Guidelines and application process

Over the past year, Ontario has made a significant commitment to fight climate change. The province enshrined its carbon reduction targets into law, introduced a cap-and-trade carbon pricing system, and released a 5-year Climate Change Action Plan that outlines over 80 actions Ontario will pursue to reduce emissions and build a clean, low-carbon economy.

This progress would not have been made possible were it not for the engagement and support of environmental advocates like you. And it will not be sustained without further support from those same advocates, and the public at large.

However, aside from cap-and-trade, awareness of the complementary actions taken by Ontario, and the programs available to Ontarians remains low.

To that end, Environmental Defence is soliciting proposals from organizations across Ontario who work on delivering education and awareness projects centered on tackling climate change and enabling climate action.

Together, our efforts will increase climate change literacy levels in Ontario and increase awareness of actions that Ontarians can take to reduce their contribution to carbon pollution.

Priority Areas

The priority areas and potential actions within each area are:

– Increase the use of electric vehicles
– Support cycling and walking
– Increase transit usage
– Develop ride-sharing programs

Buildings and Homes
– Help homeowners reduce their carbon footprint by reducing energy use, using renewable energy, and reducing waste
– Help individuals and businesses manage their energy use and save money
– Improve energy efficiency in multi-tenant residential buildings
– Improve energy efficiency in schools and hospitals
– Help building owners shift to low or zero carbon energy sources (heat pumps, solar, geothermal)
– Develop net zero buildings and improve building standards

Supporting low-carbon communities
– Develop and implement community energy plans
– Develop community energy projects
– Encourage well planned walkable neighbourhoods
– Expand commuting choices to reduce car use

Additional action areas that you deem important and that can directly engage Ontarians in efforts to reduce carbon pollution will also be considered.

The projects must start in summer of 2017 and conclude by March 31, 2018.


  • Non profit organizations
  • Volunteer and community based organizations
  • Experience working with issue areas related to climate change and greenhouse gas emissions reduction efforts

Eligible Activities and Expenses

  • Qualifying activities must take place in Ontario
  • The range of funding is $15,000-$50,000 per successful applicant to build capacity to educate and engage Ontarians on climate change and the actions that individuals and communities can pursue.
  • The majority of funding should be allocated towards hard costs associated with the proposed activities. Eligible expenses can include, but are not limited to: communications or promotional costs, permits or facility rental fees, contractors, event costs and equipment rental.
  • A maximum of 25 per cent of the total fund can be allocated towards staffing costs.
  • Administration costs allocated to the project must remain below 10 per cent.
  • Successful applicants are responsible for identifying and obtaining any permits, licenses or other approvals required in delivering the activities.
  • Please note that successful applicants will need to sign a contractual funding agreement with Environmental Defence prior to receiving funds. The contract will specify the activities to be carried out, reporting requirements and eligible expense allowances.

Non-Eligible Activities and Expenses

Any fees not directly related to the proposed activity are not eligible for funding. In addition, the following activities and expenses are not eligible:

  • Partisan activities
  • Lobbying activities
  • Honoraria
  • Fundraising costs
  • Funded and refundable costs
  • Gifts/prizes
  • Overhead-fixed costs incurred regardless of project (e.g. mortgage, rent, utilities, insurance for applicants regular operations)
  • Expenses incurred prior to the contract date

Application Process

Applications are due by 5pm on June 5th, 2017. Additional appendices or attachments will not be reviewed.

A webinar discussing the elements of the proposal is scheduled for May 12th at noon EST. Register at

Successful candidates will be informed via email on June 16th, 2017. Contracts will be finalized by June 30th, 2017.

Evaluation Process

All submissions will be reviewed by a committee to ensure they meet the eligibility criteria set out in the Guidelines and Application form. Eligible submissions will be evaluated by the review committee on the following criteria:

  • Project relevance and impact
  • Realistic and effective budget
  • Feasibility of implementation plan
  • Organizational capacity and track record

Successful applicants are expected to join an in-person workshop with Environmental Defence in Toronto to kick off the projects.

Terms of Reference for Application Process

Once a project proposal has been accepted, it cannot be modified. Following application submission, Environmental Defence may seek clarification and supplementary information from any applicant. Environmental Defence may choose not to consider a submission containing misrepresentations or any inaccurate, misleading or incomplete information. Submission of a project application does not form a legally binding contract with Environmental Defence.

Ready to apply?

Click here to complete our online Application Form

For additional questions please send an email to