The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development challenges all stakeholders to better integrate social, economic and environmental considerations into their work, adopting holistic approaches that leave no one behind and respect planetary boundaries. For the international development and humanitarian sectors, this reality challenges organizations to move beyond social and economic dimensions of sustainable development to integrate environmental and climate change considerations into their work. While programming in these sectors has advanced to focus on adaptation and mitigation, there has been less emphasis on the environmental consequences of daily operations.

Some civil society organizations (CSOs) are promoting change in the sector through tools such as WWF’s Living Planet @ Work initiative. Yet, the extent to which Canadian CSOs in the international development and humanitarian sectors are using such tools and policy frameworks for environmentally conscious decision-making is unclear. As such, there is a need to challenge organizations with respect to greening their operations and committing to good practices.

In partnership with the David Suzuki Foundation, the Canadian Coalition on Climate Change and Development (C4D), the Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFGB), Aga Khan Foundation Canada (AKFC), the Atlantic Council for International Cooperation (ACIC), the Centre d’étude et de coopération internationale (CECI), and Adventist Development and Relief Agency in Canada (ADRA Canada), Cooperation Canada supported a research and practice initiative to support CSOs in the international development and humanitarian sectors in Canada to emerge as global leaders in environmental mainstreaming and climate conscious operations.


The Initiative  

Over 2020, Cooperation Canada worked to raise awareness among Canadian CSOs about environmental mainstreaming and climate conscious operations, identified and documented CSO experiences in this sphere, and consulted Canadian CSOs on the barriers and opportunities for engaging in green operations. In addition to member engagement and data collection through surveys, focus groups and peer learning, Cooperation Canada documented good practice case studies and developed a repository of greening tools to support the sector. The impact of COVID-19 on the sector has shown that Canadian CSOs are prepared to innovate in the face of crisis, with many lessons also emerging from greener operations in difficult times that this study captured  

Research Team

Shannon Kindornay | Director, Research, Policy and Practice, Cooperation Canada  

Shannon has worked at the research-policy nexus in international development for ten years. She has built a successful independent consultancy business dedicated to meeting the research and policy analysis needs of Canadian and global civil society organizations, as well as international institutions such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Shannon is also an Adjunct Research Professor at Carleton University’s Norman Paterson School of International Affairs and previously worked as a Senior Analyst for the Canadian International Development Platform.  Shannon began her career as a researcher at the North-South Institute (NSI). During her time at NSI, Shannon led the development of the organization’s portfolio on the role of the private sector in development, managed policy-oriented research partnerships with organizations in Canada and globally, and produced numerous reports, peer reviewed publications and commentaries on a range of policy issues. Shannon holds degrees from Carleton University and Wilfrid Laurier University. 


Arianna Abdelnaiem | Former Research Assistant, Research, Policy and Practice, Cooperation Canada  

Arianna has a background in conflict studies, labour rights and community engagement. Prior to joining Cooperation Canada, she worked in municipal government and in consulting geared towards stakeholder and indigenous community engagement, and information managementArianna worked with the University of Ottawa as a research associate during which time she designed, led, and supervised a research group geared towards networks for reconciliation, peace and development related to human rights and conflict resolution. Arianna has experience in Quito, Ecuador where she volunteered with working children in a marginalized area. Arianna has also worked with the Federal Government carrying out research and policy support related to labour rights, working children and the developing world. Arianna holds a Bachelor’s in Public Affairs and Policy Management from Carleton University and a Master’s in Conflict Studies from the University of Ottawa. 


Luiana Temba | Research Intern, Research, Policy and Practice, Cooperation Canada  

Luiana holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and is currently enrolled in a master’s degree in Management and Sustainable Development at HEC Montréal. Prior to returning to school, she worked on international development projects in Kenya and Tanzania, her birth country. Luiana worked with UNESCO Tanzania, providing assistance in implementing a community radio development project which lead her to work in close collaboration with over twenty radio practitioners from rural Tanzania and Zanzibar. Her work also included providing support in organizing interventions on freedom of speech, access to information and safety of journalists. Luiana then joined the Women’s Worldwide Web, Europe’s first crowdfunding platform dedicated to women’s empowerment. She coordinated a joint project with Voices of Hope, a Maasai-led charity, to increase Maasai women’s IT and entrepreneurial skills in South Kenya during which she successfully created and implemented an individualized e-mentoring program in soft skills, allowing 30 students to improve their skills through written and online exchanges with a mentor.

