Sustainable Action Fund
The Sustainable Action Fund (SAF) is a student-initiated, quarterly fee paid by all Western Washington University students to reduce the campus’ environmental impact and engage the campus community in environmental awareness.
The SAF Grant Program provides funding to innovative, student-driven projects focused on promoting experiential learning opportunities and sustainable practices at Western Washington University. The SAF Grant Program is managed by the Office of Sustainability and supported by the AS Environmental and Sustainability Programs. Students, staff and faculty are all eligible to apply for grant funding. Projects funded through the SAF Grant Program aim to:
- Increase Student Involvement and Education
- Reduce the University’s Environmental Impact
- Create an Aware & Engaged Campus Community
The fee first came into existence in 2005 after the Students for Renewable Energy (SRE) student group worked with the support and assistance of key members in Western’s staff, faculty and administration to include the ballot measure in the 2005 elections. The student body approved the initiation of the fee with an 85% approval rate. In 2010, the fee was renewed and changed to include a grant program. The student body once again overwhelmingly supported the continuance of the fee with an 80% approval rate.
The SAF was originally created in 2005 as a $4 fee aimed solely at purchasing Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) to offset 100% of campus electricity usage with green energy. In 2010, students voted to renew the fee, and to expand the program by offering grants for sustainability projects.
Currently, every student pays $0.70 per credit up to a maximum of $7.00 per quarter toward the SAF. Western continues to use part of this money to purchase RECs. In addition, the SAF Program sets aside approximately $300,000 annually for the SAF Grant Program.
Collaboration is a key aspect of this grant program. Many partners have worked together to make this opportunity available, including the SAF Committee, the Office of Sustainability, the Associated Students, Facilities Management and Facilities Development & Capital Budget.
But the most important collaborator is YOU! Your creativity and drive to reduce Western’s footprint and engage the campus community is what will make this program succeed.
There are many educational benefits for project teams and students: SAF Educational Benefits (pdf)
- Charge and Charter (pdf) – last updated 10/17/12
- Rules of Operation(pdf) – last updated 9/16/13
- Memorandum of Understanding (pdf) – last updated 1/20/11
For more information on the Sustainable Action Fund’s guiding documents, and committee meeting minutes, visit the Associated Students SAF Committee website.
Johnathan Riopelle, SAF Grant Program Coordinator
Spiro Pappas, SAF Projects Coordinator
Kate Rayner Fried, SAF Education Coordinator
Do you have a great idea for the Sustainable Action Fund but can’t make it to an Idea Lab? Send us (one of the above contacts) your idea, and we’ll share it with others!