Green Economy North

What is Green Economy North?

Green Economy North is a membership-based sustainable business program of reThink Green and the Northern Ontario hub of Green Economy Canada.

We help businesses, not-for-profits, and the broader public sector reduce carbon emissions each year.

We offer affordable and tailored support to help you set and meet sustainability targets. Services include carbon measurement & reporting, energy auditing, and action planning.

Up close image of tree branches with the Big Nickel of Sudbury Ontario out of focus in the background

Become a member

Become a Green Economy North member and join the transition to a low carbon future. 

We guide members through our tried-and-tested “milestone process”.

Milestone 1: Get Engaged

Get oriented at our kick-off meeting and get to know the community. Let’s talk data, emissions sources, and first steps. 

Milestone 2: Measure your footprint

Perform a baseline energy walk-through, produce an emissions report with our Impact Tracking Tool, and understand where there is room for improvement. 

Milestone 3: Set a target

Mobilize your Green Team, outline your emission reduction goals and pathways, and commit to an action plan. 

Milestone 4: Achieve results

Save money, build connections, and demonstrate leadership! Participate in quarterly check-ins and stay up to date with new resources, incentives, and opportunities to succeed. 

By working through these checkpoints, Green Economy North members receive the necessary top-class, science-backed training, tools, and resources to help them succeed in our low carbon economy. The program also offers opportunities to form new connections and collaborations across Canada; all while doing great work for the planet, improving your bottom line, and demonstrating leadership!

As an affiliated Hub of Green Economy Canada, we know that this program can also increase members’ productivity and market competitiveness. Broader social and economic benefits include the attraction, engagement, and retention of talented employees, and connecting with customers who value a green brand.

To learn more about the program, please feel free to email or schedule a 30-minute appointment with Simon Blakeley, Program Director, using this scheduling tool. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Green Economy North was first established in 2016, and remains Northern Ontario’s only membership-based sustainable business program. Since the program was initiated, we have supported approximately 50 different organizations through program-based activities.     

We equip businesses, non-profits, and the broader public sectorwith the knowledge, information, and tools they need to pivot and succeed in the low carbon economy.  

We produce estimates of our members’ annual Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, and support the development of action plans to both reduce their impact on the environment and achieve cost savings.  

Our work involves:  

  • Technical, advisory, and research-based programming; 
  • Organizing and delivering business and community-oriented events;  
  • Encouraging knowledge-sharing & collaboration among our virtual networks; and  
  • Recognizing and celebrating progress made by our program members.   

Green Economy North membership involves a combination of cohort-based training sessions, 1:1 consulting hours, peer-based learning, and professional networking opportunities.  

Green Economy North serves as a Hub within the wider Green Economy Canada network, which is committed to accelerating Canada’s business transition to a vibrant and inclusive net-zero future.  

Green Economy Canada Hubs also serve communities in Southern Ontario, the GTA, Ottawa, Peterborough, the Province of New Brunswick, and the City of Edmonton with several new Hubs in the works – from coast to coast. Members of our regional Hub (Green Economy North) benefit from access to this wider National network.   

As of 2019, over 300 organizations, representing a broad range of sectors and sizes, have committed to reducing more than 200,000 tonnes of GHGs – the equivalent of taking over 43,000 cars off the road each year.  

All businesses, non-profits, and public sector organizations that join the Green Economy North program commit to setting sustainability targets, and reporting publicly on their progress each year.  

Green Economy North recognizes these organizations as Green Economy Leaders because they are making commitments to measure, manage, reduce, and report on their environmental impact and, as such, are demonstrating leadership both at an organizational level, and within the communities they serve.  

Across Canada, over 250 Green Economy Leaders are demonstrating a more sustainable economy is possible.

The Green Economy North program is available to all businesses, non-profits, and public sector organizations with a physical building (owned or leased), plus other assets that can be assessed for their energy performance – whether that be an Industrial facility, a retail store, hotel accommodation, office space, or even a working scrap / storage yard.  

