CICan Challenges Colleges and Institutes to Mobilize Their Communities Towards Climate Action

Ottawa, January 18, 2024 – Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) announced the launch of the third edition of the ImpAct-Climate Challenge, uniting Canada’s largest post-secondary network in a collective effort to address climate change. From February 14 to March 27, this six-week challenge underscores the critical role colleges play in driving sustainable change. 

Open to students, staff, and faculty at CICan member institutions, the challenge aims to increase awareness of greenhouse gas emissions and inspire behaviour change. Through previous editions of the challenge, eight CICan members were awarded $3,000 bursaries to recognize outstanding student climate leaders on their campuses. Continuing this momentum, the current round will offer an additional $12,000 in awards, to be distributed among the four colleges and institutes with the highest level of participation across different size categories. 

“When colleges and institutes engage with their communities, their impact is unmatched. In the last edition of the challenge, 93% of participants reported they learned new insights and an incredible 98% were inspired to act on climate change,” explained Pari Johnston, President and CEO of CICan. “This success fuels our enthusiasm for the new edition, where we aim not only to raise awareness and inspire action but also to cultivate a culture of sustainability that permeates every aspect of campus life and beyond.” 

Each week, participants will receive educational content on a different theme including energy, food, transportation, waste, and Indigenous stewardship. They will be challenged to take action towards reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. For instance, during the food-themed week, the challenge is to go meat and dairy free for at least one day that week.  

While institutions stand to win bursaries, individual participants can win prizes for their engagement, including entering a $350 draw each time they complete a challenge, and a grand prize draw of $1,000 if they complete all six challenges.  

CICan invites the college community to participate in the challenge and to spread the word via social media and other channels. Instructors have access to a special resource to integrate the challenge into their course, boosting campus-wide involvement and increasing their institution’s chance of winning a bursary. 

The ImpAct-Climate program is funded by Environment and Climate Change Canada. 

About Colleges and Institutes Canada: 

Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) is the national and international voice of Canada’s largest post-secondary education network. It advocates, builds capacity, and drives knowledge to strengthen Canada’s publicly supported colleges, institutes, CEGEPs, and polytechnics. With more than 95% of Canadians living within 50 km of a member institution, and thanks to its extensive reach around the globe, CICan works to future-proof communities in Canada and abroad.  

We respectfully acknowledge that CICan’s offices in Ottawa are located on the traditional and unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabe Nation. 


For more information: 

Katrina King 

Senior Digital Communications Officer
Colleges and Institutes Canada
Twitter: @CollegeCan