Author Archive

POW Canada: What We Actually Do!

Posted on: October 19th, 2020 by Protect Our Winters Canada

We’re often asked, “what does POW actually do”. Good question and first off, we know we need to do a better job of clearly communicating our mission and work. At the moment, the most effective way is to share our annual report with people, as it highlights the key accomplishments from the previous year. In 2020, we have MANY wins under our belt on a number of important policy initiatives and advocacy campaigns – stay tuned for our 2020 Annual Report. So, take a look. We think you’ll be impressed with what our community has accomplished to date and with our plans for further climate action.

POW-Canada-2019-Annual-Report

Merchants of Doubt

Posted on: September 30th, 2020 by Protect Our Winters Canada

Understanding the POWer of movements and the forces working to suppress progress is important baseline information when working for climate action. Each fall we gather our ambassadors, partners and other stakeholders for a multi-day training session to review the latest in climate science, strategy, objectives and campaigns. This year, for obvious reasons, the retreat was condensed to one day and held virtually via zoom. Although in-person is more effective and engaging, this year’s format allowed for greater participation from ambassadors (often at training camps or events at this time of year) and partners (heads down in marketing and comms plans) – plus it was a win from a budget and carbon standpoint. We view all POW members as ambassadors and want to ensure everyone has the same access to training and materials to help build the movement. In that spirit, we’re pleased to share video recordings of the full, unedited sessions including renowned Harvard professor Naomi Oreskes (author of Merchants of Doubt) discussion on the POWer of social movements on climate.

China throws down the gauntlet with progressive plan to carbon neutrality

Posted on: September 29th, 2020 by Protect Our Winters Canada

When you talk to people about progress on climate change, how often do you hear “well our emissions are nothing compared to China and until they take it seriously, why should we?”.  Well, China just unveiled what Bloomberg Green is calling “the most ambitious climate goal the world’s ever seen” with solar capacity growing by 587%, nuclear by 382%, wind by 346%, bioenergy by 100%, and hydropower by 50% by 2060. Coal consumption falls by 96%, gas by 75%, and oil by 65%. The plan was released this week at Tsinghua University in Beijing by the government-affiliated Institute of Energy, Environment and Economy. The proposed “blueprint” would see the country invest $15 Trillion (yes, that’s a T) USD over the next 30 years leading to new jobs, new industry and new hope for the global climate movement. Read the full article here.  

#NewPath: Campaign Summary

Posted on: June 30th, 2020 by Protect Our Winters Canada

Carrying momentum from the #RejectTeck campaign, we had high hopes for massive engagement from members, ambassadors and brands during our #NewPath Campaign. Although our Enthusiast to Advocate Tool is still live for anyone wanting to send emails – click here if you haven’t sent yours yet – the early analytics indicate MASSIVE engagement across the board. A total of 10,367 emails were sent to the five key decision makers tasked with developing the economic stimulus package needed to kick start the economy.

Collectively, our community sent 10,367 emails to the 5 key decision makers tasked with developing the economic stimulus package needed to kick start the economy.  If you take a deep dive into the analytics it boils down to a 20 % engagement rate. That’s CRAZY (CRAZY GOOD).

As icing on the cake, our partners came together to send a very strong letter of support for the principles and recommendations within the #NewPath campaign. Click here to read the letter

Over the next few weeks we’ll eagerly wait to see how our collective action will translate to change. Thank you to everyone to our members, partners and ambassadors for coming together to help us create a #NewPath toward a green & just recovery.

#NewPath: Letter from Partners to MPs & PM

Posted on: May 30th, 2020 by Protect Our Winters Canada

We have THE BEST partners out there. We know the outdoor industry is massive and with that comes significant political and economic influence. These brands are committed to elevating POW Canada’s policy agenda at a national level which is part of our secret sauce for real climate action.  

CAN CLIMATE CHALLENGE

Posted on: May 21st, 2020 by Protect Our Winters Canada

Win a signed Jeremy Jones snowboard and POW swag pack!

 

When 22 year old, Hugo Lapointe from Repentigny Quebec was temporarily laid off from his job as a technician @universeboardshop due to COVID, he was inspired to use his time to better his local community and the planet. “It started by wanting to clean up bottles from roadsides and parks in my area” says Hugo, a member of POW’s Montreal Chapter. With landfills and recycling centres closed or on reduced hours, our neighbourhoods, parks, forests and broader communities have become the defacto dumping site for unwanted garbage and recycling.

