Guidelines and application process

Ontario is among North America’s leading jurisdictions in the fight against climate change. However, sustained emissions reductions and continued support for Ontario’s efforts to fight climate change will require greater buy-in from, and participation by, members of the Ontario public.

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. A key element of the efforts this year is that projects need to enable or lead to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

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.


The objectives of the project are to: increase overall climate change literacy levels in Ontario; build capacity for Ontario-based organizations to educate and engage Ontarians on climate change; increase awareness among Ontarians of how to reduce GHG emissions; and enable Ontarians in taking actions that will reduce GHG emissions.
The priority areas and potential actions within each area are:


  • Increase the use of electric vehicles
  • Support cycling and walking
  • Increase transit usage

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)

Supporting low-carbon communities

  • Develop and implement community energy plans
  • Encourage well planned walkable neighbourhoods
  • Develop plans to 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 2018 and conclude by March 4th, 2019.


  • 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 on June 18th, 2018 at 5pm EST. Additional appendices or attachments will not be reviewed.
  • A webinar to review the application process took place on June 4th at 12pm EST. A recording of the webinar can be found here.
  • Successful candidates will be informed via email on June 25th, 2018. Contracts will be finalized by June 30th, 2018.
  • Successful candidates will attend a mandatory workshop in Toronto on July 16/17. Details to follow.

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
  • Solid GHG reduction evaluation and validation plans
  • 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?

Download application here. (This PDF application will be downloaded to your computer and will not open in your browser. Adobe Acrobat is required to view this file.)

Email completed application to