BEC tool 1 – Council of Stakeholders for Sustainability

Stakeholders meet as a Council to do three main things:

· Share ideas and experience;

· Discuss issues of sustainability;

· Find ways to cooperatively address those issues.

Blending of different stakeholder perspectives provides “value added” in discussions and activities. Stakeholders are motivated by a desire to support their region and gain benefits by working with others. You can read more on this in Roles and Benefits for Stakeholders.

Themes of Sustainability

Transportation – Theme 1 Movement of goods and people

Energy – Theme 2 For buildings and activities e.g. transportation, manufacturing, agriculture

Design – Theme 3 Built environment including community design

Habitat – Theme 4 Urban & rural spaces for plants & animals, connectivity

Food – Theme 5 Local healthy food, heritage crops & animals, urban gardens

Natural Capital – Theme 6 Human needs for land, water, soil, natural materials

Waste – Theme 7 Processing of waste, re-use, recycling, conversion to energy

Health – Theme 8 Clean air & water, safety, tranquility, environmental needs of vulnerable groups

Recreation – Theme 9 Non-motorized, urban or rural

Sense of Place – Theme 10 Feeling of belonging that leads to stewardship


Giving BEC Council to the Community

Role of BEC Council

One of the tools of the Biosphere Eco-City (BEC) Model is a Council of Stakeholders. This tool shares ideas and experience to identify sustainability issues and opportunities, and seeks to develop projects to address them.

Began as OBEC Council

Several organizations came together in 2009 to create the Ottawa Biosphere Eco-City Council (OBEC Council). This operated well for years, developing projects that engaged people and fostered cooperation for sustainability. But the OBEC Council came to be seen as mainly serving OBEC as an organization. It had lost the broader perspective of serving all Ottawa stakeholders, as was originally intended.

Giving BEC Council to the community

Members of OBEC Council, therefore, voted to convert the OBEC Council to a Council of Stakeholders outside of OBEC. The Ottawa Biosphere Eco-City (OBEC) and the National Capital Environmental Non-profit Network (NCENN) joined forces to create the Ottawa Council of Stakeholders for Sustainability. The first meeting of the new council was in May 2019.


At the first meeting of the new Council of Stakeholders on 24 May 2019, twenty-one people representing various organizations discussed three potential projects:

1. Small business strategies for energy reduction

2. Food waste reduction

3. Rain gardens

Leading up to a second meeting on 22 November 2019, contact people for the three projects will be gathering ideas to develop formal project proposals. When you download the “Stakeholders Meet Report 24 May 2019 V2” you will see summary information and contact emails for the projects. You may submit your ideas on any or all of these projects; for example: ideas on scope, existing examples, sources of support etc.

In addition, the Council is experimenting with a new type of consultation on three other projects. Composting bioplastics, Redefining Waste and Redefining Sense of Place are wide-open topics that were suggested but not discussed at the May meeting. If you are interested in participating in project formulation for any of these, you can join a Slack Channel through OBEC. To do so, contact Nasha ( for an invitation to join the discussion.

Formal project proposals for the six projects will then be presented at the November meeting. Your help to make these high quality proposals, will be much appreciated.

On 22 November 2019, join OBEC for the second meeting of the Ottawa Council of Stakeholders for Sustainability, in association with the National Capital Environmental Non-profit Network (NCENN).  The session will take place from 10am-2pm on Nov 22nd at the Sustainable Eastern Ontario office on 2203 Alta Vista Rd. 
The Ottawa Council of Stakeholders replaces the OBEC Council. It performs a similar function, discussing sustainability issues and developing projects but for the whole of the Ottawa Community.

You are all invited to find out about progress on projects under discussion from our first meeting in May (see below the list of projects), and to add new ideas for stakeholder cooperation on sustainability. If time permits there will also be a general discussion on the breadth of the Council (who are stakeholders?), an appropriate name (e.g. Ottawa Stakeholders Sustainability Council) and future governance of the Council (to reflect its broad community nature).

This meeting is open to anyone interested. Come out to get inspired and share your ideas and enthusiasm on these projects and all things sustainable – we want to showcase and support you in all your sustainability efforts.

It’s also a fun opportunity to enjoy some tasty treats and catch up with your friends from OBEC!


1. Small/Medium business strategies for energy reduction
2. Captain Food Waste Program
3. Rain gardens + Biodiversity  in Green Spaces
4. Composting Bioplastics
5. Redefining Waste
6. Redefining Sense of Place