Desjardins commits $250,000 to COIL Climate and Circularity Solutions Hub

Desjardins commits $250,000 to COIL Climate and Circularity Solutions Hub

Commitment funds circular economy initiative helping regional enterprises address climate change challenges

Guelph, Ont., November 7, 2022 – Circular Opportunity Innovation Launchpad (COIL) has received a $250,000 donation from Desjardins Group to support the work of its new Climate and Circularity Solutions Hub.

The Hub, which launched in October, applies circular economy principles to provide expertise, research and strategies to help regional businesses and community organizations adopt actions to reduce carbon emissions and tackle climate change.

The circular economy has been identified as a primary strategy in Canada’s climate action plan, which sets bold targets to reduce emissions by 40 per cent by 2030 and achieve Net-Zero Emissions by 2050. The plan highlights that the path to a resilient future requires the adoption of clean technologies and resource efficient approaches that underpin a circular economy.

Leveraging COIL’s existing regional networks, infrastructure and expertise, the Hub develops and shares specific strategies that reduce waste, create new value streams, and introduce more climate-friendly processes in business operations. It supports new learning opportunities such as the Circular Leadership Program in partnership with the Ivey Business School Centre for Building sustainable Value, and the evaluation and measurement of circular approaches that maximize emission reductions. 

”Our co-operative values are guided by the unwavering belief that economic development should drive social progress and help improve the quality of life for local communities and the environment. There is no planet B,” said Guy Cormier, President and CEO of Desjardins Group. “We are proud to support COIL’s Climate and Circularity Solutions Hub which will help businesses grow and integrate more sustainable and environmentally conscious practices.”

In 2016, Desjardins created GoodSpark Fund and committed to investing $250 million by 2024 in socially transformative projects created by and for the community. Through the fund, Desjardins awards grants to initiatives and sectors that impact communities the most, like employment, economic vitality, education and the environment. So far, the GoodSpark Fund has supported more than 600 initiatives.

 “Desjardin’s donation is an incredible example of corporate leadership supporting community-led climate action,” said David Messer, Executive Director, Smart Cities Office.

“Our comprehensive circular economy approach considers not only the reuse, recovery and recycling of materials that were previously wasted, it addresses processes and decisions that prevent waste generation across an entire value chain. With Desjardin’s generous commitment we will be able to complete research and demonstration projects that will accelerate this work.”

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Additional Quotes

“This is an incredible example of private sector and government working together to tackle critical global issues like climate change. It’s inspiring to see a major national corporation recognize the value in the transformative work that is happening in the City of Guelph and across southern Ontario.”

Scott Stewart, Chief Administrative Officer, City of Guelph

About Circular Opportunity Innovation Launchpad (COIL)

Launched in April 2021 with $5 million in funding from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), COIL is an innovation platform and activation network aimed at creating, proving and scaling transformative solutions across the food and environment sectors in southern Ontario that will move Canada toward a more sustainable, circular economy.

COIL builds on the Our Food Future Smart Cities initiative which is close to meeting its goal of creating 50 new circular businesses and collaborations.

Funding for COIL program participants is provided in collaboration with 10C’s Harvest Impact Fund, a community social finance fund developer with Our Food Future aimed at supporting impactful projects to strengthen the Guelph and Wellington communities.

About Desjardins Group

Desjardins Group is the largest cooperative financial group in North America and the fifth largest cooperative financial group in the world, with assets of $391 billion. It was named one of the Canada’s Top 100 Employers by MediaCorp. To meet the diverse needs of its members and clients, Desjardins offers a full range of products and services to individuals and businesses through its extensive distribution network, online platforms and subsidiaries across Canada. Ranked among the world’s strongest banks according to The Banker magazine, Desjardins has one of the highest capital ratios and credit ratings in the industry.

