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The Zero Emissions Innovation Centre (ZEIC) is an independent non-profit and charitable organization that is part of the Low Carbon Cities Canada (LC3) network established by the Government of Canada and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM). ZEIC’s mandate is to catalyze, accelerate and scale climate action innovation across Metro Vancouver related to green buildings, renewable energy and transportation through a combination of impact investing, granting, partnerships, research and capacity building.

The establishment of ZEIC has been made possible through a $21.7M endowment by the Government of Canada and the efforts of regional champions including the Renewable Cities at the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue at Simon Fraser University (SFU), City of Vancouver, Metro Vancouver and the Province of British Columbia.

Our organization is situated on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territories of Coast Salish Peoples, including the q̓ic̓əy̓ (Katzie), qʼʷa:n̓ƛʼən̓ (Kwantlen), kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem), xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), sɛmiˈɑːmuː (Semiahmoo), Stó:lō (Sto:lo), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), and sc̓əwaθən məsteyəxʷ (Tsawwassen) Nations.  To the Nations who have stewarded and cared for these lands since time immemorial, we offer acknowledgement, gratitude and our commitment to ongoing learning and respect.

Our gratitude to the organizations in the region who were instrumental in establishing ZEIC:

Our Mission

Working with governments, Indigenous partners, industry and others, we support ambitious climate policy, address barriers, and catalyze, accelerate and scale innovation to strengthen equitable and resilient communities for current and future generations.

Our Vision

Together, we enable a new era of climate action and innovation for an inclusive, prosperous and healthy zero carbon future in our region by 2050.
Many promising urban low-carbon solutions fail to make it from proven concept to implementation due to a whole range of different factors, including difficulty accessing capital and markets, risk aversion and policy barriers. This Centre will help overcome these barriers.
Honourable Minister Jonathan Wilkinson
Government of Canada
"

About the Zero Emissions Innovation Centre

The Zero Emissions Innovation Centre (ZEIC) is an independent, non-profit and charitable organization whose establishment has been seeded by a $21.7M endowment by the Government of Canada to help catalyze and advance ambitious and innovative climate action in our region. The organization is focused on working collaboratively across the public, private and non-profit sectors using tools such as impact investing, granting, partnerships and capacity building to advance climate action in green buildings, renewable energy and transportation sectors.

The ZEIC is part of a Low Carbon Cities Canada (LC3) network of organizations in seven of the country’s largest cities, supported by an $183 million federal investment. FCM serves as the secretariat for the LC3 Network and, in conjunction with each centre, will be developing a results-based management framework and a set of indicators, which the centres will report on annually.

Many organizations in the Metro Vancouver region have come together to support the creation of ZEIC, including our founding supporters SFU, the City of Vancouver and Metro Vancouver.  SFU’s Renewable Cities initiative at the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue has been intimately involved in establishing the centre with an interdisciplinary team of experts (Lidstone & Company, Rhiza Capital and WCS Engagement + Planning). This start-up team has been working closely with the FCM to set up the organization, appoint a Board of Directors, carry out the recruitment process for an Executive Director and ready the organization to receive the endowment from the Federal Government.

The Zero Emissions Innovation Centre is expected to match the $21.7M endowment over ten years. With the climate action acumen, financial innovators and change-makers in public, private and non-profit sectors across the region and province, the Board is confident the matching requirement can be exceeded and that, together with our partners and industry, the Centre can progress climate actions benefiting and transforming construction sites, homes, businesses and transportation corridors across Metro Vancouver and beyond within the province. 

Executive

Melina Scholefield, P. Eng.
Executive Director

Melina is a progressive, collaborative, creative and caring leader known for her ability to bring people together, lead transformation and translate vision into practical implementation.  As a civil-environmental engineer with over two decades of public and private sector experience, Melina has a long-standing dedication to community-building, sustainability, innovation, leadership development and collaboration across sectors and disciplines.  In the private sector, Melina worked as a green infrastructure instructor, green building project consultant and a Built Green certified residential builder with a special interest in passive house methods. In the public sector, Melina has held leadership roles with the City of Vancouver related to sustainability, climate mitigation and adaptation, green building policy, green Infrastructure planning and implementation and transportation planning. Most recently, Melina and her team led Vancouver's ambitious and multi-award-winning Rain City Strategy, a transformative, cross-departmental urban rainwater management initiative.

In 2020, Melina was named Water Steward of the Year by the Canadian Water and Wastewater Association for her leadership and impact in the Canadian Water industry.  In 2021, Melina received the YWCA Women of Distinction Award in Environmental Sustainability.  Melina has a graduate certificate in Values-based Leadership from Royal Roads University and is currently pursuing her MA in Leadership specializing in Executive Leadership and change management.

