David Suzuki Foundation
The David Suzuki Foundation is an environmental organization
Environmental organization
An environmental organization is an organization that seeks to protect, analyze or monitor the environment against misuse or degradation or lobby for these goals....

 based in Vancouver
Vancouver is a coastal seaport city on the mainland of British Columbia, Canada. It is the hub of Greater Vancouver, which, with over 2.3 million residents, is the third most populous metropolitan area in the country,...

, British Columbia
British Columbia
British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu . Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858...

, Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 It is a non-profit organization
Non-profit organization
Nonprofit organization is neither a legal nor technical definition but generally refers to an organization that uses surplus revenues to achieve its goals, rather than distributing them as profit or dividends...

 that is incorporated in both Canada and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, and is funded by over 40,000 donors. The Foundation describes its goal as to:
Work towards balancing human needs with the Earth's ability to sustain all life. Our goal is to find and communicate practical ways to achieve that balance.

Its origins lie in a 1989 "think-tank" retreat on Pender Island
Pender Island
Pender Island is one of the Southern Gulf Islands located in the Gulf of Georgia, British Columbia, Canada. Pender Island is approximately in area and is home to about 2,500 permanent residents, as well as a large seasonal population...

, British Columbia
British Columbia
British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu . Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858...

 that was organized by David Suzuki
David Suzuki
David Suzuki, CC, OBC is a Canadian academic, science broadcaster and environmental activist. Suzuki earned a Ph.D in zoology from the University of Chicago in 1961, and was a professor in the genetics department of the University of British Columbia from 1963 until his retirement in 2001...

 and Tara Cullis. A dozen concerned individuals were invited, and inspired by those discussions the Foundation was incorporated on September 14, 1990. It officially opened its doors on January 1, 1991. It is a federally registered Canadian charity
Charitable organization
A charitable organization is a type of non-profit organization . It differs from other types of NPOs in that it centers on philanthropic goals A charitable organization is a type of non-profit organization (NPO). It differs from other types of NPOs in that it centers on philanthropic goals A...

 supported entirely by Foundation grants and donations. It does not accept any government funding, except from the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. It is also not a funding body for other organizations. Currently the Foundation employs roughly fifty staff members. The Foundation's CEO is Peter Robinson, formerly the head of Mountain Equipment Co-op
Mountain Equipment Co-op
Mountain Equipment Co-op is a Canadian consumers' cooperative, which sells outdoor recreation gear and clothing to its members exclusively. MEC is notable for its commitment to environmental protection and other causes. As a co-op, MEC sells only to customers who hold a lifetime membership, which...

 and BC Housing.


The Foundation focuses its work on the following four program areas:
  • Oceans and sustainable fishing,
  • Climate change
    Climate change
    Climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. It may be a change in average weather conditions or the distribution of events around that average...

     and clean energy
    Renewable energy
    Renewable energy is energy which comes from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, and geothermal heat, which are renewable . About 16% of global final energy consumption comes from renewables, with 10% coming from traditional biomass, which is mainly used for heating, and 3.4% from...

  • Sustainability
    Sustainability is the capacity to endure. For humans, sustainability is the long-term maintenance of well being, which has environmental, economic, and social dimensions, and encompasses the concept of union, an interdependent relationship and mutual responsible position with all living and non...

    , and
  • the Nature Challenge

As part of its work the Foundation publishes newsletters, scientific studies, research reports, books, information kits, brochures, and news releases. It also has two ongoing programs to help reach its goals, the first is the Nature Challenge and the second is Sustainability Within A Generation.

David Suzuki's Nature Challenge

As a mechanism to promote public awareness and action with regard to the Foundation's four focuses, the Foundation created the Nature Challenge program. In consultation with the Union of Concerned Scientists
Union of Concerned Scientists
The Union of Concerned Scientists is a nonprofit science advocacy group based in the United States. The UCS membership includes many private citizens in addition to professional scientists. James J...

 the Foundation researched the most effective ways to help conserve nature and improve our quality of life, and invited the public to embrace them in their daily lives. Their list is:
  • Reduce home energy use by 10%
  • Choose energy-efficient homes & appliances
  • Don't use pesticides
  • Eat meat-free meals one day a week
  • Buy locally grown and produced food
  • Choose a fuel-efficient vehicle
  • Walk
    WALK may refer to:*WALK , a radio station licensed to East Patchogue, New York, United States*WALK-FM, a radio station licensed to Patchogue, New York, United States...

    , bike
    A bicycle, also known as a bike, pushbike or cycle, is a human-powered, pedal-driven, single-track vehicle, having two wheels attached to a frame, one behind the other. A person who rides a bicycle is called a cyclist, or bicyclist....

