From Sustainability CoLab to Green Economy Canada

 In Blog, News & Updates

By Mike Morrice, Executive Director, Green Economy Canada

It’s all because of tablespoons, really.

I was in a meeting with a prospective collaborator, about three years ago. Their VP was earnestly trying to better understand what we did. “So, the program you’re sharing with each community, what do you call it?” she asked.

I shared with her, the incredibly descriptive name I’d come up with years before, “Target-based sustainability programs, for businesses.”

“Oh,” she said. “Okay, well, TBSPs for short then, right?.”

“Sure,” I replied.

“Okay,” she said. “Tablespoons for short.”

And while we’ve done our best to run with this in the years since, incredibly, tablespoons never really caught on.

And now, 10 years after launching the first target-based sustainability program, we’re at a point where it finally feels obvious how we can simplify our message. I’ve always liked a quote attributed to da Vinci, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” And in my experience, it often takes years of complexity to be able to see the simple answer.

Which leads me to what we’re announcing today – first, a simpler way to describe the social innovation we’re scaling across the country: Green Economy Hubs. While the words we’re using may be different, the work remains the same – Hubs continue to support networks of local businesses to set and achieve sustainability targets. They bring together, empower, and celebrate businesses as they achieve their goals.

We’ll also now refer to the members of Hubs as Green Economy Leaders – now 240+ businesses across our network setting and achieving sustainability goals.

And last, as of today we are rebranding to Green Economy Canada, to make it more straightforward that we exist to launch, grow, and promote Green Economy Hubs. Below is a quick visual that brings it all together.

Our hope is that going forward, it’s just a whole lot easier to talk about the work we’ve been doing. And while we are not currently funded to share Green Economy Hubs outside Ontario, we certainly aspire to do so, and we’re glad to have a name that already reflects this.

We’d love to hear what you think – feel free to send me or our Communications Manager, Jennie Tao, an email, or find us on Twitter here.

Most of all, I can’t wait until my next meeting with a new prospective funder or collaborator. Knowing that when we talk about Green Economy Hubs, wherever the conversation goes, I don’t expect we’ll end up talking about tablespoons.