What is Windfall
Established in 1998, Windfall Ecology Centre is an environmental non profit organization and social enterprise specializing in individual and community education and activation.
Through our programs and advocacy efforts, we seek to empower individuals, community groups and governments to build sustainable communities.
We design and deliver on-the-ground education, awareness and direct climate change mitigation programs.
Major areas of endeavour include energy conservation, renewable energy production, water protection education and leadership development.
Windfall Centre has a long track record of success working with all levels of government to design, develop, implement and administer environmental initiatives.
We continue to help shape public policy, as well as deliver education and conservation programs throughout Ontario.
At the provincial level, Windfall Ecology Centre provides technical support and services for community based renewable energy projects and were key advisors in the creation of the Ontario Green Energy Act and the Lake Simcoe Protection Act.
Windfall Centre's Executive Director, Brent Kopperson, has served for four years as an NGO adviser to the Canadian government at United Nations climate change treaty negotiations (Kyoto Protocol) in Milan, Bonn, Buenos Aires, Montreal.
Windfall Centre has official status with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Our U.N. accreditation allows us to send delegates to negotiation and workshop sessions where we strive, along with our international partners, to preserve the environmental integrity of the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol. Mr. Kopperson was recently a delegate to UN Conference on Climate Change (COP15) held in Copenhagen, December 2009.
Modern organizations want to make the right choices when it comes to the environment and understand that what is good for the environment is often good for the bottom line.
At Windfall Centre, we help businesses, municipalities and community groups create sustainability plans that are based on the best science and management thinking available.
Whether you have already started incorporating “green” into your activities or are just starting out - our team will work with you to meet your individual needs and develop a plan that is realistic and deliverable.
Green Internships & Job Training
Working with partners like Katimavik, YMCA and Human Resources Skills Development Canada, Windfall Centre has created the Ecology Centre Assistant Internship program, where youth from across the country will have an opportunity to take on a wide array of tasks designed to provide valuable experience and insights into the Environment Sector.
These positions, will help young Canadians learn the skills required to gain and sustain future employment within the emerging "green jobs" sector. Our interns are involved with all facets of Windfall Centre including outreach, advocacy, programming and education.
Interns with Windfall Ecology Centre can expect a broad range of experiences designed to engage young people in committed service to the cause of sustainability; while preparing them to meet the rapidly changing needs of the wide range of organizations that are greening our world.
REpower Ontario is a community based market transformation program that orients, trains, and connects eager participants with employment and self employment opportunities in the new green economy. It is adapted from core skills training curriculum developed over a 7 year period for Windfall's other green employment programs. REpower Ontario utilizes in-class training, distance learning, and work placements to match needs at the local level and provide access to these opportunities to Youth, First Nations, Women, New Canadians and those looking for retraining
Conservation is the cornerstone of sustainability.
With Windfall Centre you receive independent advice from a non-profit organization.
Starting with simple energy saving tips that can be done over a few weekends at little cost, to guiding you through the government home retrofit incentive programs, Windfall will be your trusted partner along the path of sustainability.
The Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario now provide ecoENERGY grants to home owners who complete energy efficiency retrofits based on the recommendations of a licensed energy advisor
A Windfall Home Energy Assessment is a comprehensive review of the energy use in your home which includes a rating of how energy efficient your home is and a list of actions that can be taken to improve this rating while taking advantage of the available grants.
Our Energy Advisors will show you how to improve the comfort of your home, cut heating and cooling costs, and ensure you have adequate, healthy ventilation. Windfall will provide you with the knowledge on how your home uses energy and where it is being wasted.
While your life may demand a great amount of driving, you can still reduce your fuel-use, improve your driving habits and save on gas money by adopting better driving habits. Our transportation programs are dedicated to teaching drivers how to drive efficiently, properly maintain their vehicles, save money and minimize driving altogether through public transit and car pooling.
Windfall Centre’s Active Transportation education programs encourages individuals to shift from driving to walking and cycling, thereby providing a more balanced transportation system that places less emphasis on single occupant motor vehicle trips and reduces our carbon footprint while fostering a healthy lifestyle.
Fresh water is a renewable resource, yet the world's supply of clean, fresh water is steadily decreasing.
