2024 Projects

Aerial view of campus horizon

2024 Western Sustainable Impact Fund Projects

Culture Nights at the Lodge

The Wampum Learning lodge hosts bi-weekly culture nights, that are designed to bring people together in a healthy way, which is very important in building a safe environment for cultural reclamation. This project will introduce new programming in two areas, Indigenous crafting and Powwow Fitness.

CEMS Global Citizenship Seminar

This project involves creating a 2-day sustainable development seminar for incoming CEMS exchange students, which will be focused on textiles. The event will include a speaker series featuring fashion industry professionals as well as industry visits, including a trip to the Goodwill shredding/recycling factory here in London.

Western Engineering Technology Club - DAC Device

The Western Engineering Green Technology Club (WEGTC) is embarking on an ambitious project to construct and optimize a Direct Air Capture Device that is capable of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, a critical step in combating climate change. This project will involve constructing the WEGTC's first Direct Air Capture Device prototype.

Western Engineering - Sustainable Impact - Faculty Education Session

This project will create a Speaker Session for the Faculty of Engineering, focused on sharing how Western researchers are making a positive impact on life and the environment. Through this speaker series, the project team hopes to engage 120-150 attendees, including students, staff, and faculty. This project supports both Western Engineering's Vision & Mission as well as the University's Strategic Plan - "Western's Place in the World".

SustainableCities Connect Workshop

This project involves creating and hosting a two-day training workshop on building sustainable and inclusive cities. This event will be focused on bringing Western into the collaborative network of the international think-tank ICCCASU (the International Conference on Canadian, Chinese and African Sustainable Urbanization). This workshop will engage academics, researchers, professionals, local communities and city officials across the globe to participate in sharing and exchanging experiences, challenges and opportunities.

Evaluating and sustaining biodiversity at Western's Experimental Field Station

This project will help advance the Environmental Sciences Western Field Station to become a critical teaching and training facility in sustainability. This project includes completing a biodiversity inventory of the ESW site, establishing a sustainable management plan that will maintain and enhance biodiversity on this site and evaluating the use of this site by migratory and resident birds.

Digitizing Biology's Collections Reveals Biodiversity Data From London and the Western Campus

The Dr. Laurie L Consaul Herbarium and the Zoological Collections of the Department of Biology contain thousands of research specimens of plants, fungi and animals collected on campus, throughout the city of London and in the surrounding region. Currently, most of the Zoological Collections and Herbariums specimens are not digitized and this project support the first phase of digitizing the collection. Digitizing the collection will help advance the science of biodiversity in a variety of ways, including uploading the data to the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). 

Alternative analysis of winter road salts

This project involves the research and implementation of alternative de-icers, that are less corrosive and harmful to the environment. By working together to find more sustainable solutions, the University can contribute to the broader community's efforts to reduce the environmental impact of road salt use.

Owl habitat as natural rodent pest control

This project will install boxes for birds of prey (such as Easter Screech Owls, Barred Owls, Great Horned Owls or American Kestrels) to natural areas near buildings on campus, providing a natural rodent pest control service. Each bird of prey will consume hundreds to thousands of rodents each year, which will reduce the risk of rodents entering building and requiring other interventions, such as applications of pesticides.

Forest City Tree Festival

This project will support the development and hosting of a week long festival dedicated to trees on Western's Campus in Fall 2024, in collaboration with City of London, ReForest London, and the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority. Programming to include tree giveaways, plantings, etc.

Bird Safety Window Films for Music Building

Installation of bird safety film on the windows of the entrance corner of the Music Building and two connecting passages between it and Talbot College that are almost entirely made of glass. 

Ecologies in Practice; podcast and workshop series

This project will develop and implement a public podcast and workshop series at the Centre for Sustainable Curating.  The podcast series will focus onartists and their work as it relates to the environment and will exploreenvironmental issues and climate change from a cultural and artistic perspective. The in person workshop will explore sustainable practices, processes, and materials of art-makingTogether, the podcast and workshops will engage the campus and local communities, while supporting teaching and learning with sustainability knowledge and practices.

Tahir Carl Karmali: Reverse Mining Practices in Contemporary Art

In collaboration with the Centre for Sustainable Curating, this project will develop a hands-on workshop for Western students with Tahir Carl Karmali, a Nairobi-born and Brooklyn-based artist, as the event's featured guest. Karmali will speak to ethical mining operations abroad.

terra aesthetica: art, activism, and the tectonics of power and pedagogy

This project will develop and host a panel on art, activism, educational methodologies, and power structures with perspectives from experts in art and visual culture. The panel will be structured as an interactive discussion involving experts in environmental activism and scholars in the fields of art and visual culture.

