Impact Report 2021-22
Helping grow the clean economy
The clean economy is in a period of exponential growth. Here at Clean Foundation, we work to support that growth and strive to help make the move to a cleaner future both inclusive and accessible. We do this by collaborating with community members, government, stakeholders, Indigenous community groups and visible minority groups to help educate, encourage, and empower everyday Nova Scotians and Canadians alike to become climate champions. Whether we are focused on combatting sea level erosion or coastal restoration, helping employers create career opportunities for youth in the clean economy, empowering and expanding the youngest minds through climate action education, making clean energy sector careers accessible for historically marginalized and underserved communities, or helping Nova Scotians to make the switch to zero emission vehicles by driving electric, our team is committed to making life cleaner for all.
Click the buttons below to learn how each of our teams worked to strengthen the clean economy and make impacts to address climate change during the 2021/22 year.
“We’re excited to continue down this path and encourage everyone to join us on this vital journey. Together we will make real progress for a cleaner and brighter future.”
– President & CEO, Scott Skinner
Empowering communities to protect vital shoreland
“It’s important to have Elders involved in the work we do,” says Christian Francis, Coastal Restoration Project Manager with the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’Kmaq.
The sharing of knowledge is a key pillar of Clean Coasts work. Coastal restoration work goes deeper than strengthening ecosystems alone. Healthy saltmarshes help protect communities from storm surge and sea level rise, offset carbon and provide habitat for local wildlife.
Take, for example, Sitmu’k Beach in Pictou Landing First Nation. We worked with community members and partners to restore this culturally significant coastline.
The result? More than 185 square metres of salt marsh habitat were restored.
“It’s important to have Elders involved in the work we do.”
We did this by:
- placing 40 reef balls along the shore to capture sediment;
- removing rock from the marsh surface replacing it with clean sand;
- planting 150 bunches of saltmarsh grass to prevent erosion; and
- planting 25 bunches of sweet grass for community members to cultivate.
This restoration work, alongside continued stewardship of Sitmu’k Beach will help protect the coastline from future erosion and rising sea levels. This project was funded by Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
Education & Engagement
Inspiring environmental action at all ages
Today’s youth are preparing to live in a world where climate action is direly needed.
“As educators, we need to provide opportunities for youth to develop skills to solve real-world environmental challenges,” says Haley Guest, Manager of Clean’s Education and Engagement team.
Pairing curriculum-based learning with fun, hands-on activities and experiments, our team provides educators with resources to inspire kids to take climate change actions now and in the future.
This year, we championed Canada’s youngest climate leaders by:
- launching the YouCAN/TuPeux website, an online resource hub created to improve climate awareness and action among both youth and educators;
- designing the ‘I Wonder…’ online program to support educators during the COVID-19 pandemic as part of our hybrid model offering programs virtually and in-person;
- giving youth an opportunity to develop, create and execute climate action projects in their own communities through Clean Climate Action Grants; and
- providing professional learning workshops to help educators confidently teach climate change concepts and meet curriculum outcomes.
Those are just a few of the ways we teach youth about the environmental issues of today, covering key topics like waste and pollution, renewable energy, climate change, sustainability and more.
“As educators, we need to provide opportunities for youth to develop skills to solve real-world environmental challenges.”
Creating space in the clean economy for everyone
“I can finally say that I have a career to build on.”
The clean economy is expanding! Clean recognizes the need for an equitable transition to clean energy, while growing the clean energy workforce.
The Clean Energy Professionals Trainee Pilot Program launched in 2021 to provide historically marginalized and underserved community members with paid training to enter the clean energy sector.
“I can finally say that I have a career to build on,” says Ciro Batista, program participant. “For the first time, I feel valued at work, thanks to this life-changing opportunity.”
Our six-month, hands-on training program gave knowledge of innovative and sustainable practices needed to help grow the clean economy while developing their energy careers. The program had an 80 per cent employment rate.
The Clean Energy Professionals trainee program was funded by the Province of Nova Scotia with additional funding from the Native Council of Nova Scotia.
Navigating the road to cleaner transportation
Organizations in Nova Scotia are choosing to electrify their ride.
Our Transportation team provides new electric vehicle and e-bike owners with rebates that reduce the cost of purchase through the Electrify Nova Scotia Rebate Program. Since launching in 2021, Electrify has saved residents and businesses more than $2 million, handing out 2,254* rebates.
Businesses like Cyclesmith, a local bicycle retailer located in Halifax, see Electrify as an opportunity to minimize their carbon footprint and save money.
“The (Electrify Rebate) program is very simple and makes a huge difference, it made the investment financially viable.”
“The team needed a new vehicle to help run errands and use at company events, and being in an environmentally friendly market, an EV made the most sense,” says Cyclesmith Owner, Andrew Feenstra. “The (Electrify Rebate) program is very simple and makes a huge difference, it made the investment financially viable.”
To date, 20 organizations have made a smart business decision, taking advantage of Electrify—helping improve air quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support a cleaner future for our province.
*As of March 31, 2022.
Supporting the future leaders of the clean economy
We’re seeing steady growth of the clean economy workforce. To further this growth, the inclusion of youth with diverse backgrounds and skillsets is a must. Clean’s Workforce Development team is helping to achieve this.
Our Clean Leadership Summer Internship program supports Nova Scotian employers working in the clean economy hire youth ages 15-30 with subsidized wages and employment and training support. Each year the program continues to expand and 2021 was no exception:
- More than 100 Clean Leaders were placed in internships with 62 employers—a record-high.
- Over 30 per cent of Clean Leaders identified as Indigenous or a visible minority—our most diverse cohort yet.
- Employers and youth province wide are leveraging the program—72 per cent of internships took place outside of the Halifax Regional Municipality.
Through the program, interns gain paid, practical work experience that will build their skillset for work in the clean economy.
“My experiences through the Clean Leadership Program have given me the tools and confidence to succeed in a career within our environmental community,” says name Jenna Campbell, a Clean Leader at Saint Mary’s University.
The Clean Leadership Summer Internship program is funded by the Government of Nova Scotia, with additional funding from Divert NS.
“My experiences through the Clean Leadership Program have given me the tools and confidence to succeed in a career within our environmental community.”