|Industry||Ecological agriculture, fair trade, ecological transport, and energy efficiency|
|Founded||1992, Montreal, Quebec, Canada|
|Headquarters||Montreal, Quebec, Canada|
|Key people||Steven Guilbeault and Sidney Ribaux|
Based in Montreal (Quebec, Canada), Équiterre is a non-profit and non-governmental organization. Équiterre's mission is to contribute to the construction of a citizens' movement by advocating individual and collective choices that are both ecologically and socially fair. Through four programs - ecological agriculture, fair trade, ecological transport, and energy efficiency - the organization has developed projects which allow citizens and consumers to make concrete gestures that will have a positive effect on the environment and on society.
Équiterre was founded in 1993 by a group of young people including Steven Guilbeault, Laure Waridel, Sidney Ribaux, Patrick Henn, François Meloche and Beth Hunter who had participated in various preparatory conferences at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the previous year. This group shared the view that issues of poverty, the environment and North-South inequities must be considered in order for real change to occur in society. They decided to create an organization that would enable them to put their principles into action. Équiterre has since been devoted to implementing projects that focus on solutions rather than problems. The organization has grown thanks to the synergy of the many individuals who have joined its ranks.
Équiterre was incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1995 and was granted charitable status by Revenue Canada and Revenu Québec in 1996 (No. 894057132RR0001). In November 1998, “Équiterre” became the official name for Action for Solidarity, Equality, Environment and Development (A SEED).
Équiterre's four programs
Équiterre’s Ecological Agriculture program allows Quebecers to experience the benefits of agriculture and food without pesticides or chemical fertilizers. In addition to forming a network of farms that supply organic food through its Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project, Équiterre organizes initiatives that stimulate citizen action, such as the Organic Baskets and Organic Daycare projects.
Équiterre's Fair Trade program was created to enable consumers to use their buying power to oppose existing inequalities in international trade. In purchasing fair trade products certified by Transfair Canada, the consumer-actor allows small farmers in the South to obtain a fair price for the products they cultivate, such as coffee, tea, sugar and cocoa.
Équiterre’s Energy Efficiency program was developed with the aim of reducing the many environmental problems related to excessive energy consumption, including urban smog, climate change and flooding in virgin forests. Equiterre advisors, accredited by the Agence de l'efficacité énergétique, make home visits in order to evaluate household energy use and provide residents with tips to help them develop energy-efficient habits that are beneficial to the environment and easy on the wallet.
Équiterre’s Sustainable Transportation program was born out of a desire to reduce the impact of pollution caused by transportation, in particular greenhouse gas emissions, which are an important cause of climate change. In keeping with this aim, Équiterre has developed a practical information kit to help citizens adopt a combination of modes of transportation such as car-pooling, bicycling, walking or public transport. By implementing structures making it easier for citizens to use this “transportation cocktail,” the program makes a valuable contribution toward the achievement of the objectives of the Kyoto Protocol.
- Équiterre's - website