After quickly filling several bags with bottles and cans, Hugo realized there was a much larger opportunity. Due to health and safety concerns, beer and liquor stores across the country  have temporarily suspended accepting returns, which means empties are taking up space in people’s basements and garages. Hugo enlisted the help of family and friends and used his social media channels on Facebook and Instagram, asking people to bring their empties (cans or bottles in cases or bags) to his house, promising proceeds would be donated to Protect Our Winters Canada. The response was incredible and has forced Hugo to get creative in finding places to temporarily store the empties until the stores re-open; under decks, behind his BBQ, in his parent’s basement, in the garden shed to name a few. To date, Hugo has collected and received approximately 50,000 empties which translates to $5000 to support POW’s work on climate action. 

 

Inspired? So were we! We’ve sent Hugo a cool POW swag package and Jeremy Jones sent Hugo a signed board from his personal collection!!! Don’t be jealous! You can get in on it too with our Can Climate Challenge. We’ll send a dope POW swag package AND signed Jeremy Jones snowboard to the person who runs the most successful bottle drive before June 15, 2020! Not familiar with Bottle Drives? Here’s some tips: https://www.return-it.ca/programs/bottledrivetips/.  Ask your family and friends for their empties. But it out on social media and see who shows up with cans and bottles they’ve been storing in their basement. Involve your local running, biking or ski group. GO BIG! BE A HUGO!

 

Here are the details: Contest runs until June 15, 2020 and is open to individuals or teams (note only one prize is available). Winner is based on most dollars raised/donated to POW Canada through: https://protectourwinters.ca/donate/  by June 15, 2020. Please drink responsibly and use best practices for protecting against COVID. 

Click the links below for provincial resources:

Returns in Ontario

Returns in Quebec

Returns in Alberta

Returns in BC

POW HAS GONE VIRTUAL

Posted on: April 29th, 2020 by Protect Our Winters Canada

Like many others we know that being able to change and adapt during these times is very important. We know that you can’t leave the house or town to attend POW Events which is why we are bringing them to you!

Check out our three newest virtual programs below!

 

A Race We Can Win

Posted on: April 28th, 2020 by Protect Our Winters Canada

By Dan Wilcock, CEO of Canada Games, Originally Published by SIRC

A Race We Can Win: The Sports for Climate Action Framework, by Dan Wilcock, CEO of Canada Games.

We all have an understandable desire to protect the things we love. I happen to love sport – and winter sports in particular. Thirty years ago I remember poring over snow depth charts from the national park where I spent as much time as possible snowboarding. Those charts showed a downward trend in snow depths, opening my eyes to the possibility that a changing climate could negatively affect the places and sports that I love. It was sad to contemplate a future with shorter ski seasons and fewer powder days.

Scientific understanding of climate change, its drivers and impacts has expanded greatly in the last thirty years. It is clear that the relationship between sport and climate change cuts both ways – while sport is increasingly affected by climate impacts, the sport sector itself contributes to the problem. For those of us whose lives revolve around sport and the outdoors, we have an opportunity to position the sport sector for a low-carbon future, so that generations to come will have access to the same experiences we have enjoyed in our lifetimes.

Climate change and why it matters to sport

A recent Canadian study contains some stark conclusions – particularly that Canada’s climate has warmed and will warm further in the future, driven by human influence. Notably, both past and future warming in Canada is, on average, about double the global mean temperature increases. The effects of widespread warming are projected to intensify in the future and include more extreme heat, less extreme cold, longer growing seasons, shorter snow and ice cover seasons, earlier spring peak streamflow, thinning glaciers, thawing permafrost, and rising sea level.

Many sports stand to be affected by warming temperatures and other extreme weather, not just those winter sports that depend on reliable snow and ice. While direct causality is not always clear, over the last year extreme weather conditions have made their presence felt at a long list of sport events. Consider the 2020 Australian Open tennis (heat and smoke); the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan (Typhoon Hagibis); and the 2019 IAAF World Track and Field championships in Qatar (extreme heat). As event organizers, we need to anticipate, develop contingency plans, and adapt to the changes that are already underway to ensure continued positive experiences for athletes and spectators.

 

However, to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change indicates that we must rapidly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across the globe. Staying below 1.5˚C of warming means that we have to reduce GHG emissions 45 percent below 2010 levels by 2030 and reach net zero emissions by 2050. Meeting the scale of the challenge requires action by all sectors to achieve the goals of the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

The sport sector makes significant contributions to GHG emissions, and so equally, sport has a role to play in tackling climate change. The travel and logistics involved in bringing people together at sport events comes at an environmental cost. For example, each Canada Games involves thousands of athletes, volunteers, spectators and stakeholders traveling from across Canada, generating significant GHG emissions. While it is impossible for the sport sector to avoid all travel-related emissions, there are other options to consider, such as purchasing carbon offsets. Our first task is to carefully analyze our operations and identify opportunities to reduce our climate impacts. The current context of the pandemic is forcing many sport organizations to reconsider our essential operating models, providing a unique opportunity to consider new approaches.

