The mission of the Evergreen Foundation is to inspire, educate and enable action to green cities.
Focus: Sustainable Cities, Urban Infrastructure, Environment,
Geographic Area of Impact: Global
Model: Hybrid Non-Profit
Number of Direct Beneficiaries: 3.5 Million (2011)
Annual Budget: US$ 12 million (2012)
Percentage Earned Revenue: 30%
Recognition: Social Entrepreneur of the Year, Canada, 2007
With issues such as urban planning, community health, climate change and environmental sustainability at the forefront of public concern and international debate, the need for Evergreen’s work has never been stronger. Evergreen aligns and leverages significant resources from private, public and non-profit organizations to address urban environmental issues and promote widespread action at the community level to address problems of urban design. Working in collaboration with the broader community, Evergreen takes a holistic approach to the re-invention, design and management of cities, and believes natural systems are required to inform the design of green spaces, buildings, transportation, energy, waste and water systems.
Innovation and Activities
Evergreen operates as both a charity and hybrid non-profit venture. Since its inception in 1990, it has partnered with over 700 urban projects and 4,500 school projects, directly reaching more than 3 million people.
Evergreen is a recognized international leader in the green/sustainable city movement, in large part because its community partnerships enable it to effectively measure up to the scale of its ambitions. One of its recent initiatives is the Evergreen Brick Works project, which will redevelop a 17-hectare former industrial site in Toronto into an international centre of excellence for green cities. The centre will feature: large-scale exhibits; conference facilities; Cisco enabled tele-presence meeting facilities; education programmes; a local farmers’ market; and a range of programmes focused on sustainable building design and urban issues, youth leadership and children’s camps, creative arts, and youth-at-risk job training.
Evergreen’s core strength is facilitating community partnerships and convening leaders to support action to green cities. It has an eight-person management team and 110 member staff, consisting of urban planners, architects, researchers, facilitators, educators, ecologists, and marketing and finance professionals. Together they have built an effective and replicable model to forge community, government and corporate partnerships for change in cities globally.
Geoffrey Cape, the founder and leader of Evergreen, has spent more than 23 years building a supportive culture of innovation that is well recognized and attracts talent. He is a past recipient of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 Award and numerous others, due to his success as a leader in urban innovation.