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Green Canopy’s 2018 Impact Report | Regenerating Communities & Environments

“It’s sometimes easy to forget that all the small and seemingly insignificant tasks that we perform daily adds up to big change. Reading the Impact Report reminds me that we’re doing good work and adhering to our mission.”  - Green Canopy Employee

We know you believe transforming the built environment toward more sustainable and healthy housing can help ensure a better future. Thank you for being our partner!

Healthy Homes, Healthy Lives

Contributed by Emily Butterfield

Contributed by Emily Butterfield

We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.
- Winston Churchill

Certified Green homes are synonymous with sustainability, energy efficiency and a positive environmental impact, but did you know that living in a Green home is better for your health, too?   

Adhering to third party green building standards such as those set by Built Green in Seattle and Earth Advantage in Portland, helps ensure Green Canopy Homes are both better for the environment and better for our health.

We reduce common health hazards by paying close attention to how we build our homes and what we put in them.


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Eliminating Moisture

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we are no strangers to moisture and the issues that it can present. Water damage is often a result of inadequate construction, ranging from poor window installation, leaky roofs, and inadequate framing. Mold and mildew are common signs of moisture issues, and can be a significant trigger for allergies and rashes, making the home uncomfortable and sometimes unsafe to live in. To build a home that is well sealed, Green Canopy uses several weatherproofing methods – this allows for both protection from the elements as well as energy efficiency. One of these tools we use is Blueskin, a self-sealing barrier that we wrap around the exterior framing of our homes to keep out air and moisture. In addition to reducing the risk of moisture, it also prevents drafts from entering the home, improving both comfort and reduced energy costs.


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Improving Indoor Air Quality

Weatherproofing our homes creates a seal to keep unwanted elements out, but in turn also traps in the air in the home. Air quality has a huge impact on our health and comfort, whether it be from city pollution, seasonal allergies, or the annual forest fires we are beginning to become familiar with in the PNW. Since our homes are nearly airtight, Green Canopy incorporates energy efficient air systems called ERVs (energy recovery ventilators) in order to introduce fresh air into the home, filtered from outside pollutants and allergens, while also exhausting stale air. A recent study found that “inhabitants of energy-efficient, mechanically ventilated homes rated the quality of indoor air and climate significantly higher” than those living in standard homes.


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Reducing Exposure to Toxins

As homeowners are becoming more aware of the contaminants found in furniture, cleaning supplies, and other everyday objects, the demand for a healthier living space is increasing. By using zero-VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) paint, adhesives, and finishes we ensure there is minimal off-gassing from the products that are installed within our homes. VOCs, noted by that familiar “new paint smell”, can cause dizziness and headaches. While most VOCs leave the paint as it dries, some paints release VOCs into homes for years. The toxicity of VOCs can cause both short and long term health effects. Green Canopy homes use paint that is VOC-free, and complies with environmental regulations and guidelines. We also make a deliberate decision to install non-gas appliances. Gas appliances like stoves, furnaces, and water heaters release toxic byproducts into a home including nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and formaldehyde. Our induction stoves eliminate the risk of fumes that gas stoves release while cooking, while additionally providing a quicker cook time and precise temperature control.


Homes are the nexus of our lives. Green Canopy believes that living in a sustainable and healthy home will inspire our homeowners to embrace a sustainable and healthy lifestyle. To learn more about our theory of change and impact, check out our Impact Report.


Seattle's First Affordable Middle Income Advisory Council

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The establishment of Seattle’s first-ever Affordable Middle-Income Housing Advisory Council was announced by Mayor Jenny Durkan in January, as the city seeks to address the growing need to help middle-income families find affordable homes.

Green Canopy CEO Aaron Fairchild serves as a council member, as the group seeks to close market gaps through investment tools and strategies, along with attracting capital investment to create more affordable homes for Seattle’s middle-income earners. 

 “I’m honored to continue advancing Green Canopy’s mission working alongside such an amazing brain trust assembled by our Mayor Jenny Durkan,” says Fairchild.

