What’s Canada’s social impact sector doing about its carbon footprint?

Affordable housing developers, food banks, and humanitarian agencies are finding that efficiency and environmentalism go hand in hand

Why It Matters

Climate change is one of the greatest existential threats to humanity — and all organizations, including those in the non-profit sector, contribute to it. Overcoming this crisis will require a willingness to consider energy efficiency a priority, even among organizations who don’t typically do environmental advocacy.

Everyone pollutes. 

The Canadian social impact sector is no exception, nor will it be spared from the effects of climate change. In 2018, Canada clocked roughly 729 megatonnes of greenhouse gases (GHGs), according to government data. The worst offender was the energy sector, which mainly covers oil and gas production. But plenty of social impact organizations rely heavily on the second largest swathe of pollution: transportation. 

Food banks need a way to ship day-olds to a depot for pick-up. Affordable housing providers depend on concrete production, an incredibly polluting industry, hauled to job sites by cement trucks — and none of them are Teslas. International development and humanitarian organizations must rely on fossil fuelled cargo planes and helicopters to ship needed supplies to disaster zones. And want to take a guess at how much plastic and paper is use

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