Are you our next Business Development + Communications Coordinator?

JOB POSTING

Business Development and Communications Coordinator

Full Time, Permanent

Location: Flexible

ABOUT SUSTAINABILITY SOLUTIONS GROUP

Sustainability Solutions Group (SSG) is a collective of Canada’s leading climate change planning professionals. We are an innovative workers cooperative that collaborates with clients to develop meaningful, creative strategies to integrate ecological, economic and social sustainability in their projects, organizations, and communities. We pride ourselves in working closely with our clients to achieve real, on the ground, social and ecological change through projects of unusual integrity. As a team, we demonstrate that the whole is much more than the sum of its parts – we build on each other’s experiences, enthusiasm, skills and innovation. SSG’s approach to work is unique because it embodies the following principles:

  • Action-focused
  • Based on solid theory
  • Considers the whole picture
  • Participatory in design and implementation
  • Fosters social change
  • Takes care of the commons

Our vision is a world of decarbonized, equitable, healthy communities for everyone. We are urban climate change planners, incorporating many skill sets and experiences in our team.

ABOUT THE POSITION

GENERAL DESCRIPTION

The purpose of this position is to coordinate SSG’s business development and communications activities. The Coordinator will perform many diverse tasks, including leading the RFP monitoring and proposal writing process, researching new business opportunities, maintaining SSG’s customer relationship management (CRM) software, and managing SSG’s web and social media presence. The Coordinator will work with SSG Principals and staff to ensure that SSG’s efforts align with the goals in its business development and communications strategies, updating the strategies where required.

SSG works closely with its sister company, whatIf? Technologies Inc (WiT). SSG’s and WiT’s business development and communications efforts are one in the same. The position will work closely with – and carry out a number of tasks directly for – WiT.

RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Administration and streamlining of SSG’s process for monitoring and responding to requests for proposal (RFPs)
  • Researching business opportunities for new markets and new services
  • Coordinating and administering meetings of SSG / WiT joint Business Development Group
  • Planning and coordinating SSG’s participation at various conferences
  • Leading communications efforts in all areas – including maintenance of the website, management of social media, newsletters and marketing materials – as guided by SSG’s Marketing Communications Group
  • Monitoring all business development and communications activities to ensure they align with SSG’s business development and communications strategies
  • Working with SSG Principals to update business development and communications strategies as required

 

WHO WE ARE LOOKING FOR

The successful candidate will have the following qualities and attributes:

1. Excellent project management skills

2. Excellent communication skills, written and oral

3. A high degree of self-motivation and ability to navigate ambiguity

4. A commitment to continual improvement and best practice

5. Flexibility to adapt to different levels of workloads and schedules

6. Proven track record of success working on project teams

7. Ability to think critically and creatively

8. Strong attention to detail

9. Strong problem-solving skills

10. Comfort with working virtually with a distributed workforce

11. Familiarity with and/or enthusiasm for workers co-operatives

12. Ability to work in a non-hierarchical environment

The successful candidate will have the following technical skills and proficiencies

  1. Proficiency with GSuite (Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, etc.) and/or MS Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.)
  2. Experience managing web and social media platforms for professional organizations

The following technical skills and proficiencies are considered assets but are not requirements for the successful candidate:

  1. College or University degree in Project Management or Event Planning or Communications
  2. Proficiency with Adobe Creative Cloud design applications (i.e. Spark, Photoshop, InDesign)
  3. Familiarity with city governance as it relates to urban/community planning, and knowledge of sustainable development practices
  4. Familiarity with and/or enthusiasm for workers co-operatives

SALARY, BENEFITS AND PROFIT SHARING

SSG workers are paid according to a salary scale that factors in years of professional experience and years worked at SSG. SSG workers are paid an hourly rate based on monthly hours worked. SSG expects salary of the successful candidate to fall close to $30/hour.

SSG offers a generous benefits package.

This position will be eligible for membership in the cooperative (i.e. co-ownership) within roughly six months. SSG distributes a minimum of 50% of its annual net income back to its members. Income distribution is in the form of shares or as cash, as determined by SSG’s Board of Directors.

OTHER JOB CONDITIONS

Some travel may be required (maximum estimate 10-15 days per year).

Occasional overtime may be required.

SSG offers flexible work hours.

