Activity report 2019 – 2020

A very unusual year is coming to an end. Due to the worldwide pandemic COVID-19, Earth Day Canada has had to adapt and sometimes even reinvent itself in order to continue pursuing its mission. Although Earth Day was not able to hold a physical gathering, unlike in 2019, the digital message spread by the organization on April 22 reached a significant number of people. We have continued to issue the Action/Reduction certification to IGA stores. Our distribution of eco-friendly items has impacted several thousand people, while always complying with health and safety guidelines. Our Food Fight conferences on food waste were held online, as was an engaging campaign on everyday actions, which took place on April 22, 2020, while the quarantine was in full swing!

April 22

Unfortunately, the 2020 edition of the Urban Banquet had to be cancelled due to COVID-19. This year, the Urban Banquet was supposed to be held in the brand new science pavilion at Université de Montréal with Guy Breton, Rector of Université de Montréal as Honorary President.
Despite the event being cancelled, Earth Day was still able to raise funds thanks to generous donors who turned their tickets into donations for our organization.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and Ludwig van Beethoven’s 250th birthday, the theme of the Gala de la Terre was Humankind and Nature, symbolically represented by a performance of Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony, in order to encourage taking action on the urgent issues of environmental protection, sustainable development and achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement on the climate.
Thanks to this unique initiative, Earth Day was able to raise no less than $45,000.

Schools, institutions, businesses and individuals celebrated Earth Day on April 22 by taking action and organizing environmental activities that appeared on our online calendar. Clean-up operations, planting relays, composting activities, green home visits and exhibitions are examples of the activities carried out each year.
Even though several activities could unfortunately not take place due to COVID-19, Earth Day Canada decided to hold the contest anyway in order to celebrate and encourage everyone’s initiatives for the benefit of the environment.

When adding an activity to Earth Day’s calendar, participants were entered for a chance to win one of the prizes offered by our partners: DRUIDE, BESIDE, Maison Jacynthe and MEC.

  2017 2018 2019 2020
Number of activities registered 354 490 335 200
*Starting in 2017, this contest combined Earth Day programs that highlight environmental initiatives and actions, including Cultivez le Jour de la Terre and Jour de la Terre à l’école.

Every year on April 22, Earth Day invites its spokespeople, partners and friends to plant trees to celebrate its anniversary.

In 2020, Earth Day was not able to hold its usual tree-planting event. As a symbolic gesture, Pierre Lussier, President of Earth Day Canada, planted a tree at his home on April 22, 2020, and posted the video to Earth Day’s Facebook page.

  2017 2018 2019 2020
Number of trees planted 12 8 10 1

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Earth Day Canada was unable to hold a large public gathering this year.
For this reason, the organization launched a major campaign under the theme of “Earth Day at Home,” during which it posted many online resources on its website regarding concrete actions people can take for the environment from home. Earth Day also invited people to send in videos of the actions they took for the planet to be posted on April 22. Excitement was high as more than 100 submissions were received from individuals and public figures, underscoring the importance of the environment and the many actions that we can all take from home.

This virtual event held by Earth Day featured several speakers who gave out valuable advice on how we can achieve a better future for humankind and our planet.

The event featured Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage, Valérie Plante, Mayor of Montreal and municipal spokesperson for the Earth Day 2020 campaign, Jennifer McKelvie, Toronto City Councillor for Scarborough-Rouge Park, Thomas Mulcair, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Earth Day Canada and co-spokesperson for the Earth Day 2020 campaign, Édith Cochrane, comedian and co-spokesperson for the Earth Day 2020 campaign and Pierre Lussier, President of Earth Day Canada.

The event concluded with performances by several Canadian artists, including Zen Bamboo, Heartstreets, Jorane, Stuck On Planet Earth and Sophie Faucher.

As part of the Earth Day 2020 campaign, the organization launched a major operation to raise awareness in municipalities across Canada, in order to partner with them and encourage them to get involved in the ecological transition.

No fewer than 82 municipal partners have joined Earth Day Canada to promote the annual Earth Day campaign and organize activities in their cities. Unfortunately, the public health situation has required municipalities to cancel their activities for this year.

On April 22, 2020, Earth Day Canada launched its municipal tree-planting relay. Planting trees is an ideal way for participating cities to show their commitment to fighting climate change and creating a more sustainable world.

