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Canadian Climate Pledge

CPCCC Logo

CPCCC Implementation Report, March 2023

In November 2021, the Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough signed the Canadian Philanthropy Commitment on Climate Change (CPCCC).

We know that climate change is already starting to affect the Peterborough area.  We also recognize that climate change is such a huge problem, that it’s hard to know where to put our efforts.  The CPCCC provides us with a framework that ensures that the Community Foundation continues to put climate change on the agenda as we work to build a vital community for everyone.

By signing the CPCCC, we pledged to take action across seven pillars and to build equity and Indigenous leadership into the process. This report is part of the learning process for staff, board, and committees alike. It is a tool for facilitating conversations, informing plans and inviting questions.

For each pillar in the Commitment, we describe the commitment and outline tangible actions we took towards the commitment in 2022.

Pillar 1: Education

We will ensure that our boards, investment committees, staff, volunteers and stakeholders are informed about the systemic causes, impacts and solutions of climate change, and the implications for our work. In Canada, we respect that Indigenous wisdom, knowledge, and acts of reciprocity are essential to our learning journey and climate justice.

Articles about climate change relevant to the Foundation’s purpose have been shared with the Board. We held a series of lunch and learns for our Board and committee members focusing on responsible investing. This learning series set the stage for changes to our Investment Policy Statement (see below).

Pillar 2: Resources

Recognizing the urgency of the situation, we will commit resources to accelerate work that addresses the root causes of climate change or adaptation to its impacts. If our governing document or other factors make it difficult to directly fund such work, we will find other ways to contribute, or consider how such barriers might be overcome. In Canada, the system in which we operate can make it prohibitive for groups closest to the work on the ground, often non-qualified donees, to obtain the resources they need. We will advocate for transformative change and identify ways to overcome philanthropic and systemic barriers. We will work to flow funding abundantly now, and over generations, to Indigenous and equity-seeking groups

Grants to support environment based initiatives or climate action in 2022: $58,000

We also launched a Climate Action Fund and raised the first $2,500 to be used for a climate action initiative in 2023.

Pillar 3: Integration

Within the design and implementation of our programs, we will seek opportunities to contribute to a fair and lasting transition to a net zero world, and to support adaptation to climate change impacts, especially in the most affected communities. In Canada, we will work to equip grantees, applicants, Boards, and staff to consider the many ways in which climate change impacts and intersects with the priority issues and program areas in which we grant. We recognize the multifaceted climate solutions that are grounded in Indigenous wisdom, ecological science, and leadership.

All board & committee meetings were held virtually in 2022. While this practice arose in response to the pandemic, the fact that a dozen people don’t have to drive to and from meetings is a small contribution to a net zero community.

Pillar 4: Endowment and Assets

We will consider climate change in relation to the source and management of our operational and any endowed funds. We will seek to align our investment strategy and its implementation with a rapid and just transition to a net zero economy. In Canada, we will take action embedded in science and use our voice as holders of capital to help shift corporate and regulatory behavior.

The Foundation’s board approved a new Investment Policy in 2022. It explicitly states as one of its aspirations that “We believe that our investment objectives are also best met, and our mission truly achieved, if they are consistent with a goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2025, consistent with the Paris Climate Accord.” Furthermore, it asserts that the Foundation will adhere to active stewardship and investment practices that are aligned with the United Nations Global Compact on Human Rights and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples throughout the World, with a particular focus on reconciliation and respect for the rights of First Peoples in Canada.

Pillar 5: Operations

We will take ambitious action to minimize the climate impact of our own operations, which may include for example travel, buildings and procurement. In Canada, we will also encourage our grantees and peers to consider how their work impacts climate change

Commuting to work is probably the biggest climate impact our day to day operations make.  The one staff member who works in the office also lives nearby and walks to work every day. We enjoyed the opportunity to take part in conferences and meetings virtually in 2020 and 2021 and are disappointed that the much heralded “new normal” doesn’t include more virtual options. While we understand the desire for in person social interaction, we continue to advocate for hybrid options as a way of reducing the need to travel for work and improving accessibility for everyone.

Pillar 6: Influence and Advocacy

We will seek opportunities to work with others, to amplify the voices of frontline communities, and to encourage and support more ambitious action on climate change by our key stakeholders, partners and audiences; these may include businesses, local or national governments, multilateral organizations, donors and funders, individuals or civil society movements. In Canada, we know that philanthropic actors can influence and advocate to advance priorities within the bounds of their charitable status. As allies, we will work to support and uphold Indigenous rights as outlined in UNDRIP, reconciliation, and Indigenous initiatives that protect all living beings, land, water, and air.

As we grow in confidence in our Commitment on Climate Change, we hope to find ways of telling our story and of better amplifying the work of others doing important work in this area.

Pillar 7: Transparency

We will collect and publish information annually on the actions we have taken against the six pillars listed above to share our progress and identify areas for improvement. We will continue to develop our practice, to collaborate, and to learn from each other. In Canada, we will share information on our progress annually via the Canadian Philanthropy Commitment on Climate Change reporting tools so that we can be transparent and held accountable by our peers, our partners and ultimately the public. We will aim to increase our ambition year-over-year with support from the Commitment team. We will seek guidance and heed wisdom from Indigenous and other equity seeking groups to ensure our actions are robust and impactful.

We attended several of CPCCC’s online events in 2022, and began making connections with the signatories. This report will be published on our website to begin our public expression of the pledge to stakeholders in our community.

Equity and Indigenous leadership in climate action

The CPCCC also requires a commitment to supporting equity and indigenous leadership in climate action and we have taken steps in this direction.

The Foundation’s discretionary grant program focused on support for equity-seeking people. A participatory grantmaking process was used to make funding decisions and Indigenous-led organizations were a key part of the granting circle.  We continue to build relationships with local Indigenous-led groups over virtual cups of tea.

Reports (click to download):

Year 1: Canadian Philanthropic Commitment on Climate Change (CPCCC)