In line with the federal interpretation of Northern Ontario, our area of coverage currently extends across the whole of Northeastern Ontario, from Sault Ste. Marie in the West, to Mattawa in the East, and from James Bay in the North, to Gravenhurst in the South.  

In due course, we hope to make the Green Economy North program available to all organizations in Northern Ontario, and to collaborate with additional sector-based agencies to increase our geographic reach and influence.  

To become a member, please complete this form on our website.  

We will use this information to calculate a formal personalized quote, and will reach out to you direct with a copy of the membership agreement for reference.  

Members are recognized as members of the Green Economy North program upon signing of the membership agreement, and transference of the annual specified fee per year of membership.  

Members pay an annual fee which is based upon a chart produced by reThink Green which accounts for both:  

  • The Total Floor Space Area (sq ft.) of assets owned and/or leased; and  
  • The Total # of Employees (full-time equivalent) 

Fees can range between $500 – $10,000 depending on the organization. 

Our goal is to provide you with the necessary support, direction, training, and accountability required to help you meet your sustainability goals.  

There are a variety of supports we offer along the way, from developing your inventories and sustainability action plans, to building-out your green teams, and support tracking and reporting on the progress you’re making.  

We also provide members with opportunities to access capacity-building workshops and networking opportunities which support their knowledge and skill development. We also help you stay connected to funding opportunities for sustainability projects. 

A good member is one that: 

  • Is in good-standing – with their Membership Agreement having been signed and returned to reThink Green; plus, their annual membership paid in full, within 30 days of the request having been made.
  • Attends Green Economy North’s pre-scheduled training sessions, and engages in cohort-based discussions and breakout forums where applicable.
  • Submits their data on time – this varies per member and per cohort. Contact your Member Services Director if unsure at any time.
  • Has an open-mind, and is willing to explore various options and solutions to understand what is possible.
  • Actively collaborates and/or supports other businesses within the network with the knowledge, tools, resources and other information required to support our collective transition to the green economy.   

There is a lot we can learn from one another when we share a space to voice our accomplishments, concerns, and challenges in pursuing sustainability.  

Starting in April 2022, we have introduced a new ‘cohort-based’ model whereby program members will benefit from group training sessions, including ample opportunities to collaborative and learn from the practical experiences of each organization, as we collectively set and achieve ambitious Greenhouse Gas emission-reducing targets. 

Our goal is to provide you with the support, direction, and accountability required to help you meet your sustainability goals. Our tried-and-tested Milestone Process involves Green Economy North guiding our members through a series of training sessions and checkpoints, as follows:  

  1. Get engaged 
  2. Measure your footprint 
  3. Set a target 
  4. Achieve results 

There are various supports we provide along the way, from developing your inventories and sustainability action plans, to helping you build out your green teams, and tracking and reporting on the progress you’re making along the way.  

We’ll also provide you with capacity-building workshops and professional networking opportunities to help keep your knowledge and skills current, plus help you stay connected to funding opportunities for sustainability projects. 

Our Hub goals are to work with members to complete their GHG Inventory and initial GHG Reduction Plan within 12 months of joining, and to have GHG Reduction Targets set within 18 months of joining. To achieve this, we structure our work in roughly six-month chunks to keep things manageable for you and ensure we meet those timelines. 

Once the initial milestones are complete, and a science-based interim target and/or longer-term Green House Gas (GHG) reduction target has been set; we facilitate quarterly check-ins and yearly updates to your GHG Inventory Report – so we can continue to monitor your progress. As our relationship matures, we provide you with the necessary add-on services and supports to help you either reach or positively-exceed your target(s) into the future. 

During Milestone 1, members are oriented at a kick-off meeting. We talk data, emissions sources and scopes, and we take the necessary first steps to develop your GHG Inventory!  

This stage really is all about empowering and enabling our members to understand their own footprint as it relates to their operations. 

The benefits and services associated with this milestone include:  

  • Access to our Green Economy Leaders’ Communications Toolkit; 
  • “Climate 101” workshops and information sessions; 
  • Public recognition when you join the cohort; 
  • Subscription to our monthly newsletter, where we share up-to-date knowledge, information, and resources with members; 
  • Access to reThink Green’s resource bank. 

