Annual Sustainability Awards

Celebrate the outstanding sustainability contributions of UCalgary students, faculty and staff.

Nomination Categories

Nominations are completed by students, faculty and staff to recognize individuals or groups who are contributing to sustainability excellence at UCalgary and in our world. Nominees’ projects or initiatives are evaluated on the basis of three criteria: impact, creativity and collaboration.

Undergraduate Student Sustainability Award

This award recognizes an exceptional undergraduate student or group of students who have led initiatives that make positive contributions to the sustainable future of UCalgary and our world. These initiatives may be curricular and/or co-curricular in nature.

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Graduate Student Sustainability Award

This award recognizes an exceptional graduate student or group of students who have led initiatives that make positive contributions towards the sustainable future of UCalgary and our world. These initiative(s) may be curricular or co-curricular in nature.

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Staff Sustainability Award

This award recognizes an exceptional staff member or staff team who has made positive contributions to UCalgary’s sustainability practices and our world's sustainable future. Staff nominees must have led an initiative(s) that has made a lasting and measurable impact at UCalgary. An initiative(s) that also advances sustainability in local or global contexts is considered an asset but is not required for nomination. Sustainability may or may not be one of the nominee’s defined job responsibilities.

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Sustainability Research Award

This award recognizes exceptional faculty members, instructors and postdoctoral scholars conducting research that have integrated a transdisciplinary approach to their project(s) within which sustainability research or outcomes are embedded. Strong nominations will demonstrate sustainability is explicitly embedded in the research or outcomes and advances multiple United Nations Sustainable Development Goals; transdisciplinarity; strategic partnerships; innovation; and, significant contributions at the local, regional, national and/or international scale(s).

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Sustainability Teaching Award

This award recognizes exceptional educators who have integrated sustainability into their classrooms and across the curriculum at UCalgary. Strong nominations will illustrate how the nominee’s classroom teaching, course design and/or assignments engage their students and prepare them to make positive and innovative contributions towards a sustainable future. 

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Sustainability Experiential Learning Award

This award recognizes exceptional curricular or co-curricular programs or projects related to sustainability that uphold UCalgary’s definition of experiential learning: Experiential learning (EL) is learning-by-doing that bridges knowledge and experience through critical reflection. EL activities are intentionally designed and assessed. As such, they empower students to enhance individual and collaborative skills such as complex problem solving, professional practice skills, and teamwork. Reflecting critically on these activities helps students develop higher order thinking to challenge and advance their perspectives. The EL process prepares students to take on roles as active citizens and thrive in an increasingly complex world.” (EL Working Group, 2019) 

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Your name and/or sustainability-related project was presented as a good fit for one of our six award categories. However, to finalize your nomination we require more information, so we ask that you complete one of the nomination forms found on the website.

Please select the appropriate category and click “Nominate now” to access the form.

Of course! We encourage anyone taking part in sustainability-related work, education, research or engagement to apply. You can find a full description of the categories and application eligibility in the Terms of Reference, and can complete a nomination application on our website.

You can nominate yourself or another person/project/initiative.

The Undergraduate Student, Graduate Student and Staff sustainability awards allow for the submission of groups or teams. There is a space in the nomination form to name all team members. However, we do ask that one member of the team identify as the main contact just in case any further information is required.

In many cases, judges love to learn more about a nominee’s work or project while reviewing the submission. Identifying two references who can speak to your work, or the work of whomever you are submitting an application for, will help the judges gather more information if they need to.

We require references if your award application is to be shortlisted as a finalist. 


Yes! If you feel the category you were nominated for does not align with your work, please submit to whichever category you feel is the best fit.  

Please do! Self-nominations are welcomed and encouraged.

Yes. As a nominator, you are not limited to submitting one application. Submit applications for as many people as you'd like.

Yes. You must be a UCalgary staff, student or faculty member to be eligible for an award.

We would prefer if they were members of the UCalgary community, however it is not required if there are contacts external to UCalgary who can speak to your project and/or work.


United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), an urgent call for action by all countries - developed and developing - in a global partnership. They recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests. (United Nations, 2020).

Questions about the UCalgary Sustainability Awards? Contact the Sustainability Resource Centre.