GC & E Sustainability Research Report
The David Suzuki Foundation is a non-profit organization that covers three main areas. The first main area is environmental rights. “The foundation empowers people to make change in their communities, by enshrining the constitutional right of all Canadians to live in a healthy environment” (David Suzuki Foundation, n.d.). The second main area is defending biodiversity. “The foundation protects and restores species and habitats in the face of the unprecedented biodiversity loss our planet faces” (David Suzuki Foundation, n.d.). The third main area is climate solutions. “The foundation accelerates our transition into the new era of renewable energy and shared prosperity” (David Suzuki Foundation, n.d.). These main areas focus on ways to save our planet and allow people to become more aware of the issues our planet is facing. Their mission and vision is “to protect nature’s diversity and the well-being of all life, now and for the future. Our vision is that we all act every day on the understanding that we are one with nature” (David Suzuki Foundation, n.d.). As previously mentioned, the David Suzuki Foundation is a non-profit organization that operates in Canada and the United States of America. The headquarters is based in Vancouver, British Columbia; while there are main offices located in Toronto, Ontario and Montreal, Quebec as well. (David Suzuki Foundation, n.d.) Due to the fact that the David Suzuki Foundation looks to solve such a remarkable issue faced around the world, many remote staff and dedicated volunteers have supported the foundation throughout Canada. (David Suzuki Foundation, n.d.) David Suzuki, Tara Cullis, Severn Cullis-Suzuki and Sarika Cullis-Suzuki make up the founding family for this foundation. (David Suzuki Foundation, n.d.) These four inspirational individuals still operate the David Suzuki Foundation, therefore it is not government operated.
Partners and Funding
There are many partners and supporters involved with the David Suzuki Foundation. Considering this foundation is a non-profit organization, they tend to collaborate with other non-profit and community organizations, all levels of government, businesses and many individuals. (David Suzuki Foundation, n.d.) Since the David Suzuki Foundation is not government operated, they had to find other ways to obtain funding to support the organization. “Project work is supported by individual donors, foundation grants and corporate support. We do not solicit or accept government funding” (David Suzuki Foundation, n.d.). On the David Suzuki Foundation website, individuals can donate an amount of their choice which helps support the foundation as well.
The David Suzuki Foundation has supported and improved many environmental issues around the world. A recent example of what this organization has done to improve these environmental issues would be Butterflyway. “The Butterflyway Project began in 2017 and is a citizen-led movement growing highways of habitat for bees and butterflies across Canada” (David Suzuki Foundation, n.d.). This project enhanced the cities beauty by planting thousands of wildflowers in hundreds of pollinator patches to help butterflies and bees. (David Suzuki Foundation, n.d.) The David Suzuki Foundation proved that a small group of people can make a huge difference in a community.
The Forest Stewardship Council is an environmental organization whose purpose is to “help take care of forests and the people and wildlife who call them home. They help forests protect animal habitat, indigenous peoples’ rights, worker’s rights, and areas of significant environmental or cultural importance” (FSC Canada, n.d.). The FSC Certifiers grant certification through independent third-party assessments of applicant companies. Some of the FSC Certifiers that were listed are; BM Trada, Control Union, Rainforest Alliance, SCS Global Services – Canada, and Soil Association. (FSC Canada, n.d.) The purpose of this certification is to:
Raise industry standards in forest management, to create tangible economic benefits for your business, to create stronger links between your business and your customers, to protect forest ecosystems and help fight climate change, and to ensure you will be up to date with government requirements. (FSC Canada, n.d.)
There are two types of certifications the FSC has including the Forest Management Certification and the Chain of Custody Certification. “The Forest Management Certification is a voluntary certification system available to forestry organizations who want to demonstrate responsible forest management by having their forest management planning and practices independently evaluated against FSC’s forest management standards” (FSC Canada, n.d.). It is important to understand that even though this certification is voluntary, it would be beneficial to smaller, independent companies. “The Chain of Custody Certification is a voluntary certification system available to supply chain companies who want to demonstrate their commitment to responsible forest management by having their company’s planning, practices and products independently evaluated against FSC’s Chain of Custody standards” (FSC Canada, n.d.). With this certification, it is important to understand that even though this certification is voluntary, it would be beneficial to larger companies. The Forest Management Certification and the Chain of Custody Certification are both globally recognized. The Forest Stewardship Council “issues more certificates globally than any other forest certification scheme” (FSC Canada, n.d.). The cost of these certifications varies according to the person applying. They also stated that once you contact a “Certification Body, they will provide an estimate regarding cost and timeline” (FSC Canada, n.d.).
