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____ Monday October 19, 2015 ____



The Co-operators awards more than $90,000 to young sustainability champions

Guelph - Through the IMPACT! Fund, The Co-operators awarded $93,747 in grants today to 21 young Canadians who demonstrated leadership and ingenuity in sustainability. The IMPACT! Fund, which is part of the IMPACT! Youth Program for Sustainability Leadership, financially supports young sustainability leaders as they implement programs that have a positive impact on Canadian communities.

Since its creation in 2009, the IMPACT! Fund has provided $526,400 in grants to support 91 sustainability projects led by youth who have attended one off the IMPACT! conferences or one of the regional IMPACT! Sustainability Champions Training sessions, and who have an active focus on making their communities healthier and more sustainable.

"The passion and resourcefulness of these young sustainability leaders is inspiring, and we're pleased to provide financial support to help their projects make a bigger impact in their communities," said Kathy Bardswick, president and CEO of The Co-operators. "As the IMPACT! Program continues to grow, it is creating a network of change agents whose potential to contribute to a healthier, more equitable tomorrow is virtually unlimited."

The grant recipients range from a First Nations community garden that focuses on the traditional relationship with the land to a mobile app that maps clusters of disease and their links to environment patterns. Overall, the young adults leading these projects demonstrate strong sustainability leadership in communities across Canada. Please visit the IMPACT! website for details on each of the 21 projects.

IMPACT! Youth Program for Sustainability Leadership is an award-winning initiative of The Co-operators and The Natural Step Canada, in partnership with AIESEC Guelph, the Centre for the Study of Co-operatives at the University of Saskatchewan, Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada, Futurpreneur Canada, Lambton College, Social Delta, SoJo, and the University of Guelph. It is recognized as a model for corporate-community partnerships and for assisting Canadian youth become more effective sustainability champions.

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