Explore the ESG strategies and impact projects we are currently working on throughout North America
ESG IN COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE
Leading the discovery, development, and implementation of an ESG strategy for one of the largest commercial real estate companies in North America.
The Context: ESG (environmental, social, governance) is used as a framework to assess how a commercial real estate portfolio manages risks and opportunities that shifting market and non-market conditions create. These shifts include changes to environmental systems, social systems, and economic systems – all of which impact the landscape buildings are operated in. There are also unique opportunities for commercial real estate to become a powerful driver for environmental and social good.
Why This Project Matters: Organizations that adopt and invest in ESG strategies can improve corporate reputation and culture, enhance risk reduction and opportunity management, and increase intrinsic value. Commercial real estate firms with sophisticated ESG strategies can increase asset value, lower operating costs, and unlock sustainable financing opportunities. We are digging into ESG offerings to Clients, relationship to land and Indigenous Peoples, gender equity, and career pipelines into the industry for underrepresented groups.
What We Are Doing: Leading a company wide ESG Strategy team, materiality assessment, values discovery, risk assessments, industry comparative analysis, ESG assessments, research, employee resource groups, delivering education, communication strategies and brand archetypes, internal and external ESG alignment, investment strategy.
Completion Date: 2023
IMPACT PROJECT: ETHICAL STORYTELLING IN DOCUMENTARIES
Creating Canada’s first ethical storytelling approach in documentaries involving marginalized populations.
Why This Project Matters: Stories are an incredibly important component of sharing and developing the history of humanity. We believe in treating the stories of marginalized folks and nuanced topics with great care, especially in public focused communication. Exploitive storytelling damages people, communities, movements, and brands. Working with a female led film company, we are developing ethical storytelling approaches that create effective, safe, and dignified stories.
What We Are Doing: Conducting a Risk Assessment, developing trauma informed approaches to interviews, developing an ethical storytelling approach and policies.
Completion Date: 2023
Learn more about our ethical storytelling services here.
IMPACT PROJECT: EMPLOYMENT EQUITY IN TECH
Developing safe, equitable pipelines into the tech industry for historically under-represented groups.
The Context: The technology industry in North America is valued in the trillions, creating solutions and jobs in manufacturing of electronics, creation of software, computers, or products and services relating to information technology. But does everyone have equitable access to be part of the tech economy? 68% of leaders in major tech companies report a lack of diversity in their workforce, in particular, women/trans/non-binary folk, people of color, and those with diverse abilities/disabilities.
Why This Project Matters: We are supporting the development of the first and second version of a pilot project creating pathways for individuals who have experienced gender-based violence to access equitable and economically independent roles in a major tech company, with a specialized focus on accessibility, and trauma-informed practice.
What We Are Doing: Development of program model, equitable hiring processes, on/off ramp training, job placement assessments, Lived Experience advisory board, professional coaching and psycho-social support for participants, trauma informed workplace training, project analysis and third-party evaluation, specialized development with candidates in appreciative failure, workplace boundaries, assertive communication, engaging personal power, and negotiation.
Completion Date: 2023
IMPACT PROJECTS: DE-COLONIZING PRACTICE IN INDUSTRY
Challenging industry through Indigenous-led land based approaches to prevent violence.
The Context: Industry, including work camps in remote communities, have been shown to increase violence against women, children, trans, non-binary, two spirit folks, and tokenize Indigenous contributions and leadership, which creates fractions in culture and land based approaches to Indigenous ways of being and living.
Why This Project Matters: Acting as a secondary partner to Indigenous-led leadership, this project invests in Indigenous youth to play a role in establishing community-led responses to ending violence and fostering cultural reclamation in two communities (Terrace and Victoria), in partnership with Indigenous knowledge keepers and Elders.
What We Are Doing: Creating and delivering education, supporting lived experience inclusion, facilitating Learning Labs in multiple cities, coordinating Indigenous cultural practice and knowledge keepers from across Turtle Island, supporting the development of creative education projects, and relationships with oil and gas stakeholders.
Completion Date: 2023
RESEARCH: AN ETHICAL APPROACH TO CSR STORYTELLING
Establishing brand new approaches to storytelling in Corporate Social Responsibility that protects people and creates great stories.