At the Canada Games Council, we are passionate about our Games, the Canadian sport landscape and the positive role of sport in society. Now, more than ever, we need to work collaboratively to reduce the environmental footprint of our events and drive global climate action for a safer planet. That is why we made the decision to join the Sports for Climate Action Framework.

The Sports for Climate Action Framework

In December 2018, UN Climate Change, in partnership with the International Olympic Committee, launched the “Sports for Climate Action Framework.” The Framework sets the course for the global sport community to respond to climate change in a systematic and comprehensive manner. The approach builds on sport’s unique ability to inform and mobilize millions of people around a love of sport. Sport organizations can display leadership on global climate action by taking responsibility for their climate footprint and inspiring others to take action on climate change beyond the sport sector.

When the Canada Games Council signed onto the Framework in December 2019, we committed to strengthening our sustainability efforts and increasing our level of ambition for climate action. We are aiming to advance our sustainability practices across the economic, social and environmental dimensions of the Canada Games, while supporting our Host Societies and partners in their efforts to do the same. These efforts will touch on everything from office services, sport operations, transportation, capital construction, food services, venue overlay to merchandising. We will strive towards the following five commitments in the Framework:

  1. promote greater environmental responsibility;
  2. reduce overall climate impact;
  3. educate for climate action;
  4. promote sustainable and responsible consumption; and
  5. advocate for climate action through our communications.

Well over 100 sports organizations have already joined the Framework, including:

  • The IOC, Tokyo 2020, Beijing 2022 and Paris 2024;
  • National Basketball Association;
  • International Ski Federation;
  • World Rowing Federation;
  • International Federation of Association Football; and
  • International Ice Hockey Federation.

I look forward to teaming up with other Canadian participants, such as the Banff Marathon and Surf Canada, while exploring opportunities to collaborate with other organizations such as Protect Our Winters.

The Canada Games celebrate and showcase Canada’s next generation of athletes and leaders. I am constantly impressed by the passion, clarity and urgency that youth bring to the dialogue about the world that they will inherit. On this issue we can help educate our athletes and other participants, empowering them to advocate for climate action in their own communities.

The challenges of climate change will not be solved in one day, or one year, or with one environmentally sustainable event. It is important to realize that we do not need to have all the answers before taking any action at all. I know that we certainly do not. But by committing to the principles in the Sports for Climate Action Framework, the Canada Games has raised its level of ambition and taken the next step in its journey towards sustainability. This is a race we can win and we would welcome other Canadian partners in contributing to the realization of this goal.

About the Author(s)

Dan Wilcock, President and CEO of the Canada Games Council, is a lawyer by background and has served in a number of executive roles in the Government of Canada, in  areas including environmental policy, international relations, competition law and marketing law. He has experience in high-level sport as a competitor, coach and organizer in snowboarding, which he helped develop in Australia and the US. Dan has participated in almost every sport on the Canada Games program.

 

#FactBack: 2020 World Changing Ideas Finalist

Posted on: April 26th, 2020 by Protect Our Winters Canada

We are proud to announce that the “Fact Avalanche” our project with SidLee, is a finalist in the Advertising category of Fast Company’s 2020 World Changing Ideas Awards.

The World Changing Ideas Awards honour the businesses, policies, projects, and concepts that are actively engaged and deeply committed to flattening the curve when it comes to the climate crisis, social injustice and economic inequality.

 

“It goes without saying that we are very honoured to be recognized by Fast Company on this remarkable list of innovative solutions. As an organization, we aim to use our creativity and innovation to respond to the challenges that we collectively face, “said Vito Piazza, group president of Sid Lee. “We are confident that this nomination will galvanize our artisans across the world to continue to create work that matters and inspire others to use their talent to benefit us all”.

The Fact Avalanche is an online tool designed to counter misinformation and skepticism surrounding climate change and engulf climate change deniers’ tweets in truth. The platform gives a voice to people striving to stop the spread of false information about climate change.

“There seems no better time to recognize organizations that are using their ingenuity, resources, and, in some cases, their scale to tackle society’s biggest problems,” says Stephanie Mehta, editor-in-chief of Fast Company. “Our journalists, under the leadership of senior editor Morgan Clendaniel, have uncovered some of the smartest and most inspiring projects of the year.”

If you haven’t joined the #FactBack campaign, take a moment now to do so JOIN #FACTBACK