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2021 Climate Solutions Challenge

Aerial shot of UVic campus, featuring fountain and quad outside of the Mearns building.

UVic’s first Climate Solutions Challenge was held from March to May 2021. Over 40 faculty, staff and students submitted high-quality climate action proposals for the university to move forward in fostering meaningful climate change solutions.

Participants submitted proposals in two categories.

  1. Looking Past COVID to Climate: 

What lessons can we take from the dramatic changes of the current COVID-19 crisis into opportunities for climate action?

  1. Measuring and managing for climate: 

What tools or approaches could improve the measurement and management of the real costs (including social and environmental) in UVic decision-making processes?  

As part of the submission process, prospective applicants participated in a Mentorshop. Over 20 climate leaders on campus provided guidance on developing their ideas.

In late May, four finalists pitched their ideas to a panel of faculty and staff. It included President Kevin Hall and representatives from the Climate and Sustainability Action Plan Integrated Steering Committee and the Climate Solutions Navigator Working Group.

"It’s so great to see the drive, innovation and expertise we have on climate action and sustainability amongst our campus community. I absolutely share your passion and commitment. Great work winners and finalists!"

—UVic President Kevin Hall

The top-ranking proposals and runners-up in each category were awarded cash prizes of $1,250 and $750 respectively.

Each proposal details a unique approach. Each could potentially impact climate innovation opportunities for UVic. Challenge organizers will explore the implementation of the winning proposals. All ideas received during the challenge were shared with UVic’s climate and sustainability action planning committee for consideration. 

"As UVic charts its path to accelerated climate action, these necessary and well-developed solutions couldn't have come at a better time. We have every expectation that these ideas will be considered as part of next steps, and their proponents help to inspire a better future at UVic."

—Kristy Faccer, vice-chair, Climate Solutions Navigator

Winners of the 2021 Climate Solutions Challenge

Category: Looking past COVID to climate

First place

Heather Norton
Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science
“Climate citizenship education as a leverage point for university impact”


Holly Cecil, Nicole Fetterly and Deanne Taillieu
Faculty of Law
“The default veg initiative”

Category: Measuring and managing for climate

First place

Adrian Boot, Benjamin Delfs, Daan Arscott and Midhat Malik
Gustavson School of Business
“Climate-friendly decision analysis framework: the quadruple bottom line”

Runner up

Heather Ranson and Rachael Bond
Gustavson School of Business
“Return to travel action plan”

Honourable mentions

  • Ellie Gilchrist: “Hands-on food systems continuing studies program”
  • Shea Wyatt, Dwight Owens and Jennifer Putland: “UVic@Home”
  • Emma Harrison, Isaac Dekker and Hayley Smith: “Local waste streams to energy”

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