Advisory Committee
An Advisory committee has been established to provide strategic direction on the research, including recommendations on the analytical focus, research approach, stakeholder engagement and knowledge sharing opportunities. Committee members are listed below. 


Maman M. Bachir 

Bachir is a Project Manager, at Centre de coopération internationale en santé et développement (CCISD). As a water resources and environmental engineer, with interests in environmental impact assessment, inter-sectoral planning of environmental risk management, adaptation and mitigation measures for climate change impacts, green growth and sustainable development, water supply and sanitation. With more than 12 years of experience both in international development, public and  private sectors, Bachir has assisted in  planning, designing and management of water resources and environmental projects, provided advice and support to authorities in policy and decision making to enhance safe and equitable exploitation of water and environmental resources, integrated water management, and building of community-based resilience capacities from man-made and natural disaster through design and implementation of disaster management and risk reduction frameworks. Bachir is highly experienced in statistical analysis and stochastic modeling of hydrological extremes, extreme value analysis, groundwater and surface water interactions, pollution control, irrigation design and management.   


Altaf Bhulji  

Altaf is Senior Manager of Operations at Aga Khan Foundation Canada, where he oversees property and asset management, building operations and event logistics. Altaf has a professional background in accounting and has transitioned from hotel operations to construction and building operations at AKFC in 2009. Altaf’s focus over the past 12 years has been on built environment and operations, more specifically large-scale construction projects ranging between $50 and 75 million. He manages multiple properties across Canada with a particular emphasis on retrofitting and lifecycle asset planning with the ultimate aim of modernizing buildings with an environmental focus. 


Stephen Cornish 

Stephen is Chief Executive Officer at the David Suzuki Foundation. He is an expert in crisis management, organization leadership, and international negotiations. He was formerly executive director of Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders Canada. Stephen has a Bachelor of Arts High Honours from Carleton University and a Master’s degree in global risk and crisis management from Université Paris-Sorbonne. Stephen is currently a board member of Youth Challenge International, an honorary board member of Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, and is fluent in English, French and Spanish.  


Denis Côté 

Denis Côté has been a policy analyst at Association québécoise des organismes de coopération internationale (AQOCI) since 2015. He has been leading the environmental community of practice within the network since 2016 and is currently coordinating the process of developing AQOCI’s first environmental policy. He participated in the two most recent Conferences of the Parties (COPs) in Katowice and Madrid, and is part of the coordinating committee of the Collectif de la société québécoise at COP26. He also works in various coalitions on issues related to international solidarity, climate justice, human rights, women’s rights and gender equality, and corporate accountability, among others. From 2009 to 2015, he was the Coordinator of the Asia-Pacific Working Group (APWG) at Cooperation Canada (then CCIC). He completed a master’s degree in Political Science at the Université de Montréal in 2010. 


Carol Devine  

Carol Devine is Humanitarian Affairs Advisor with Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Canada. She co-leads a project on climate, environment and health for MSF and its Climate-Smart MSF Project supported by MSF’s Transformational Investment Capacity. She has contributed to the 2019 and 2018 Lancet Countdown: Tracking Progress on Health and Climate Change and spoken in MSF and externally on climate environment and sustainability in humanitarian action. Carol has worked with MSF in Rwanda, East Timor, Peru and South Sudan as humanitarian advisor and was the Canadian liaison for MSF’s Access to Essential Medicines Campaign. She is a Community Scholar at the Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research at York University. 


Janelle Frail 

Janelle (she/her pronouns) has worked for the Atlantic Council for International Cooperation (ACIC) since 2011 on various projects and is currently the Training and Development Officer. She’s been a keen champion for the environment her whole life and is happy to support ACIC’s members and partners throughout the Atlantic some of which are environmental non-profits. Janelle has also worked for various environmental non-profits in both Mi’kmaki (Nova Scotia) and Guatemala in the past. She’s a volunteer with the Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Solidarity Network and the local foodbank. She lives in the countryside with her partner, furkids, and flower and vegetable gardens.  