Milestone 2 is all about developing a greenhouse gas inventory. To do this, you’ll be equipped to start collecting data for your organization to generate a report in line with the World Resources Institute’s GHG Protocol Standard. Much of the information that you’ll need to collect will come from utility bills and expense lines of your financial statements, so it’s really important that folks from finance /accounting are involved, and able to support with getting this data. 

Your GHG Inventory Report will tell you what your carbon footprint is, where your emissions come from, and where there is additional room for improvement. We also conduct baseline energy walkthroughs to help corroborate this report. This information is generally used in support of grant applications, including the Microgrant program that Green Economy North is introducing – exclusive to our members. 

We also equip our members with emissions inventory training, to help you understand how your GHG Inventory is developed from your data, and provide you with some best practices on setting up data collection systems to streamline this process year after year. 

The Paris Agreement commits countries to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions so global temperatures do not increase by more than an average of 1.5 to 2 Degrees Celsius – helping avoid the worst predicted effects of Climate Change.  

The GHG Protocol was created given the need to assist countries and companies as they account for, report, and mitigate their emissions. It promotes an action-led agenda to combat climate change, and includes a series of standardized practices for measuring GHG emissions. 

The Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHGP) provides accounting and reporting standards, sector guidance, calculation tools and training opportunities for businesses, plus local and national governments. The protocol has resulted in a comprehensive, global, standardized framework for measuring and managing emissions from private and public sector emission sources and scopes – enabling greenhouse gas reductions to be achieved across the board. 

Once your inventory is complete, we’ll support you in developing an initial action plan to reduce your emissions.  

We’ll start by hosting a Reduction Planning training session to provide you with the knowledge, information, and tools needed so your organization can crunch the numbers, plus scope and prioritize those actions. 

As an affiliated Hub of Green Economy Canada, Green Economy North requires that our members set at least a 20% reduction target, in relation to their baseline year. That said, we know many organizations are now setting interim targets, and also net-zero targets, in line with the Paris Agreement – which seeks to ensure Net Zero emissions by 2050.  

Our third training session will cover what you’ll want to consider when choosing a reduction target that’s right for you. This could address what your stakeholders / customers care about, what your peers are doing, what your organization’s level of ambition is, or what the science tells us is needed.  

You’ll get some templates and tools to help you think through different target-scenarios, and we’ll work with you 1:1 to guide decision-making for your organization. 

Action Plans can vary considerably depending on the nature and size of an organization; however, most action plans generally include a series of defined goals, plus an outline of steps to be followed, priority tasks, and timeframes, etc.  

Our cohort members’ action plans will all appear different – depending on our members’ budgets, their capacity, and where they’re already at in their sustainability journey.  

Sometimes it can be as simple as making some changes in procurement decisions, retrofitting building envelopes, or swapping out lighting fixtures. In other cases, it could include pursuing the installment of more advanced energy management systems, electric vehicle chargers, or renewable technologies.  

Once we’ve reached this stage, we’re off to the races, and can start working with you to achieve your GHG emission reduction goals as identified in Milestone 3, plus celebrate your ongoing success as a Green Economy Leader!  

By this point, you’ll have done all the prep-work needed to understand what your GHG footprint is, and developed an action plan to know what initial actions you need to take. 

Ideally, you’ll have created some additional internal capacity with support from the senior leadership team (I.e., the formation of a Green Team) with a remit to help your organization confidently set about making these reductions. 

In any case, we’ll work with you to share the good news among your stakeholders and customers, plus provide up-to-date communication, research, funding, and/or project management-based support to help you spread the word and achieve your goals. 

Our support will shift from helping you set your targets to helping you track and make progress towards achieving your goals. 

Each year, we’ll update your GHG inventory in the Spring, and provide you with a short report so you can see your progress.  

We’ll meet with you quarterly to provide ongoing 1:1 support to assist your team by updating and implementing your action plans, communicating your efforts both internally and externally, and engaging employees in your work. 

