Case Studies

The Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada

The Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada is a non-profit group that provides support to 250,000-plus members to better run their cooperative housing units. The Natural Step Canada worked closely with CHF Canada and a national task-force of co-operative housing members to fulfill their mandate of becoming "environmentally aware, environmentally active".

Members of the task-force completed our award-winning Sustainability: Step by Natural Step eLearning course, and co-authored a Guidebook for Sustainability. The collaboration also resulted in a decision-making tool (for making capital-intensive decisions), a top 10 action list for CHF members, a hands-on sustainability workshop for members and the customization of our Sustainability at Home household toolkit.

Community Foundations of Canada

The Community Foundations of Canada (CFC) is a non-profit organization that provides support to grassroots non-profit groups throughout Canada.  It wanted to improve internal operations towards sustainability and provide leadership to their grantees around sustainability.

City of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

As part of its commitment to sustainability, the City of Saskatoon has identified the need for a decision-making culture that embraces sustainability principles and considers both long and short term impacts. In 2008, Saskatoon asked The Natural Step to review its internal decision-making and governance practices as well as the best practices of leading municipalities.

Town of Markham, Ontario: Leading Golden Triangle Region Toward Sustainability

This winter, 40 council members and senior staff from the Town of Markham, the most diverse and one of the fastest growing communities in Canada, engaged in sustainability training facilitated by The Natural Step’s John Purkis and Mike Purcell. The Town of Markham is known for their work on sustainability, and staff and councilors continue to explore new ways to further integrate sustainability into their operations, programs, and services, such as our sustainability leadership training.

City of Airdrie, Alberta

The City of Airdrie, just north of Calgary, is experiencing unprecedented growth with near doubling of real-estate prices. City Council, staff and citizens are increasingly interested in sustainable growth and development which has led the City to work with The Natural Step in creating a municipal sustainability plan, as part of its Sustainable Communities Program.

Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation (CCOC)

Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation (CCOC) is a private non-profit housing organization that owns and operates 48 buildings around Ottawa providing over 2,000 residents with affordable housing.  Their mission is to create, maintain and promote housing for low and moderate income people.  In 2008, CCOC received a grant to undertake an education campaign on behaviour change to promote sustainability and achieve measurable greenhouse gas emissions reductions.

Accommodation and Real Estate Services, British Columbia

Accommodation and Real Estate Services (ARES) provides accomodation and real estate services to government ministries and broader public sector clients in British Columbia. Its portfolio of 1.6 million square meters of space includes office and residential buildings, courthouses, correctional centers, and other special purpose facilities.

BC Hydro

BC Hydro is one of the largest electric utility companies in Canada, serving more than 1.7 million customers in the province of British Columbia.  The company’s mandate of providing “reliable power, at low cost, for generations” captures its commitment to the triple bottom line of economic, social, and environmental performance.

Bathurst Sustainable Development

The coastal city of Bathurst, New Brunswick, (population 12,714) is proving to be fertile ground for the development of strategic sustainability initiatives. In 1998, an organization called Bathurst Sustainable Development (BSD) was formed in response to growing local concerns over quality of life and water in the region. The project began with the goal of facilitating communication and action towards sustainability among businesses, the local government and the community.

Today, BSD operates as an Environmental Resource Centre to help the public learn more about the environment and sustainability, under the direction of Community Development Coordinator Brenda Kelley. It also continues to work with the municipality itself, most recently co-developing a Local Plan of Action for greenhouse gas emissions reductions in the city.

The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is the largest luxury hotel company in North America, with a portfolio of 56 hotels around the world. The company also enjoys an international reputation as an environmental leader in the industry. Guided by its Green Partnership Program, an environmental initiative pioneered by its Canadian properties in 1990, the company received two prestigious awards in 2006 alone: the Global Tourism Business Award and the Worldwide Hospitality Award for Best Corporate Responsibility Program. National Geographic Traveler has claimed that that Fairmont Hotel and Resorts has “the most comprehensive environmental program in the North American hotel industry, and the Green Partnership Program’s Green Partnership Guide has been endorsed by world-renowned environmental activist Dr. David Suzuki.