Sierra Club Canada has been active in Canada since 1963, originally as chapters of the U.S.-based Sierra Club. Our national office opened in 1989, and in 1992 we incorporated to create a truly national presence.
Today, we have five chapters across the country: British Columbia Chapter, Prairie Chapter, Ontario Chapter, Quebec Chapter and Atlantic Canada Chapter - in addition to our dozens of local groups in communities all across Canada from Cape Breton to Vancouver Island. The Sierra Youth Coalition is our youth affiliate.
Sierra Club Canada is the agent of Sierra Club Canada Foundation, a registered charitable organization with the Canada Revenue Agency.
Major national campaigns fall under the program areas of Health and Environment, Protecting Biodiversity, Atmosphere and Energy, and Transition to a Sustainable Economy.
Sierra Club Canada has earned an excellent reputation within its constituency and the broader public for its thoroughly researched positions and for refusing to compromise on its ideals. Sierra Club Canada believes in the power of connection, of people everywhere working together to create a better world for all.
As an environmental organization, it's crucial that we do our very best to live the life we promote in our education and advocacy campaigns. In every decision we make - from our fair trade, organic morning coffee, to our 100% post consumer paper, to minimizing travel - our goal is the lightest organizational footprint possible.
Travel & Work
We encourage our staff to opt for sustainable options to get to work each morning. Our staff and volunteers cycle, walk or use public transit, while others telecommute.
Tele/webconferencing is always our perferred choice for meetings. Travel is kept to a bare minimum. We are, however, in the "people-power" business and circumstances can and do arise when face-to-face time is critical. On these occasions we choose the train first, then bus or carpool. If air travel is the only option, we offset our flights.
Paper is gold to us, and we are continually looking for ways to save it. Our goal is a paper-free organization but until then printing is on 100% post-consumer recycled paper. Documents are always double-sided, and when we mess up a print-job, the paper is reused on the other side. Our envelopes are re-used paper from old maps (very cool!). Whenever possible we refuse hard copies in favour of the electronic version.
Food and Drink
We admit it. We love our coffee and tea. So, keeping in mind the impact of even just one work life on the planet, we use only fair-trade, organic coffee and teas, along with organic milk or cream.
Rather than cater events, which too often includes huge amounts of plastic and food that is not organic or local, we opt for potluck meals. And what amazing culinary secrets we have to tell! If we absolutely must cater a meeting or conference, we find fair-trade, organic and locally-grown food whenever possible.
We try to never, ever leave a light, computer, photocopier or other device running when not in use and we look for energy-efficiency in all purchaces (e.g. our kettle has an automatic shut-off). In today's wired world we have to rely on our computers for almost everything we do, so minimizing electronics and related electricity consumption has to be a priority. We replaced desktops with laptops for our campaigners, from CRT (cathode ray tube- big) monitors to LCD (liquid crystal display- flatscreen), and achieved a reduction of almost two tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions!
All of our furniture is pre-loved and eventually recycled. Old computers and other electronic equipment are handed over to one of Ottawa's designated recycling depots.
Recycling / Composting
Tenants in our building have limited recycling options (paper only), so we pulled together to coordinate recycling for all other recyclable materials, taking turns to bring them home for our residential blue box program. Martha, office manager and resident gardener, does double duty in taking the compost home every week. Wow, can those coffee grounds add up!
Are you greening your office? Check out our Atlantic Canada Chapter’s Green Audit Guide.