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2018 Guidelines and application process

enviroFund™ Lighter Living Project Grants: Supporting sustainable consumption in our communities

Vancity’s enviroFund™ is interested in supporting projects that help our local communities be more sustainable, by encouraging people to consume and waste less. The Vancity enviroFund™ investments we make will support local businesses, organizations and non-profits that are helping our community find the innovative solutions we need to consume less, while living happier and well-balanced lives.

Project priority areas

Beginning in 2018 and over the next five years, Vancity enviroFund™ will invest in projects and initiatives that support sustainable consumption and production practices in our communities. Support will be provided for projects in three priority areas:

  • Community sustainability projects: Projects that promote and improve sustainable consumption and production practices (including reducing the amount of material goods we consume); e.g
  • Strategic sectoral and systemic initiatives: Projects that support the development of sustainability and business-savvy strategies to reduce our ecological footprint; e.g
  • Public advocacy and education: Projects that lead, convene and amplify the public conversation on sustainable consumption and reducing our ecological footprint.e.g

Application Process

For Community sustainability projects (up to $10,000) please complete the Vancity enviroFund™/ Community Partnership application (found here).

For Projects and initiatives that support larger scale, systemic impact please email for more information.

Please review the eligibility and project criteria below to ensure your project is meeting the requirements.


  • We will work with local businesses, not-for-profit organizations, social enterprises, co-operatives, labour unions, Indigenous organizations or First Nation governments that align with our values.
  • Your project must take place within Vancity’s operating area (Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Squamish, Capital Regional District - Victoria/Gulf Islands and/or Cormorant Island) and directly benefit these local communities.

Project criteria

  • Measurable social/environmental impact — your project should generate quantifiable outcomes. Applicants will need to identify and report on impact measures
  • Action-oriented — your primary focus must be based on taking steps to increase sustainable consumption, reduce waste and enable our communities to live lighter. It may also include research, education, and advocacy components
  • Innovation — your project should illustrate how it will lead innovation in the space of sustainable consumption or assist in developing systems for behaviour change at scale
  • Collective impact/collaboration — engage a multidisciplinary team in the planning and delivery of the project (could include businesses, not-for-profits or other institutions)

Project preferences

  • Take an upstream approach to minimizing waste — initiatives that recognise the viability of focusing on reducing consumption and reusing resources rather than a downstream focus on recycling and waste management (staying higher up on the waste hierarchy)
  • Address issues of inequality and social justice — initiatives that acknowledge the injustice that is a result of over-consumption and seeks to rectify inequality as part of the project’s mandate or mission
  • Sustainable/Scalable — preference will be given to projects that can illustrate that they can develop a project that is financially sustainable over time, and/or is a scalable model
  • Credit union involvement — preference will be given to organizations that are members of Vancity or another credit union. Our goal is to create reciprocal partnerships that will further our vision of Redefining Wealth. Vancity welcomes your ideas on how we can work together to achieve change

It is important that your application address the following key elements:

  • What measurements do you have in place to assess success? How can you evaluate the impact of your program?
  • What does reciprocity look like for Vancity? Is it how your program will drive our guiding principles? Are there opportunities for Vancity to be involved in a meaningful way that is aligned to the business of the credit union
  • How will you advance towards sustainability to ensure your program or project will not be reliant on Vancity’s funding in the future? How are you building self-reliance in your organization?


Vancity enviroFund™/ Community Partnership applications are accepted on an ongoing basis throughout the year. Reviews will take a maximum of 12-14 weeks to complete

For questions or further clarification, please contact: