Learn More about Our Sustainability Allies

We asked each of our Sustainability Allies three questions:

  • Why do you value a partnership with the Ecology Action Centre?
  • What kinds of things are you doing within your business to have a positive impact on our environment or community?
  • Personally, why is the environment/community development important to you?

See their answers below!

Bullfrog Power

“I’ve spent my life working and investing in Nova Scotia. I am proud to support the Ecology Action Centre in their mission to protect Canada’s ‘ocean playground’, and work toward an environmentally and economically sustainable future for Nova Scotians.”

- Holly Bond, Vice President Regional Sales, Bullfrog Power

Why do you value a partnership with the Ecology Action Centre?

Bullfrog Power is thrilled to partner with an organization like Ecology Action Centre that is working to build a more sustainable world. We believe that by partnering with like-minded organizations throughout Canada, we can raise awareness of our energy challenges and simple choices Canadians can make to help create more sustainable energy systems.

What kinds of things are you doing within your business to have a positive impact on our environment or community?

Bullfrog’s core business offering is all about having a positive impact on both our environment and our community! Basically, we provide the opportunity for individuals and businesses to choose clean, renewable energy, allowing them to reduce their environmental impact and help transition Canada to cleaner energy sources.

Beyond our core business, our Sustainability Team is always looking for ways to reduce our organization’s environmental footprint. From conducting waste audits and implementing sustainable purchasing policies, to educating staff on best practices in conservation, recycling, and sustainable transportation options, we want to do our part to leave as minimal an impact on the environment as possible.

Supporting and giving back to our community has always been an integral part of our business (did you know Bullfrog was a founding Canadian B Corporation?). A number of years ago, we launched Bullfrog’s Community Renewable Projects Program, through which we use the support of our customers to fund local green energy projects across the country—my favourite of these is one in our own back yard, the Hope Blooms solar project in the North End!  With support from Bullfrog customers, Hope Blooms installed a solar array on the greenhouse that provides clean energy from the sun.

Together with our customers, we are transforming the energy landscape is Canada. We use the demand of the voluntary market to increase the amount of renewable energy on our systems, displacing polluting sources of energy, reducing our country’s total emissions footprint and ultimately fighting climate change. Reach out if you’d like to chat about how you can be part of the movement!

Personally, why is the environment/community development important to you?

Growing up in the Maritimes, I’ve always had a love for the oceans and the beautiful natural environment that surrounds me. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve developed a strong desire to give back – to help protect this beautiful part of the world that I am lucky to call home. My goal is that my kids – and their kids – can explore and treasure this part of Canada as much as I have. 

https://www.bullfrogpower.com/

Assante

Why do you value a partnership with the Ecology Action Centre?

I believe the EAC is doing the job our government should be doing, including taking measures to protect nature and our environment. EAC is extremely active and vocal within our community and I respect its leadership on environmental issues.  Some of my values apply to food, nature, and the environment which aligns well with the values of the EAC so forming a partnership was an easy decision.

What kinds of things are you doing within your business to have a positive impact on our environment or community?

For the past 25 years, I’ve been working with clients to help consider their social, environmental and ethical concerns that applies to their money.  Part of that includes investing in local community projects such as renewable energy projects.  I’m a socially responsible investor and I support my clients in choosing high-quality investments that align with their values.

Personally, why is the environment/community development important to you?

On a personal level, I’ve always had an appreciation for the environment and nature. As a family with two children, we try to be as active as possible outdoors and I hope that my children will always strive to protect and conserve our environment.

On a larger level, respecting and protecting our environment is imperative to the economic development that will help attract quality people to our province.

https://www.assante.com/advisors/richardnickerson/

MEC

Running a business, any business, has impacts on the environment. It’s important to identify the impacts, locate connections and find ways to contribute to conservation efforts that are directly linked to the operation of the business.

- MEC

Why do you value a partnership with the Ecology Action Centre?

At MEC, we seek to inspire and enable everyone to lead active outdoor lifestyles. Through the years, we’ve built a solid relationship between our Halifax store and the Ecology Action Centre, and our teams now collaborate closely. We count on credible local partnerships like this one to provide insights, steward appreciation and respect for the environment and to improve and facilitate access to the outdoors in Nova Scotia.

What kinds of things is MEC doing that have a positive impact on the environment or community?

Running a business, any business, has impacts on the environment. It’s important to identify the impacts, locate connections and find ways to contribute to conservation efforts that are directly linked to the operation of the business.

At MEC, this connection is quite clear. We are an outdoor equipment retailer with a social mission at our core. Taking the lead from our social purpose, through our community investment and engagement we want to forge connections among Canadians and help them to be active outside.

Through our community investment grants, product donations and partnerships, we support and collaborate with organizations sharing and teaching responsible outdoor recreation practices, reducing barriers to outdoor activity, and who maintain environmental stewardship as a priority. Nationally, we strive to establish long-term partnerships with organizations that have the necessary expertise to conserve areas of significant ecological or outdoor recreational value..

To further build a community of outdoor enthusiasts, we organize numerous events across the country. Things like run crews, bike challenges, in store lectures and races are all designed to reduce the barriers that prevent people from accessing outdoor activities.

Personally, why is the environment and community development important to you?

Having grown up in the country, nature has always been my anchor. Nature is my sanctuary, my source of wonder, my playground. I wish for everyone to develop this privileged relationship with endless benefits.

But the fragility of nature is increasingly apparent. Conservation organizations do admirable work and it’s crucial that they be supported to continue their mission.

By working for a cooperative that inspires people to get outside and that contributes to conservation efforts across the country, I am combining business with pleasure.

 

https://www.mec.ca/

 

Down East Cleaning Products

"We operate our business with the belief that industry should be able to operate without having a negative effect on the environment and where possible, should have a positive benefit to our local community."

-Down East Cleaning Products

 

Why do you value a partnership with the Ecology Action Centre?

We have continuously valued sustainability and the Ecology Action Centre carries the same core values in believing that the environment is tied to the well-being of society. EAC has become a great voice to environmental issues and the local community and economy. They continue to advocate and engage the community through excellent articles and engaging political and community initiatives. 

What kinds of things are you doing within your business to have a positive impact on our environment or community?

We operate our business with the belief that industry should be able to operate without having a negative effect on the environment and where possible, should have a positive benefit to our local community.

We use local manufacturers and suppliers wherever possible, resulting in many of our raw materials being manufactured in Nova Scotia. Thus the company uses products from Nova Scotia manufacturers Ropak in Springhill, Access Labels in Amhurst and Maritime Paper in Dartmouth. 

We pride ourselves on being environmentally conscious. One service we offer is a buyback program for our containers and drums, which has resulted in the reuse of over 20,000 - containers and drums, thus reducing waste to Nova Scotia landfills.

Likewise, Bebbington Industries’ popular consumer Down East Cleaning Products are EcoLogo certified to have reduced environmental impact. DOWN EAST Cleaning Products are made with approved GREEN ingredients and are biodegradable helping them to leave minimal environmental footprint. These products are also VOC free and are non-scented in consideration of people with allergies and sensitivities and are listed in the “Guide to Less Toxic Products.” - www.lesstoxicguide.ca

Personally, why is the environment/community development important to you?

By working with local companies it maintains and improves the industrial infrastructure of the Nova Scotia economy.  When you buy local products, your money stays in the region for a greater period, which allows its circulation to pass through more hands, and benefit more people. Three times more money stays in the provincial economy when buying locally made products compared to buying products made elsewhere. Buying local also has environmental benefits by reducing transportation costs, pollution, and greenhouse gases. 

 
http://www.downeastclean.com/

 

 

 

Helping Nature Heal

Rosmarie Lohnes"On a personal level I feel deeply committed and responsible for all my actions. I feel that each of us has an inherent ethical duty to do our best to respect, and protect the environment, after all if we don’t have clean air, water and food what is the point of our lives?"

-Rosmarie Lohnes, Helping Nature Heal

Why do you value a partnership with the Ecology Action Centre?
I appreciate the work that the EAC does, the organization seems to be at the forefront of all environmental issues, and has good exposure speaking out about issues. I often see a representative on the evening news, or a rally of some sort in the media. I like the public awareness.

What kinds of things are you doing within your business to have a positive impact on our environment or community?I strongly believe that healthy environments require resilient communities. At Helping Nature Heal, we contribute both time and energy to local community projects focused on environmental sustainability and food security. This year, we’ve even hired a Community Engagement Manager to take the lead on this important work.

We also pride ourselves on sourcing local materials and using ecological practices. This is includes carpooling, recycling, seed-saving, organic materials and services from trusted suppliers within a 100 km radius, environmentally friendly office practices, and a strict no chemical policy.

Our whole company is about healing the earth and our connection to it, which in turn heals us. I am deeply committed to enacting this mission at all levels of our work at Helping Nature Heal.

Personally, why is the environment/community development important to you?
On a personal level I feel deeply committed and responsible for all my actions. I feel that each of us has an inherent ethical duty to do our best to respect, and protect the environment, after all if we don’t have clean air, water and food what is the point of our lives?
 

Helping Nature Heal  www.helpingnatureheal.com/

 

Innovative Real Estate

Trevor Parsons, Innovative Real Estate”When we contemplated support for EAC, we realized that just using recycled paper and adding the line, “please recycle” to our marketing mail-outs was an inadequate response to the environmental crisis we are facing.”

-Trevor Parsons, Innovative Real Estate

Why do you value a partnership with the Ecology Action Centre?
Because EAC has successfully demonstrated the connection between environmental issues, local communities and the local economy. Unlike the average politician, I am more concerned about leaving an environmental deficit than I am about any government budget deficit. As the saying goes, “If you think the economy is more important than the environment, then try holding your breath while you count your money”.  EAC has shone a bright light on the many environmental issues facing all of us and done so by bringing these concerns to the attention of the general public with excellent articles in local media outlets, as well as engaging political and business leaders in conversations about these serious issues.

What kinds of things are you doing within your business to have a positive impact on our environment or community?
At the moment, the main contribution we are making is our financial support of Ecology Action Centre. When we contemplated support for EAC, we realized that just using recycled paper and adding the line, “please recycle” to our marketing mail-outs was an inadequate response to the environmental crisis we are facing. For that reason, we have totally eliminated the use of mass flyer distribution. We have also retired our water cooler. Small steps, I know, but it’s a start. We are also doing our best to help create awareness of environmental issues – particularly in regards to the idea of shopping local and how that can have an impact on the local economy and hence help to reduce our carbon footprint. We are also doing our best to create environmental awareness through our web site and various social media.

Personally, why is the environment/community development important to you?
As someone who spends their free time exploring and enjoying Nova Scotia’s diminishing wild places, I believe it is important to have a group of knowledgeable, energetic environmentalists who are committed to protecting our natural world. Having spent most of my life in the province, I have come to the realization that the infinite growth model of economic development is not sustainable – not just in Nova Scotia, but on the entire planet. As someone who came of age during the sixties and seventies, I carry a certain amount of guilt for the horrific mess my generation is leaving for my kids and other young people.  My hope is that, in some small way, I can contribute towards the mitigation of the damage we as a generation have caused and I see my support of EAC as an opportunity to do just that.

 

Innovative Real Estate

   www.innovativerealestate.ca
 

 

 

Just Us Coffee

"To truly take responsibility for the results of your work and your actions in your workplace, community or (more generally) on this Earth is of paramount importance. Every one of us shapes the world that we live in with every decision we make."

-Joey Pittoello, Just Us Coffee

Why do you value a partnership with the Ecology Action Centre?
Environmental and social justice are key components in Just Us!’ business philosophy and we feel that the work that EAC does is critical to ensuring environmental and social justice for our local communities now and into the future. Without organizations like the EAC, government and industry tend to neglect the critical and intertwined roles our environment and communities play in ensuring a sustainable future for the land and the dizzying number of organisms inhabiting it.
 
What kinds of things are you doing within your business to have a positive impact on our environment or community?
Just Us! has been working for 20 years to demonstrate that business can be profitable without the exploitation of our planet and the people that live on it. Although we are far from perfect we aim to highlight the great value that small-scale, democratically-organized, and organic producers offer through direct fair trade relationships with coffee producers around the world.
 
As a worker co-op we feel it’s important to put the responsibility of our business in the hands of the people who work within it. To truly take responsibility for the results of your work and your actions in your workplace, community or (more generally) on this Earth is of paramount importance. Every one of us shapes the world that we live in with every decision we make.
 
Our dedication to organic production methods, direct and meaningful relationships with producer organizations, investment in producer communities and our own, indigenous rights, democratic organizations, and our newly established Just Us! Centre for Small Farms are a number of examples of ways we make a positive impact in our environment and community as well as those in the Global South.
 
Personally, why is the environment/community development important to you?
We make the world we live in—as individuals, families, organizations/businesses, communities, and on a national and global scale. If we don’t care for and nurture the environment and communities in which we live how can we as members of our community and environment expect to grow in a healthy and sustainable way? Many of the struggles we deal with such as poverty, discrimination, and environmental degradation stem from a general lack of respect we exhibit for everything around us. Contributing positively to environmental and community development builds a strong sense of respect for one another and the environment that makes it possible for us to exist in the first place.

Just Us www.justuscoffee.com

Garrison Brewing Co.

Brian Titus"I try and approach business (& life) from an optimistic angle. I can make beer, period. I can also make beer using local materials and supplies, sort out my waste streams, improve efficiencies, build relationships with local restaurants/groups and create a unique and welcoming destination that creates pride among locals and draws visitors from far and wide."

-Brian Titus, Garrison Brewing Co.

