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Grow A Small Business Podcast

Jul 18, 2021

In this episode, I interview Nicole Rycroft, the Founder and the Executive Director of CanopyPlanet, an award-winning environmental nonprofit organization based in Vancouver, Canada, dedicated to protecting the world’s forests, species, and climate. Canopy works collaboratively with brands to develop environmental policies and help them implement those, thereby improving their environmental performance and advancing conservation gains.

Nicole was a former physiotherapist and an elite-level athlete in Australia. She moved to Canada and later founded CanopyPlanet in 1999. She started with a $1,800 budget and for over 22 years they got more than $5 million of the budget donated by those who are passionate about planetary health. The organization is currently working with 750 large companies to conserve more than 25 million hectares of forest service.

To be a fast-growing organization, Nicole recommended always making sure to keep the heart of your work close.  Keeping the culture, the change, the authenticity of your brand, and who you are can be the sources of growth. 

This Cast Covers:

  • An environmental nonprofit organization dedicated to protect the world's forests, species, and climate and help advance frontline community rights.
  • Perform its mission by harnessing the purchasing importance of large corporate customers of the forest products industry.
  • Currently working with about 750 large companies that use a lot of paper, a lot of packaging, a lot of wood-based fabrics.
  • Helping large companies develop environmental policies, and implement them so that they transform unsustainable supply chains that end up destroying koala habitats or orangutan habitats and high-carbon forests around the world.
  • Focuses on creating solutions and working together with the largest pulp and paper products buyers to achieve a much greater impact.
  • Passion to protect the endangered, carbon-rich forests around the world led them to become an award-winning environmental nonprofit organization.
  • Has grown and attracted a group of passionate environmental and social justice activists.
  • An award-winning environmental organization has been present for over two decades already. 

Additional Resources:



Make sure that you keep the heart of your work close.” – Nicole Rycroft

“The power of storytelling, and taking people with you on the journey is really important.” – Nicole Rycroft

“I'm really lucky that I've been able to bring the team that is way smarter than me when it comes to systems design and policy and procedure.” – Nicole Rycroft

“Recognizing that as a leader, you have to bring your team with you.” – Nicole Rycroft 

“If you want to both attract great people, as well as keep good people, then you have to take care of them in ways that are meaningful to them.” – Nicole Rycroft


Music from “Cold Funk” by Kevin MacLeod ( License: CC by