Impact Report

2021-2022

We believe that by acting today, we can leave our children a community
that is more resilient, vibrant, caring and sustainable.
Elanor Waslander, Board Chair
Mary Jane Patterson, Executive Director

What a year of climate impact this has been! It began with the swift ramp-up of the federal government’s Greener Homes Grants. Our energy team rose to meet the highest demand for home energy evaluations that we’ve seen in ten years, navigating pandemic realities along the way. We more than doubled our energy advisors, with old hands serving as mentors to new recruits. It is rewarding to see the upgrades and carbon savings that homeowners are achieving. These are truly meaningful actions.

We also invited young people to take action on climate change through our new Kids Cutting Carbon initiative. The program was offered in schools across Waterloo Region, connecting youth with resources to lower their family’s carbon footprint.

It was a year of growth in a very literal sense. There was increased interest in the Backyard Tree Planting program, as well as our Bloom{in} Box and Fall Shrub Sale fundraisers. People reconnected with nature, getting their fingers in the soil and helped to create healthier yards and more resilient neighbourhoods. Our urban tree canopy grew by 264 trees as a result!

A particular point of pride is the number of rain gardens installed this year in Kitchener and Guelph. We’ve now helped to create 19 beautiful examples that absorb rainwater and reduce flood risk. Neighbours become intrigued, and the word spreads. Our communities are becoming more resilient to climate change, one yard at a time.

Above all, this was the year of strong grassroots and municipal support for climate action. With heart-felt delegations spurring them on, all 8 councils in the Region endorsed our community’s long-term climate action strategy, TransformWR. Creating TransformWR took two densely packed years, expert consultation, and valuable community input. It is a joy to get it across the finish line and turn towards implementation. This action strategy will be our guiding light towards climate resilience in the region.

Onwards! Thank you to the generous funders and donors whose meaningful financial contributions make all of this important work possible.

Waterloo Region and the Grand River watershed are located on the traditional territory of Indigenous Peoples, including the Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabe and Neutral Peoples. We recognize the enduring presence of the Indigenous peoples who we share this land with today, and their contributions to our community. Read our full territorial acknowledgement.

How Close Are We To Our 2030 Target?​

By 2030, people impacted by Reep Green Solutions have taken 10,000 meaningful actions to collectively shift our community to a resilient, low-carbon future.

Here is our total so far:
20.5%
Meaningful Actions (2020-2022)

Program Updates

All reported numbers are from the most recent fiscal year (April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022).

Meaningful Actions
Supportive Actions

Creating a sustainable society is going to take meaningful action by everyone.

Reep Green Solutions believes in tracking our community’s actions to make sure that our work is having an impact. In 2020, we set a target to empower 10,000 meaningful actions by the year 2030.

This year, participants in our programs completed 1,101 meaningful actions. They took steps like planting a tree, switching to a high-efficiency showerhead, or adding attic insulation, to help make our community more sustainable.

These actions are meaningful because they contribute to targets such as the TransformWR strategy to reduce our emissions 80% by 2050.

Participants also took 3,046 supportive actions by attending webinars and workshops, where people gain valuable skills for sustainable living.

Home Energy and Water Efficiency

EnerGuide Evaluations

EnerGuide Home Energy Evaluations help homeowners make their homes more energy efficient.

The federal Greener Homes Grant has led to a surge in interest in the program. Our energy advisors conducted 396 initial evaluations and came back to 69 homes for a follow-up evaluation.

A grey metal heat pump with a fan in the middle
Energy Efficiency Upgrades

Program participants who followed our recommendations made 140 energy efficiency upgrades to their homes.

These changes led to an immediate reduction in energy use. This will contribute 130 tonnes of emission reductions each year towards meeting our TransformWR target.

Water-Efficient Fixture Upgrades

Our Home Water Advisors installed 216 water-efficient fixtures in households this year.

In partnership with the Region of Waterloo, the WET Home Water Review program offers free advice and on-the-spot improvements to help save water and money.

Tackling the Challenge of Deep Energy Retrofits

Low-Interest Loans as a Pathway to Residential Energy Efficiency

Energy retrofits are an important part of climate action, but they can be expensive. Low-interest loans are an important tool for achieving our climate goals.

With support from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Reep brought together a working group to design a retrofit program for Waterloo Region. The group evaluated approaches for financing retrofits, and settled on loan repayment through electricity bills as the best fit.

Thank you to Dunsky Energy + Climate Advisors for leading us through the process, and to all the partners around the table for their thoughtful work.

