Learn how to get involved with community events that focus on improving the environment. Find out what the city is doing to reduce its environmental impact.

On this page

  1. Community programs in parks
  2. Get involved
  3. Corporate conservation initiatives

Community programs in parks

You can get involved in community stewardship programs throughout spring, summer and fall. Find more information on the community programs in parks page.

Get involved

Celebrate Earth Day (April 22) every day and help improve our environment.  Below are some ideas on how you can get involved in your community:

Earth Hour - March 27

The city joins with other local organizations and millions worldwide by participating in Earth Hour - a worldwide movement that encourages individuals, communities and businesses to turn off non-essential electric lights for one hour as a symbol of commitment to the planet.

Visit the Earth Hour website for details on the next event and how to take part.

Earth Day Community Cleanup

In 2023, neighbourhood and community groups, corporate teams, families and friends worked together in the spirit of Earth Day® to help remove litter from parks and trails in Waterloo.

See what our community can accomplish when we work together in the spirit of Earth Day®!

View the Community Cleanup summary (PDF).

Sustainability advisory committee

The sustainability advisory committee advises council on the implementation and promotion of the city's sustainability program and strategy. View more information about the committee.

Corporate conservation initiatives

We're involved in a partnership called ClimateActionWR to develop a community-scale action plan to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent. Other partners include REEP Green Solutions, Sustainable Waterloo Region, the Region of Waterloo, the cities of Kitchener and Cambridge and the local electric utilities.

For home and business energy conservation programs, visit Enova's website.

Energy consumption and emission reports

Under Ontario's Green Energy Act, we are required to report the energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions resulting from city operations. Note that not all city activities are listed in this template, only those that impact consumption and emissions. The report for 2020 will be posted in July 2021.

Completed reports (PDFs) include: 

City facilities

Under our green building policy, all new or renovated city facilities larger than 5,400 square feet must be at least LEED Silver Certified. The LEED building rating system measures a building's environmental performance.

Wherever possible, we also retrofit our buildings to improve efficiency. In 2013, council approved over $4M in improvements to Albert McCormick Community Centre, Waterloo City Centre (city hall), RIM Park Manulife Sportsplex and the Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex.

Other notable building projects include the green roof at Waterloo City Centre and the GreenLab at RIM Park Manulife Sportsplex. The GreenLab also uses a water recycling system that harvests rain from artificial turf fields for use on natural grass. It includes a pavilion that aims to educate the public on environmental best practices.

City vehicle fleet

We operate more than 250 vehicles and pieces of equipment that help us deliver city services.

To reduce our impact on the environment we're moving toward a fleet that consumes less fuel, water, electricity and oil. Projects in this area include:

  • using diesel engine technology that conforms with the Environmental Protection Agency regulations requiring reduced sulphur content
  • providing financial contribution to the University of Waterloo Alternative Fuels Team
  • installing of EMDEC computer software to reduce fuel usage by tracking consumption trends 
  • purchasing electric and hybrid vehicles