    , carpool
    Carpooling , is the sharing of car journeys so that more than one person travels in a car....

     or take transit
    Public transport
    Public transport is a shared passenger transportation service which is available for use by the general public, as distinct from modes such as taxicab, car pooling or hired buses which are not shared by strangers without private arrangement.Public transport modes include buses, trolleybuses, trams...

  • Choose a home close to work or school
  • Support alternative transportation
  • Learn more and share with others

As of November 2007, over 500 000 individuals had taken David Suzuki's Nature Challenge. Many famous Canadians are taking David Suzuki's Nature Challenge, including Nelly Furtado
Nelly Furtado
Nelly Kim Furtado is a Canadian singer-songwriter, record producer and actress. Furtado grew up in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.Furtado first gained fame with her debut album, Whoa, Nelly!, and its single "I'm Like a Bird", which won a 2001 Juno Award for Single of the Year and a 2002 Grammy...

, Sam Roberts
Sam Roberts
Sam Roberts is a Juno Award-winning Canadian rock singer-songwriter, whose 2001 debut release, The Inhuman Condition, became one of the bestselling independent releases in Quebec and Canadian music history.-Life and career:...

, Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood
Margaret Eleanor Atwood, is a Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, and environmental activist. She is among the most-honoured authors of fiction in recent history; she is a winner of the Arthur C...

, Robert Munsch
Robert Munsch
Robert Norman Munsch, CM is an American-born Canadian children's author.-Personal life and career:Robert Munsch was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania...

, Larry Campbell
Larry Campbell
Larry W. Campbell was the 37th Mayor of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and is currently a member of the Canadian Senate. Starting in 1969 Campbell worked for the RCMP in Vancouver and then in 1973 as a member of the Drug Squad...

, and David Miller
David Miller (Canadian politician)
David Raymond Miller is a Canadian politician. He was the 63rd Mayor of Toronto and the second since the 1998 amalgamation. He was elected to the position in 2003 for a three-year term and re-elected in 2006 for a four-year term...


Sustainability Within a Generation

"Canada vs the OECD: An Environmental Comparison", a 2001 report published by University of Victoria
University of Victoria
The University of Victoria, often referred to as UVic, is the second oldest public research university in British Columbia, Canada. It is a research intensive university located in Saanich and Oak Bay, about northeast of downtown Victoria. The University's annual enrollment is about 20,000 students...

 Eco-Research Chair of Environmental Law and Policy Staff and authored by David R. Boyd, environmental lawyer and coauthor of the forthcoming book David Suzuki's Guide to Helping the Planet, examined 25 environmental indicators, ranks Canada 28th out of the 29 OECD nations. The foundation and Boyd created a separate report, "Sustainability within a Generation", that addresses Canada's capacities to improve sustainability
Sustainability is the capacity to endure. For humans, sustainability is the long-term maintenance of well being, which has environmental, economic, and social dimensions, and encompasses the concept of union, an interdependent relationship and mutual responsible position with all living and non...

 and environmental conservation
Conservation biology
Conservation biology is the scientific study of the nature and status of Earth's biodiversity with the aim of protecting species, their habitats, and ecosystems from excessive rates of extinction...

. The foundation believes this can be best accomplished by improving efficiency, eliminating waste
Waste is unwanted or useless materials. In biology, waste is any of the many unwanted substances or toxins that are expelled from living organisms, metabolic waste; such as urea, sweat or feces. Litter is waste which has been disposed of improperly...

 and pollution
Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into a natural environment that causes instability, disorder, harm or discomfort to the ecosystem i.e. physical systems or living organisms. Pollution can take the form of chemical substances or energy, such as noise, heat or light...

, and building sustainable cities.

In February 2004, Suzuki met with the Prime Minister of Canada
Prime Minister of Canada
The Prime Minister of Canada is the primary minister of the Crown, chairman of the Cabinet, and thus head of government for Canada, charged with advising the Canadian monarch or viceroy on the exercise of the executive powers vested in them by the constitution...

, Paul Martin
Paul Martin
Paul Edgar Philippe Martin, PC , also known as Paul Martin, Jr. is a Canadian politician who was the 21st Prime Minister of Canada, as well as leader of the Liberal Party of Canada....

, to present the Foundation's report on how sustainability could be achieved within a generation.

List of donors

During an interview on the John Oakley Show in Toronto
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A relatively modern city, Toronto's history dates back to the late-18th century, when its land was first purchased by the British monarchy from...

, Suzuki stated that his foundation is funded by ordinary people and corporations had not been interested in funding the foundation.

President of the Canadian Centre for Policy Studies Joseph C. Ben-Ami
Joseph Ben-Ami
Joseph C. Ben-Ami is the President and CEO of the Canadian Centre for Policy Studies, a conservative public policy think-tank. Before joining the Canadian Centre for Policy Studies he was the executive director of the Institute for Canadian Values . Before that he was director of Government...

