Environmental Defence Canada

116 Spadina Ave Suite 300
Toronto, ON M5V 2K6
Executive Director: Tim Gray
Board Chair: Eric Stevenson

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) 86 cents are available for programs.

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About Environmental Defence Canada:

Environmental Defence Canada is a 5-star rated charity with best practice in financial transparency and above average accountability to donors as seen in the A- results reporting grade. For every dollar donated to this charity, 86 cents go to the cause. This is within Ci's reasonable range for overhead spending.

Founded in 1984 and headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Environmental Defence Canada (EDC) aims to protect Canada’s fresh water and land, eliminate toxins in the environment, and promote clean energy alternatives. EDC reports that it empowers individual Canadians, works with industry leaders, and advocates for new government policy to achieve these goals. The charity organizes its programs by six major issues: Kicking Out Toxic Chemicals, Climate & Clean Economy, Ontario Yours to Protect, Ending Plastic Pollution, and Safeguarding Canada’s Freshwater. In F2021, the community of 300,000 Canadian EDC supporters collectively sent letters or made phone calls to government and industry over 220,000 times to protect the environment and human health.

In F2021, EDC allocated 59% of program costs to its Climate & Clean Economy program. This program focuses on pushing Canada towards more sustainable energy options. EDC believes that climate change is Canada’s largest threat and is putting the country’s water, food, and health at risk. By building a clean economy and reducing carbon pollution, the charity believes it will lead to cleaner air, improved public health, new jobs, and more opportunities for Canadian companies. In F2021, EDC published 16 reports relating to climate change. The charity also led a national Green and Just Recovery campaign to ensure the federal government's covid-19 recovery plan prioritized a clean economy.

In F2021, EDC allocated 13% of program costs to its Safeguarding Canada’s Freshwaters program. This program focuses on fighting pollution, strengthening Great Lakes protection, and working with communities to ensure beaches and marinas are sustainably managed. EDC notes that Canada’s Great Lakes hold over 20% of the world’s surface freshwater and provide drinking water to millions of people while supporting multiple billion-dollar economies. The charity called on the provincial government to protect Lake Erie as it is plagued by a toxic algae bloom. 

In F2021, EDC allocated 9% of program costs to its Kicking Out Toxic Chemicals program. This program aims to eliminate harmful materials from consumer products, stop the use of toxic chemicals in the environment, and inform Canadians about dangerous materials present in common household products. The charity notes that products that Canadians use daily still contain toxic chemicals that are linked to health issues such as cancer, obesity, and asthma.

In F2021, EDC allocated 12% of program costs to its Ontario Yours to Protect program. This program is a new citizen based group that focuses on protecting natural areas - such as the Ontario Greenbelt - from urban sprawl and other industrial expansion projects. By directing growth to existing urban areas, the charity believes it will improve the protection of farms, nature, and water. The charity published two reports relating to this program.

In F2021, EDC allocated the remaining 7% of program costs to Ending Plastic Pollution. The charity states that plastic fragments can make their way into our food and water. This program focuses on holding government, businesses and individuals accountable for plastic pollution. The charity published four reports relating to plastic pollution.

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Results and Impact

EDC’s annual report highlights 12 key environmental protection wins in F2021. Here are a few of the key victories it mentions:

Relating to Climate & Clean economy, EDC helped stop the expansion of the Vista coal mine, the largest coal mine in Canada. The charity states that this is a promising stepping stone in ending thermal coal. EDC also took home a victory when defending the federal government's right to create a national price on carbon pollution.

In EDC’s efforts to safeguard Canada’s freshwater, the charity was victorious in fighting for new regulations to better safeguard Ontario's water resources.

In terms of toxic chemicals, EDC helped introduce a Bill that was passed to update the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, the country's toxics and pollution prevention law. Several retailers also phased out dangerous chemicals in their products thanks to EDC's efforts. 

Relating to Plastic Pollution, EDC helped save Ontario's deposit and return program for alcoholic beverage containers and contributed to a federal ban on six single-use plastic items. EDC also stopped a developer from paving over Carruthers Creek under the Freshwater program.

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

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In F2021, Environmental Defence Canada reported total donations of $4.2m. Administrative costs are 5% of revenues and fundraising costs are 9% of donations. This means overhead costs are 14%. For every dollar donated to the charity, 86 cents go to the cause. This is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. Environmental Defence Canada's audited financial statements do not disclose fundraising costs. Program, administrative and fundraising costs come from EDC's annual T3010 filing with the CRA Charities Directorate. As this filing does not use activity based costing, costs are from line items.

EDC holds funding reserves of $2.4m which can cover one year and two months of program costs.

Environmental Defence Canada uses external fundraisers as part of its fundraising activities. In F2021, EDC reported paying $207k to external fundraisers who raised $145k. This means EDC paid $1.42 for every dollar raised by external 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 July 5, 2022 by Angelina Curwin.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending March
Administrative costs as % of revenues 4.9%11.8%15.2%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 9.5%6.7%12.6%
Total overhead spending 14.3%18.5%27.7%
Program cost coverage (%) 95.8%31.1%51.1%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $s
Donations 4,204,1862,971,2243,524,776
Government funding 440,20562,425386,692
Other income 17,82415,0344,752
Total revenues 4,662,2153,048,6833,916,220
Program costs 2,513,0682,666,6662,519,383
Administrative costs 226,691360,854594,101
Fundraising costs 398,159197,863442,988
Total spending 3,137,9183,225,3833,556,472
Cash flow from operations 1,524,297(176,700)359,748
Capital spending 51,76906,603
Funding reserves 2,407,417829,2561,286,458

Note: Ci reports on a cash basis and adjusted for deferred donations, affecting total revenues by $1.0m in F2021, ($493k) in F2020, and $221k in F2019. Ci gathered all expense figures from the line items reported in the charity’s T3010 CRA filings as Ci was unable to allocated expenses in the audited financial statements to program, administrative and fundraising costs. In F2021, the charity reports receiving Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy as an offset to its wages and employee benefits expenses. Ci has adjusted for this, increasing both revenues and expenses by $440k. 

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 26

Avg. compensation: $64,166

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 F2021

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Comments & Contact

Comments added by the Charity:

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

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

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


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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001