Board Members

Dr. Peter Robinson (Chair)

Dr. Peter Robinson possesses diverse leadership experience spanning more than four decades in business, government, and the non-profit sectors. He was Chief Executive Officer of the David Suzuki Foundation from 2008 to 2017 and, from 2000 to 2008, was Chief Executive Officer of Mountain Equipment Co-op. From 1984 to 2000, Dr. Robinson held several positions with BC Housing, a government agency, including Chief Executive Officer from 1999 to 2000. He has been extensively involved in community and humanitarian work, including monitoring prisons with the International Red Cross in Rwanda, governor of the Canadian Red Cross Society from 2010 to 2012, and Chair of the Board of Governors and Chancellor of Royal Roads University from 2007 to 2010.

Dr. Robinson holds a Doctor of Social Sciences, a Master of Arts in Conflict Analysis and Management, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in geography. He has also received several honorary degrees and awards, including Honorary Doctor of Laws from Royal Roads University in 2014, Honorary Doctor of Technology from the British Columbia Institute of Technology in 2010, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 and the Order of Red Cross from the Canadian Red Cross Society in 2005.

Chih-Ting Lo (Vice-Chair)
EELO Solutions

Chih-Ting is a strategist, entrepreneur, and board member committed to making the global net-zero carbon future a reality targeting high-impact industries. A professional engineer with deep sectoral knowledge, expertise in environment, social, and governance (ESG) performance, and an innovation leader, Chih-Ting’s data driven approach uniquely compliments exercising governance best practices and overseeing risks. After years in research and commercialization on a novel hydrogen storage technology followed by consulting, she founded EELO Solutions in 2011, building bold strategies and supporting their implementation. With global experience in mining, marine, energy, and international financial institutions, she has enabled $100M+ private sector investments and raised $45M+ for innovation and decarbonization projects in recent years. 

Chih-Ting is collaborative, deliberate, and authentic. She believes that technologies and investment in novel ideas are necessary to reach climate action targets. She is on the Advisory Board of clean tech companies and is an Executive in Residence in cleantech accelerators.

Outside of work, Chih-Ting enjoys everything outdoors, snowboarding, cycling, and growing her own food. She builds and lives in a certified passive house with her partner in the City of Vancouver.

Councillor Adriane Carr
City of Vancouver

Councillor Adriane Carr serves on the ZEIC Board as the appointed representative for the City of Vancouver. Born in Vancouver, Adriane Carr earned an MA in Urban Geography from UBC. She taught for 12 years at Langara College, chaired their Department of Interdisciplinary Studies and helped launch Langara’s Environmental Studies program.  

She left teaching to join Western Canada Wilderness Committee’s executive team in 1989, heading their grants program, editing campaign publications, and founding their international campaigns. 1993-2000 Carr led efforts to resolve the conflict over oldgrowth logging in Clayoquot Sound, asked by the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council Central Region Chiefs to be the liaison between them and key environment groups.  

In 1983, Carr co-founded and became the first spokesperson of the Green Party of British Columbia, North America’s first Green Party. She was elected Leader of the B.C. Greens 2000 to 2006. In 2006 she was appointed Deputy Leader of the Green Party of Canada by Elizabeth May, leading the party’s Shadow Cabinet, national fundraising and election campaign training for the next 5 years.  

Carr was elected as Vancouver’s first Green Party City Councillor in 2011 and re-elected in 2014 and 2018 at the top of the polls.  She currently chairs Council’s Policy and Strategic Priorities Committee, and is a Council representative to the city’s Urban Indigenous Peoples’ Advisory Committee, Civic Asset Naming Committee, UNDRIP Task Force and City Council-Vancouver School Board Capital Projects Committee. She represents Vancouver on Metro Vancouver’s Board of Directors, Metro Vancouver’s Finance Committee and Chairs Metro Vancouver’s Climate Action Committee.

Councillor Carr has two adult children, two young grandchildren, and lives in Vancouver's West End with her husband Paul George.

Director Jen McCutcheon
Metro Vancouver, Electoral Area A

Dr. Jen McCutcheon serves on the ZEIC Board as the appointed director for the Metro Vancouver Regional District (MVRD). Jen is the elected representative for Electoral Area A (all non-municipal areas of Metro Vancouver) on the MVRD Board of Directors and TransLink’s Mayors’ Council.  In addition, she serves on the Metro Vancouver Climate Action Committee, EComm’s Board of Directors, the Ocean Watch Action Committee, as well as a number of other Boards and committees within the region.

Jen is passionate about the environment and about decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.  Her perspectives are guided by a commitment to a better world for her children and future generations, as well as her academic and professional background in public health. She holds a doctorate degree in global public health and has worked for a decade on strengthening health systems in low-income countries.