, citing this statement in his article "Global Warming Charlatan" notes that the foundation's 2005-2006 annual report lists 52 corporations, including Bell Canada
Bell Canada
Bell Canada is a major Canadian telecommunications company. Including its subsidiaries such as Bell Aliant, Northwestel, Télébec, and NorthernTel, it is the incumbent local exchange carrier for telephone and DSL Internet services in most of Canada east of Manitoba and in the northern territories,...

, Toyota, IBM
International Business Machines Corporation or IBM is an American multinational technology and consulting corporation headquartered in Armonk, New York, United States. IBM manufactures and sells computer hardware and software, and it offers infrastructure, hosting and consulting services in areas...

, McGraw-Hill Ryerson, Scotia Capital, Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., also known as Warner Bros. Pictures or simply Warner Bros. , is an American producer of film and television entertainment.One of the major film studios, it is a subsidiary of Time Warner, with its headquarters in Burbank,...

, Canon and the Bank of Montreal
Bank of Montreal
The Bank of Montreal , , or BMO Financial Group, is the fourth largest bank in Canada by deposits. The Bank of Montreal was founded on June 23, 1817 by John Richardson and eight merchants in a rented house in Montreal, Quebec. On May 19, 1817 the Articles of Association were adopted, making it...

, amongst its 40,000 donors. Other corporate donors include EnCana Corporation
EnCana Corporation
Encana Corporation is one of North America's largest natural gas producers, with about 95 percent of its production being natural gas. Its strategy is to be the lowest-cost, highest-growth senior natural gas producer in North America. The company produced approximately of natural gas in 2010.The...

, a world leader in natural gas
Natural gas
Natural gas is a naturally occurring gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, typically with 0–20% higher hydrocarbons . It is found associated with other hydrocarbon fuel, in coal beds, as methane clathrates, and is an important fuel source and a major feedstock for fertilizers.Most natural...

 production and oil sands development, and ATCO Gas, Alberta
Alberta is a province of Canada. It had an estimated population of 3.7 million in 2010 making it the most populous of Canada's three prairie provinces...

’s principle distributor of natural gas, and OPG which is one of the largest suppliers of electricity in the world operating 5 fossil fuel-burning generation plants and 3 nuclear plants.

Tom Brodbeck of Sun Media
Sun Media
Sun Media Corporation is the owner of several widely read tabloid and broadsheet newspapers in Canada and the 49 percent owner of Sun News Network...

 says on the same issue that "when Suzuki criticizes other scientists for allegedly being funded by oil companies, when he himself receives funding from a natural gas distributor, I think it's a bit hypocritical."

While seen as controversial, the donations reported from these corporations in the 2005/2006 annual report were from employee giving programs and not donated (or matched) by the corporations. In more recent annual reports, these donations have been reported separately to reflect this. The David Suzuki Foundation does accept some corporate donations. However these are, Suzuki suggests, a very small part of the Foundation's operating budget. Three-quarters of the Foundation's 40,000 supporters have donated less than $500.

Political involvement

Columnist Licia Corbella of The Calgary Sun writing about Suzuki meeting with Calgary
Calgary is a city in the Province of Alberta, Canada. It is located in the south of the province, in an area of foothills and prairie, approximately east of the front ranges of the Canadian Rockies...

 elementary school students, states that the speech "was essentially urging those listening not to vote Conservative. That makes his message partisan and should exempt the David Suzuki Foundation from receiving tax deductible status."

However, Suzuki makes a distinction between what he says as an individual and what the Foundation says. For example, he has called Ottawa's plan to fight global warming a "national embarrassment" and has said of the government's energy policy: "it's not a strategy, it's a shame." He makes it clear that this is his personal opinion and has "nothing to do with [his] foundation." On the other hand, as Lloyd Alter notes in an article in Treehugger, in Canadian law, charities are permitted to comment on politics:

"Charities have wide latitude to comment on politics, provided they don't endorse parties or candidates and can devote up to 10 per cent of their resources for non-partisan political activities... this spending can be undertaken 'to influence law, policy, and public opinion on matters related to its charitable purposes.' Among the permitted activities, groups can meet with elected officials, hold conferences, workshops, lectures and rallies, and mount letter-writing campaigns about issues."

"Certainly I try very, very hard not to be partisan," Suzuki states, "but I still will criticize government for policy. I think that's the right of all people."

See also

  • List of foundations in Canada
  • West Coast Environmental Law
    West Coast Environmental Law
    West Coast Environmental Law is an environmental law and public advocacy organization based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It believes in a just and sustainable society where citizens are empowered to protect the environment and environmental protection is enshrined in law. It fulfills...

  • Environmental Dispute Resolution Fund
    Environmental Dispute Resolution Fund
    The Environmental Dispute Resolution Fund is a legal aid program based in British Columbia, Canada that provides grants to individuals, community groups and environmental organizations who need to hire legal representation to assist them in resolving an environmental problem or dispute...

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.