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SPF

Sustainability Projects Fund

Established in September 2011 the SPF funds student-led projects that reduce the ecological footprint of UBC students and their campus. Any UBC student with an idea for a sustainable project is welcome to apply. In the past, we have funded projects for as much as $10,000!

About The Fund

The AMS Sustainability Projects Fund (SPF) was established on September 2011, when UBC students passed a successful referendum to support student-initiated sustainability projects through a $2.52 per student fee each year. The SPF encourages an environmentally conscious culture, by funding student-led projects that advance environmental, social and economic sustainability within the UBC community.

In the past, we have funded projects for as much as $15000! Any UBC student is more than welcome to apply.

Get Involve
Since 2011, the SPF funds student-led projects that advance environmental, social and economic sustainability within the UBC community.

Any UBC student with an idea for a sustainable project is welcome to apply. In the past, we have funded projects for as much as $15,000.

Apply anytime! We accept applications on a rolling basis throughout the calendar year. You will hear back on the status of your application within 3 weeks of applying.

The Sustainability Projects Fund has been recently updated to facilitate a simpler, clearer and more accessible application process. The application questions have been updated to be more straightforward. Check out the changes we’ve made below and how to apply for up to $15,000 in project funding.

New Features
  • Differentiated project types: We recognize that sustainability projects rely on different theories of change, and thus come in many shapes and sizes s such, we no longer ask that your project attempts to affect change through all avenues; instead, you just need to explain how your project falls under one of the six project types.Align with more than one project type? Feel free to elaborate on as many as you like.
  • More diverse projects: We know effective and long-term advancements in sustainability require more than education and individual behaviour change. As such, we’ve expanded the list of types of projects we fund to reflect the diversity of actions needed to achieve a sustainable future. We now support projects that involve advocacy, community organizing and external partnerships as well as initiatives that emphasize social rather than environmental sustainability. The six project types we fund are:
    • Student empowerment
    • Education & awareness
    • Community organizing
    • Operations
    • Advocacy
    • Info-sharing & partnerships
  • Shorter form for smaller projects: Need less than $1,000 for your project? We’ve created a shorter application for these smaller projects so you can get started more quickly.
  • Sustainability competencies: We’ve added a brand new section to the application process called the Sustainability Competencies, based on the UNESCO Education for Sustainable Development Goals Learning Objectives. We hope that this new section will encourage applicants to think more deeply about their approach to advancing sustainability and build projects that are effective, holistic and mindful of intersecting issues. Pick a competency you feel strong in and explain how you are incorporating it to make your project even better.
  • Simplified criteria: We no longer use a scoring system when evaluating the projects. The criteria are simpler now, and you Any UBC student with an idea for a sustainable project is welcome to apply. In the past, we have funded projects for as much as $15,000. The criteria are simpler now, and you just need to meet each criterion to some extent in order to be successful in receiving funding.
  • Clarified funding restrictions: We’ve reviewed the expenses that are eligible for SPF funding and have made some revisions. We hope the restrictions help to explain better why we may reject an application. For example, we will no longer fund eco-friendly materials for non-sustainability-related events. We will, however, now consider operational funding on a case-by-case basis.

How to Apply

Application Process
Follow these steps to access up to $15,000 in funding for your sustainability project.

  1. Check that you are eligible to apply.
    • The primary applicant must be a registered UBC student. Secondary applicants can be faculty, staff or community members.
  2. Determine if your project is considered a small or large project. Small projects have a total budget under $1,000, while large projects have a total budget over $1,000. No more than $15,000 will be awarded to any single project.
  3. Review the Funding Restrictions in the SPF Policy to make sure the expenses you need qualify. Reach out to the SPF Administrator if you aren’t sure or have any issues.
  4. Consult with the community. Reach out to relevant organizations to find out whether anyone else is doing something similar and to explore opportunities for collaborations. Contact groups or individuals that may be impacted by the project and make space for them to provide feedback and express any concerns meaningfully. Reach out to relevant UBC departments for support.
  5. Read the Evaluation Criteria in the SPF Policy to make sure you can justify your project on all fronts. Consult with your team if needed.
  6. Fill out the application form (Large or Small depending on project size)
  7. Fill an application form for small project, an application form big project or application form for MOU
  8. For more information on MOU Process here. Also find the MOU Template here
  9. Explain your thoughts clearly and try to be concise. Aim to write between a few sentences and one paragraph per question.

Be sure to read the appendix for information on what each project types and sustainability competency. Be sure to read the appendix for information on what each project types and sustainability competency.

More Information

  1. Expect to hear back within 4 weeks of submission. Projects will be reviewed by the AMS SPF Subcommittee. Upon notification of the decision, the subcommittee may provide you with suggestions or conditions for approval.

REIMBURSEMENT & Restrictions

Reimbursement

  1. All payment reimbursements are receipt-based and must be accompanied by a completed SPF invoice form and submitted to the SPF administrator. Credit/debit transaction records with no mention of the actual item paid for will not be accepted.
  2. To simplify the administrative procedures, only the primary and secondary applicants will be directly reimbursed. Please make sure that your primary and secondary applicants are the ones that will be paying for the expenses at first.
  3. Projects have two months after their project’s stated completion date to file receipts. The SPF Administrator holds the right to reject reimbursement if it is too far past the projects slated completion. However, discretion is applied with regards to project extensions and special circumstances as they arise.
  4. If the reimbursement for is filled properly and all expenditures are accompanied by receipt, your check would be ready in not later than 10 working days

Funding Restrictions

Expenses that can be funded by the SPF are restricted as follows.

  1. No student salaries/wages/coop fees shall be reimbursed by SPF funds.
    1. Professional services with receipts are acceptable, but the SPF does not provide honoraria to project leaders.
    2. However, the SPF will fund honoraria for speakers at a maximum of $250 per application.
    3. The SPF will also fund prize money up to a maximum of $250 per application.
  2. No travel or accommodation for students will be funded.
    1. However, the subcommittee will consider funding travel and accommodation for non-student speakers.
  3. Catering/food costs will be funded only at under $25/person per meal and only for events, not team meetings.
    1. It is recommended to use AMS affiliated sustainable catering options:
      1. AMS Catering
      2. Sprouts Catering
    2. Events where food education is the main focus can be exempt from this limitation, and the amount of funding will be at the discretion of the SPF subcommittee.
  4. No alcoholic beverages or liquor licenses shall be reimbursed through SPF funds.
  5. No conference registration fees shall be reimbursed through the SPF funds. Students will be referred to other sources of funding available on campus.
  6. The SPF will not fund the cost of eco-friendly materials for an event that is not related to sustainability. Groups looking for this type of funding are encouraged to apply to the Student Environment Centre
  7. The SPF generally funds projects and events, but operational expenses that support multiple projects/events to happen will also be considered.
  8. The SPF cannot fund projects retroactively. Project leaders should submit their application well in advance to ensure it can be reviewed before the project start date.

Monitoring and Reporting

  1. Beneficiaries are required to take photographs of their project activities and submit as part of the reimbursement process
  2. A final report submission is required after project completion and applies to all projects. Large projects are expected to submit longer final reports of 2-3 pages maximum, while smaller projects can submit reports of 1-2 pages maximum. Projects that are events must include the approximate number of attendees in their report. If a project fails to submit a final report, it is at the discretion of the Sustainability Funds Administrator to withhold fund reimbursements until the reports are submitted. Final reports will be posted to the SPF website.

For more detail please read the Sustainably Project Fund Policy