On every 22nd of the month over the course of one year, municipalities across Canada pledge their commitment to plant at least 50 trees for the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. To date, 15 cities have responded to the call to action meaning that a total of 750 trees will be planted.
As they symbolically pass the baton each month, municipalities across the country are mobilizing to make their communities greener.

Every Day

Earth Day issues the Action/Reduction certification, which is tailored to supermarkets in Quebec. Through this certification, Earth Day provides support to IGA stores to help them optimize their waste management. The aim of Action/Reduction is to promote the waste management efforts made by stores and to help the stores achieve the objectives set by the Quebec government. The highest levels of certification are Platinum and Diamond. The program also acknowledges food donations made to community organizations by adding a “+” beside the certification level of the participating store.

  2017 2018 2019 2020
Number of certified IGA stores 78 124 170 213
IGA stores with Platinum or Diamond certification 27 50 61 62
IGA stores participating in the Supermarket Recovery Program (SRP) in partnership with Food Banks of Quebec (FBQ) - * 84 94 105
* Data not available

Since 2013, Earth Day and Call2Recycle have collaborated on numerous activities to raise awareness on recycling batteries and recover used batteries in Quebec.

This year, our collaborative work resulted in several communication initiatives that were coordinated by Earth Day: a focus on recycling batteries as part of the actions highlighted during the 2020 campaign; a call to action via a post on social media in June; a contest featuring a video to raise awareness in July; and an influencers campaign with YouTubers Anne-Laurie from the Faire soi-même channel and Verena Erin from My Green Closet.

Tomorrow’s Forest is an initiative presented by the Fondation Cowboys Fringants and operated by Earth Day in collaboration with the David Suzuki Foundation and La Tribu. The program was launched in April 2018 with the mission of improving the health and resilience of both Quebec’s forests and residents by developing a science-based approach to tree planting. This nationwide tree-planting program is replacing the Green Corridor and 375,000 Trees programs.

The aim of the 375,000 Trees program was to increase the canopy area index of the greater metropolitan area by 3% by planting as many trees as its name suggests. The program reached its funding objectives in 2017, in time for the 375th anniversary of Montreal. Since then, tree planting has continued!

  2017 2018 2019 2020
Number of trees planted via the 375,000 trees program 38355 61172 51335 2800
Number of trees planted via the Best Western initiative 177 91 95 -
Number of trees planted via the Marriott initiative -* -* - -
Number of trees planted via the Bonhomme à Lunettes initiative -* -* - -
Number of trees planted via the Frank and Oak initiative (new partner!) - - 895 -
Number of trees planted via the Jumpstreet initiative - - 1000 -
Number of trees planted via the École aux Quatre-Vents initiative - - 338 -
Number of trees planted via the Deux par Deux initiative - - 107 -
*The trees funded through these initiatives are accounted for in the 375,000 Trees program under 2016 and 2017.

Tomorrow’s Forest – Quebec City is the first project operating through the Tomorrow’s Forest program. The program was launched in 2018 in partnership with the city. It supports local initiatives so as to encourage the greening of private properties in order to increase the canopy area index and help Quebec City achieve its Tree Vision.

  2017 2018 2019 2020
Number of trees planted via this program - - 778 475
Number of initiatives supported - - 8 6

Launched in 2020, the Transition Wow program acquires and converts cargo vans to electric in order to help companies and municipalities electrify their fleets of vehicles.

Objective: to facilitate and accelerate the energy transition in the light truck industry in order to help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from Quebec’s transportation sector.

To date, five vehicles have been electrified through the program.

The Zero Waste Challenge has been in operation since 2018, helping families in Rosemont to reduce their waste—and now it’s expanding!

The borough of Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie approached Earth Day and asked us to come up with a tailor-made project to support businesses in the borough that wish to adopt an eco-friendly approach and reduce waste at its source. That’s how the Zero Waste Challenge – Business edition was born!
The goal of the challenge is to raise awareness and support participating businesses as they optimize their waste management practices, reduce waste at its source and take eco-friendly actions.

The Fonds Éco IGA was created in 2008 by IGA grocery stores in Quebec and drives sustainable development in Quebec communities. It provides financing for concrete, sustainable projects that reflect local realities and that aim to protect, conserve and respect the environment.

To date, the Fonds Éco IGA has financed more than 2,500 projects throughout the province. Since its launch, it has awarded $1 million per year to various environmental initiatives.