IF INTERESTED

If interested, please send a cover letter and resume to Colin MacDougall at colin (at) ssg.coop no later than midnight on November 24, 2019. In the cover letter, we encourage you to speak to your interest in working with a worker’s cooperative.

For more information about worker co-ops in Canada, see the following resources:

Depending on the number of responses, we may be able to contact only those candidates whom we wish to interview.

SUSTAINABILITY SOLUTIONS GROUP (SSG) SUPPORTS YOUTH CLIMATE STRIKE

26 September 2019

SUSTAINABILITY SOLUTIONS GROUP (SSG) SUPPORTS YOUTH CLIMATE STRIKE

Victoria, Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax – Sustainability Solutions Group (Canadian Co-op), a leading local government climate change planning consultancy, will suspend services and join young people in their Global Climate Strike actions around the world on September 27th, 2019.

“SSG supports the actions of young people around the world who are demanding action on the climate crisis,” said Yuill Herbert, SSG Principal. “The urgent need for action is evident in our work every single day.”

Municipalities across Canada are increasingly declaring climate emergencies. SSG is supporting several in developing plans to respond to these declarations.

“Meaningful action to prevent dangerous climate change requires political courage and our analysis indicates that there are few downsides,” said Mel de Jager, SSG Principal. “Reducing climate change will create new jobs, people will feel healthier, and household and business energy costs will go down.”

SSG members will show solidarity with youth climate strikers, adding our voices to demand action from provincial and federal governments to end fossil fuel use.

“Supporting the climate strike is imperative for every single person on this planet,” said Naomi Devine, SSG Communications Director. “Now is the time to work for a climate-friendly future for all.”

The following co-operatives and democratically run businesses in Canada will be joining SSG on September 27th by supporting planned Climate Strike actions in their communities:

  • The Agency for Co-operative Housing
  • Affinity Bridge
  • Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation
  • CanTrust Hosting Co-operative
  • CoEnergy Co-operative
  • Pathway to Paris
  • Realize Strategies
  • La Siembra Co-operative
  • Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-operative
  • SolarShare
  • Urbane Cyclist Worker Co-op
  • Vancouver Renewable Energy Co-operative
  • WhatIf? Technologies
  • 1000 Cities for Carbon Freedom

About SSG

SSG is one of Canada’s leading climate change planning consultancy for local governments. Since 2004, SSG has completed community energy and emissions plans and climate action plans for more than sixty municipalities, including some of the most innovative projects in North America. Our work encompasses over a quarter of the Canadian population.

We have offices across Canada, including in Victoria, Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal, and Halifax. SSG was founded youth climate movement leaders and is incorporated as a workers cooperative, differentiating ourselves from conventional businesses in terms of governance, transparency, democratic participation, and contribution to community.

About the Global Climate Strike

Young people have woken up much of the world with their powerful Fridays for Future school strikes for the climate. As we deal with devastating climate breakdown and hurtle towards dangerous tipping points, young people are calling on all of us across the planet to disrupt business as usual by joining the Global Climate Strikes on September 20, just ahead of a UN emergency climate summit, and again on September 27.

Together, we will sound the alarm and show our politicians that business as usual is no longer an option. The climate crisis won’t wait, so neither will we.

For more information on the Climate Strike, please visit: https://globalclimatestrike.net/

About Climate Emergencies

List of Governments who have declared climate emergencies:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1tb-LklFWLujYnjmCSvCWRcLUJCCWAL27dKPzVcFq9 CQ/edit#gid=0

About Worker Co-operatives in Canada

Worker co-operatives are businesses that are owned and democratically controlled by their members. The main purpose of a worker co-operative is to provide employment for its members through operating an enterprise that follows the Co-operative Principles and Values. When new employees join the business, after a successful probationary period they are encouraged to apply for membership. The worker co-op is, in principle, designed to provide benefits not just to the founding members but also to all future employee/members.

For more information, please see this resource from the Canadian Worker Co-op Federation: https://canadianworker.coop/about/what-is-a-worker-co-op/

 

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Media Contacts

Naomi Devine

SSG Communications Director

778-676-7041

 

Yuill Herbert 

SSG Principal

250-213-9029

Enabling Low-Carbon Cities: The Role of Energy + Emissions Modelling

As an affiliate event to the Global Climate Action Summit held in September 2018 in San Francisco, Sustainability Solutions Group hosted a one-day symposium on modelling energy use and greenhouse gas emissions mitigation in cities. The event was a presentation and discussion forum for cities’ climate action success and challenges to date, and a discussion platform to determine future requirements and opportunities in modelling low carbon pathways for cities. The symposium convened top modelers, policy makers, academics, consultants, non-profits, and other key thinkers on city climate action.

