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To build a training program & e-community that enables leaders to embed environmental sustainability into an organization as a core value.



Our extensive research has demonstrated countless organizations across sectors are reducing their environmental / carbon footprint but generally doing so in the absence of a transformational strategy.  As a charity with a breadth of operation similar to a municipality and a highly entrepreneurial organizational model, we believed building a comprehensive strategy and a replicable model around it would provide a universally applicable framework we could share broadly. This vision helped us garner incredible partnerships and support over the past four years.  We have since implemented a transformational strategy allowing us to adopt over 40 carbon reducing projects valued at over $2 million with no financial risk and reduce operating costs in perpetuity.

In fulfilling on our vision’s potential, we have nearly completed a detailed methodology that teaches a truly foundational commitment to the environment will actually strengthen an organization.  This universally applicable framework is organized into successive sections and sub-sections, each followed by an honest examination of situations at HFC and the compelling outcomes generated.  This document will be published and a cross-sectoral pilot program developed and launched, enabling us to train dozens of leaders.  We will build presentation and participant materials to help facilitate capacity building workshops.  We will monitor the results generated over time by organizations that commit to implementing our methodology. A robust community website will be developed to provide a venue for sharing information and resources collectively drawn from across sectors, to facilitate collaboration and the continuous advancement of the methodology. 

Category of the action


What actions do you propose?

It is clear simply making HFC’s methodology ‘available’ and hoping it is used is not going to transform many organizations.  We decided, face-to-face, hands-on training would be needed to make a substantive difference.  As a charity with an arts and culture mandate, investing in broadly marketing the methodology to secure a large audience of organizations was not possible, demanding innovation.  HFC approached environmental knowledge sharing organizations across sectors and solicited their interest in collaborating to train their audience.  Most agreed strong environmental strategies and programs are rarely developed but have done little to remedy the issue due to a lack capacity and resources available on the topic.  Based on the recognized value of sharing our methodology, a group of credible, cross sectoral knowledge sharing organizations, very capable of coordinating well-attended events, offered to partner with us to host training workshops in Canada. Through this commitment, a virtually guaranteed audience of participants has been secured without cost or risk.  We have essentially created the foundation of an innovative community-driven social enterprise that effectively addresses a significant market gap to secure needed collaborative and financial support. 

Building capacity and shared value has allowed HFC to develop a transformational program and we are confident the same approach will enable this collaborative to successfully launch our methodology and training program.  Volunteers and community partners have been so critical to our past success and will be vital to our training program as we look to deliver ground-breaking training and bring together the environmental community without significant cost or risk.  Our focus will initially be centred in Ontario where we have established strong relationships.  Our objective is to quickly grow our partnership across North America and beyond so as to expand the utility of our methodology and training program. 


Year 1

March 2012 - July 2013

- Complete development of draft of methodology

- Coordinate review of draft

- Refine and finalize methodology copy 

- Secure partner committed to professionally publishing doc

- Professionally publish final copy of methodology

September 2012 - April 2013

- Research environmentally-focused knowledge sharing and training delivery organizations

- Solicit, secure and complete interviews with representatives of these organizations

- Compile and analyze the data collected

- Develop a final report and circulate to participants

- Leverage results to inform design and structure training program

- Collect feedback and refine training program structure accordingly

May 2013 - July 2013

- Develop draft of training materials

- Develop presentation materials 

- Collect feedback and refine training program documentation

- Refine and finalize training documentation 

- Develop evaluation plan for training program

Mar 2012 - Mar 2014 

- Research organizations that may be interested in contributing grants and sponsorships

- Solicit funding from targets identified

May 2013 - July 2013

- Build community website plan

- Collect resources (articles, studies, models, links, etc.) from among knowledge sharing partners and various organizations and websites globally to be housed on the website

- Develop website

- Collect feedback on website

- Refine and adjust website

March 2012 - Mar 2014

- Secure commitment of knowledge sharing partners

- Set up and promote training workshops

- Set up and deliver industry presentations (conference seminars, webinars, etc.) to discuss HFC story and introduce training being offered

- Deliver training workshops

- Collect feedback from knowledge sharing partners and participants

March 2014 - June 2014

- Execute evaluation plan:

- Compile data on what the program has achieved (financially and in terms of partnerships, training delivery, participation and commitment to methodology) 

- Analyze the information and build a report

- Revise methodology, training structure and materials, delivery tactics, promotions based on feedback, experience and new information and resources collected from community

- Continue to research and add information and resources to website

- Plan to focus program efforts in Year 2 on knowledge sharing partners and target audiences that are best suited to training

Year 2

March 2014 - March 2015

- Secure commitment of additional knowledge sharing partners

- Set up and promote training workshops

- Set up and deliver industry presentations (conference seminars, webinars, etc.) to discuss HFC story and introduce training being offered

- Deliver Training workshops

- Collect feedback from knowledge sharing partners and participants

January 2015 - March 2015

- Compile data on what the program has achieved (financially and in terms of partnerships, training delivery, participation and commitment to methodology) 

- Analyze the information and build a report

- Based on new results, general interest and an evaluation of opportunities available, develop plan for scale up and expansion of training program provincially and / or nationally

January 2015 - March 2015

- Execute evaluation plan:

- Compile data on what the program has achieved (financially and in terms of partnerships, training delivery, participation and commitment to methodology) 

- Analyze the information and build a report

- Conduct interviews to collect feedback and data on results achieved by organizations that adopted the methodology

- Develop a report evaluating utility, impact and areas for improvement of methodology


The following organizations have been secured as or are interested in becoming knowledge sharing partners: 

