Our Story

Originally founded after a formative meeting of Canadian sustainability leaders in Orangeville, Ontario in 1996, it took a few years for The Natural Step Canada to take off. Early work in Whistler, BC eventually led to the launch of a national NGO based in Ottawa in 2003.

The Natural Step Canada has since built a solid track record in Canada supporting the emergence of role models for sustainable communities and business. We have worked with dozens of organizations to help them embed sustainability into their strategies, operations, products, services and community plans. We have fostered commitment and competence in thousands of leaders and practitioners through our learning programs. We developed The Natural Step’s Sustainability 101 eLearning course and published numerous case studies and toolkits to help others learn from The Natural Step’s experience.

In so doing, The Natural Step Canada has become a leader within the international Natural Step network and a respected contributor in the Canadian sustainability field. To read about The Natural Step International's story please visit www.thenaturalstep.org/our-story.

Looking Ahead

The Natural Step has developed in Canada working predominantly one organization, one community, one individual at a time. It is clear, though, that working one organization at a time won’t accelerate change at the speed—or on the scale—Canada or the world needs to build a society that is sustainable and resilient.  The need to address our collective sustainability crisis is becoming more urgent every day.

There is a growing call among leaders for multi-stakeholder collaboration to address the complex and interconnected social, environmental, and economic challenges we face.

We believe that The Natural Step Canada is uniquely positioned to leverage our experience in the service of systems-level change. We have built a reputation as leaders in building sustainability literacy and by forging strong relationships through advisory services. We intend to make use of these capabilities to provide leadership for collective impact on sustainability issues. Doing so is both urgently needed and the logical next step in realizing our theory of change.