Energy and emissions modelling is empowering cities to create informed climate policy. In leading cities, modelling is evolving to include broad land use, financial, and societal considerations, which is enabling urban policy that is balanced and effective in addressing climate and societal issues simultaneously. There are critical challenges in extending these approaches to all cities and in distributing climate action throughout city management and operations. With leadership from local, regional and senior governments, cities can secure resources, adopt leading approaches, and use appropriate modelling processes to create effective policy and achieve substantial progress in mitigating GHG emissions.

This brief draws on the presentations made and the discussions held during the day-long workshop. Download the full report here: Enabling Low Carbon Cities – SSG Symposium 1903_vIssued

Day 1 at the IPCC Cities & Climate Change Science Conference

The day started with the sun beaming in through a wall of glass looking out over Edmonton’s North Saskatchewan River. The discourse on cities was hopeful- tinged with periods of critical thought and realism. Presenters, including the Mayor of Edmonton, Don Iveson, talked about the need to track consumption-based GHG emissions; but the mechanisms that cities require to influence consumption of their citizens are both politically and legally limited. Many speakers talked about green jobs and low-carbon cities as engines of economic growth and development, while others reflected that economic development itself is the source of GHG emissions. Irrespective of the pathway forward, there is no question that the role of local governments and cities is gaining prominence and an increasing focus of UN agencies and other entities in the world; if cities can’t dramatically bend the curve, then there is no way that the world will achieve the necessary reductions of 1.5 degrees. Mayor Iveson emphasised this point with a story about UNFCCC COP 13 in indonesia; as a deputy mayor his option was to represent a non-profit organisation at a side event of a side event. Luckily, times have changed: urban areas are now a primary focus with an IPCC focussed conference on cities.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will release a much anticipated report on what it will take for the world to stay within 1.5 degrees later this year; this report include a chapter on the role of cities. This 1.5 degree report is expected to the basis of extensive discussion at the next COP later this year, in Poland. In 2024, the IPCC will also  prepare a special report specifically on cities.

One of the most remarkable speeches was from Aromar Revi of the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS) and a lead author of the urban areas chapter of the upcoming IPCC report. He highlighted coal plants as stranded assets but said that the most signficant stranded assets are our cities, noting that economic activity, people’s homes, cultural centres in many great cities are at risk from sea level rise.

Under the 2015 Paris Agreement (UNFCCC COP 21/CMP 11), countries identified Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC), which were promised emissions reductions, in the lead up to the conference. Three years after those commitments were agreed upon in Paris, we’re about 1 degree above the 1850-1900 mean, which is two thirds of the way to the 1.5C level and halfway to the 2 degree level. The current INDCs are the fast elevator to 2 degrees; the question now are: could we experience an overshoot, how big will that overshoot be and how long will it last? If we had started GHG emissions reductions seriously in Rio de Janeiro (in 2012), we may have had the gift of choice but now societies need to accelerate the transformation of our energy systems, land-use, cities and regions, governance and financing.

Ultimately though, Aromar points out, the transition is a question of behavioural and cultural change. And if this transformation occurs, the empire, he indicated, will strike back as this is the nature of the systems. In this case, Aromar drew on the example of Gandhi taking on the greatest empire of the world at the time as a source of hope and inspiration; he concluded that ultimately the objective is to transform not only the system but ourselves.

In discussing future climate impacts, a presenter pointed out that the climate of the prairie provinces will resemble that of Texas by 2050; imagine what Texas will look like. The impacts are Increased precipitation early in the growing season and then longer, hotter dryer growing season, creating a need for some form of water storage. The researcher has developed and costed a natural infrastructure system that will provide water storage and protect the City of Winnipeg from flooding. In 2011, the City of Winnipeg experienced a major 1 in a 300 year flood. To protect the City, berms were broken to allow water to spread onto farmland, which both failed to protect the city and caused a nearly $1 billion loss in agricultural activity. A subsequent drought resulted in a further $1 billion in crop losses. No existing civil infrastructure mechanism could both prevent the floods and store water from that “rainy season”. The proposed natural infrastructure system not only solves these problems but also provides a spider web of ancillary benefits. In order to implement this system, a new form of agency will be required to raise the $5 billion required for implementation and generate returns from the different forms of benefits delivered.

