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Founding Member Spotlight: Environics Research

We are proud to welcome Environics Research as a Founding Member of Green Economy Canada’s new National Hub! In joining our network of Green Economy Leaders, they are supporting a national movement of organizations leading Canada’s transition to a vibrant and inclusive net-zero future.

In this Founding Member Spotlight, Barry Watson, President and CEO of Environics, shares more about their organization and why they decided to join the National Hub.

Welcome to the National Hub, Environics Research! Tell us a bit about your organization.

Founded in 1970 and wholly Canadian-owned, Environics Research offers a broad array of research, consulting and communications services, from traditional public opinion polling and market research to advanced studies of human values and social change. By unlocking human insights, we help our clients make better decisions, empowering them to act with creativity and confidence.

We employ more than 40 staff who are based throughout Canada; we maintain a headquarters in Toronto and offices in Ottawa and Calgary.

Tell us a little about your sustainability journey so far.

From its very founding in 1970, Environics has strived to maintain values which are consistent with the highest level of social responsibility. This is demonstrated through the research we do, as well as through our long-held corporate value of environmental responsibility. Our Toronto headquarters is powered by renewable energy through Bullfrog Power. We have been a strong supporter of the urban and environmental benefits of public transit dating back to 1980 when the company first put in place its transit pass subsidy. We have also been an active participant in a sustainability group sponsored by our landlord, which led office building initiatives related to energy efficiency and reduction, water conservation, waste management and recycling and green cleaning.

In the past year, Environics launched a committee focused on climate change, driven by the vision to be a resilient and positive force in our future altered by climate change. The committee is focused on three pillars: mitigation (measuring and reducing Environics’ emissions), adaptation (protecting Environics and its employees from the changing climate), and finding ways to have a positive impact outside of Environics, including inspiring others to take action.

Why does sustainability matter to you?

Back in the 1980’s, Environics Research launched The Environmental Monitor, the country’s first ongoing syndicated study to measure and track Canadians’ attitudes, perceptions and actions on this topic. Since then, we have developed what collectively constitutes by far the largest body of public opinion research on environmental issues in Canada (covering the full gamut including air, water, oceans, freshwater, forestry, wildlife, fisheries, energy, resource development, climate change, waste management, and economic trade-offs). Through this work, we have an in-depth understanding of the urgency of climate action and nature protection, as well as the barriers facing people and organizations that are looking to make change.

As we work with and advise clients who want to do better, we recognize the need to commit to corporate action ourselves. We are in a strong position – with the right help and information – to make a difference and contribute to a brighter future for our planet. And hopefully, we will inspire others in the process.

Why did you join Green Economy Canada?

Green Economy Canada’s expertise, one-on-one support, and passion are important reasons why Environics Research has joined the National Hub. In addition, we were attracted by Green Economy Canada’s focus on building a community; they understand that we are stronger together in achieving our societal goal of reaching net-zero. Finally, at no time did they promise it would be easy! If that was truly the case, Canada should be much further along to net-zero than we are now. We appreciate that Green Economy Canada will guide us through their proven process, keeping us on track and moving forward through this journey.

What is your advice for organizations starting their sustainability journey?

Addressing climate change is among the most important issues of our lifetime. Our research demonstrates that Canadians are concerned about climate change and want to see serious action taken by their institutions (governments and businesses). Thus, the choice to prioritize sustainability is worth it for your employees: it demonstrates the company’s commitment to their well-being and will inspire and motivate them.

At the risk of flippancy, there will be no business on an uninhabitable planet! It is in their best interest for companies to recognize the risks they face due to inaction on climate change, from threats to their business models and practices to the potential loss of customers and investments. There is a lot of talk about the importance of climate action; however, we need institutions to follow through, inspire action, and motivate others.

Thank you, Barry, for sharing your sustainability story with us so far and we’re excited to start working with you.

The National Hub is made possible thanks to our Founding Partners Co-operators and HSBC Canada.

Don’t delay, start your sustainability journey today!

Are you a Canadian organization looking to reduce your carbon footprint and amplify your impact as part of a community? Contact us to learn more about how we can make business better, together.