City of Toronto – Better Buildings Partnership  ·  Canadian Green Building Council - Toronto Chapter  ·  Sustainability Professionals Resource & Networking Group  ·  greenTbiz    ·  Greening Greater Toronto  ·  Toronto Building Owners & Managers Association  ·  Toronto’s Green Theatres  ·  Toronto Sustainability Speaker Series   ·  Centre for Environmental Sustainability in Healthcare  ·  Greening Sacred Spaces  ·  WWF - Living Planet @ Work Program   ·    Partners in Project Green  ·  Green Education Council  ·  Federation of Canadian Municipalities  ·  Ontario Ministry of the Environment   ·  Sustainable Waterloo Region  ·   Sustainable Buildings Canada  ·  Canadian Institute for Theatre Technology  ·  The Centre for Sustainable Practice in the Arts  ·  Ontario College of Art & Design University  ·  University of Waterloo - School of Environment, Enterprise and Development

These organizations will work with us to coordinate and promote two types of events for their respective audiences of organizational leaders committed to reducing environmental impact, including: 

i.  30-60 minute presentations during which we will present the HFC story and methodology as well as promote the training program we will launch.

ii.  2-4 hour training workshops through which we will teach organizational leaders about our methodology and how it can be effectively applied.

Further and more in-depth training modules will be developed based on need and the response we receive.

As described, our methodology is designed to transform how and the effectiveness with which organizations limit their environmental impact.   Our training will help organizations lay a strong foundation that generates a transformation enabling environmental sustainability to be embedded as a core value.  The implementation of our model will enable organizations to increase the rate at which impact is reduced indefinitely.   Furthermore, greater benefit will be derived from positive change, thereby increasing the value of a commitment to reducing impact and subsequently how it is prioritized as only one area of organizational focus competing for limited resources. 

Who will take these actions?

HFC is a reputable, experienced and well-funded charity that works with over 450 community partners annually. We began our environmental sustainability program with virtually no resources or expertise and built a program that has secured over $2 million in funding and in-kind support.  HFC has also been regularly sought after as a project partner and to deliver learning oriented presentations on our program.

ADEME is internationally considered a leading government agency and has developed a world-leading carbon management system in Bilan Carbone, effectively trained thousands of organizations to use it, and helped make it available in Canada (re-branded Encompass).

IESC is considered one of the most innovative environmentally-focused technical firms in Ontario and brings international experience and years of leading-edge work with HFC and beyond to the table. Further, they have developed the Encompass training program and have extensive experience with building transformational environmental sustainability programs and delivering related training.

CAP is one of the most successful non-profit, knowledge sharing organizations in Ontario that works to build capacity on behalf of the municipal sector and successfully developed a training program titled 'Building Evaluation Capacity' with OTF's support, building tremendous internal training development and program/project evaluation capacity.

We have attracted a variety of unsolicited student volunteers to our work based soley on having heard about the work we are doing.   The following students have served our program for periods of 6 - 18 months:  2 University of Toronto PhD and 3 Masters students, 1 Queens University MBA student, 15 University of Waterloo Environment Students and 2 recent University of Toronto grads and .  We also have assembled a diverse and experienced team of approximately 10 experts from across sectors to participate in the review and revision of our methodology. 

Where will these actions be taken?

The planning development work involved in preparing our methodology and training program will be completed in Toronto, Canada where three of the partners within our collaborative are located.  The vast majority of the knowledge sharing organizations we have and will partner with thus far are located within the province of Ontario. 

Our objective is leverage our success in Canada to expand our partnerships, delivery of training and community building efforts into the US and beyond.

What are other key benefits?

CAPACITY BUILDING & INNOVATION:  Our model will encourage the development of the foundation and infrastructure needed to maximize triple-bottom-line value when investing limited resources.  By establishing a more sophisticated and complete approach to prioritizing projects, resources will be more effectively invested, generating greater value and increasing how environmental sustainability is prioritized.  Organizations will become more aware of their upstream and downstream impacts and will subsequently identify new opportunities for reducing impact through collaboration and meaningful partnerships.

COLLABORATION:   Knowledge sharing organizations generally work independently, assembling similar capacity and resources as others.  These organizations will be newly connected by a model and online community they will commonly utilize facilitating more sharing, collaboration and reduce duplicated efforts.

What are the proposal’s costs?

The following budget items are required to fullfil on our work plan:

Electronics and Equipment $11,200.00

Program Lead $87,500.00

Other Salaries $47,600.00

Website Development $12,000.00

Printing Participant Materials $2,000.00

We have already secured some of the support required to finance these expenses and are waiting on one additional grantor that is would supply a donation supporting the remaining balance.  We have reason to believe there is a high probability we will be successful in securing this funding within the next month.

In addition, we have amassed the following support in-kind:

Harbourfront Centre volunteers - 2500 hours

Internat Energy Solutions Canada - 360 hours

Clean Air Partnership - 80 hours

ADEME - 20 hours

Time line

See the Work Plan above.

Related proposals



Knowledge sharing partners (listed above) who believe in the need for the capacity we are building and will bring it to the audience / membership they serve, and organizations that have already funded our work would serve as our best references:

Knowledge Sharing Partners

City of Toronto – Better Buildings Partnership  

Sustainability Professionals Resource & Networking Group  

greenTbiz    · 

Toronto’s Green Theatres  

The Centre for Sustainable Practice in the Arts  · 

University of Waterloo

Funding Organizations:

- Ontario Trillium Foundations

- Live Green Toronto

- Toronto Atmospheric Fund

- Xerox