SSG at IPCC Cities & Climate Change Conference

SSG directors, Yuill Herbert, and Jeremy Murphy, will be in Edmonton at the IPCC Cities and Climate Change Science Conference: Fostering new scientific knowledge for cities based on science, practice and policy, this March 5-7th. Sustainability Solutions Group is proud to be a silver sponsor of this conference.

This conference is an important one for the international climate research community. It will bring together representatives from national, local (city) and regional governments, academia, international research organizations, as well as urban planning and climate change practitioners.

The goals of the conference are to:

  • identify research and knowledge gaps related to cities and climate change;
  • inspire regional and global research that will lead to peer-reviewed publications and scientific reports; and,
  • stimulate research on cities and climate change throughout the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 6th Assessment Report (AR6) cycle.

The conference’s outcomes are important because they will inform upcoming IPCC reports as well as support cities and citizens in building low-carbon, climate-resilient and sustainable cities, the implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change, the New Urban Agenda, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

If you can’t make it to Edmonton yourself, you can join the live webcast here and get informed by reading the pre-session documents, available here.

Follow SSG on Twitter.

Follow the Cities IPCC on Twitter.

1000 Cities Launches at Carnegie Hall in NYC!

The latest Pathway to Paris concert took place at Carnegie Hall in New York City at the beginning of November. The concert included performances from: Patti Smith, Michael Stipe, Joan Baez, Flea, Talib Kweli, Cat Power, Tanya Tagaq, Tenzin Choegyal, Rebecca Foon, Jesse Paris Smith and featured activists Dr. Vandana Shiva and Bill McKibben.

At the concert, the 1000 Cities initiative was launched. The 1000 Cities initiative is a bold mission to meet and go beyond the targets of the Paris Agreement. The initiative invites all cities of the world to transition off of fossil fuels and move to 100% renewable energy by 2040, in order to turn the Paris Agreement into reality. This plan involves citizen engagement, supporting cities with the development of their ambitious climate action plans, and a creative implementation process in collaboration with a diversity of partners to develop one thousand 100% renewable cities by 2040, no longer dependent on fossil fuels.

SSG is a proud partner in Pathway to Paris, a collection of artists, activists, academics, musicians, politicians, innovators coming together to fight for climate justice. Co-founded by Jesse Paris Smith and SSG Director Rebecca Foon, Pathway to Paris includes a series of musical events in various cities, radio shows, and cutting-edge news, drawing upon proven examples to demonstrate that significant reductions in GHG emissions are possible and improve quality of life.

The Good in 2016 Review: The Year in Climate Change

2016 saw many urban-related climate action developments. This January, we’re taking a look at the good, the not so good, and what may be in store for 2017.

The Paris Agreement came into effect

At the end of 2015, nations at the 21st meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP 21) adopted The Paris Agreement, the outcome of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). To come into legal force, the agreement had to be ratified (signed into legal force by each country’s government) by at least 55 countries representing at least 55% of global emissions. The agreement has now been signed by 194 countries and ratified by 118, covering 80% of global emissions.

One of the key objectives of the Agreement is to limit global warming well below 2°C above pre-industrial temperatures and pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C, which would avoid the worst of projected climate change impacts.

For cities, ratification of the The Paris Agreement means there should be increased national climate change initiatives, as well as support for municipal corporate and community emissions reductions and renewable energy projects.

Further reading

Interested in tracking the Paris Agreement?

Analysis of the Paris Agreement

The City of Toronto made major climate action moves

Toronto has adopted the ambitious and exciting goal of reducing emissions 80% below 1990 levels (or 17,600,000 tonnes per year) by 2050. The TransformTO project was undertaken to achieve this goal. It is a collaborative project co-led by the City of Toronto’s Environment and Energy Division and the Toronto Atmospheric Fund. TransformTO is informed by community engagements and robust technical scenario modelling, aiming to understand what the most emissions, energy and cost-effective carbon reduction strategies are for the city. The results will generate a long-term climate strategy that updates Toronto’s existing Climate Action Plan.

SSG is leading the high profile energy and emissions quantification project for TransformTO. The modelling aspects of the project include developing an action plan for reaching the City’s 2020 GHG reduction target, and a decision-support framework focused on achieving Toronto’s reduction target, which aligns with the Province’s reduction of 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.