The Context: Social responsibility and shared value projects are becoming more common in the North American business landscape, yet lack an ethical structure for the telling of those project stories. Beneficiaries of CSR projects have experienced their stories exploited, a lack of supportive structures, trauma pornography narratives, and much more, result in long term negative consequences.
Why This Project Matters: We have initiated and are conducting the first research into ethical storytelling, to raise up a new standard of storytelling that is powerful and effective. Oh, and it won a Business for Social Good Grant from the UBC Sauder School of Business.
What We Are Doing: Selected foci, clarified theories, identified research questions, collecting data (ethics review, qualitative interviews and focus groups with business leaders/participants in CSR projects, and A/B testing), analyzing data, reporting results in peer reviewed publications, in partnership with Dr. Darren Dahl
Completion Date: 2023
IMPACT PROJECT: ALTERNATIVES TO CRIMINAL ENFORCEMENT
Innovating a new response to community safety in municipalities that prioritizes people and decreases negative institutional interactions.
The Context: In every community, members come from all walks of life. Municipalities deliver services to maintain public safety, to educate the public on regulatory rules, conduct inspections, mediate between members of the public, and leverage voluntary compliance. For marginalized populations who may have regular interactions, specialized approaches from municipal teams must be engaged to invest in health and wellbeing.
Why This Project Matters: Municipalities are responsible to support community safety, yet historically marginalized populations (such as those facing housing insecurity, untreated mental health concerns, and substance misuse) have experienced approaches that can result in victimization and criminalization. We are developing the first pilot model with a large municipality where enforcement professionals are paired with social service direct support, using a people-first model that balances community safety with human dignity.
What We Are Doing: Contributing to the development of the program model, sensitive and equitable approaches including trauma informed practice, de-colonizing practice, and cultural safety, designing staff training.
Completion Date: 2022
IMPACT PROJECT: RESTORATIVE JUSTICE FOR SURVIVORS OF MODERN DAY SLAVERY
Creating alternative and meaningful pathways to healing and justice through Canada’s first, comprehensive restorative justice process for Survivors of modern day slavery and human trafficking
The Context: Restorative Justice (a process rooted in Indigenous peacemaking) is used across Canada in the criminal justice system to address the harm caused by a crime using restorative focused practices. Due to the intense nature and often psychopathic level of abuse, severe crimes, such as human trafficking, Canada lacks a safe structure in which to facilitate the process for Survivors
Why This Project Matters: In Canada, there are criminal and civil processes Survivors can engage in to pursue justice. However, they lack a protective, victim-centred approach that rarely results in healing the larger impacts, including communities, culture, and relationships. This project aims to discover how to overcome systemic barriers, engage lived experience to guide the process, and offer new pathways to justice that heal the larger circles of life after trafficking.
What We Are Doing: Developing a four year comprehensive, Canada-wide project in partnership with over 30 different collaborators and the RCMP, engaging a collaborative design through Indigenous-led approaches., lived experience inclusion We are currently raising capital for this project.
Completion Date: 2026
RESEARCH: INVESTIGATING ROOT CAUSES OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING
Leading Canada’s first participatory, leadership capacity building research projects with those with the lived experience of violence, exploitation, and human trafficking to investigate preventative root causes.
The Context: Canada’s response to supporting those with lived experience of modern slavery is in its infancy. There is a push towards Survivor-led approaches to ensure services are appropriate. However, there is limited work evaluating the root causes that could lead to a stronger preventative focus. This results in a large burden for those with lived experience to have to “fix” the systems designed to help them.
Why This Project Matters: This project uses a unique participatory design that centers the Survivor experience, challenges organizations across multiple sectors to improve service access, pushes past victim-blaming, post-abuse approaches and instead focuses on societal root causes that can lead to effective prevention strategies.
What We Are Doing: Leading a Canada-wide research project using a participatory model in partnership with The Salvation Army Illuminate, including research design, ethical storytelling policies, literature review, lived experience stakeholder advisory and practicums, trauma informed research questions, collecting and analyzing data (ethics review, qualitative interviews and survey), reporting results and hosting learning circles across Canada
Completion Date: 2022
Subject Matter Expertise
Providing SME input to multiple organizations, including a National Centre and International Education Institute
Education & Training
Providing customized education and training for corporations, national labour movements and racial justice advocates, post secondary institutions, and Indigenous communities
Consulting on a multi-year employment equity and inclusion project for marginalized populations in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)