Catch the Big Wave

Big Wave funding stream to support transformative sustainability projects across McGill

Since its inception in 2009, McGill’s Sustainability Projects Fund (SPF) has provided financial support for more than 200 grassroots sustainability projects across the University. The largest such fund in Canada at approximately $980 000 per year, the SPF’s mandate is to “build a culture of sustainability on McGill campuses through the development and seed-funding of interdisciplinary projects.”

McGill’s three student societies — SSMU, MCSS, and PGSS — partnered with the University to create the SPF in the fall of 2009. The fund comprises a student fee of $0.55 per credit collected from each SSMU, MCSS, and PGSS student, matched dollar-for-dollar by the University.

Big ideas, big support

Earlier this past November, as part of the SPF’s 10th Anniversary celebrations and in an effort to accelerate McGill’s sustainability efforts, the SPF Big Wave funding stream broke onto the scene.

The Big Wave funding stream supports large-scale, transformative projects that have a long-lasting impact on McGill’s sustainability performance needing between $100,000 and $400,000. Due to the scale of these projects, teams have the opportunity to receive a portion of their funding for a design phase, before moving on to project implementation.

“The Big Wave stream should allow entirely new and transformative ways for students, staff and faculty to work together,” said François Miller, Director of the McGill Office of Sustainability. “Having an open-ended over $5,000 stream left some applicants wondering how expensive and complicated their projects could be. [The Big Wave stream] is a specific range, and we hope that it encourages groups to consider how their ideas could fit into a higher funding scale.”

Supporting projects big and small

The ‘over $5 000 stream’ Miller is referring to is one of the three other funding ranges available through the SPF, alongside the under $5,000 and Tiny (under $300) streams.

The SPF Governance Council whose members include academic staff, students from each of SSMU, MCSS, and PGSS, as well as administrative staff, reviews any amount requested over $300. The Council meets monthly to provide feedback to project teams and to discuss administrative matters.

More information about the Big Wave stream, the SPF, as well as McGill’s Office of Sustainability can be found here, or on your favourite social media @SustainMcGill on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube.

For questions regarding the SPF, please contact