Phase 1 involved developing a GHG emissions baseline and Build-As-Planned (BAP) scenario to quantify the emissions reductions potentials of Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions to the year 2050. The inventory and projection is undertaken according to the Global Protocol for Cities (GPC) using CityInSight, a spatially explicit energy, emissions and finance model developed by SSG and whatIf? Technologies. This process involved significant efforts in collecting, organizing, and interpreting data from public and private entities, including spatial geographical information (GIS) and Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) data. A major analysis of City, Regional and Provincial policy was undertaken to develop assumptions and model a BAP scenario.

Phase 2, currently underway, involves modelling the GHG emissions reduction potential of implementing a host of low carbon actions to meet the City’s target, and an analysis of the co-benefits and co-harms of these actions. A key focus has been evaluating the implications of land-use policy for key GHG emissions drivers such as transportation and buildings, and the opportunities associated with interventions such as transit and district energy.

Further reading:

Most of Canada adopted a Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change

The Prime Minister and First Ministers of eight provinces (Manitoba and Saskatchewan declined to participate) and three territories agreed to a national framework for climate change and clean growth in 2016.  

A national price on carbon will be implemented as a key part of the framework. It will be $10 per tonne of emissions starting in 2018, rising to $50 per tonne by 2022. The federal government will impose a carbon tax on those provinces that do not enact their own.

The first ministers also agreed to:

  • Phase out coal-fired power by 2030;
  • Provide 90% of power in Canada from clean energy sources in just over a decade;
  • Reduce methane in the oil and gas sector;
  • Protect the carbon stored in ecological areas (forests, wetlands, farmland);
  • Improve building codes to advance energy efficiency; and
  • Deliver annual progress reports on implementation.

Further reading:

The world continues to heat up

While the Paris Agreement aims to enable warming to a limit of 1.5 degrees, the world got a glimpse of what that would look like in 2016. Climate Central reported that: “the average global temperature change for the first three months of 2016 was 1.48°C, essentially equaling the 1.5°C warming threshold agreed to by COP 21 negotiators in Paris last December.

Further reading:

What might be in store for 2017?

Despite international agreements and national intentions, many recognize the slow pace of action inherent at these scales. Here in Canada, a focus on provincial and local government climate action will be essential to the success of the newly adopted national framework, and other efforts. Coalitions of municipalities have developed from this recognition, both nationally and internationally. Municipalities can access coalitions such as these for support on urban planning and climate action:

There is much to look forward to and participate in for 2017. To keep you in the loop, we suggest:

Paddling along Toronto's Waterfront

Project Update: TransformTO: High Profile Energy and Emissions Quantification for the City of Toronto

SSG is leading a high profile energy and emissions quantification project known as TransformTO. The modelling aspects of TransformTO include developing an action plan for reaching the City’s 2020 GHG reduction target, and a decision-support framework focused on achieving Toronto’s 2050 80×50 GHG reduction target, which aligns with the Province’s reduction of 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. Both the short term and long term analysis involved quantifying measures and actions directly relevant to those indicated in Schedule 1.

Part 1 involved developing a GHG emissions baseline and Build-As-Planned (BAP) scenario to quantify the emissions reductions potentials of Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions to the year 2050. The inventory and projection is undertaken according to the Global Protocol for Cities (GPC) using CityInSight, a spatially explicit energy, emissions and finance model developed by SSG and whatIf? Technologies. This process involved significant efforts in collecting, organizing, and interpreting data from public and private entities, including spatial geographical information (GIS) and Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) data. A major analysis of City, Regional and Provincial policy was undertaken to develop assumptions and model a BAP scenario.

Part 2, currently underway, involves modelling the GHG emissions reduction potential of implementing a host of low carbon actions to meet the City’s target, and an analysis of the co-benefits and co-harms of these actions. A key focus has been evaluating the implications of land-use policy for key GHG emissions drivers such as transportation and buildings, and the opportunities associated with interventions such as transit and district energy.

Progress to date:

  • The Baseline & BAP reports are complete.
  • The 2020 plan is complete and has been approved by Council where it was sent to the budget committee.
  • A detailed research & analysis report looking at the of Co-benefits and Co-harms Associated with Low Carbon Actions has been produced.
  • We are currently completing the low carbon modelling for 2050 – modelling the impact of low carbon actions using our model, CityInSight.