In addition to the cohort-based training sessions, and professional networking opportunities, which enable new business connections and peer-based learning opportunities, members of our Green Economy North program will also receive an allotted number of hours for 1:1 support – as outlined in their Membership Agreement. These hours can be used to develop projects, initiatives, or proposals more specific to your organization’s future needs. 

If members require additional 1:1 support, we can provide this for an additional fee. Please contact us to discuss your project-based ideas.   

Organizations often don’t talk enough about the sustainability work they’re already doing, and sometimes find it hard to communicate about their efforts in credible ways. To make that easier for our members, we put together a communications toolkit, which includes templates on how best to share details of their work, via Green Economy North, among internal and external stakeholders.  

The toolkit contains templates you can use to spread the word including announcement emails, social media messages and email signature suggestions, plus other content to include within any job postings or RFPs you may be responding to. 

Throughout your membership we will host hybrid-style events including webinars, meet-and-greet networking opportunities, and our annual Regional Business Forum; at which, we bring in guest speakers and showcase a wide range of Industry-specific products, technologies, and solutions.  

We also attend conferences and seminars, bringing increased awareness to our membership – which includes a wide range of businesses, non-profits, and public sector organizations.   

We summarize our findings and circulate this information in the form of monthly newsletters, social media posts and other e-bulletins.  

You’ll also receive relevant funding news and policy updates to help guide and potentially finance your projects, plus adapt to any regulatory changes coming down the line. 

We’ll then recognize your achievements both regionally and nationally in the form of case studies, media releases, and other communication methods. Organizations and individuals who make the greatest progress, pursuing a range of solutions, our recognized at our Annual Sustainability Awards.  

Our aim, at all times, is to foster a sense of togetherness, including spin-off opportunities to explore shared projects, facilitated introductions, and 1:1 networking opportunities. We guide, support, and highlight the progress of our members in Northern Ontario, as we transition to a more vibrant, inclusive and net-zero future. 

Cohort 1 has already commenced – we launched in April 2022. 

Our second cohort will be launching in the Fall of 2022, with an enrollment closing date of July 4, 2022.  

Starting in the fall of 2022, Green Economy Leaders will be exclusively eligible to receive up to $5000 to cover a maximum of 50% of costs linked to the implementation of projects that increase energy efficiencies, and reduce Green House Gas (GHG) emissions.   

The primary objective of the micro-grant program is to fill an identified gap within the existing incentive-based ecosystem. The funding could be applied towards a wide range of innovative project-based solutions, with costs allocated towards equipment, materials, external labour, and planning-related activities. We can work with you to both identify and/or leverage additional external funding opportunities which enable action on the ground.     

The Microgrant Program will be accessible to businesses, non-profits, public sector organizations and First Nation Communities. Municipalities and Townships are ineligible at this time.  

Participating organizations seeking to access this new and unique funding opportunity must be paid up members of our Green Economy North Program in good-standing.  

They will also be required to have completed an up-to-date GHG inventory; which, by then, you should have completed with us.  

Additional eligibility and project assessment criteria are in development and will be announced in the Fall of 2022. 

We’re excited to share a program offered by Green Economy Canada. Its $3.9M EV Charger Incentive Program will give organizations 50% back on the cost of buying and installing EV charging stations – up to a maximum of $100,000 per applicant.  

EV chargers are a great way to strengthen relationships with your customers and employees, increase your property value, reduce your own carbon footprint, and demonstrate your commitment to sustainability!  

Taking steps now to install EV chargers, and adopt EVs, will also future-proof your business as Canada continues to implement regulations that reduce transportation-related emissions, and support our shift to a cleaner energy future.  

The program was first launched in March 2022 and targeted minority groups. Funding will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.  

*Update May 2022 

Please note: The first round of funding is almost complete. All applications received after April 13, 2022 will, therefore, be considered ‘on hold’ – until the initial tranche of applications has been assessed, and initial funding recipients have been identified.  

Interested organizations are still encouraged to get their application in as soon as possible.  

All decision-making is subject to funding availability.  

To learn more, check out the EV Charger Incentive program on Green Economy Canada’s website here:  

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membership inquiry form

For those interested in joining future cohorts, please complete this form. The information you enter below will be used to provide your quote for annual membership.