Migratory fish in Medway Creek: eDNA validation of temporal and spatial patterns

This research project will study white sucker migration in Medway Creek, and will involve field lab and outreach components. White suckers are a migratory fish, who migrate approximately 250 km up river from Lake St. Clair to spawn in the upper Thames River and its tributaries, and back again. This research focused on the white sucker could provide key information about the overall ecosystem health of the Thames River.

WaterAid Western's Annual Sustainability Conference

This project will support WaterAid Western's Sustainability Conference at the end of the academic year. The event will focus on the climate crisis, call for action, and educate students on how to live a more eco-conscious lifestyle.

Hydroponic Library

This project will develop a Hydroponic Library on campus, in collaboration with USC Food Support Services aimed at addressing student demand for fresh fruit and vegetables. This project will allow students to sign-out hydroponic kits through USC Food Support Services and enable them to grow their own food.

Western University's Teaching, Research and Community Apiary

This project will renew and expand the living infrastructure at Western's Teaching, Research and Community Apiary. This project will not only double the number of hives, but also include improvements to the basic hive physical infrastructure needed to optimize the health of the colony.

Bird-friendly retrofitting for Collip and Western Science Centre windows

Installation of bird safety film on the windows of the Collip Medical Science Building, glass façade of the Western Science Building, and windows of third-floor bridge connecting BGSB to curb bird strikes.

Recyclable Polymer Foam Composite for a Sustainable Future

This student-led project will examine the effect of CO2 on the exfoliation of carbon and on the thermal, sound insulation, fire retardancy, and mechanical properties of polystyrene nanocomposite foam.

Digital dentistry workflows to improve sustainability and accessibility

This project will to advance work outlined in Schulich Dentistry's Sustainability Action plan, by will enable dental students to provide the highest level of patient care, through a sustainable approach.   This project will support the transition to an open digital workflow for the fabrication of dental prostheses and delivery of treatment by eliminating the need to transport dental impressions and casts between the University and lab, reducing Western’s carbon footprint.

LEADER Project Workshop/Fundraiser

This project will involve hosting two events focusing on fundraising/entrepreneur education workshops for not-for-profit and social enterprises, and is a collaboration between LEADER Project at Ivey and Innovation Works. The goal and objective is to educate social enterprise leaders with business acumen, in order to help make these organizations more sustainable. These events are targeting enterprises that inherently benefit the community and will create and foster community ties and connections.

Educational Signs for the Pollinator Garden

This project will support the installation of informational signage at the Friends of the Garden (FOGs) Pollinator Garden. The garden was created in 2022 and expanded in 2023 and is a significant and visible sustainability project on campus.  This signage seeks to improve awareness of the project and to teach the campus community about the design elements and goals of the pollinator garden.

Usage of Recycled Rubber in Light Weight Concrete Applications

This project will support the Western Engineering Concrete Canoe Association (WECCA) in reducing the environmental impact of the concrete mix used in this year’s project through the introduction of recycled rubber tires.  This project provides an opportunity for the club to expand their knowledge about how recycled material can be used as a direct substitute for unsustainable aggregates.

Western University Sustainable Transportation Pitch Competition

This project will involve hosting a on-campus event targeted towards first and second year undergraduate engineering students. The pitch competition will be designed to encourage sustainable design in the transportation and engineering sector, in the context of campus.

Planetary Health Considerations in Human Health Education: PPE Recycling Pilot Project in the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry Anatomy Lab

This project aims to implement a PPE recycling program in the Anatomy Lab at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, specifically focused on disposable face masks. It is estimated that more than 25,000 disposable face masks will be diverted from landfill through this program, as they are currently thrown in the garbage.

Snack Wrapper Recycling Program

This project will build upon and expand a program started by the Society of Biology Graduate Students (SOGBS), that recycles snack wrappers in the Department of Biology. It will expand the program to add snack wrapper recycling at 9 locations on campus including BGSB, Middlesex College, UCC, WSC, NCB, Collip and NSC and will continue to be managed by the SOGBS.

Signage for Campus Trail Entrances

This project aims to install informational signage near the entrance to several trails on campus to inform trail users about their ecological significance, to share rules and considerations for using natural areas, and to reflect Western's commitment to environmental stewardship. Signs are proposed for installation at entrances to the Medway Valley Heritage Forest and at several locations along the Thames River.

On-Campus Refillable Soap Dispenser

This project involves the installation of a bulk laundry and dish soap dispenser on campus for students to access at an affordable rate. In a time where the cost of living is rising, students need to be supported in innovative ways. Following the lead of UBC and Simon Fraser, this project will install a refillable Soap Stand dispenser within Food Support Services in UCC, and will be supported by USC staff.

Promoting Sustainable Transportation Options to Campus - Cycling at Western

The overall goal of this project is to encourage active and sustainable transportation options on campus in order to increase participation in the bicycling community. There are two elements to the project which include hosting two friendly bicycle commuting competitions (one in spring and one in fall) and a installing a bike repair/tune-up station on campus.