About our chapters
Chapters are the core of our organizing model and our ability to achieve scale because they provide a hub for relationship building between workers and supporters who align with our vision and strategy. Chapter members identify challenges and/or opportunities that Iron & Earth is uniquely positioned to address in the community or region. Chapter members then design and deploy campaigns, projects, programs, or events tailored to address the identified need or opportunity. These regional contexts and solutions can often only be understood and developed at the local level. Chapters also support the scaling of national initiatives, through regional involvement in national campaigns or helping scale proven project and training program models.
How we intend to scale our chapters
We aim to establish chapters in every province in Canada and many other countries where fossil fuel industry and Indigenous workers can benefit from our work. These chapters will host regular events and ideally, each chapter will run campaigns and develop/deliver their own projects and/or programs.
Iron & Earth East
Iron & Earth East is the Atlantic Canadian chapter of Iron & Earth, headquartered in St. John's, Newfoundland & Labrador and was founded in 2016. The chapter has developed Iron & Earth’s largest project to-date, the 365 Greenhouse. Chapter members also co-hosted two solar training programs, a province-wide Speaker Series, an Iron & Earth Energy Hour radio show, and a number of well attended Shop Talk Nights.
Iron & Earth Edmonton
Iron & Earth Edmonton formed at the beginning of 2018 and has helped Iron & Earth have a presence in Alberta while developing partnerships essential to Iron & Earth’s Renewable Skills Initiative. The chapter helped host round table discussions with oil and gas workers as part of the Alberta Narratives Project, was featured in the “We Are Alberta” podcast by ATB Financial and had a feature video in a series produced by the City of Edmonton. Our Chapter Director also presented at Climacon in Ottawa in late 2018 and was part of an Edmonton based performance called Viscosity which highlighted stories of oilsands workers.
Our campaigns support our membership to form worker-led policy solutions on timely issues related to our mission. We then use these membership driven solutions to advocate for the policy changes needed to ensure our members and industry can thrive during the complex transition. These campaigns, including our Workers’ Climate Plan campaign in 2016 (download the report here), have helped our organization to generate hundreds of media stories, including international coverage.
Interview on BNN Commodities
|Cover story in Canadian Mining & Energy Magazine|
How we intend to scale our campaigns
We will continue to run campaigns that reshape public perspectives, media narratives, and energy policy. As we grow, these campaigns will continue at a national level and increasingly at a regional level as we build the capacity of our chapters. We will also eventually create international campaigns, connecting workers around the globe as a compelling voice for a prosperous transition.
The Prosperous Transition Campaign
The Prosperous Transition Campaign is focused on advancing a blueprint (The Prosperous Transition Plan) for a global energy transformation, powered by the vision and voices of fossil fuel industry workers' calling for change. This campaign is working to amplify positive and empowering new narratives of hope by listening to the constituencies that need to be heard the most during the recovery period ahead. By doing so, we are helping to catalyze a significant increase in public support for climate justice and the required action to accelerate the implementation of deep-reaching climate change solutions needed to build a just low carbon economy.
The Prosperous Transition Plan proposes four broad-reaching national initiatives that could transform our workforce, businesses, infrastructure and environment to meet the demands of this moment and the future net-zero economy.
Prosperous Transition Plan action page image at www.ironandearth.org
1 - Workforce
A National Upskilling Initiative to rapidly upskill fossil fuel industry and Indigenous workers for careers in the net-zero economy.
2 - Businesses
A National Repositioning Initiative to retool manufacturing capacities and pivot business services to support net-zero industries.
3 - Infrastructure
A National Retrofit & Repurpose Initiative to reduce carbon intensity of long term infrastructure and repurpose old infrastructure for new uses.
4 - Environment
A National Nature-Based Solutions Initiative to support and strengthen the earth’s ecosystems, carbon sinks and natural technologies.
This campaign seeks to build and channel the power of our constituency through four phases:
- Rapid response: Rapidly generate and demonstrate worker support for a set of prosperous transition principles and green stimulus initiatives
- Listen: Gather more information about fossil fuel sector workers’ vision for a Prosperous Transition
- Amplify: Broadcast worker supported priorities and perspectives into the public and political spheres
- Influence: Organize to win workers’ policy priorities for a prosperous transition
PROGRAMS & PROJECTS
About our projects and programs
We deliver a range of sustainable energy training programs to rapidly upskill fossil fuel industry and Indigenous workers into climate careers. These training programs are often integrated with hands-on sustainable energy installations. We also develop sustainable energy projects, ranging from sustainably powered greenhouses to utilizing oil well sites for solar energy.
How we intend to scale our projects and programs
There are a number of projects that we have completed, or will be completing soon, that may prove to be scalable. We intend to develop additional project and program models, while scaling the projects and programs that prove impactful.