There are many different companies and projects that have obtained this certification including Maple Leaves Forever, HP and Multiplex Solutions Inc. One of the many different benefits these companies will receive from obtaining this certification is creating tangible economic benefits for the business. (FSC Canada, n.d.) Multiplex Solutions Inc. is a company that works with paper products. Since they are FSC certified, they stated “paper made from wood taken from FSC certified trees is given the FSC Certification as well. FSC Certified paper does not have anything to do with the paper being recycled, but that it was derived from trees from a well-managed forest” (Multiplex Solutions Inc., n.d.). This example goes to show that companies that receive this certification can create tangible economic benefits for the business, meaning more people could potentially purchase their paper because it came from a well-managed forest. HP is a company that “creates technology that makes life better for everyone, everywhere – every person, every organization, and every community around the globe” (HP, n.d.). HP uses recyclable products which helps improve the environment. By listing FSC on their website under ‘Affiliations and Memberships’, they show customers that they are involved with FSC and want to help protect the environment and the forestry. Another benefit these companies will receive from obtaining this certification is creating stronger links between your business and your customers. (FSC Canada, n.d.) Maple Leaves Forever “is a charitable foundation that advocates and supports the planting of Native Canadian Maples in increasing numbers across the rural and urban landscape of southern Ontario” (Maple Leaves Forever, n.d.). Since this organization is FSC Certified, it creates stronger links between this business and individuals wanting to plant native maples within their province. As previously mentioned, there are a remarkable amount of benefits these companies will receive from obtaining this certification.
Company Ecological Footprint
Ecological footprint can be defined as a measurement tool to determine “how fast we consume resources and generate waste” (Global Footprint Network, n.d.). Walmart is a large American company that sells different products and goods. Considering the number of locations Walmart has globally, it is important to keep track of their ecological footprint to prevent harming the environment. Walmart stated that leadership in environmental sustainability and reducing the environmental impact play an essential role in the activities of Walmart Canada. They also said they are committed to reducing their environmental footprint by selling products that are routed to the market in a sustainable way, reducing energy consumption and reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills. (Walmart Canada, n.d.)
Individual Ecological Footprint
There are many ways individuals can reduce their ecological footprint, including smart urban planning and development strategies, carpooling, walking or bicycling instead of driving, dieting and cutting food waste, as well as considering vegetarian options. (Global Footprint Network, n.d.) The Global Footprint Network allows individuals to calculate their ecological footprint and determine ways on how to reduce it. (Global Footprint Network, n.d.) It is important to remember that there is only one Earth; if everyone stopped recycling, started producing more waste and continued driving alone instead of using other methods of transportation, our Earth would be a disaster. There are a few ways in which individuals can convince their family and friends to reduce their ecological footprints, including recycling, being more energy efficient and using different transportation methods, for example walking or bike riding. The City of Toronto has labeled trash bins that specify where to put items, all it takes is a little bit of reading. When you leave a room, turn off the light; these are a few simple ways to help reduce your ecological footprint.
Environment and Climate Change Canada
On the Government of Canada website, it is clearly stated that: “the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) is our primary vehicle for sustainable development planning and reporting. It sets out our sustainable development priorities, establishes goals and targets, and identifies actions to achieve them” (Government of Canada, 2019). It is important for the Government of Canada to play an active role in sustainability as they represent our country. The FSDS also outlines what they will do across the government to promote clean growth, ensure healthy ecosystems and build safe, secure and sustainable communities over a 3-year period; by the government committing to this mandate, individuals can participate in its finalizing to ensure the accuracy of the FSDS. (Government of Canada, 2019)
“The Federal Sustainable Development Act defines sustainable development as: development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (Government of Canada, 2017). The FSDA has implemented a program that is designed to benefit environmental reporting called The Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators (CESI). “One example of an area that uses CESI is Sustainable Forest Management” (Government of Canada, 2017). There are many other areas that use CESI to determine different environmental needs and information.
The Government plays a very important and significant role all throughout Canada, but they should not dictate whether companies move toward more sustainable practices. Every living species would benefit from a healthier, greener planet, it just requires a bit of work. The Government has the power to implement mandatory strategies and laws that could improve sustainable practices, but any individual or company can voluntarily participate in more sustainable practices without the government.