Al-Nasir Hamir 

Al-Nasir is a Program Manager at Aga Khan Foundation Canada, where he oversees Economic Inclusion programs and serves as the organization’s Environment and Climate Change Focal Point. Prior to joining AKFC, Al-Nasir worked with Aga Khan Foundation in operational and programmatic roles, in Geneva, Switzerland and in Mozambique. Al-Nasir also has a professional background in global energy markets analysis, infrastructure finance and political risk analysis. He holds a Bachelor of Science from Queen’s University, with concentrations in Biology and Physical Geography, and an MA in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. 


Naomi Johnson 

Naomi is Senior Policy Advisor at the Canadian Foodgrains Bank and co-chair of the Canadian Coalition on Climate Change and Development (C4D). She specializes in climate finance and food security and strives to increase support for adaptation to those most vulnerable. Naomi has previously worked in public engagement, she has contributed to projects improving socio-economic conditions in northern Manitoba and Nunavut, and has conducted research on food security in Vietnam and Nepal. 


Steve Matthews

Steve is the Executive Director of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency in Canada (ADRA Canada). Steve is also a board member and on the executive committee of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. He is an Environmental Engineer, Project Management Professional and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Associate who worked in the building industry from 2002 to 2018 prior to entering the humanitarian aid and development sector. Steve has led numerous construction projects during his career in retail/commercial and institutional sectors, including LEED Certified and LEED Silver projects. Steve attended the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, NB where he earned a Bachelor of Science with a major in Biology in 1999. Following this, he obtained a degree in Environmental Engineering from Dalhousie University in Halifax, NS in 2002.


Dr. Emmanuel Raufflet 

Emmanuel (Ph.D. Management, McGill University) is a Professor of Management at HEC Montréal. His research focuses on social innovation, sustainable development and circular economy. He has been a guest professor in several universities and business schools internationally. He has led research projects related to energy, sustainability and social acceptability, and circular economy with public, private and non-profit organisations.  He has published and coedited 8 books, has authored more than 50 chapters, 30 articles, and 30 teaching cases. He is the director of the Graduate Degree and Masters’ in Management and Sustainable Development at HEC Montréal. In 2018-2019, he is serving as academic director of the IEDDEC (Institut EnvironnementDéveloppement durable et Économie Circulaire), a joint research center between École Polytechnique, Université de Montréal and HEC Montréal.  


Laura Wiebe 

Laura Wiebe is the Sustainability Specialist for the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation (MCIC). In her role she engages with the public, private sector and governments to encourage, support and enhance global citizenship actions of Manitobans that support the Sustainable Development Goals; she is also the lead on the Fair Trade Manitoba program. Throughout various roles in the hospitality and tourism industry Laura has been involved in encouraging sustainable business operations and enjoys the challenges of sustainable operations problem-solving. Most recently, Laura came to MCIC after teaching post-secondary classes at Red River College. Laura holds a Certificate in Adult Education from Red River College, 4-year Bachelor of Arts – Advanced with a major in anthropology and minor in sociology from the University of Manitoba and a Master of Environmental Studies in Geography – Tourism Policy and Planning from the University of Waterloo. International social human development is a stronghold priority for her. 


Amélie St-Amant-Ringuette 

With a Master’s degree in Environmental Management from the Université de Sherbrooke, Amélie has been CECI’s project manager in environment and adaptation to climate change since 2017. She has managed several projects in Haiti and provides technical support to various projects in Asia and Africa in terms of environmental aspects. She participates in several thematic environmental networks and provides leadership to CECI in the implementation of its sustainable development policy. From 2010 to 2017, she accumulated several field experiences in West Africa, notably in Burkina Faso where she worked for Oxfam-Québec and the Solidarity Committee of Trois-Rivières for nearly 5 years. She is particularly interested in the participatory management of natural resources, the adaptation of populations to climate change and the improvement of resilience. 

Outcomes from this project 

  • Series of good practice case studies  
  • Policy brief on barriers and opportunities for greener operations, including with respect to engagement with Global Affairs Canada  
  • Repository of greening tools and resources 
  • Series of virtual events throughout 2020 
  • Final report on the current state of play, barriers and opportunities for progress 
  • Strategic engagement with GAC throughout, on challenges and issues raised 


One of the first steps in this research endeavour was to create a repository of greening tools and resources to support the sector.

Take a peek below at Cooperation Canada’s repository of tools and resources to start your organization’s journey to greener operations.

Our much-anticipated repository

State of Play: Survey findings from the sector

Click image to view PDF


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