Working group members (grey) and the network of organizations consulted (orange) who made this work possible.
"Climate equity means working toward the just distribution of climate action benefits, and alleviating unequal burdens created or worsened by climate change."

Embedding Equity into Retrofit Financing Programs

We worked with Kambo Energy Group to analyze the potential equity impacts of this type of financing program. The research resulted in a report that identified key considerations for low- to-moderate income households.

This report is essential to our commitment to equity in TransformWR. It is timely because many municipalities outside of Waterloo Region are exploring loan programs for home energy efficiency. As we begin to implement these findings, we will share our learning with other communities.

Many thanks to the KW Community Foundation for funding part of this work. Very special thanks to the community groups and organizations consulted:

  • 50 by 2030 Waterloo Region members  
  • Kinbridge Community Association  
  • Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre 
  • KW Urban Native Wigwam Project  
  • SmartSaver
  • Social Development Centre Waterloo Region 
  • The Working Centre  
  • Union Co-operative
  • Wellbeing Waterloo Region   
  • Woolwich Community Services   

Healthy Yards and Neighbourhoods

People pour a bucket of soil on a tree
Trees Planted

Our tree planters put 264 trees in the ground in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and Guelph last year. We made sure that each one was the right tree in the right place by providing an in-person arborist consultation and expert planting.

Every tree helps make our community more vibrant and resilient to climate change. Many cities have set a target for urban canopy growth, and homeowners can play a big role in meeting those targets.

A curved garden bed with green plants
Healthy Yards Visits

When it rains, your roof, driveway and other hard surfaces send runoff into local waterways. Our Healthy Yards Visits are designed to help homeowners slow rain down and let it soak into their gardens.

We visited 59 homes last year and provided advice tailored to each property. Every home is different, but with a few small changes, our yards can help protect our waterways, prevent floods, and prepare for the storms of climate change.

Yellow, red and pink flowers
Bloom{in} Box Plants
Our annual fundraiser offered gardeners the choice of three custom native plant boxes, curated by a landscape architect. The Bloom{in Sun}. Bloom{in Rain}, and Bloom{in Shade} boxes all provide valuable habitat for pollinators.
 
Gardening took off during the pandemic and interest in our fundraiser has continued to grow. The Bloom{in} Box helps you plant a low-maintenance garden that looks beautiful and  enhances local biodiversity.
Angie & Ben's Rain Garden
"We were the talk of the neighbourhood! Everyone was coming by to see what we were doing."

Rain gardens are a great way to beautify your yard and soak up increased rainfall. The Guelph Rain Garden Rebate program helped people install 19 rain gardens across the city in the last fiscal year.

Angie & Ben bought their first home last year and one of their major priorities was to “de-lawn.” They wanted their home to match the neighbourhood, manage rain water and provide habitat for pollinators.

Healthy Yards Advisor Nick Assad helped them plan and design the rain garden that now soaks up storms in their front yard.

“As soon as Nick came by, that just sealed the deal. He was great and really
positive about the setup we could have in the front,” said Angie.

They had to dig down about a meter to install their garden, so they invited friends to help.

“We had friends around and had a hole digging party,” said Ben. “We were taking turns to dig and pizzas were ordered… Some drinks were had.”

 

Community Engagement

Webinar Attendees

Webinars continue to be a popular way to learn how to live sustainably. We reached 2,771 people across all of our program areas. Many joined us from Waterloo Region, but people from further afield were also welcome to learn how to live sustainably.

Our most popular series was the free Healthy Yards webinar series, which reached 542 participants with information about how to make their yards rain smart.

 

Zero Waste Challengers

There was a renewed interest in zero-waste living  thanks to the pandemic, resulting in the largest turnout to date. The challenge engaged 149 people and 69 pets in reducing the amount of waste they generated. In 2021, the Zero Waste Challenge focused on three main areas: clothing, food and cosmetics.

We also welcomed three climate action warriors in Waterloo Region to share their skills in an engaging workshop presentation.

 

Students Engaged

Young people are leaders in the climate movement. This year we launched Kids Cutting Carbon, a platform for students to measure and reduce their carbon footprint. 

We delivered the program in 10 classrooms and engaged 1,378 students in the online platform designed by Project Neutral.

Transportation Sector Committee
Workplaces Sector Committee
Residential Sector Committee

ClimateActionWR

ClimateActionWR is a collaboration between local municipalities, organizations and community members focused on climate change. It is co-led by Reep Green Solutions and our colleagues at Sustainable Waterloo Region.