There are many possibilities that each country’s government could have a similar outlook on sustainability. To say that the government’s role in sustainability is the same in each country around the world would be false. Some particular countries have to deal with more severe environmental crisis’ in a particular area, while other countries might have to deal with a different type of environmental crisis’. For example, countries that have many rainforests and wildlife would have to consider species endangerment, preservation of trees and many other environmental issues that could arise; while countries with very little to no rainforests wouldn’t have to consider this an issue. With that being said, every countries government should play an active role in sustainability, considering they are the leaders of their country.
- David Suzuki Foundation. (n.d.). About Us. Retrieved 01 20, 2019, from David Suzuki Foundation: https://davidsuzuki.org/about/
- David Suzuki Foundation. (n.d.). Founding Family. Retrieved 01 20, 2019, from David Suzuki Foundation: https://davidsuzuki.org/experts/founding-family/
- David Suzuki Foundation. (n.d.). Our Story. Retrieved 01 20, 2019, from David Suzuki Foundation: https://davidsuzuki.org/about/our-story/
- David Suzuki Foundation. (n.d.). Our Work. Retrieved 01 20, 2019, from David Suzuki Foundation: https://davidsuzuki.org/our-work/
- David Suzuki Foundation. (n.d.). The Butterflyway Project. Retrieved 01 20, 2019, from David Suzuki Foundation: https://davidsuzuki.org/take-action/act-locally/butterflyway/
- FSC Canada. (n.d.). Become Certified. Retrieved 01 20, 2019, from FSC Canada: https://ca.fsc.org/en-ca/certification/become-certified
- FSC Canada. (n.d.). Certification Bodies. Retrieved 01 20, 2019, from FSC Canada: https://ca.fsc.org/en-ca/certification/certification-bodies
- FSC Canada. (n.d.). Chain of Custody Certification. Retrieved 01 20, 2019, from FSC Canada: https://ca.fsc.org/en-ca/certification/chain-of-custody-certification
- FSC Canada. (n.d.). Forest Management Certification. Retrieved 01 20, 2019, from FSC Canada: https://ca.fsc.org/en-ca/certification/forest-management-certification
- FSC Canada. (n.d.). Who We Are. Retrieved 01 20, 2019, from FSC Canada: https://ca.fsc.org/en-ca/about-us
- FSC Canada. (n.d.). Why Become Certified. Retrieved 01 20, 2019, from FSC Canada: https://ca.fsc.org/en-ca/certification/why-become-certifiednbsp
- FSC Canada. (n.d.). Why Choose FSC? Retrieved 01 20, 2019, from FSC Canada: https://ca.fsc.org/en-ca/about-us/why-choose-fsc
- Global Footprint Network. (n.d.). Ecological Footprint. Retrieved 01 20, 2019, from Footprint Network: https://www.footprintnetwork.org/our-work/ecological-footprint/
- Global Footprint Network. (n.d.). Results. Retrieved 01 20, 2019, from Footprint Calculator: http://www.footprintcalculator.org/result2
- Global Footprint Network. (n.d.). What is your Ecological Footprint? Retrieved 01 20, 2019, from Footprint Calculator: http://www.footprintcalculator.org
- Government of Canada. (2017, 08 09). Planning for a Sustainable Future: A Federal Sustainable Development Strategy for Canada. Retrieved 01 20, 2019, from Environment and Climate Change Canada: http://www.ec.gc.ca/dd-sd/default.asp?lang=En&n=892FBDA6-1
- Government of Canada. (2019, 01 29). Achieving a Sustainable Future: A Federal Sustainable Development Strategy for Canada. Retrieved from Canada: http://fsds-sfdd.ca/index.html#/en/vision/our-commitments#tabs
- HP. (n.d.). About Us. Retrieved 01 20, 2019, from HP: https://www8.hp.com/us/en/hp-information/index.html
- Maple Leaves Forever. (n.d.). About Maple Leaves Forever. Retrieved 01 20, 2019, from Maple Leaves Forever: https://www.mapleleavesforever.com/about-us/
- Multiplex Solutions Inc. (n.d.). What Does FSC Mean? Retrieved 01 20, 2019, from Multiplex Solutions Inc.: https://multiplex.solutions/what-does-fsc-mean/
- Walmart Canada. (n.d.). Sustainability. Retrieved 01 20, 2019, from Walmart Canada: https://www.walmartcanada.ca/responsibility/sustainability