emergency preparation and response capacity at the community level. We’re Ready! provided students, staff and faculty with knowledge, skills and resources to design their own disaster preparedness plans in response to climate emergencies in the workplace. The workshop also provided them with knowledge to prepare for emergencies in their other communities, such as their neighbourhoods. This was accomplished through interactive and engaging activities that strengthened social connections and enhanced community resilience.

Advancing Sustainability in the Undergraduate Organic Chemistry Laboratories

Faculty, Department of Chemistry | $15,400

Worldwide, extensive amounts of food waste are generated on a daily basis. The ability to divert this waste away from landfills and convert it into valuable products will assist with waste disposal costs, sustainability management and environmental enhancement initiatives.

This project reduced water consumption in laboratory experiments across introductory and intermediate organic chemistry laboratory courses while also incorporating green chemistry and sustainability concepts into the curriculum. Approximately 120,000-150,000 litres of water can be conserved per academic year.

Chemical products synthesized as part of previous laboratory curricula were collected and are now recycled as intermediates for higher -level laboratory courses. This will be an ongoing project for many years and has already diverted many kilograms of chemical products away from chemical waste disposal.


Sustainable LED Lighting in the Fine Arts Building Gallery

Staff, Department of Art and Design | $17,374

Aging and inefficient incandescent lighting in the Fine Arts Building Gallery was replaced with low-energy, long-lasting LED lights. The previous halogen lights burned out often and could not be recycled, so the new LEDs helped reduce landfill deposits, emissions and energy use (60 kWh/day). Safety was also improved, as LED lighting is cooler, whereas the incandescent bulbs emitted more heat and were a hazard if not monitored and used correctly. Lastly, this project encouraged community stewardship, interdepartmental collaboration and learning opportunities.

Eco-friendly management of the invasive European elm scale on campus

Faculty, Department of Biological Sciences | $1,112

The European elm scale is an invasive pest that feeds on elm sap and causes leaf-drop, branch die-back and a sticky residue in recreational shaded areas around campus. This project used campus as a living lab to develop a program that engages students in sustainable pest management by evaluating environmentally friendly methods to manage the European elm scale infestation on campus trees without insecticides.

Results indicate that a scrubbing treatment can successfully reduce the density of European elm scale insects. This will reduce the need for insecticide applications, reducing harmful environmental effects and harm to non-target insects and animals.

Water Recirculation in Undergrad Inorganic Chemistry

Staff, Department of Chemistry | $415

An inexpensive system was designed to enable recirculation of cooling water for condensers in undergraduate chemistry labs to replace the wasteful habit of running domestic cold water through the condensers and directly into the sewer system. The system was successfully tested during two laboratory experiments. Informal discussions with students and TAs indicated that the system was easy to use and that students appreciated the incorporation of a sustainability initiative to reduce water consumption in the labs.

X-Cite Mercury to LED light upgrade for microscope

Faculty, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry | $2,000

This LED module was the main light source for a Zeiss LSM 700 Confocal Microscope, which was heavily used for different projects by various Centre for Prions and Protein Folding Diseases and Medicine and Dentistry researchers. The projected cost of replacing a light guide and mercury bulb from a mercury light source saved ~$2,000 every one-to-two and eliminated all possibility of a mercury bulb breaking and releasing toxic gaseous mercury into an enclosed space. The new module that was purchased did not have any need for replacement of a light guide, and the bulb lifetime was up to 10 times longer than that of a mercury light source.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible for a Campus Sustainability Grant?
Any staff, student or faculty member who has a sustainability-related project can apply.
Can I apply if I applied before?
Yes! You are welcome to apply again whether you’ve previously received a grant or not. However, you would not be eligible for the same project. If you were denied a grant, you can change your project based on feedback and re-apply. If you have received a grant, you can re-apply for a different phase of the project. In the case of an event, you would have to show significant changes if you apply again for the same event.
What is the application process?
Read through the grant guidelines. If your project is a fit, you can fill out the application, found on our website. To complete the application, you will need to include a speedcode, a detailed budget, signatures of support, approvals or certifications required, quotes for equipment and, if you are a student, a faculty sponsor letter.
When do I find out if I will receive a grant or not?
Micro grant applications are accepted on an ongoing basis and will be processed within two weeks. Major grant applications are accepted once a year. The deadline this year is May 15, 2023. The adjudication process takes up to 4 weeks, so applicants will be informed in late June if they have been awarded a grant.
What is the adjudication process?
We try to make the adjudication process as fair as possible. There are five different adjudicators: a representative from Energy & Climate Action, a representative from the Sustainability Council, a faculty member, a staff member, and a student. Each adjudicator rates the applications based on the questions to the long answers. Once we have their scores, we make our final decisions based on the amount of funds we have to award.
I’ve never applied for a grant before, what do I write? What does a successful application look like?
We’ve written our application questions to be as specific as possible for what we are looking for in each question. There are even word counts to guide you on how long your answers should be. Your answers should be clear enough that someone who is not in your field of work or study can understand your project. Successful applications are ones that explain the ties to the university, the sustainability impact of the project and what we can expect should we grant you funds. If you need more guidance on the application process, you can contact Morgan Butler at
My project will cost more than $50,000 - can I still apply?
Yes; however, we cannot fund more than $50,000 per project. If you need more funding for your project and you’ve applied for other grants or received funding from other sources, you can include that in your application. Alternatively, if your project can be broken down into steps, you can apply to fund one step at a time.
I have an idea for a project, but I’m not sure how to go about it. Can you help?
Possibly. If you have an idea, you can email us and provide as much detail as you can and we can try to provide you with some guidance. Depending on what your project is, it might not be possible for us to give you much help, but we can try to guide you in the right direction. You can email for feedback on your project.

Campus Sustainability Grants Solar Greenhouse

High-tech solar greenhouse at University of Alberta [Video, Global News]

Watch University of Alberta students and the Renewable Energy Design Club on Global News as they talk about their first solar-powered greenhouse in partnership with Exceed Solar, a project that was funded by Campus Sustainability Grants program. Story by Kim Smith.

Campus Sustainability Grants Solar Greenhouse

Solar power: Coming to a greenhouse near you

With funding from the Campus Sustainability Grants program, students, faculty and staff from different disciplines are coming together to develop sustainable gardening practices powered by the sun.