Sustainability Co Lab – Winner of the Non-Profit of the Year Award

By: Mike Skirzynski (York Sustainable Enterprise Consultants)

Sustainability Co-Lab was awarded the Non-Profit of the Year award at this year’s Powering Prosperity Awards for the contributions it has made towards demonstrating that a sustainable economy is possible across Canada. Sustainability Co-Lab was created out of  inspiration from a Waterloo, ON initiative that was dedicated to the development of sustainability initiatives in the area. In 3 short years, Sustainability Co-Lab has helped 8 non-profits to grow, and has also succeeded in mobilizing funding for critical sustainability initiatives.

Co-lab is hoping to advance sustainability throughout Ontario with 8 network partners and over 200 participant organizations that are linked with one or more of these partners. While partners do receive support from Co-Lab, the goal for any emerging organization is that they become self-sufficient, community-led organizations that have a mandate to create a positive environmental impact. Collectively, the network and all the initiatives that it is helping has a target offset over 50,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, and that number is only set to grow with Co-Lab continuing to support initiatives across Ontario.

One unique way Co-Lab supports its initiatives is by holding an annual conference entitled “Co-Lab Connects”, where both Co-Lab network members and leaders from all the not-for-profit, public, and private sector come together to discuss the future economy. The most recent edition in 2016 discussed how to engage the majority of the workforce in the low carbon economy, and worked to develop strategies for implementation.

We are sincerely excited to see the progress that Sustainability Co-Lab has made so far, and are looking forward to seeing the many initiatives that it kick-starts in the many years to come ahead.

Check out Co-Lab’s upcoming “Co-Lab Connects You Belong Here” June 21!


 combines the skills of current and former students in York University’s MBA and MES programs to provide research and advisory services in the area of sustainable business. The group’s collective experience spans environmental consulting, strategic planning, finance, planning, waste management, sustainable/renewable energy, project management, and industrial design. Spanning these diverse professional backgrounds, YSEC’s consultants share a common aim: to advance social, environmental and economic sustainability by promoting responsible business strategies and practices. Follow them @YSEC_CA