Canopy is on a mission to protect global forests. Using a market-based approach and working as a trusted partner and advisor to numerous businesses, Canopy identifies areas where production improvements can be made and translates those recommendations into action. From the Leuser Ecosystem to the Great Bear Rainforest, the Canadian-based nonprofit collaborates with local NGOs as well as with multinational corporations.
Campaigns like CanopyStyle influence how name brands like Zara Inditex, H&M, and Gap, Inc. can eliminate their ties to forest destruction to create a more sustainable supply chain. Advising over 160 participating brands, Canopy conducted the first CanopyStyle audit of four of the top 10 viscose producers in the world—including Lenzing and Birla Cellulose—to ensure customers are informed of best practices when it comes to material sourcing.
Tides helps to elevate our work. As we continue to grow our impact and the reach of our campaigns, we really value our partnership with Tides in enabling us to expand our donor network. Tides has such a great grasp of philanthropy in the US in particular and that’s an incredible resource for us—to have a partner that has that deep expertise.
Nicole Rycroft, Founder and Executive Directorm Canopy
In addition to fixing fashion faux pas, Canopy is taking action by reducing the demand for virgin paper products while increasing the use of agricultural residues like straw waste through “Second Harvest.” According to Canopy, there is currently 1.4 million tons of annual unmet demand for agricultural residue paper among 180 North American purchasers with a collective value of $100 billion. Recognizing this demand, the first modern commercial-scale straw pulp mill broke ground—the Columbia Pulp mill in Washington state—which will save 3 million trees a year from logging and sets an example of building alternative approaches to paper product manufacturing that is scalable and cost effective. By building tangible market demand for straw pulp mills and by educating both the public and private sector of the investment benefit for planet and profit, Canopy has laid the groundwork for other new straw pulp mills to be constructed across the globe.
As Founder and Executive Director Nicole Rycroft puts it, “Canopy has built a bridge between the conservation community and the business community, recognizing that if we’re going to shift the global economy and the supply and demand driver of so many environmental issues, then we need business to be part of that solution.”
Since 2012, Tides has hosted a fund to support grantmaking to Canopy from donors in the United States. Tides provides streamlined reporting and compliance, allowing Canopy to focus on what it does best: shifting business as usual. Through their philanthropic fund at Tides, Canopy has been able to receive charitable donations from family foundations and donors alike increasing fiscal support as well as opportunities for tactical relationship building.
“It’s such an honor to support Canopy,” Tides Philanthropic Advisor Elizabeth Aviles commented. “When I can simplify a reporting process, give feedback on a proposal, or be a sounding board for a new idea, I know that’s more time they’ll have to focus on their latest campaign.”
With a nimble and passionate team, Canopy does a lot with relatively little. With partner NGOs, the group secured a moratorium on operations in 100,000 hectares of key elephant and orangutan habitat in the Leuser Ecosystem, facilitating the creation of permanent conservation land from what were previously industrial logging sites. To date, Canopy and a coalition of NGO and business partners have also helped instate protected areas and moratoriums on 25 million acres of land across Canada and Indonesia, or an area the size of Iceland!
Tides is also supporting Canopy’s charitable impact by using marketing channels like social media, blog posts, and e-newsletters that strategically amplify their message and help increase awareness of their work. In order to grow this audience even more, Tides hosts a fund dedicated to supporting the Love the Leuser ecosystem campaign, a communications and fundraising portal that educates the public on the importance of protecting this 6.5 million acre Indonesian wonderland by bringing together an alliance of international partners including funders and nonprofit groups on the front lines. Linking different yet complementary organizations together around a pooled fund for a common cause helps scale this global movement and protect a treasured ecosystem for generations to come.
“Tides helps to elevate our work”, Nicole explained. “As we continue to grow our impact and the reach of our campaigns, we really value our partnership with Tides in enabling us to expand our donor network. Tides has such a great grasp of philanthropy in the US in particular and that’s an incredible resource for us—to have a partner that has that deep expertise.”
Canopy’s commitment to protect our global forests demands a nimble, forward-thinking collaborator who understands the complex challenges of international conservation efforts and who sees the value in bringing together a wide range of stakeholders that push for collective, systemic change. Partnering with Tides, Canopy can rest assured that its mission to safeguard some of the Earth’s most valuable ecosystems is supported by a team of grantmakers who not only believe in the cause but who provide the best resources possible to enable their impactful work to succeed.
For more on their powerful work, read our conversation with Canopy Founder and Executive Director Nicole Rycroft: Following the Thread.