Definity partners with Green Communities Canada

Collaboration is focused on green infrastructure solutions

Definity partners with Green Communities Canada

Non-Profits & Charities

By Mika Pangilinan

Definity Financial Corporation has entered a partnership with Green Communities Canada, which includes a $500,000 contribution towards the Living Cities Canada Fund.

The fund, initiated by Green Communities Canada, aims to empower local partner organizations across the nation by providing training, funding, and logistical support to implement green infrastructure projects that prioritize equity and community engagement.

Benefits of green infrastructure solutions include the absorption of excess rainfall, the cooling of urban areas, and acting as a protective buffer against extreme weather events that have been increasing in frequency and severity.

In a show of solidarity, Definity employees volunteered their time this week to collaborate with Reep Green Solutions, one of Green Communities Canada’s member organizations. Together, they created a pollinator garden at the Definity head office in Waterloo to support biodiversity by providing habitats for local pollinators such as birds and bees.

Commenting on the partnership, Definity president and CEO Rowan Saunders said the move reflects the company’s commitment to helping clients and communities adapt and thrive.

“With a longstanding legacy of community giving spanning over a century, I am incredibly proud to witness the continuation of this legacy through our partnership with Green Communities Canada,” said Saunders. “I eagerly look forward to witnessing the fruition of future initiatives.”

Brendan Seale, AVP and head of environmental, social and governance at Definity, also emphasized the company’s dedication to community well-being and sustainability.

“We are excited to bring this commitment to life by Definity providing employees with opportunities to contribute to their communities in meaningful ways,” said Seale. “Our partnership with Green Communities Canada and Reep Green Solutions to create a pollinator garden at our head office is one example of community members supporting green infrastructure.”

Meanwhile, Patrick Gilbride, associate director of Reep Green Solutions, expressed excitement about the opportunities provided by the Living Cities Canada Fund.

“The funding will provide the opportunity for us to engage people purposefully in a process to develop and enhance green infrastructure in our cities,” he said. “The projects funded will have a genuine positive impact on people’s lives and provide tangible examples of ‘green solutions’ to address climate change.”

Community-led climate resilience initiatives

Funding from partners like the Definity Insurance Foundation will enable Green Communities Canada to support 25 community-led green infrastructure projects in cities across the country in 2023. These projects are expected to engage hundreds of community members and result in the creation of at least 5000m² of new urban green infrastructure in 21 different cities.

The Definity Insurance Foundation has provided funding for 14 of these projects, primarily through the “Demonstrate Stream” of the Living Cities Canada Fund.

The stream is focused on supporting local partner organizations in implementing smaller-scale, community-led green infrastructure projects, with a particular emphasis on serving and involving underserved and equity-deserving groups.

Projects that have received funding include initiatives such as de-paving, rain gardens, pollinator gardens, and re-naturalization efforts in five provinces.

“Our new Living Cities Canada Fund supports and connects local leaders across the country who are making their communities greener, healthier, and more equitable,” said Brianna Salmon, executive director of Green Communities Canada.

“Not only will this program make cities more resilient to climate change, it will also ensure neighbourhoods that are most in need of green infrastructure are prioritized and that local residents are at the heart of climate justice solutions.”

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