Our training programs
Iron & Earth has developed four new rapid upskilling programs that are ready for delivery:
- 10-Day Solar Skills for Electricians
- 10-Day Community Solar Skills
- 10-Day Community Wind Skills
- 10-Day RenuWell Workforce Training Program
Unique elements of our 10-Day rapid upskilling programs include:
- Delivery of our programs in remote and Indigenous communities
- Designed for, and focused delivery for, fossil fuel industry workers and Indigenous community members
- Five days of hands-on experience: installing a working renewable energy system
- Indigenous ways of knowing reflected in the course structure and content
- Connections career mentorship program for program graduates
The Renewable Skills Initiative is designed to build up the workforce required to fill the growing need for skilled solar and wind energy industry workers while empowering our core constituency of fossil fuel industry and Indigenous workers to enter these industries. The primary trainee target is tradespeople across the spectrum, with a goal of gender parity in our programs.
Through the leadership of our east coast chapter, Iron & Earth developed and designed a one of a kind renewable energy assisted greenhouse in partnership with the Autism Society of Newfoundland & Labrador (ASNL) in St. John’s. It uses solar photovoltaic modules and an electric heat pump to generate the heat and light required to grow food year round. Under net metering, this greenhouse will provide revenue generation, flowers and produce for the Autism Society's social enterprise initiatives, Good Roots gardening and the Pantry Cafe. Daily operation of the greenhouse will be managed by ASNL, giving them the opportunity to employ 2-3 additional people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), as is their mandate.
I&E East trainees installing the 3kW solar energy system as part of the 365 Greenhouse project
Declining production from conventional oil and gas fields has left 199,000+ inactive wells and more than 160,000 hectares of disturbed land in Alberta. RenuWell aims to accelerate both the clean up of these sites, while also utilizing the existing roads, powerlines, and disturbed lands to reduce the costs for renewable energy projects. Iron & Earth is core partner on this initiative which is currently in Phase 1. This phase includes community and stakeholder engagement, as well as working with the Municipal District of Taber to develop policies and a best practice guidebook for municipalities who wish to develop similar projects. In Phase 2, pending funding, we aim to break ground on our pilot project.
A solar powered pump jack developed by Imaginea and SkyFire Energy
About our platforms
Digital platforms have the potential to provide meaningful value, to a maximum number of people, at minimal cost. Our first digital platform is the Climate Career Portal and is being designed specifically to meet the needs of our constituency.
How we intend to scale our platforms
Increase the number of features provided through the Climate Career Portal, while reaching more workers to connect them with career path opportunities in the net-zero economy.
The Climate Career Portal
The Climate Career Portal is a digital platform that connects fossil fuel industry workers with career path opportunities in the net-zero economy, along with resources, opportunity maps, and connections to training opportunities to support their career pivot.
About our events and our event participation
Our events provide an easy way for chapter members to meet each other and gain new knowledge about developments in sustainable energy and other sectors focused on addressing climate change. Our chapters regularly host Shop Talk Nights that help bring workers and supporters together to build relationships and to network with industry stakeholders.
How we intend to scale our events and our event participation
We plan to support each of our chapters to host quarterly Shop Talk Nights to build and maintain a community base of engaged members and supporters. We would also like to organize more Speaker Series tours across Canada and in other countries. We will also participate at most climate and net-zero related events and conferences in Canada, and increasingly regionally and internationally.
Iron & Earth is involved in a range of community initiatives and our team regularly speaks at industry conferences. These types of activities help Iron & Earth further amplify the voice of our members while strengthening our community relationships.
Shop Talk Nights
Our chapters regularly host Shop Talk Nights that help bring workers and supporters together to build relationships and to network with industry stakeholders. A common format for these events is to have an industry leader speak about opportunities and trends in sustainable energy followed by discussion and networking. Presenters have included renewable energy business owners, renewable energy training providers, recruitment specialists, and academics who have focused their studies on renewable energy issues.
Another event series we have developed is our Speaker Series, the first of which involved a tour to key communities in Newfoundland & Labrador educating workers and community members about the opportunities and barriers regarding wind energy development in the province.
Delia Warren, Nick Mercer, and Chris Collins from I&E East during a Speaker Series tour of NL
In October 2016 we hosted our first organizational visioning event in Edmonton, which included participants from BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland & Labrador. Feedback and ideas from our members and supporters contributed to our strategic direction. We hope to host visioning meetings on an annual basis when capacity allows.
Conference and event participation
Iron & Earth has presented at over a dozen events and conferences. Below is a snapshot of some of the events we are proud to have been a part of.
Iron & Earth founder Lliam Hildebrand on a panel at Africa Oil Week in Cape Town, South Africa
The Energy Futures Lab
We have had the honour of being an Energy Futures Lab (EFL) participant since 2016. The EFL is a multi-stakeholder platform that convenes diverse voices in the energy system. It is a trusted bridge-builder, connecting innovators working in different areas of the energy system and taking advantage of their divergent perspectives. Through the EFL, Iron & Earth has established partnerships across the energy sector, including financial support from our first major industry partners, Enbridge and Suncor.
Energy Futures Lab fellows on a walk during the Fall 2018 gathering in Kananaskis