This past year was a busy one at Environmental Defence. We hosted a celebration of closing polluting coal plants with Al Gore, hosted a concert featuring Sarah Harmer, Gord Downie & The Sadies, Hayden and Minotaurs that raised awareness about a risky tar sands pipeline, we helped Ontario’s Greenbelt grow along urban river valleys, and worked with salon workers to make their workplaces toxic-free. We wrapped up the summer by shining a media spotlight on the threats of algal blooms in the Great Lakes with several community partners.
This month, we celebrated all these accomplishments and more in our 2014 Annual Report. The report also celebrates Environmental Defence’s 30 years of success.
Back in 1984, there were few tools to protect the environment. Nature was seen mostly as a means for economic gain. But our awareness of the value of our natural assets was changing. In this spirit, the Canadian Environmental Defence Fund (our first name) opened its doors, providing legal services and advice to communities looking to define a new relationship with our shared environment – convinced that by engaging with clear arguments, scientific evidence, and the support of the law, Canadians could make a difference.
Together, we made change happen. From eliminating toxic chemicals from baby bottles to ensuring better water quality at Canadian beaches, the list of our achievements is long. (Check out more on our timeline.)
Over the years, we’ve grown in size and experience. Today, we offer comprehensive solutions to complex issues. Our work on toxics, land, clean energy and water has shown that there are sustainable, economically sound approaches to environmental challenges.
These days, a growing number of Canadians from coast to coast to coast understand we don’t need to choose between a healthy environment and a healthy economy. We can and must have both.
That’s why Environmental Defence will soon launch a new clean economy program. As part of this program, we’ll look to emerging energy technologies to create a greener electricity supply. We’ll look to the power of the market to reward companies that provide sustainable products and services. We’ll work with businesses, citizens, commuters, farmers and others to reduce pollution, clean our water, steward our lands, transform our energy use in order to create more jobs and more money for the things that we all need.
We know that many Canadians want a vibrant economy in Canada, so we’ll provide you with new ways to work with us to make this possible. We’ll make it easier and more rewarding for you to help us move citizens, government and industry to this bright future.
Over the years, we’ve achieved some big wins. But we know there is more work ahead.
So on our 30th birthday we look back with pride on all that we’ve accomplished. And we look forward with excitement for our plans for the future.
Most of all, we thank you for your support this year, and over the past 30 years, to create a world Canadians are proud to pass onto their children. Thank you for helping make change happen!