In June 2021, the ClimateActionWR collaborative brought  the TransformWR strategy to all eight area municipalities.

The cities of Cambridge, Kitchener, and Waterloo, the townships of North Dumfries, Wellesley, Wilmot, and Woolwich, and the Region of Waterloo endorsed the strategy. They also endorsed an interim reduction target of 50% by 2030.

The ClimateActionWR Sector Committees (pictured left) aligned their work in 2021 with the Calls to Action in TransformWR. Each committee represents one of the major sources of emissions in Waterloo Region: transportation, workplaces and residential.

The sector committees mapped bicycle infrastructure with equity in mind, delivered webinars on heat pumps, and made a list of commercial heat pump providers.

Coming in 2022: the greenhouse gas re-inventory that will give us a picture of our progress so far.

Donors Drive Climate Action
"Climate action is a team sport, and Reep is a great team player."

Dave Roewade first met Reep staff in the basement of the environmental studies building at the University of Waterloo, when it was being formed in the late 1990s. Dave went on to work with the Region of Waterloo in 2001 and collaborated with Reep Green Solutions for more than a decade involving various sustainability and climate-related initiatives.

“The fact of the matter is climate action is a team sport, and Reep is a great team player,” said Dave. “They’ve been a strong partner — not strong as in the loudest voice, but strong as in reliable and effective — and always willing to take on tasks as appropriate and translate that into results.”

He has since moved on to work on sustainability in Kingston, Ontario, but continues to support the work that Reep does. Dave personally began donating to Reep in 2016 and has supported this work annually since then.

“A lot of my heart is still back in Waterloo,” said Dave. “I made that my home for 25 years. To me, Reep is one of those stand out environmental groups that is great at engaging the community. I want to see them continue to succeed.”

Donating is a Meaningful Action
$
Total Donations

Donations are an important way for people to create a positive impact. By donating to Reep Green Solutions, donors help support programs that lead directly to meaningful actions that help fight climate change.

Donations are vital to the sustainability of Reep. We extend our deepest gratitude to the donors who decided to support us this year.

Financial Summary

The financial information in this section is derived from the financial statements for April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022 which were audited by Clarke Starke & Diegel LLP.  

Our financial results were positively impacted by the increasing societal momentum to take action on climate change at home, which drove increases in our earned income (helping to deliver the federal Greener Homes program) and grant-funded projects. Additionally, the Canada Emergency Wage and Rent Subsidies helped offset the negative impacts of pandemic lockdowns in early 2021.

Revenue
Item 2021 to 2022 2020 to 2021
Core Funding & Grants $593,607 $466,078
Contracts $370,853 $211,485
Client fees $254,634 $67,492
Donations $25,148 $35,580
Other income $29,233 $34,856
Total revenue $1,273,475 $815,491
Expenses
Salaries and benefits $803,014 $567,320
Program delivery — contracted services and supplies $290,158 $176,025
Outreach and community engagement $17,060 $8,894
Rent and occupancy $11,470 $24,340
Professional fees $24,770 $23,687
Staff and organizational development $17,733 $9,968
Office and administration $11,307 $12,182
Insurance $9,346 $9,345
Amortization $596 $764
Interest and bank charges $10,746 $5,677
Total expenses $1,196,200 $838,202
Totals
Canada Emergency Rent and Wage Subsidies $33,515 $126,893
Excess of Revenue over Expenses $110,790 $104,181
Revenue
Expenses

The above images are two pie charts. This description is provided for accessibility.

Pie chart 1: Revenue sources
Revenue sourcePercentage
Core Funding & Grants47%
Fee for service29%
Contracts20%
Donations2%
Other income2%
Pie chart 2: Expenses by program
ProgramPercentage
Home Energy Efficiency42%
Stormwater Management19%
Tree Stewardship17%
Project Neutral9%
ClimateActionWR7%
Water Conservation6%

Thank You To Our Partners!

Core Funders

We couldn’t do it without you!

Partners in Sustainability

Logo for Township of North Dumfries
Township of Wellesley logo
Logo for Woolwich Township
Logo for University of Waterloo
Logo contains the text Project Neutral
Logo for Waterloo Region District School Board
Logo shows a stylized tree and the text Ages Foundation
Logo shows a stylized trillium flower and the text Ontario Trillium Foundation/Fondation Trillium de l'Ontario
Logo for Enbridge