Resources

Photograph from event – caption:

Billy Boucher, General Manager and Chief Operating Officer, Desjardins Ontario Credit Union; Francine Côté, Chair of the Board, Desjardins Ontario Credit Union; David Messer, Executive Director, Smart Cities Office; Guy Cormier, President and CEO of Desjardins Group; Andrew Telfer, Collaboration and Development Lead, COIL; Ronald Corbett, Regional Vice-President, Toronto and Southwestern Ontario, Desjardins Ontario Credit Union

Desjardins Logo

Climate and Circularity Solutions Hub Logo

Media contacts

David Messer, Executive Director
Smart Cities Office, Office of the Chief Administrative Officer
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 3661
[email protected]

 

New initiative strengthens link between circular economy and actions to address climate change

New initiative strengthens link between circular economy and actions to address climate change

Guelph, Ontario, October 3, 2022 – Circular Opportunity Innovation Launchpad (COIL), a Smart Cities initiative of City of Guelph and County of Wellington, launched the Climate and Circularity Solutions Hub(Hub) on September 19.

The Hub provides expertise, research and strategies to help regional businesses and community organizations adopt circular economy actions to reduce carbon emissions and tackle climate change. It will also further Guelph’s commitment to the United Nations Race to Zero campaign and becoming a net zero carbon community by 2050.

Leveraging COIL’s existing regional networks, infrastructure and expertise, the Hub understands, develops and shares specific strategies that reduce waste, creates new value and fights climate change. It supports new learning opportunities, and the evaluation and measurement of circular approaches that maximize emission reductions. 

“The circular economy is climate action, and in Ontario we have an incredible ecosystem of leaders committed to building a more sustainable future,” says David Messer, executive director, Smart Cities Office, City of Guelph. “The research and programming within the Hub fosters new knowledge, tools and resources that will engage more people with the circular economy and ensure developed strategies deliver maximum impact toward emissions reduction. We look forward to working with current and new collaborators to accelerate the shift to a climate-smart circular economy.”

The Hub will drive innovation through three areas of focus.

  • Carbon Negative Innovation Zone: Using COIL expertise, this zone will attract forward-looking businesses and social innovators to work together on system-changing demonstration projects. The Hub prototypes and pilots policies, tools, technology and infrastructure to accelerate climate-smart and circular systems redesign.
  • New Climate-Smart Circular Indicators: Not all circular strategies result in emissions reductions. Innovation efforts must concentrate investigation on approaches and practices that maximize decarbonization. The Hub brings together experts, academic partners and communities of practice to stimulate new thinking to identify, measure and verify circular economic pathways and best-practices.
  • Learning Extension: Businesses – their leaders, staff and customers – need greater awareness of the benefits and opportunities of the circular economy for sustainable growth. The Hub leads education, training and engagement programs that will increase knowledge and skills needed to drive a climate-smart circular economy.

COIL’s Climate and Circularity Solutions Hub collaborators and advisors include: 10C Shared Space, Anthesis Provision, Arrell Food Institute at University of Guelph, CSA Group, David Suzuki Foundation, Innovation Guelph, Innovation North, Ivey Business School – Centre for Building Sustainable Value, Network for Business Sustainability and Our Food Future.

Funding for initial Hub programming and research was provided by corporate supporters, such as Desjardins and Maple Leaf Foods. Circular Opportunity Innovation Launchpad (COIL) is reliant on generous contributions from funders; if interested in helping us further our circular economy goals, then please contact us at [email protected].

About Circular Opportunity Innovation Launchpad (COIL)

Launched in April 2021, with $5 million in funding from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, COIL is an innovation platform and activation network focused on creating, proving and scaling transformative solutions across all sectors – starting with food and environment – in southern Ontario that will move Canada toward a more sustainable, circular economy. Circular Opportunity Innovation Launchpad (COIL) is a sister initiative to the flagship, Our Food Future – both led by the Smart Cities Office, a joint local government project of City of Guelph and County of Wellington. Funding for COIL program participants is provided in collaboration with 10C’s Harvest Impact Fund, a social-finance initiative that supports impactful projects to strengthen local communities.

Media contact

David Messer

Executive Director
Smart Cities Office, City of Guelph
226-820-6433
[email protected]