Include your website URL, if possible.

Cohort 1 Members

Board’s Honey Farm has been serving customers in the Nipissing region, and people traveling to Restoule from locations including the Greater Toronto Area for 48+ years. Boards incorporated in 2014, and currently manages 150 colonies of bees that produce honey and related beehive products.

Their website features items that are made on-site with wild crafted raw materials and produce that is either grown in their own gardens or sourced from other local farms.

Boards is looking to expand on its operations over the next two years, with exciting plans in the works!

B2B Industrial Inc. provides high quality products for the construction, forestry, mining, and military industries. The team is known for developing innovative solutions for customers on time and on budget.

B2B’s core products include the “Patented” Armadillo, Rhino, and MantaMAT (Patent Pending) which are firsts in the industry and can be used for fly rock and blast mitigation in the mining, construction, and military industries.

The company hires between 22-45 employees, and has operations in Copper Cliff, Sudbury and Sturgeon Falls among other locations.

Cambrian College includes a vibrant community of more than 11 000 learners spread across three campus locations in: Sudbury, Espanola, and Little Current / Manitoulin Island.

Cambrian has made considerable progress in recent years, improving the energy efficiency of its existing building envelope, plant and equipment, and installation of solar and geothermal systems among other measures.

Cambrian is seeking support understanding all aspects of its operations so it can produce up-to-date baselines of their emissions, develop a sustainability action plan, and produce science-based targets to guide their transition to Net Zero emissions

CDM Agency is an authorized agent for Eco-Growth Environmental a Calgary-based technology company which provides green solutions to organic waste streams, by converting excess materials to clean energy.

The systems used by Eco-Growth Environmental include the EGOR, which is an organic reactor that dehydrates organic waste – reducing its weight by 80%. They also provide shredding equipment to handle cardboard, and bio-gas boilers as a renewable/alternative energy source.

Mayhew Performance is a boutique consulting firm which specializes in Green Energy, Net Zero GHG Projects, Battery Electric Vehicle Studies, Risk Management, Health & Safety. The organization was founded in 2020 and includes technical experts with 85+ years of combined experience in Mining Operations.

Mayhew Performance Ltd is a proud Sudbury-based business and has already committed to reducing its carbon footprint to Net Zero by 2025. Green Economy North will provide a range of supplementary solutions to support MPL through action planning as they set about achieving this goal.

Alarmed at the dust clouds forming within his premises, the organization’s Founder and President, Rick Morin, recognized there was a need to transform his operations more than 15 years ago.

He was determined to play his part to clean-up his industrial operations for future generations, and set about building a state-of-the-art facility, to reduce the environmental impact of sandblasting among other activities. The resulting pre-engineered ‘blast booth’ maintains a closed loop ventilation system – to ensure environmentally compliant surface coating practices.

Craig Timmermans is a serial entrepreneur, who also happens to co-own Canada’s greenest and only Net Zero Radio Station, Country CFRM 103 – which is located in Little Current, Manitoulin Island.

Through his technical advisory business, Craig provides off-grid services, including the design and installation of solar, battery-based technologies, and other renewable energy systems for use in municipal and rural locations, parks, recreation and campgrounds, outdoor festivals and events, resorts, marinas, beachfronts, boardwalks, construction sites and RVs!

Old Mission Resort currently caters to anglers and their families providing fully equipped house-keeping cottages, boat launch, rentals and docking, seasonal trailer sites and several campsites.

Old Mission has plans to evolve from a commodity-based angling business to a customized niche market providing experiential products – promoting Ecotourism. Their vision is to create a memorable vacation experience for guests, the ability to host corporate retreats, while cultivating sustainable development, renewable energy sources, and protecting its natural and rugged landscapes.

Point Grondine Trading Post is an Indigenous-owned business, located on Point Grondine First Nation on the Highway that leads to the Municipality of Killarney. Point Grondine is an off-grid store and gas bar, which currently uses a diesel generator for power during business hours.

