Photo: Building a more sustainable foundation

At the Foundation, we firmly believe in "walking the talk." We've launched many internal initiatives over the years, including measuring and offsetting our greenhouse gas emissions since 2003, adopting communication technologies that reduce our need for air travel, and choosing green suppliers. Two of our offices are even heated and cooled by geothermal energy.

But sustainability is an ongoing journey, and there are always opportunities to improve. That's why we're working with The Natural Step Canada to build on our past efforts and create a strategic sustainability plan. The Natural Step has helped many leading organizations around the world, including The Co-operators and Ikea, become more sustainable.

The first thing we did was convene an in-house Green Team to work with The Natural Step on our sustainability plan. So far, the team has examined all aspects of our organization through a sustainability lens, including operations and employee well-being. The final plan will set ambitious targets, as well as milestones that will allow us to track our progress.

While becoming more sustainable takes time and effort, it will result in measurable social and environmental benefits. We also expect to save money, in part by becoming more efficient and further reducing our energy use and air travel. As well, sustainability programs can help attract and retain the great staff and volunteers that make our work possible. We also hope our efforts will inspire other organizations to take similar steps.

Learn more about our internal sustainability at

By Paul Lingl.