Seattle and Portland 2019 Single-Family Residential Market Review & Outlook

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Market Review & Outlook

As a residential developer hyper-focused on the urban infill markets of Seattle and Portland, Green Canopy continuously evaluates, and buys and sells property. The company also keeps a finger on the pulse of housing research and media reports. Combining boots on the ground with a bird’s eye view, Green Canopy’s team compiled a 2019 Market Review and Outlook in offering a unique perspective on the transitioning regional housing market.  

Following three years of outsized growth, Seattle and Portland single family residential (SFR) home values peaked in May 2018. As home price growth overshot per capita income growth and interest rates ticked slightly higher, more sellers entered the market, but some buyers hit the pause button. Homes sales volume subsequently slowed, listing inventory rose and a sharp but fairly shallow price correction pushed regional home values back toward market equilibrium. Slower sales volumes persisted over the remainder of 2018 and sellers were increasingly forced to reduce prices to complete sales. As the dust settled, Seattle and Portland median home values finished the year a few percentage points higher compared to 2017.

Looking forward, strong local economic and demographic fundamentals support the case for low to moderate home appreciation rates throughout 2019 for the Seattle and Portland housing markets. Key supporting factors include:

  • Continued regional net population growth

  • Low unemployment, healthy per capita income levels and payroll growth

  • Persistent multi-year constrained supply of home listings and new SFR housing starts

  • Moderating acquisition and construction costs for homebuilders

Creating a Mission Statement That Matters

Creating a Mission Statement That Matters

Green Canopy builds homes, relationships, and businesses that help regenerate communities and environments.


GREEN CANOPY IS PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE A NEW MISSION STATEMENT THAT HAS DEVELOPED FROM MUCH THOUGHT AND COLLABORATION.

“Mission statement” is one of the first terms inside startup guides, marketing courses and business plans. It can feel like fluff on an entrepreneur’s checklist of a million-and-one things to manage — a checklist that also includes terms like revenue and retention rate.

And a mission can become fluff that has little real impact internally or externally. Aaron Fairchild, CEO of Green Canopy says, “Where intention and attention go, energy flows.” A mission statement helps set intention and attention, ensures stakeholder alignment, guides strategy, and helps differentiate — creating a sustained competitive advantage and supporting the long-term success of an organization. This has been Green Canopy’s process:

3 Ways to Make Investment Decisions Without Compromising Values

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By Aaron Fairchild

I recently spent a couple of days at SOCAP18. After the conference, I had the opportunity to screen a soon-to-be-released Australian documentary called, 2040. 2040 is a beautiful “future-fit”, utopian depiction of a potential future made possible by incorporating carbon drawdown methods and technologies. 
 
The week before the screening a new environmental philosopher friend shared a concept she has written about extensively — the Precautionary PrincipleShe explained this by saying, “One can’t use uncertainty as a justification for inaction. One must use precaution to mitigate harmful outcomes even in the face of uncertainty.
 
Appling this to positive impact investors could translate to: “Investors and their financial fiduciaries can’t use financial uncertainty as a justification for inaction. Given the urgency of our social and environmental challenges, investors must use precaution to mitigate harmful financial outcomes — And still identify ways to invest in positive social and environmental opportunities even in the face of financial uncertainty.”
 
Unfortunately, in the face of our pressing social and environmental problems, the Precautionary Principle is often used as a reason not to invest in opportunities that generate positive impact outcomes. Even given our good intentions, the traditional structures of finance don’t legally allow moral social and environmental convictions to negatively influence financial outcomes. If the financial outcome is uncertain, but the social and environmental outcomes are clear and measurable — the existing legal frameworks and institutional structures justify inaction in the face of uncertainty.
 
As my mental turntable plays the paradoxical precautionary blues, I see images of the amazing people in the theater moving to a rhythm of positive change, but are we a little off the beat? 
 
