Four Bursaries Awarded in National Campus Sustainability Challenge

Ottawa, November 29, 2023 – Four student climate leaders, each from a different college or institute, will be further empowered with a new bursary through the latest edition of the ImpAct-Climate Challenge. The challenge, delivered by Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan), is a national initiative focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting engagement across Canadian campuses.  

Over six weeks, more than 2,100 entries from students, staff, and faculty at 46 CICan member colleges and institutes were received. Four institutions in particular distinguished themselves through their high levels of engagement in their respective size categories, earning them a $3,000 bursary to honour a student climate leader from their college or institute: 

  • Large institution: Algonquin College 
  • Medium-large institution: Confederation College 
  • Medium-small institution: Cégep de Jonquière 
  • Small institution: Collège Mathieu 

The winning institutions in each size category were identified based on the total number of entries received. Each winning institution will determine their own criteria for administering the bursaries. 

Beyond recognizing institutional achievements, the challenge also rewarded individual initiative. Each completed challenge earned participants entries into weekly cash draws of $350 and a grand prize draw of $1,000. The principle was simple yet motivating: the more challenges an individual completed, the greater their odds of winning. 

Congratulations to the winners from the following institutions: Red Deer Polytechnic, Sheridan College, Confederation College, Cégep de la Gaspésie et des Îles, Thompson Rivers University, and Algonquin College. 

From October 11 to November 22, the ImpAct-Climate Challenge invited participants to test their climate knowledge in thematic areas related to greenhouse gas emissions, such as energy, food, transportation, waste, and Indigenous stewardship. The challenges provided participants with an educational overview, key facts, and practical strategies for reducing emissions, alongside inspiring examples of eco-initiatives on campuses across Canada. Participants were then prompted to undertake specific actions, like increasing plant-based meals for a week or conducting a waste audit, followed by a short quiz to reinforce their understanding of the theme. 

The challenge has proven a catalyst for change, raising awareness of greenhouse gases and inspiring participants to adopt sustainable practices in their daily lives. In the six thematic areas, 93% of challenges participants indicated that they learned something new, while a remarkable 98% indicated that the information presented inspired them to take further climate act in their daily lives. Encouraged by this success, CICan is already planning the next edition. 

The initiative was part of CICan’s ImpAct-Climate program, a five-year pan-Canadian program funded by Environment and Climate Change Canada raising awareness about greenhouse gases and encouraging behaviour change to reduce emissions in the college and institute sector.  


“We are so encouraged by the remarkable success of this second ImpAct-Climate Challenge. The high level of participation highlights how committed colleges and institutes are to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and meeting targets under SDG 13 Climate Action. Together, our small actions can have an enormous impact both on campus and beyond.  

My sincere congratulations to CICan members who rallied their students, staff, and faculty to win a $3,000 bursary. We’re excited that this will enable you to honour a climate leader and celebrate environmental stewardship at your institution.” – Denise Amyot, President and CEO of Colleges and Institutes Canada 


For more information:

Katrina King

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