Why do you value a partnership with the Ecology Action Centre?
Craft Beer is about traditional products resulting from sustainable practices and natural ingredients. Maintaining a healthy environment is not only a real-time benefit to our business, it's essential and the right thing to do.  By partnering with the Ecology Action Centre, Garrison hopes to assist in raising awareness around environmental challenges and championing real-world solutions. We believe our combined efforts will foster a culture of environmental stewardship that resonates with suppliers, staff & customers alike.

What kinds of things are you doing within your business to have a positive impact on our environment or community?
As a business, we benefit greatly from people supporting local. In return, we factor the community & environment around us into everything we do. We believe positive change comes from doing many small things right and for Garrison, the list is extensive. We buy nearly 80% of our malted barley from New Brunswick in bulk form and shipped by rail. We work with a number of small, local hop farmers and run our own test plot with Ross Farm Museum. Other local raw materials are often profiled in our specialty brews including spruce tips, raw honey, maple syrup, lavender and even bog myrtle. After brewing, all spent grain becomes cattle and pig feed given to farmers at no cost. Our brewing tanks are all fabricated by a PEI manufacturer and fired by natural gas and steam. Both Seaport breweries were located in derelict properties which we refurbished. Biodegradable cleaners, stainless kegs and refillable bottles and growlers help further lessen our production footprint. Even the cups we use at festivals and events are biodegradable, made from corn starch!
   
Our community ties go deep as well. We've done several charity brews over the years and supported many causes. We've poured local beer at the Halifax Jazzfest since 1999, and been supporting partners of many others including the Atlantic Film Festival, Multicultural Festival, OutEast Film fest, Obey Convention and Hal-Con. Add in running, biking and swimming clubs, amateur sports, small business, health, education and the environment and it's clear we're part of a VERY large community.

Personally, why is the environment/community development important to you?
I try and approach business (& life) from an optimistic angle. I can make beer, period. I can also make beer using local materials and supplies, sort out my waste streams, improve efficiencies, build relationships with local restaurants/groups and create a unique and welcoming destination that creates pride among locals and draws visitors from far and wide. These things are as important to me as the great craft beer that made them all possible.
 

Garrison http://garrisonbrewing.com/

 

Laughing Whale Coffee

"What affects one, in the long run, affects us all.  When we support one another we are all lifted up."

- Steve and Deborah, Laughing Whale Coffee

Why do you value a partnership with the Ecology Action Center?

EAC’s work on environmental protection and sustainability aligns directly with our own values.  Working with this dedicated group inspires us and strengthens our commitment to find new ways to make a positive difference within our company and community.

The number of issues that EAC tackles and their track record make them truly remarkable. We first approached EAC with the idea collaboration in 2007.  Since that time, we have donated twenty-five cents from every retail bag of coffee sold in Nova Scotia to support their work and it has been one of the more gratifying aspects of our business.

What kind of things are you doing within your business to have a positive impact on our environment and community?

 As members of Cooperative Coffees (a co-op of roasters in Canada and the US) we contribute to their Coffee, Climate Initiative which funds coffee farmers to make sustainable improvements to their farming practices to help alleviate the effects climate change.  All our coffees are organic and Fairtrade certified, which translates into healthier conditions for farmers and the soils they cultivate.  Fairtrade premiums (for community development above and beyond the market price of the coffee) improve living conditions and a guaranteed minimum price protects against downturns in commodity markets.

What kinds of things are you doing within your business to have a positive impact on our environment or community?

  • Purchased the first heat recycling roaster in Canada in 2009 to reduce fossil fuel usage.
  • Are members of five Farmers’ Markets and have served as Directors for two of them.
  • Give our coffee grounds and chaff to farmers for compost and chicken bedding.
  • Use around 2000 recycled grocery store boxes annually to pack orders.
  • Give a discount to customers that bring their own travel mugs or reuse their cups.
  • Are actively engaged in pushing packaging manufacturers for cup and bag products that will actually compost in our municipal waste systems.

We also regularly donate to a number of other community organizations: Council of Canadians, Second Story Women’s Center,  Kingsburg Coastal Conservancy, Fisherman’s Hospital, Engineers without Borders, Dalhousie Sustainability, Surfing Association of NS,  ACORN, Farmers’ Markets of NS to name a few.

Personally, why is the environment/community development important to you?

Before launching Laughing Whale Coffee Roasters, our careers involved working for social justice, indigenous rights, international development and women’s rights, environmental protection and renewable energy.  We want our coffee to be a vehicle for change by giving back both at home and in coffee producing countries because it gives us a way of making a real difference and deepens our connection to the world.

http://laughingwhalecoffee.com