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2016 Grants in Gears Winners Announced

2016 Grants in Gear Winners Announced

The Automotive Recyclers of Canada (ARC) and Scout Environmental have announced the four winners of the Grants in Gear funding program. A four-member review committee evaluated each application’s potential to achieve their stated environmental results and deliver against their proposed work plan and budget. The winners, located throughout Alberta, Ontario and Nova Scotia, will each receive up to $25,000 to help execute their programs and advance the environmental outcomes of their automotive-related projects. This year, the granting program included a legacy option to allow previous winners to apply for additional funding to increase the capacity of their existing program. During the winner selection process, the review committee agreed that two legacy applications stood out and collectively decided that both would receive funding to extend the benefits of each program.

Grants in Gear is a nation-wide program in its third year that provides funding to Canadian environmental non-profit organizations, entrepreneurs or municipal/regional governmental bodies to achieve tangible results in emissions reductions or pollution prevention in the transportation sector and/or excellence in automotive recycling and reuse techniques.

The four winners are:

  1. University of Waterloo Alternative Fuels Team (Waterloo, ON), who will continue building the EcoCAR 3, a 2016 Chevrolet Camaro being converted into a hybrid vehicle to raise the limits on performance and fuel economy, while decreasing the environmental impact of the vehicle.
  2. Ecology Action Centre (Halifax, NS), who will implement an active transportation plan for schools and increase active transportation capacity among stakeholders across Nova Scotia, to contribute to the reduction of provincial GHG emissions produced by the transportation sector.
  3. Inside Education (Edmonton, AB), who will extend the reach of the Clean Air Responsible Schools (CARS) education program to continue to educate students about air quality, specifically related to idling, around their school.
  4. Faith & the Common Good (Toronto, ON), who will pilot the Walk & Wheel to Worship project in conjunction with the national Commuter Challenge to lower the travel based carbon footprint of a diverse group of faith communities across the country.


Supplemental Information about the Grants in Gear Winning Applications

Organization: University of Waterloo Alternative Fuels Team (UWAFT)
Project Name: EcoCAR 3: Building the Hybrid 2016 Camaro of the Future
Program Stream: Legacy
Location: Ontario
Grant Amount: $25,000

Project Description: The alternative fuels team has had a long-standing history of raising the limits of the automotive industry. This project, being carried out as part of a four year competition, is focused on the conversion of a 2016 Chevrolet Camaro into a hybrid vehicle to demonstrate to drivers who may otherwise be unwilling to adopt hybrid and “clean car” technologies, that a cost effective andfun to drive alternative automobile is viable. In the third year of competition, the UWAFT will focus on the refinement, testing and optimization of the vehicle built. The team will also use the vehicle as a learning tool at university and community events to educate students and the public on hybrid vehicles.

“It is a privilege for UWAFT to continue associating ourselves with the Automotive Recyclers of Canada. UWAFT’s mission and vision go hand in hand with what ARC stands for. In the past, the ARC grant has helped materialize our design of the hybrid Camaro. With the legacy grant, we hope to be able to improve our car’s performance and to test and validate the decrease in carbon footprint we have projected. In the process we also want to educate the public on why their car choices and driving practices matter. Thank you ARC for your generosity and support. To express our gratitude, UWAFT will be placing the ARC logo on our team polos in the premium location as our Headline sponsors.” – Radhika Kartha, Project Manager


Organization: Inside Education Society of Alberta
Project Name: Clean Air Responsible Schools (CARS)
Program Stream: Legacy
Location: Alberta
Grant Amount: $25,000

Project Description: During the 2015/2016 school year, Inside Education successfully piloted CARS, a vehicle idling and air quality education program. Working with elementary schools in Edmonton and Calgary, the program engaged students in ‘citizen science’ to strengthen their understanding of how weather impacts air quality, especially in cold weather when idling is more likely or necessary.

