Environment Funders Canada (formerly CEGN) has commissioned in-depth research on evolving themes, including making our cities more sustainable and using the issue of human health to begin a dialogue about environmental concerns.

Building Canada’s Low Carbon Future: Opportunities for the Philanthropic Sector

We are at a precarious moment in history. Climate change risks and impacts have never been more clear, and the need for action has never been more pressing. With the support of the Trottier Family Foundation, EFC engaged Dunsky Energy Consulting to update its 2015 report, En Route to a Low Carbon Future, and extend our thinking around the critical role of the philanthropic sector in accelerating climate action and low carbon transition in Canada. This new report, Building Canada’s Low Carbon Future: Opportunities for the Philanthropic Sector, provides an overview of the major gaps and opportunities for action across all sectors of Canada’s economy, as well as cross-cutting measures to enable systemic change. It concludes with recommendations on the path forward for the philanthropic sector, and with a series of blue-sky ideas from interviewees that could unlock transformational change.

Read the full report


Leveraging Technology for a Healthy Planet: Opportunities for Philanthropists and Investors

We are at an unprecedented environmental tipping point. Climate change, species decline, the accumulation of plastics in our oceans, and other environmental challenges are of broader and deeper concern than ever before. At the same time, technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, and mobile applications can identify, analyze and even solve environmental problems. With generous support from the RBC Foundation, EFC engaged the Academy of Sustainable Innovation to produce a report to help the philanthropic sector better understand and explore the potential of existing and emerging technologies in addressing environmental challenges, and the opportunities to support these advances with grant-making, investment in private sector companies and funds, and through other means. 

Read the full report (English PDF)

Rapport en français (PDF)

Responsible Investing

The State of Responsible Investing at Canadian Foundations: Opportunities Abound

The objective of this report is to illustrate how philanthropic funders are currently using their endowments to support a sustainable future for Canada, what they see as challenges and opportunities going forward, and how the Canadian Environmental Grantmakers’ Network can support them.

Read the full report (PDF)

Read the Executive Summary (PDF)

Advancing a Sustainable Future: A Profile of Environmental Philanthropy: 2016 Data Update

The latest report in our series on environmental grantmaking in Canada looks at trends in environmental grantmaking in Canada, including issues receiving funding, trends in grant size and distribution, and regional differences in support for environmental issues.

Read the report
Read the French translation of the executive summary (Résumé en français)

Profile reports for previous years.


En Route to a Low-Carbon Future

What is the role for philanthropy in advancing a low carbon future for Canada? In the spring of 2015, CEGN commissioned Dunsky Energy Consulting to look at this question. More than 40 thought leaders were interviewed and the ensuing report provides guidance for funders as to where their energies and financial support might best be deployed to support the continued development of a low carbon future.


Growing Environmental Philanthropy in Atlantic Canada

Concerned about the low levels of environmental philanthropy in Atlantic Canada, a number of CEGN members joined together to support research to tap the obstacles and opportunities to increasing funding in the region. Jamie Gamble authored the report titled “Growing Environmental Philanthropy in Atlantic Canada” which was based on a number of interviews with funders in the region.

To help boost environmental philanthropy in Atlantic Canada, CEGN has produced an online map of nonprofit organizations working to protect Atlantic Canada’s environment.

To view a webinar discussion of the report, click here.

The Future of Freshwater Funding in Canada: Mobilizing Collective Resources for Healthy Watersheds

Commissioned by the Canadian Environmental Grantmakers’ Network (CEGN) and authored by Tim Morris, this report looks at trends in grantmaking around freshwater protection and how funders can work more collaboratively to increase impact. There is also an eight-page summary of the report.

Low res PDF| High res. PDF| Report summary

Sustainable Cities: The role of philanthropy in promoting urban sustainability

Commissioned by the Canadian Environmental Grantmakers’ Network (CEGN) and authored by Ray Tomalty, this report outlines some of the key issues related to urban sustainability in Canada, profiles some of the promising approaches, and explores various roles that the philanthropic community could play in moving communities forward in this field.

Executive summary

Full report (PDF)

Gut level environmentalism: Health as a Driver of Environmental Progress

Authored by Bruce Lourie and Rick Smith, this report speaks to the fact that the gut-level human imperative to protect one’s health and the health of one’s family is a powerful motivator for environmental progress. Further, the true potential of substantiating and leveraging this impulse has yet to be fully realized by the environmental or philanthropic communities. The report will be a useful tool for funders who want to explore engagement in the field of environmental health.

Executive summary

Full report (PDF)