DIEPPE, NB – April 28, 2023 – The project « IMPACT: towards a responsible and sustainable economy in Atlantic Canada » was officially launched during a press conference this morning in Dieppe, NB. IMPACT’s objective is to increase the performance and competitiveness of businesses and other organizations in Atlantic Canada’s Francophone and Acadian communities by helping them to better position themselves in the face of new market and societal expectations with respect to sustainability. The project is being led by the four Atlantic RDÉEs (economic development and employability networks), the Centre québécois de développement durable (CQDD) and RDÉE Canada.
These partners were proud to announce the official launch of the project, in the presence of Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Member of Parliament for Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe, New Brunswick, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), as well as Maud-Andrée Lefebvre, head of the Atlantic Provinces Quebec Office of the Secrétariat du Québec aux relations canadiennes (SQRC).
« The Acadian and Francophone communities have a considerable influence on the economic success of Atlantic Canada. That is why ACOA is proud to contribute $1.6 million to this project through the Regional Economic Growth Through Innovation Program. By helping Acadian and Francophone entrepreneurs prosper, compete and grow their businesses through projects like IMPACT, we are helping to build a stronger, more inclusive economy for all Atlantic Canadians, » said the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA.
RDÉE Prince Edward Island is extremely eager to fully embark on this great initiative. « Through this project, we will be able to concretely support 10 businesses and organizations in their adoption of sustainable development practices and processes. We hope that their successes will inspire other businesses and organizations to make their own operations and practices more sustainable, » says executive director Bonnie Gallant. She adds that RDÉE PEI has recently taken training, implemented internal ecoresponsible management measures and obtained its own Ecocertification. It can therefore also serve as an example to others who would like to do their fair share to ensure more sustainable use of all their resources, whether they are natural, material, human, financial or other.
INITIATIVES TO BE UNDERTAKEN
Over the next four years, the IMPACT project will be embodied in several initiatives to inform and support managers of Atlantic francophone businesses and other organizations in taking action on sustainability:
– The distribution of relevant information to managers;
– The organization of information sessions and webinars on the implications of sustainability in business, including testimonials from entrepreneurs who have made the shift and from major buyers who favour suppliers committed to sustainability;
– A customized training and coaching program for managers of 50 organizations wishing to implement a sustainability strategy;
– The implementation of recognition programs, etc.
To do this, the CQDD, a leader in Quebec in the field, will transmit its knowledge and expertise to the Atlantic RDÉEs for the development of a new expertise to accompany the Atlantic Provinces’ francophone organizations.
« In Canada, there are increasing expectations for environmentally responsible products and business practices. Consumers, major buyers, investors and even the workforce are sending us strong signals in this direction, which implies reviewing our business practices in a context of climate change and biodiversity loss. Sustainability is now a business imperative, and we wanted to support the Atlantic RDÉEs in accompanying Francophone organizations in this unavoidable transition. IMPACT will allow us to transfer to them the expertise we have developed over the past 30 years, » explained Nicolas Gagnon, executive director of the CQDD.
Maud-Andrée Lefebvre, head of the Atlantic Provinces Quebec Office, indicated that « Market and consumer demands in terms of sustainability are increasingly high. By supporting the transfer of Quebec’s expertise in this area to French-speaking businesses in the Atlantic provinces, the Quebec government is promoting the growth of our economies and the preservation of the environment. The benefits will be felt both in the short term and in the future. This is good news for our entrepreneurs and for future generations!”
« The philosophy of sustainable development is based on three pillars: the environment, the social facet, and the economy. Without the involvement of businesses, the objective of a more ecoresponsible lifestyle would be futile. This realization led RDÉE Canada to include sustainable development among its strategic priorities in 2017, » explained Jean-Guy Bigeau, CEO of RDÉE Canada. « With the new IMPACT project, the members of the network in the Atlantic region are offering support to Francophone economic stakeholders to help them take the path towards a more virtuous cycle. We are convinced that this initiative will be a source of inspiration for other communities and organizations.”
For organizations interested in learning more about the IMPACT project, follow the communications of the RDÉE in your territory in the coming weeks so you don’t miss anything.
PHOTO 1: The project « IMPACT: towards a responsible and sustainable economy in Atlantic Canada » was officially launched during a press conference Friday morning in Dieppe, NB. IMPACT’s objective is to increase the performance and competitiveness of businesses and other organizations in Atlantic Canada’s Francophone and Acadian communities by helping them to better position themselves in the face of new market and societal expectations with respect to sustainability. The project is being led by the four Atlantic RDÉEs (economic development and employability networks), the Centre québécois de développement durable (CQDD) and RDÉE Canada. In the photo, from left : Kenneth Deveau, executive director of the Economic Development Council of Nova Scotia; Diego Toledo, executive director of Horizon Newfoundland and Labrador; Bonnie Gallant, executive director of RDÉE Prince Edward Island; Marie-Ève Michon, executive director of RDÉE New Brunswick; Ginette Petitpas Taylor, minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency; Maud-Andrée Lefebvre, director of the Quebec Office in the Atlantic Provinces; Nicolas Gagnon, executive director of the Centre québécois du développement durable; and Pierre-Marcel Desjardins, president of RDÉE Canada. (Photo by RDÉE NB)
PHOTO 2: IMPACT project coordinators gathered for the April 28 launch. From left are Israel Poulin of Prince Edward Island, Réanne Cooper of Nova Scotia, Ève Kelly of New Brunswick; ACOA Minister Ginette Petitpas-Taylor, Atlantic coordinator Jonathan Duffaud and Sabrine Adjinakou of Newfoundland and Labrador.
PHOTO 3: The Prince Edward Island delegation at the press conference included, from left, Bonnie Gallant, executive director, Israel Poulin, Island IMPACT project coordinator, Stéphane Blanchard, sustainable development officer, and Raymond J. Arsenault, communications officer (who hosted the press conference).
For more information, please contact:
Sustainable development officer
RDÉE Prince Edward Island