The Trading Post has plans to expand its operations in 2022, to include a state-of-the-art energy efficient building which will be formed from innovative modular panel-based construction methods. The business will expand its selection of tobacco, plus Indigenous arts, and other hand-made products.

Science North is Canada’s 2nd largest Science Centre. It is also Northern Ontario’s most popular tourist attraction and serves as an educational resource for children and adults across the entire province of Ontario. Science North’s staff cover a large area from Mattawa to the Manitoba border through their outreach-based programming in schools, community centres, provincial parks, and libraries, among other locations.

Science North’s main attractions include – a Science Centre, IMAX® Theatre, a Digital Planetarium, a Butterfly Gallery, a Special Exhibitions Hall, and Dynamic Earth – which delights hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Science North also owns and operates Dynamic Earth – Home of the Big Nickel – which is a separate science centre (Canada’s 8th largest). Dynamic Earth is focused on mining and earth sciences and combines both above and underground experiences that allow visitors to experience real mining equipment and technologies. 

Split Rail Brewing is based in the idyllic rural community of Gore Bay on Manitoulin Island. The brewery prides itself on the production and sale of craft beer, which is now being sold in locations across the Province of Ontario. They also recently introduced an all-natural locally sourced and berry-based non-alcoholic drink made from the Hawberry – an Island icon; plus introduced a new locally sourced menu, with some delicious cuisine!

Split Rail cares deeply about their social, environmental, and economic impact. The company has been a member of our Green Economy North program for several years now, and we have assisted them in making choices from sustainable packaging, to support obtaining funding for an entire new canning line. This development enabled them to reduce their total Scope 3 Greenhouse Gas emissions, while placing an emphasis on local jobs, and greater control over the production process.

St John’s the Divine is another long-term member of the Green Economy North program. Located at 34 Godfrey Drive in Copper Cliff, the congregation meets each Sunday morning at 11 am. The church includes children’s programming – in the ‘Copper Cliff Messy Church Ministry’ in co-operation with the other Christian congregations in Copper Cliff.

The annual “Mega Yard Sale” in June is held in co-operation with the Copper Cliff Community Action Network, and also includes their Annual ‘Strawberry Social’. The congregation actively supports the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund, and the Greater Sudbury Out of the Cold Dinner Program.

St John the Divine is working on greening its building and have achieved some of the goals laid out in their 2019 energy conservation and action plan report.

The Nickel Refillery is a plastic free grocery store located in the City of Greater Sudbury. Armed with their distinctive green aprons, refillery employees are the driving force behind the store and its operations, helping create a sense of fun and engagement among its customers and clientele.

The store sells both local and Canadian-made products which emphasize the importance of people and our planet. It continues to expand its range of ingredients, household goods, DIY equipment and personal care options

The Nickel Refillery is more than your usual grocery store. They participate in community-based initiatives and provide supplementary tools and services to support households and businesses as they seek to reduce their waste. 

Wood City North Inc. has been in operation for the past ten years and is the only pallet recycling company in Northern Ontario. The company’s main focus involves the recycling and supply of wide-ranging pallets. Wood City North recycles approximately 202,000 pallets per year, which saves approximately 8416 trees, or 21.5 acres of trees per year. In the past 10 years they have recycled enough pallets to save 215 acres of trees.

Gerry Perras, the company’s president has extensive experience in logistics. His knowledge has helped Wood City North Inc. establish a reliable delivery service for its products, be it local or further afield. Wood City’s experienced staff maintain the highest levels of quality control on all of their products, and customers have reported a 100% satisfaction rate

The Sault Ste. Marie YMCA is a charitable organization that promotes the development of spirit, mind, and body by encouraging healthy lifestyles, personal growth, and service to the community.

The YMCA supports individuals who are looking to improve their fitness, access high-quality licensed childcare, gain memorable family experiences, and also assists newcomers as they settle
within Canada.

The Sault Ste. Marie YMCA believes that living with, and acting on its core values, contributes to the development of a healthy self-esteem and overall personal happiness. The YMCA fosters a greater sense of social responsibility and environmental stewardship in ways that can deliver lasting personal and social change.

Annual Reports