At Ecotrust Canada we are learning how to grow a tiny seed of a good alternative economic idea into a successful venture that starts with the vision for place and aims to then balance its social, financial, cultural and ecological conditions. We know that stepping into unknown territory – with all the challenges, nay-saying, and push-back that new approaches engender – is a vital beginning to the creation of something new – and more importantly, we have learned that something new is necessary.
This is work for today, as well as work for future generations. The imperative to find new ways to do business does not allow us to play it safe. It requires that we be daring, bold and brave, because finding the models that will work in complex times cannot be invented with pen and paper. They can only be designed through deep and purposeful engagement with stakeholders and through experimentation in real time and place. It is this explorative and visionary work that holds the promise for a new model of economic order.
British Columbia’s competitive advantage rests in a social, cultural and ecological diversity unparalleled in the world. Our rich rainforests, teeming rivers and bountiful seas, combined with our well-educated workforce and unique blend of Indigenous and global cultures, differentiates us.
In this context, Ecotrust Canada is driven by the notion of a triple-bottom-line, where economic opportunity improves rather than degrades social and environmental conditions. Some people call it sustainability – we call it the conservation economy. A conservation economy provides meaningful work and good livelihoods, supports vibrant communities and the recognition of Aboriginal rights and title, and conserves and restores the environment.
Ecotrust Canada’s core work involves building the capacity of communities, institutions and businesses to participate in the conservation economy; raising and brokering capital to accelerate the transition to a conservation economy; and connecting conservation entrepreneurs to each other, and to the marketplace.
In the conservation economy, returns are about more than the numbers at the bottom of a balance sheet. We gauge business success in terms of the planet, people, and profits—the triple-bottom line. At Ecotrust Canada, we believe that a capital gain needn’t be nature’s loss.