Grade five classes in both regions participated in a series of hands-on air quality activities using an AirBeam air quality monitoring tool, as well as an idling education campaign focused on parents, school staff and school bus drivers. This year, the program will extend to other schools within Edmonton and Calgary, as well as other regions. Schools will receive local information related to their individual airshed, an in-school presentation and a kit of supplies to perform the ‘citizen science’ activities. As well, an online learning resource will be developed that includes a series of lessons, activities and background information for non-participating schools to use.

“We are so excited to be awarded the Grants in Gear Legacy Grant for the upcoming school year! Support from the Automotive Recyclers of Canada will allow us to significantly expand our “Clean Air, Responsible Schools (CARS)” program in 2016/17. This means hundreds more students in schools across Alberta will participate in our hands-on, citizen-science-based vehicle idling education project. We can’t wait to get started!!” – Steve McIsaac, Executive Director


Organization: Faith & the Common Good
Project Name: Walk & Wheel to Worship
Program Stream: New
Location: Ontario
Grant Amount: $25,000

Project Description: There are over 27,000 faith communities across Canada, located in virtually every community. Collectively, it is estimated that they contribute over 1.6 million tons of carbon into the atmosphere, 44% of which comes from travel. This project aims to develop a transportation challenge week in collaboration with four environmental organizations, in four cities across the country to run a faith-based transport week intended to lower the travel based carbon footprint of a diverse group of faith communities. Each community will be assessed to determine its travel based carbon baseline, and during the challenge week community members will be encouraged to commute to their place of worship using alternative means of transportation. The carbon emission reductions from that week will then be used to devise a suggested carbon reduction plan for the congregation.

“Faith & the Common Good is thrilled to have been chosen as one of the Automotive Recyclers of Canada’s “Grants in Gear” recipients for 2016/2017. This funding will support our interfaith sustainability network partners in Halifax (Ecology Action Centre), Sudbury (reThink Green), Hamilton (Environment Hamilton) and Vancouver (Spirited Social Change) working together to spearhead a week-long “Walk & Wheel to Worship” low carbon transport challenge among diverse faith communities across the country. The first of its kind, the “Walk & Wheel to Worship” week is designed to be held in conjunction with the national “Commuter Challenge” week in June. The ARC grant enables us to work closely with Sustainable Alberta’s Commuter Challenge to design and incorporate faith sector targeted co-promotional materials and carbon transport metrics into their national initiative.  The transition to a clean economy in Canada is going to take effort from all of us. With over 27,000 houses of worship and roughly 10 million adherents, our places of faith extend deep into Canadian communities. Role modeling green transportation practices via diverse faith communities is an important pathway to spread the message of the benefits of low carbon and active transport practices to communities who are traditionally not targeted.  We are deeply grateful to ARC for helping us make this project possible.” – Lucy Cummings, Executive Director


Organization: Ecology Action Centre
Project Name: Reducing Emissions through Active Transportation: Capacity Building for Nova Scotian Schools and Municipalities
Program Stream: New
Location: Nova Scotia
Grant Amount: $25,000

Project Description: The Reducing Emissions through Active Transportation: Capacity Building for Nova Scotian Schools and Municipalities project has two key focuses. The first is School Travel Planning (STP), which involves the creation and implementation of active transportation plans for schools, making it easier and safer for students to walk and cycle. This community-based method allows for innovative, engaging approaches to decreasing vehicle emissions through active travel initiatives tailored to the needs of each school. The second is to build support and stakeholder collaboration through the Municipal Active Transportation initiative, which increases active transportation capacity among municipalities and advances key active transportation policies and strategies. Both of these areas of focus aim to decrease the GHG emissions and air pollution produced by the transportation sector in Nova Scotia, increase physical activity and traffic safety.

“The Ecology Action Centre would like to thank ARC for their generous support of our Active Transportation work. We are committed to finding ways for children, youth and their families in Nova Scotia to safely use active modes of travel to move around their communities. Thanks to the kind support of ARC, our programs aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution from cars, increase physical activity and increase traffic safety.” Maggy Burns, Managing Director

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