How Canadian-owned brands strengthen our communities and care for our environment

Thursday June 29, 2023

Canadian businesses play a vital role in promoting sustainability, strengthening community ties, and contributing to the national economy. We asked some of our fellow Canadian-owned brands to share their perspectives on supporting local businesses from coast to coast.

Sourcing locally: a path to sustainability

Chickpeace, a B Corp-certified zero-waste refill store in Kelowna, B.C., champions the importance of sourcing local products. Allisha Heidt, CEO and Founder of Chickpeace, says that "Being a Canadian-owned brand means supporting as many Canadian suppliers, producers, and businesses as possible." By prioritizing local sourcing, Chickpeace reduces the carbon footprint and plastic waste associated with transportation and packaging, fostering a more sustainable future.

"We’re grateful to live in one of the most beautiful parts of this country,” Allisha says, “so helping preserve our forests, waterways, and animals from plastic pollution is very important to us.” By supporting local, sustainable brands like Chickpeace, consumers can actively contribute to minimizing waste and preserving the environment.

Giving back: a way to strengthen community ties

Eagle Wing Tours, an award-winning ecotourism and conservation company in Victoria, B.C., recognizes the important role that Canadian brands play in their communities. Captain and Co-Owner Brett Soberg explains, "When you support local Canadian companies, you empower them to give back to their communities." Through their whale and wildlife watching tours, they’ve raised more than $1 million for local research, conservation, and their Explore the Salish Sea program for students.

Sally's Brook Wilderness Cabins, a sustainable vacation rental and retreat provider on Cape Breton Island, N.S., echoes the sentiment of community collaboration. Glenn Rubinoff, Owner and Operator, notes that one of the pillars that guides his business is treating his community with respect by contributing to charitable organizations, collaborating with other local businesses, and ensuring fair wages and working conditions for employees. “Supporting Canadian brands aligns with our pillars of purpose,” Glenn adds.

A quaint cabin against a background of fall leaves
One of Sally's Wilderness Cabins among the fall foliage

Symcor, an organization that enables secure data exchanges for many of Canada’s largest organizations, shares the importance of strengthening communities by reinforcing sustainable processes and practices. Amr Soliman, Facility Manager at Symcor, says that “Symcor is very proud of being a Canadian-owned entity. It is our organizational purpose to connect for common good and enrich the communities we operate in.” Recognized as one of Canada’s Greenest Employers for 13 consecutive years, Symcor takes a collaborative approach to making an impact in the communities in which it resides. By working to minimize their ecological footprint through proactive implementation of eco-friendly practices in their locations across Canada, Symcor is focused on contributing to a more sustainable future.

Environmental stewardship: a core value of Canadian brands

Many bullfrogpowered organizations spoke about how important their sense of place is to their brand. Brett says that Eagle Wing Tours “is incredibly lucky to have the Salish Sea as our big blue backyard, and we consider it our duty to share the magic of this special place and use the power of ecotourism to turn our guests into passionate advocates for the health of the Salish Sea and beyond.”

A humpback whale leaping out of the water
A humpback whale spotted by Eagle Wing Tours

Glenn also speaks of the magic in the Canadian wilderness, and how it inspired his vacation rental and retreat centre: “We had a dream of sharing the magic, peacefulness and spirit of the mountains and ocean that we felt so deeply here.”

Jazz Cabbage Gardens Inc., a cannabis producer founded in Halifax, N.S., exemplifies how Canadian-owned businesses can act as environmental stewards. Sam Harrison, President and Co-Founder, emphasizes their commitment to following their values of sustainability, innovation, and leading by example in an industry notorious for its waste.

Sam shares some of the sustainability initiatives that help preserve Canada’s natural resources: “Starting with our own custom-designed, liquid-cooled LEDs, to using the most easily recyclable packaging we can find and partnering with Bullfrog Power to address our carbon footprint, we’ve shown that being a Canadian cannabis company doesn’t mean you have to eschew our shared environmental responsibility.”

Boosting local economies: buy local or bye local

Beyond environmental benefits, Canadian-owned brands play a crucial role in boosting local economies. Chickpeace's Allisha Heidt highlights this aspect, saying, “We’ve all heard the saying ‘buy local or bye local.’ Supporting local businesses helps strengthen our local economy and make our communities more resilient.” By choosing local products, consumers contribute to job creation, economic growth, and the vitality of their communities.

Supporting Canadian brands means supporting Canadian people

The Grizzly Paw Pub & Brewing Company, located in Canmore, Alberta, highlights the interconnectedness between supporting Canadian businesses and supporting a diversity of Canadian people. Spencer Duquette, Marketing Coordinator, notes that Canmore’s natural beauty attracts workers from around the world. “You can’t paint a picture of what a typical Canadian looks like because as a country, we’re larger than that,” Spencer says.

A can of Grizzly Paw Pub and Brewing Company beer against a mountain backdrop
The Grizzly Paw Pub & Brewing Company mitigates their environmental impacts to ensure that the natural beauty around Canmore can be enjoyed for generations to come.

Whether someone is starting their journey to permanent residency or working in Canmore for a summer, they’re welcomed at Grizzly Paw. “I appreciate working with a Canadian brand because it’s all about supporting Canadian people and those experiencing Canada,” Spencer affirms. “I believe that can have a compounding positive effect on our nation and beyond.”

What encourages you to support Canadian-owned businesses? Let us know in the comments!