enviroFund Community Sustainability Projects

Community Sustainability Initiatives

The Vancity enviroFund™ is mobilized under the Community Sustainability Initiatives to empower individuals to live lighter on this earth.

Lighter living for individuals is about enabling sustainable daily lives where the impact of our individual choices are within the limits of the Earth's support systems. Our goal is to reduce the ecological footprint of our members while improving the well-being of individuals and communities.

In order to do this, we can support organizations and businesses to create the solutions for individuals to live lighter. It is important to us that your initiative is local, encourages behaviour change, and responds to a need in your community.

Project criteria

Click the criteria below for more details.

Focus on wellbeing

  • We will support organizations that are redefining the ‘good life’ by focusing on wellbeing – happy, healthy lives that support the things that move away from materialism to the things that matter most – our friends and family ties, our service to society and civic engagement, our sense of trust, our capacity to meet our basic needs, and our health
  • Your project should generate quantifiable outcomes. Applicants will need to identify and report on impact measures
  • Preferences are given to 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

Fix things that are broken

  • We will support organizations that take the lead in fixing things that are broken (like electronics, appliances and machines, furniture, bicycles, shoes and clothing, sporting goods, buildings and much more) so that they can be used and enjoyed again for years to come
  • 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

Upstream solutions to waste

  • We will support organizations that find upstream solutions to address high amounts of waste (including addressing food waste, reusing materials from renovating and deconstructing homes and other buildings, transforming our relationship to textiles including supporting used clothing and shoes, redesigning products and services, shifting demand and much more) created in our communities every day
  • 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
  • Preference will be given to 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)

Upcycle resources

  • We will support organizations that upcycle resources (e.g. Wood, paper, plastics, metals, fabrics and textiles, and much more) so that they can be used again
  • 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

Collective action

  • We will support organisations that create opportunities for collective action (neighbourhood initiatives, workplace initiatives that support employees and customers living lighter lives, faith community initiatives) that foster more sustainable communities
  • Your initiative should engage a multidisciplinary team in the planning and delivery of the project (could include businesses, not-for-profits or other institutions)
  • 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

Advance sustainable lifestyles

  • We will support organizations that advance the cultural context for low-footprint and lighter ways of living including through transformative arts and communications approaches, trendsetting, and creating social movements that support deep value and mindset shifts
  • 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
  • Preference will be given to organizations that accommodate diversity in sustainable ways of living across ethnicity, age, gender, income, education, geography, and more

Eligibility

  • We 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.

How to apply

For Community Sustainability Initiatives (up to $10,000) please complete the Vancity enviroFund™ application (found here). Applications can be dropped off in person at your local branch, or submitted to envirofund@vancity.com