From the shores of our great lakes to our common ground water supply we are all dependant on this essential element. Windfall’s storm water protection and water stewardship programs offer residents of the Lake Simcoe watershed invaluable education resources and creative solutions for the conservation and protection of out common water supplies.
We are witnessing a fundamental shift away from the massive, centralized, unsustainable mega power plants to a model where thousands of small scale renewable community energy projects will contribute significantly to Ontario’s electricity supply mix.
Windfall Centre is leading the way by developing two of its own Community Power Projects.
The Sheppard House Solar PhotoVoltaic Array will serve as an example of how residents across the province can take advantage of the benefits of residential solar power generation. Located at Windfall’s offices in Aurora and grid-connected, the array will consist of two residential scale panels and will have the capacity to generate 2.1 kilowatts (KW) each
The Pukwis Community Wind Park is a joint project with the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation, and will consist of 10 utility scale wind turbines with nameplate capacity of 2 Megawatts (MW) each. They will be connected to the Ontario grid and produce enough electricity to power 7,500 homes and displace 15,000 tonnes of green house gases annually.
With the number of government incentives now available creating independent renewable energy has never been easier or more accessible.
Windfall Ecology Centre provides full service renewable energy project management and turn key solutions.
From solar assessments and feasibility to grid connection, we help home owners, community groups, corporations and municipalities through the process of installing Solar Photo Voltaic systems.
Windfall Ecology Festival
Held over two days in June, the Windfall Ecology Festival is open free of charge to the public and is York Region’s largest Environmental & Energy Conservation Exposition! Since its inception in 2001 the Windfall Ecology Festival has provided a premier outdoor event where people are informed, get involved, find products, learn about services and are entertained by people who care about the environment.
Through over 200 dynamic exhibits, stimulating entertainment, performers and speakers Windfall Ecology Festival fosters public awareness about opportunities for environmental change. It spurs people to take the initiative in making their homes, businesses and communities more ecologically advanced and environmentally sound, while encouraging meaningful activation and participation.
Windfall Ecology Centre
93A Industrial Parkway South
Windfall Ecology Centre focuses on community action that is informed by observation and participation at the global, national, and provincial level. We have achieved results by mobilizing community cooperation and providing practical sustainability services and advice since 1998.
Organizing a community to take action at the household level is a powerful approach to environmental improvement. The community is the largest scale at which most of us feel personally connected to and capable of direct, meaningful participation. They are also the smallest scale at which it is possible to mobilize the resources needed for a major initiative.
Our active programs address many dimensions of environmental concern. They mobilize personal and community action to do the following:
- reduce the energy we use in our homes and businesses
- create new energy from clean renewable sources
- curb water consumption for cleaning and yard care
- lower the damaging environmental impacts of personal transportation
- prevent contamination of air, soil, and ground and surface waters
- minimize the waste of resources resulting from consumption patterns in a modern industrial society
- maximize biological diversity and ecological functions in a human-dominated environment
National and Provincial
Within Canada, the Windfall Ecology Centre monitors progress and participates in numerous national environmental issues and initiatives. Through an agreement with Green Communities Canada and the David Suzuki Foundation, we are providing local leadership for David Suzuki's Nature Challenge.
At the provincial level, Windfall Ecology Centre provides technical support and services for community based renewable energy projects. We are a founding member of the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association, Ontario's leading advocate for community based renewable energy initiatives.
Windfall Centre helped bring about the Lake Simcoe Protection Act on December 1, 2008. The Windfall Centre publication, The Naked Truth: Going Behind The Science of Lake Simcoe, raised the level of community awarenes on the health of Lake Simcoe and demonstrated to government that action was needed. Speaking in the Ontario Legislature, MPP Garfield Dunlop called the study, "Fantastic". He went on to say, "it's something the government can use in its comprehensive plan." The federal government pledged $30 million toward the clean-up initiative and the province has committed $20 million.
Around The World
Windfall's Executive Director, Brent Kopperson, has served for three years as an NGO adviser to the Canadian government at United Nations climate change treaty negotiations (Kyoto Protocol) in Milan, Bonn, Buenos Aires and Montreal.
The Centre has official status with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Our U.N. accreditation allows us to send delegates to negotiation and workshop sessions where we strive, along with our international partners, to preserve the environmental integrity of the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol.