Our Approach

When it comes to reducing carbon, it’s not just about new solutions—it’s about aligning efforts. By advancing research, policy, investment, advocacy, and implementation, OCAF is on a mission to combine forces and unlock potential.

To succeed, low-carbon solutions must benefit everyone.
We approach carbon reduction as a platform to deliver benefits to our community, such as:

Create local jobs

Improve people’s health

Enhance housing affordability

Increase resilience to extreme weather and economic disruption

Committed to lasting change, our work focuses on overcoming barriers to wide-scale adoption—whether financial, institutional, behavioural, or perceptual.

The funds in our endowment will be invested for carbon impact—and amplified by other investors—to expand energy efficiency, increase renewables, and stimulate implementation of proven technologies.

We take action using a variety of tools, including:

Investments: supporting private investors and entrepreneurs in financing impactful low-carbon projects and business models that inspire replication

Grants: providing support to NGOs and researchers to analyze, develop and implement strategic initiatives to accelerate climate action and overcome barriers to scale-up

Convening: cultivating partnerships, vetting opportunities, promoting solutions, and communicating opportunities

Our Priorities

About half of Canada’s carbon emissions come from its cities—largely from existing buildings and transportation. Yet the necessary scaling up of low-carbon solutions in urban areas faces numerous barriers: siloed public and private players, risk aversion, lack of community buy-in, pilot projects that don’t progress, lack of effective financing arrangements, and other institutional hurdles. OCAF seeks to address these gaps and barriers in Ottawa so that effective, long-term solutions can reach their full potential. Through our work we will also unlock strong community benefits such as green job creation, resilient and affordable housing and efficient transportation systems.

We are focused on:

  • Building efficiency
  • Sustainable transportation
  • 15-minute neighbourhoods

And our approach is to:

  • Scale existing promising low-carbon solutions in Ottawa;
  • Align low-carbon initiatives with one another to gain momentum; and
  • Couple climate solutions with community benefit so that everyone — from individuals to businesses, from inner-city to rural, and across all demographics — is supported and can be a champion for climate change efforts.

We will invest in direct deployment of solutions and in the “connecting” pieces such as low-carbon workforce development and distributed energy resources

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