  2017 2018 2019 2020
Number of turnkey projects financed 234 219 222 223
Number of people registered for the distribution of starter kits for plastic waste - - 17991 8325
Number of starter kits for plastic waste reduction distributed - - - 7568
Number of people registered for the distribution of rainwater collection barrels and composters* 30460 15863 - n/a
Number of rainwater collection barrels distributed* 9084 9024 - -
Number of composters distributed* 6525 5163 - -
Number of participants in the Food Fight program 3902 2398 2885 3626
Number of IGA stores which received training in waste management 208 238 150 290
Number of IGA employees trained as ambassadors for the fight against food waste - - 59 72
Percentage of waste that was recycled, composted or recovered at the Tour CIBC Charles-Bruneau 88 94 93 -
Number of cargo vans converted to electric - - 4 -
Number of fast electric vehicle charging stations installed - - 2 -
Amount invested in the community 12 M$ distribués depuis sa création
*The distribution of plastic waste reduction starter kits replaced the distribution of rainwater collection barrels and composters in 2019.

In collaboration with ENvironnement JEUnesse and Établissements verts Brundtland, Earth Day introduced the Porteur d’espoir program, which celebrates environmental commitment from young people aged between 14 and 30. The program showcases their green initiatives, which serve their communities and all of Quebec. Each year, the program rewards one individual who truly stood out through his or her valuable environmental efforts and achievements. Earth Day awards the winner a grant of $2,000 to pursue his or her projects.

  2017 2018 2019 2020
Applicants 9 11 23 40
Winners Laurence Williams Vincent Boisclair Rodrigue Turgeon Amélie Drainville

Earth Day truly achieves its mission by helping organizations of all kinds to reach their environmental objectives. This year, Earth Day drew on its expertise to help Frank & Oak develop, implement and perform actions to reduce their environmental footprint and offset it by planting trees.

This year, Earth Day Canada entered into a new partnership with Budweiser to promote renewable electricity in Canada. Budweiser demonstrated its commitment to reducing its environmental impact by supporting its parent company in their efforts to achieve their ambitious objective of only using electricity from 100% renewable energy sources by 2025. With support from Budweiser, Earth Day Canada is developing an online platform that will provide a comprehensive overview of the use of electricity from renewable energy sources in Canada and which will provide information and resources to anyone in Canada who is interested in consuming electricity from renewable sources. The platform launch is scheduled for spring 2021!

Our communications

Under the theme of everyday actions that have an impact on the environment, the Earth Day 2020 campaign encouraged people to take action and change their habits.


Number of times that Earth Day’s message was read, seen or heard
160 000 000+
Interviews and news reports on Earth Day 64
Value of Earth Day’s advertising campaign 560 353,50 $
Promotional posters & flyers distributed free of charge 0
Number of activities on the calendar over the year 200
Calendar page views 10 333

Followers 21 000 9 700 3 300 849 1350 85 000
Posts 450 450 151 13 68 55
Users 50 897
Sessions 63 548
Pages visited 113 862
Average time spent on the page (min.) 2 : 01
Sessions during the campaign 15 756


Earth Day (April 22) is an international environmental celebration created in 1970. Tous les Jours | Earth Day Canada is the organization that coordinates the celebrations on April 22nd, in addition to a multitude of environmental programs and projects that take place throughout the year in Canada.

These days, corporations increasingly perceive Earth Day as a means to increase their profits by marketing their products as being environmentally friendly. To counteract the exploitation of Earth Day for commercial ends, the ownership of the Earth Day trademark was transferred from Earth Day International to Earth Day Canada in 1993, so that the latter could make sure to retain the true substance of its original mission in Canada.

Therefore, Earth Day is a registered trademark in Canada and Earth Day Canada holds a copyright on the phrases “Earth Day” and “Jour de la Terre”.


      "Despite the current situation, the environment remains a priority. We have witnessed this through citizen participation in the Earth Day celebrations, including strong engagement from municipalities across the country, and we would like to thank everyone for their involvement. I am proud of Earth Day’s expansion across Canada as it continues to pursue its mission from coast to coast.
  • Thomas Mulcair, Chairman of the Board of Directors


    "For me, the annual celebrations on April 22 are an annual reminder that we can create a cleaner world. They also serve as a real source of energy and inspiration for the rest of the year. I believe that, together, we can take action for the environment and I am happy to witness this enthusiasm not only on Earth Day but also throughout the rest of the year in all of the ambitious projects carried out by the organization.
  • Édith Cochrane, Spokesperson of Earth Day Canada


Pierre Lussier - President | Catherine La Branche Chabot - Administrative Assistant - Human Resources | Alexandre Fichon - Development Director | Alexandra Wilson - Development Manager, National Outreach | Léo Cressatti - Director of Communications | Myriam Charconnet - Communications Officer - Media Campaign | Alice Debiolles - Communications Officer | Maxime Dannel - Webmaster | Karoline Bessette-Simard - Programs Director | Thiaba Sène - Waste Management Coordinator | Marie Legivre - Advisor - Waste Management | Carolyn Dolan - Advisor - Waste Management | Kim Méthot - Project Manager - Clé en main | Bérangère Ferrand - Project Manager - Transport and Mobility | Camille Defoly - Project Manager and Speaker - Food Fight | Julien Kuzdzal - Project Manager - Transition Wow | Mathilde Messersi - Project Manager - Waste Management Development

A thank-you goes out to those who have left:

Rachel Ganem - Executive Assistant | Tara Frost - Administrative Coordinator | Julie Lebert - Administrative Assistant | Émilie Chiasson - Director of Communications | Sophie Turri - Director of Digital Communications | Antoine Paquet-Moisan - Liaison Officer - Tomorrow’s Forest — Quebec City| Hortense Montoux - Programs Director | Océane Barth - Waste Management Coordinator | Sylvain Boissonnier - Advisor - Waste Management | Romane Marcoz - Project Manager – Clé en main | Daphné Constantineau - Sustainable Development Advisor | Raphaëlle Dufresne - Project Manager – Institutional Development | Isabelle Aubut - Project Manager – Food Fight | Émilie Désiré - Administrative Assistant - Accounting and Finance | Guillaume Castelain - Advisor - Waste Management

Board of Directors

Thomas Mulcair - Chairman, Politician | Pierre Lussier - Vice-President, President of Earth Day | Jocelyn Lajoie - Treasurer, Internal Audit Director, Gaz Métro | Michel Séguin - Secretary, Guy Bernier Chair in Cooperation at UQAM | Stephan Pinheiro - Director, President of HumanIT | Mac 911 | Carolina Gallo - Director, Vice President, Public Affairs and Corporate Communications, ABB | Jacques Delsaut - Director, Consultant with the Chairman of the Adecco Group | Caroline Lejeune - Director, Marketing Director of the Missioneo Group |  Jean-Marc Vasse - Director, General Delegate of Val'hor and Mayor of Terre-de-Caux | Virginie Cousineau - Director, Director of Public Affairs, Réseaux Express Métropolitain | Nathalie Boyer - Director, General Delegate of Orée | Alain Dumas - Director, Consultant in Public Relations | Reid Bodley - Director, Manager, Waste and Resource Conservation, CN

Earth Day would like to extend a special thank you to Michel Séguin, who has given his time to Earth Day for over 15 years, and to Jocelyn Lajoie, our valued treasurer.

Special thanks

Earth Day would like to thank the thousands of Canadians who took concrete actions for the environment on April 22 and every day.

Another thank you goes out to all of the museums, libraries, cultural centres, schools and municipalities who celebrated Earth Day in their communities.

Thanks to the new scientific committee for the Tomorrow’s Forest – Quebec City program: Marel Darveau, Jérôme Dupras, Alison Munson, Jean-Claude Ruel and Éric Verreault.

Thank you to the Fonds Éco IGA team:
- Nicholas Levasseur
- Mathieu Harcc-Boutin
- Maude Giguère
- Éric Daigle
- Mirka Castonguay
- Catherine Coderre-Porras
- Frédérique Jetté
- Samuel Bouffard
- Andréanne Charlebois
- Yves Proulx
- Léa Napoletano
- Caroline Busque
- Mathieu Côté
- Mathieu Roy
- Antoine Tremblay
- Nour El Imène Naila

Thank you Camille Defoly, Louis-Philippe Potvin, Éva Murith and Édith Ouellet, the food waste experts for the Food Fight program.

Thank you to Earth Day’s outstanding spokesperson, Édith Cochrane.

Thanks to our treasured partners. Through your actions, you are helping Quebec to become a more environmentally conscious and respectful society.

Lead Partners

Major Partners

Associate Partners

Media Partners

Projects Partners


Contact us

Earth Day Canada

5818, boulevard Saint-Laurent
Montréal (Québec) H2T 1T3 Canada

Phone : (514) 728-0116
Toll free : 1 800 424-8758
Fax : (514) 303-0248