Jen approaches her decisions and policy making from a social justice and climate lens, and is passionate about issues such as climate action, affordability, reconciliation. She brings a regional perspective to the ZEIC Board, as well as her expertise in strategic thinking and facilitation.

Councillor Curtis Thomas
Tsleil-Waututh Nation, Warrior Plumbing

Curtis was born and raised in the Tsleil-Waututh Nation and is very proud to call it home. He is an elected councillor and active member of the TWN Community Climate Action Committee. He has been a mechanical contracting professional for nearly two decades. He is a Red Seal certified plumber and a “B” level certified gas fitter, gaining both certifications from BCIT.

He owns and operates Warrior Plumbing, providing mechanical services for new, multi-family residential developments for builders and Indigenous landowners, employing a dozen tradespeople.

 

Elaine Wong
Pine Street Ventures

A seasoned financial executive with thirty years of corporate and not-for-profit experience, Elaine Wong, CPA, CA, has worked with various organizations in high growth, transformative sectors such as cleantech and renewable energy. She currently sits on the Board of Greenlane Renewables (TSX: GRN) and previously held various leadership positions including Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President, Strategic Development, with Westport Fuel Systems (NASDAQ/ TSX: WPRT).

Elaine began her professional career at KPMG and then joined ISM-BC, an information technology joint venture between TELUS and IBM. Elaine has also served on the Boards of the David Suzuki Foundation, the Natural Step Canada, Canadian Business for Social Responsibility, and on CPA Canada’s Sustainability Advisory Board. In 2010, she was named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women. A lifelong Vancouverite, Elaine is a Chartered Professional Accountant (Chartered Accountant), and holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree from the University of British Columbia.

Karen Tam Wu
Climate Policy Advisor

Karen Tam Wu is the former regional director of British Columbia at the Pembina Institute, Canada’s leading clean energy think tank. She is also a member of the B.C. government’s Climate Solutions Council.

Through research and collaboration with partners to advance policies that accelerate the switch to renewable energy and cut carbon pollution across sectors, Karen has worked broadly to build a resilient, low carbon economy and create a safe climate.

Karen has been named one of Business in Vancouver’s most influential business leaders in B.C. and a Georgia Straight Trailblazer. She was awarded the Foresight Industry Impact Award and Clean50 Project of the Year.

Previously, Karen worked for over a decade with Indigenous communities, governments, and multi-stakeholder initiatives on important conservation initiatives in B.C. and to implement sustainable forest management around the world.

Kira Gerwing
Sacha Investments Ltd

Kira is committed to a practice that brings visionary, compassionate, and strategic leadership to the systems that drive how we own, steward, and develop land.  In her current role as Chief Real Estate Investment Officer for Sacha Investments Ltd, she sources impact investment opportunities in Western Canada, focusing on social purpose real estate that delivers affordable housing, green buildings, sustainable agriculture, and forestry-based carbon sequestration.

From 2012 to 2021, Kira was the Senior Manager in Community Investment at Vancity Credit Union. There, she led a strong team of community investors who craft opportunities in affordable housing, reconciliation and Indigenous business development, and meaningful climate action in finance. She has a passion for finding creative ways to realise everyone’s fundamental right to flourish.  Kira believes in the power of local economic development and is innovative in how she invests skills and resources to deliver high impact, scale-able enterprises.  Prior to Vancity, Kira was an urban planner with the City of Vancouver in the Downtown Eastside neighbourhoods. She’s married to an entrepreneur who works with her to parent two teen-aged children.  She loves downhill skiing and riding her bike to get around the city.

Jackie Cook
Director, Stewardship, Product Strategy & Development, Morningstar

Jackie has worked within the investor stewardship movement for the past 25 years to advance sustainable business practices. Between 2007 and 2018 she founded, led, and sold a “proxytech” business that supported investor voting analytics and campaigns. In her present position at Morningstar - a global financial research, data, and services provider - she leads a team of ESG specialists who represent institutional investors in proxy voting and direct engagements with large multinational companies on topics of corporate governance, climate, and sustainability. Previously, within Morningstar, Jackie focused on fund and asset manager research as a subject matter expert on investor stewardship. Throughout her career, Jackie has published widely to both academic and professional readerships on corporate form, investor active ownership, and energy governance. Her work is motivated by a belief in the power of financial markets to move the dial on pressing environmental and social challenges.

Jackie grew up under the African sky and is a graduate of Oxford University’s Saïd Business School as a Rhodes Scholar. She is married with four teens and a house full of pets and plants.

Gail Hochachka
Postdoctoral Research Fellow - Climate Action Pathways, Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia

Gail Hochachka, Ph.D. is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia (UBC), in the Forests and Communities in Transition (FACT) Lab, Faculty of Forestry. She studies the human dimensions of climate change and transformations to sustainability. Her current research focuses on the meaning-making, worldviews and values that shape climate perceptions in BC. Her previous postdoc research at UBC looked at how to accelerate urban climate action using novel transformative-change heuristics to assess key barriers and untapped opportunities for climate action. Her work has been widely published and includes novel insights for climate policy design, communications, and engagement. She facilitates learning in non-academic settings such as through workshops, webinars, leadership trainings, and conferences, and she has also taught in academic institutions, including a graduate course on Climate Communications and Engagement at UBC. Prior to this, Hochachka did her PhD research at the University of Oslo with a focus on climate change adaptation and transformations to sustainability.

She maintains professional connections with researchers in Norway, at University of Oslo as well as the Western Norway Research Institute, with collaborations on climate change, nature-based solutions, and transformations to sustainability. Gail has substantial experience working in sustainable development in Latin America and Africa, and this global perspective continues to deeply influence her research questions and her approach.

Chris Gilmore
BC Government Observer / Ex-officio position

Chris has more than 19 years of experience holding progressively more senior roles in both the provincial and federal governments. He is currently the Executive Director of Climate Partnerships & Engagement within the Climate Action Secretariat in the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy – joining in August 2018.

Since moving to B.C. in 2007, Chris worked in the economic development and jobs ministry until 2018. There he worked on files such as DM/Cabinet Policy Committee support, green economy; innovation policy; Federal/Provincial relations, industrial development and Indigenous Economic Development.

In Ottawa, he worked within the departments of Industry Canada and Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC) providing advice on competitiveness, innovation, regional development, trade and investment, and workplace skills issues.

Chris holds an undergraduate degree in Business Administration (UNB); a graduate degree in Development Economics (Dalhousie) and is a certified Economic Developer (Ec.D) (University of Waterloo).

Chris is married with two young daughters that keep him busy outside of work.

ZEIC Start-Up Team

SFU’s Renewable Cities, who was chosen to establish the Metro Vancouver ZEIC, assembled a team of top non-profit start-up, impact investment, governance and community climate action strategists. Advisors with the City of Vancouver, Metro Vancouver, BC Government and private sector were also important in guiding the start-up process and in their support for the organization, read more HERE.

Our gratitude to the Zero Emissions Innovation Centre start-up team:

Alex Boston Renewable Cities
Brad Doff Renewable Cities
Brian Smith Terramera
Cheeying Ho WCS Engagement & Planning
Don Lidstone Lidstone & Company

Career Opportunities

If you're interested in opportunities to work with the Metro Vancouver ZEIC team, including our program areas, feel free to send a general application (cover letter and resume) to us at any time: jobs@zeic.ca

Manager of Business Planning and Operations

This role is part of ZEIC's management team and is responsible for managing business and operations strategy, organizational initiatives, and special projects. The position will contribute to business processes, organizational practices, expertise and a spirit of innovation, teamwork, and collaboration to our highly motivated team of professionals.

This position is open for applications until filled (posted Jan 8, 2024). To apply, please submit a cover letter and resume on Indeed

Director of Communications

The position is responsible for providing communications leadership to enable ZEIC to meet its strategic objectives and mission. Working with the Executive Director, as part of the senior leadership team, and in support of the Board of Directors, the role involves strategic communications planning; public, media and government relations; brand development, management, and integration; marketing and communications for programs, resources, and events on traditional media, social media, and websites; and program and contract management and oversight. The position will oversee the communications team at ZEIC and will interact with program managers and others to meet cross-functional objectives.

This position is open for applications until Apr 15, 2024. To apply, please submit a cover letter and resume on Indeed

Executive Assistant

The position coordinates sensitive and confidential information and documentation flowing to and from the office of the Executive Director, the Board of Directors and the Director of Finance & Operations, as needed, ensuring accurate and timely delivery of administrative services, keeping the Executive Director and other Directors apprised of issues and activities. The position manages the Executive Director’s schedule and provides scheduling support for Directors and the Board of Directors, coordinates ZEIC’s internal and external meetings, correspondence and information/document management and provides administrative support for other strategic initiatives, as needed.

To apply, please submit a cover letter and resume on Indeed

News

Read the latest news items here from ZEIC and our program areas.

McConnell Foundation & Trottier Family Foundation provide $12 million to fund decarbonization of major Canadian cities

Press Release: LC3 & FCM
Posted May 9, 2023
Read LC3 Here    Read FCM Here

Awards Recognize Excellence in Climate-Friendly Building Design

Press Release: ZEBx, CLF British Columbia
Posted April 5, 2023
Read Here


Zero Emissions Innovation Centre

3300-515 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
V6B 5K3

Charity Registration 762832269RR0001

ZEIC is a member of the Low Carbon Cities Canada (LC3) network