Environmental Defence Canada

33 Cecil Street, 1st Floor
Toronto, ON M5T 1N1
Executive Director: Tim Gray
Board Chair: Fatima Crerar

Charitable Reg. #:11883 0835 RR0001


Ci's Star Rating is calculated based on the following independent metrics:

[Charity Rating: 5/5]



Audited financial statements for current and previous years available on the charity’s website.



Grade based on the charity's public reporting of the work it does and the results it achieves.



The demonstrated impact per dollar Ci calculates from available program information.


Charity's cash and investments (funding reserves) relative to how much it spends on programs in most recent year.



For a dollar donated, after overhead costs of fundraising and admin/management (excluding surplus) 88 cents are available for programs.

My anchor


About Environmental Defence Canada:

Environmental Defence Canada is a 5-star charity that is financially transparent. Its results reporting grade is an A, which is above average. EDC’s overhead spending is 12%, which is within Ci’s reasonable range. The charity has reserve funds to cover program cost for almost one and a half years.

Founded in 1984, Environmental Defence Canada (EDC) aims to protect Canada’s freshwater and land, decrease plastic pollution, and promote clean energy alternatives. EDC empowers individual Canadians, works with industry leaders, and advocates for new government policy to achieve these goals. The charity has five major programs: Climate & Clean Economy, Ontario: Yours to Protect, Safeguarding Freshwater, Ending Plastic Pollution, and Kicking Out Toxics. Ci calculates that EDC spent $3.8m on its programs in F2023.

The Climate and Clean Economy program was 62% of program costs in F2023. Environmental Defence Canada delivered a petition signed by over 80,000 people in Canada asking for a cap on oil and gas emissions. The charity also went to the supreme court to defend the Impact Assessment Act, a law that requires new projects to assess the climate impacts, which was under attack by Alberta. EDC ran an awareness campaign highlighting how bad natural gas is for you, your health, and the environment.

The Ontario: Yours to Protect program was 19% of program spending in F2023. This program is currently focusing on the Greenbelt and Highway 413. EDC has helped raise awareness about the threats to the Greenbelt through social media and “Hands Off The Greenbelt” signs. The charity states that Hwy 13 will add over 17 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, resulting in $1.4 billion is damages from pollution. The highway would also pave over 400 acres of Greenbelt and over 2,000 acres of Ontario’s most productive farmland. EDC’s advocacy for the Greenbelt contributed to one of the largest environmental movements of all time.

The Ending Plastic Pollution program was 8% of program spending in F2023. EDC joined over 50 other Canadian environmental and civil society groups to call on Canada to achieve zero plastic waste by 2030. It also ran a campaign called #PlasticFreeJuly.

The Safeguarding Freshwater program was 6% of program spending. EDC held a press briefing and panel with an international coalition of Indigenous Nations and environmental experts at the COP15 UN Biodiversity Conference to raise awareness about the risks of the Line 5 pipeline.

The Toxic Chemicals program was 4% of program costs. EDC released a report called Passing the Buck: the toxic cost of dollar store products in Canada, and took Health Canada to court over glyphosate product renewal, a high-hazard pesticide.

My anchor

Results and Impact

EDC’s advocacy work led to the Federal Government no longer financing international fossil fuel projects. Canada then joined other countries to call for a phase out of fossil fuel production. Additionally, the Federal Government agreed to Great Lakes funding of $420m over ten years, following years of EDC’s advocacy for increased Great Lakes funding. The Federal Government also committed to anti-greenwashing rules on labelling packaging as recyclable or compostable, and the single-use plastic bans EDC worked to achieve came into effect. The Federal Government finalized a ban for six single-use plastic items: bags, straws, cutlery, takeout containers, stir sticks, and six pack rings.

While Ci highlights these key results, they may not be a complete representation of Environmental Defence Canada’s results and impact.

This charity is not yet rated on impact (n/r).

My anchor


Environmental Defence Canada had donations of $5.6m in F2023, which is over 99% of the charity’s revenue.

Administrative costs are 7% of revenues (less investment income) and fundraising costs are 5% of donations. This results in total overhead spending of 12% which is within Ci’s reasonable range. 

Environmental Defence Canada has $5.5m in reserve funds. These reserve funds are EDC’s cash and investments. The charity has 1 year and 5 months of program costs covered by its current reserves.

In F2023, EDC used external fundraisers. The charity did not disclose the amount it spent on, or earned from these fundraisers.

This charity report is an update that has been sent to Environmental Defence Canada for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on June 11, 2024, by Lily Ferguson.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending March
Administrative costs as % of revenues 7.1%6.0%4.9%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 4.7%2.7%9.5%
Total overhead spending 11.8%8.7%14.3%
Program cost coverage (%) 144.4%126.6%95.8%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 5,6225,3994,204
Government funding 30440
Other income 333318
Total revenues 5,6585,4324,662
Program costs 3,7923,4292,513
Administrative costs 400327227
Fundraising costs 265145398
Total spending 4,4573,9013,138
Cash flow from operations 1,2011,5311,524
Capital spending 3652
Funding reserves 5,4764,3402,407

Note: EDC does not report program, administrative or fundraising costs on its financial statements. Ci allocated individual line items from the T3010 into program, administrative and fundraising costs as deemed appropriate. Ci adjusted for deferred donations, affecting total revenue by $258k in F2023, $969k in F2022, and $1.0m in F2021. EDC did not report the number of full time staff working in F2023. Ci used the number of staff from F2022, but it will be updated if more information is provided.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 37

Avg. compensation: $48,066

Top 10 staff salary range:

$350k +
$300k - $350k
$250k - $300k
$200k - $250k
$160k - $200k
$120k - $160k
$80k - $120k
$40k - $80k
< $40k

Information from most recent CRA Charities Directorate filings for F2023

My anchor

Comments & Contact

Comments added by the Charity:

In FY 2021-22, Environmental Defence had a number of staff changes which resulted in many of the 37 staff not being employed for the full year.  Consequently, the average compensation is not reflective of actual compensation.  If total compensation (including benefits) is divided by FTEs (27.02), average compensation is $65,830.67.

Updated on August 21, 2023

The charity added the following comments to a previous profile. New comments may be forthcoming.

Environmental Defence reports revenue on an accrual basis to match restricted programmatic revenue to the corresponding expenses.  Consequently, the reporting of our revenue on a cash basis does not accurately reflect the revenue of that fiscal or accurately match revenues and expenditures.

Environmental Defence seeks to achieve and report on program outcomes not on activity outputs. As a result, we do not believe that reporting on outputs accurately reflects our organization’s track record of success.

Updated on August 11, 2022

Environmental Defence’s donor strategy is focused on securing support from monthly donors. Since monthly donors typically continue to give to our organization for 5+ years, the revenue generated by these new monthly donors in the year acquired does not accurately reflect the total revenue that will be generated over that time against the fundraising costs incurred to acquire them in the current year. Consequently, the ratio of dollars paid for every dollar raised by external fundraisers is not accurate and greatly overstates the actual costs.

Updated on September 14, 2020

Charity Contact

Website: www.environmentaldefence.ca
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: 416.323.9521


Charity Intelligence researches Canadian charities for donors to be informed and give intelligently. Our website posts free reports on more than 800 Canadian charities, as well as in-depth primers on philanthropic sectors like Canada’s environment, cancer, and homelessness. Today over 500,000 Canadians use our website as a go-to source for information on Canadian charities reading over 1.6 million charity reports. Through rigorous and independent research, Charity Intelligence aims to assist Canada’s dynamic charitable sector in being more transparent, accountable and focused on results.


Be Informed. Give Intelligently. Have Impact


Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001