For 25 years, Ecotrust Canada has been working with communities to develop resilient, local, economic solutions. An economy can, and should, be changed to suit the needs of people and planet. Join us in supporting our mission for a better tomorrow.
To celebrate our 25th anniversary we are sharing a few of our impacts from over the years.
- In 1996, with support from both Ecotrust Canada and Ecotrust (US), the Haisla First Nation was successful in creating Huchsduwachsdu Nuyem Jees, or the Kitlope Heritage Conservancy, protecting one of the world’s largest unlogged coastal temperate rainforests.
- For 10 years, Ecotrust Canada ran a bold experiment by lending capital to businesses focused on building wealth, human well-being, and environmental health. From 1998-2009, the Coastal Loan Fund extended 87 loans worth $10.7 million to entrepreneurs in rural, remote, and Indigenous communities. Clients were able to leverage an additional $40 million in loan capital, and approximately 900 jobs were created.
- From the Skeena office in 2011, we built a proof-of-concept design for Area A crab harvesters, looking to improve the monitoring of their fishery. Eight years later, the cost-effective electronic monitoring system expanded into fisheries across Canada and the US. With the success of this prototype, we launched the fisheries management tool into its own social enterprise — Teem Fish Monitoring. This is the fifth for-profit social enterprise our charity has launched in the past 25 years.
- In 2008, we worked on alternative approaches to forest management with the Lil’wat and Squamish First Nations, and the Municipality of Whistler on a 33,018-hectare Crown forest tenure around Whistler. This led to building an economy based on more sustainable harvesting methods in the Cheakamus Community Forest, and the creation of more community wealth through the sale of carbon offsets.
- From 1994-1998, we trained and mentored Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities from the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation in Tofino to the Haida in Masset to use GIS technology to map data that included scientific, economic, and traditional Indigenous knowledge. By facilitating “information democracy” these communities could make informed decisions about their possible futures.
- To build more transparency about where our seafood comes from, we launched a traceability pilot program in 2008 that generates unique codes harvesters use to identify their catch and seafood products. It was a success with more than 1,000 harvesters registering into the system. Ecotrust Canada ended the pilot program in 2017 and launched ThisFish, a for-profit social enterprise that continues to expand its software traceability program in Canada and around the world.
- In 2007, we piloted a program that provided easy-to-use technology and training to small businesses and non-profits to track their carbon use and find ways to reduce it. In 2010, we launched Climate Smart, designed specifically for the small-medium sized business community. Climate Smart has since become its own social enterprise, and worked with over 40 partners, 1,000 businesses, and represented 85,000 employees.
- As of fall 2020, the Heiltsuk Nation and Ecotrust Canada have installed 60 hydroelectrically powered air-source heat pumps in the community. Our research demonstrates that the pilot project has contributed to less mould in homes, improved health outcomes, average energy savings of $1,650 per household, while reducing carbon emissions.
- In Ecotrust Canada’s 25-year history, we’ve published seven books on salmon, land use planning, forest certification, and Indigenous cultural data, and over 30 reports on fisheries, forestry, housing, social innovation, and more. Visit our research page to read up on our work and bringing systems change across our communities to suit the needs of people and planet.