How many times have you heard, “In order to attract more capital, the social and environmental enterprise must prove its ability to create market-rate returns. We need proven strategies.”? This thinking may lead to a slip-and-slide of marginalized outcomes in the pursuit of “market-rate” returns. Furthermore, the Precautionary Principle can create a disincentive to invest in positive social and environmental outcomes in uncertain market cycles or in investments labeled “concessionary.” In uncertain markets or uncertain categories, investors may justify putting the pursuit of positive outcomes on the shelf in favor of “proven” and more certain downside protection investment strategies.
 
According to Paul Hawken in the film 2040, 80% of the world’s agriculture is grown by small farm holders. However, in 2018 small farm holder investments are flat to down. Unfortunately, this is not an anomaly. Small to medium enterprise investments are flat to down, and renewable energy investments globally are flat to down as well. I recently learned of these alarming statistics on the Impact Alpha podcast, Getting to Yes. The decline observed in this podcast may be a result of investor’s growing uncertainty in the financial markets. Are we employing the Precautionary Principle? This may forecast a potential disturbing trend for urgently-needed investments in social and environmental solutions as the US economy advances into a market cycle already long in the tooth.
 
Understanding how we may be employing the Precautionary Principle helps clarify that even as we face urgent need to invest in social and environmental solutions, our desire for positive social and environmental outcomes often are left waiting on the side in the face of financial uncertainty. It is a difficult paradoxical dance to pull off. If true, I have three recommendations:

  1. Engage and collaborate with the impact entrepreneurs.When the social and environmental outcomes are clear, measurable and convincing, but the financial outcomes are uncertain — engage! Offer to work directly with the social entrepreneur or fund manager to help craft precautionary strategies within the investment opportunity that mitigate potentially harmful financial outcomes. Assess the investment opportunity thoroughly, do your due diligence and collaborate to mitigate harmful financial performance while maintaining the positive social and environmental outcomes. 

  2. Change the legal framework of professional financial organizations to align to the Benefit Corporation structure. Benefit Corporations structurally embed expanded fiduciary obligations to include social and environmental considerations.

  3. Work with a separate advisory committee or due diligence team. As an individual investor that is not constrained by the fiduciary obligations of professional wealth management, consider working with a separate advisory committee or due diligence team or conduct personal due diligence on impact investments.

 
After the 2040 film screening, I left the theater in a crowd full of optimism and inspiration. Even with the Precautionary Principle burrowed deep within the financial structures and investment psyche of America, I am optimistic that by becoming more aware of how and why we make decisions— and the structures within which we make them— we will continue to learn how to better align capital to the future we envision. 

2018 Green Genius Brokers of the Year

Every year since 2013, Green Canopy has hosted the Green Genius Broker Awards at the Built Green Conference. The awards honor Real Estate Brokers who have excelled in marketing and selling certified Built Green homes in the Snohomish and King Counties. The Green Genius Awards judging panel is made up of experts in the building and real estate industries who look at both quantitative and qualitative data on the brokers.

Green Canopy Reaches First Close on Cedar Fund

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For Immediate Release

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON & PORTLAND, OREGON (October 4, 2018) – Green Canopy Inc., a deep green urban residential developer, general contractor and fund manager, today announced the first closing of Cedar Fund providing $12 million in development capacity. Cedar Fund is the Company’s fourth single-family real estate fund designed to build resilient net zero ready micro-communities in Seattle, WA and Portland, OR. With the first close complete, Cedar Fund intends to acquire three initial properties currently in pre-development, and construct 25 homes.

As a mission-driven Certified B Corp, Green Canopy is compelled to create market-driven solutions to the challenges facing the high-growth cities of Seattle and Portland, including resource scarcity and global warming, urban sprawl, and limited access to neighborhoods of opportunity. In response, Cedar Fund will acquire, develop, manage and market third-party certified green built, net zero ready residential homes over the course of a 5-year fund cycle.

Cedar Fund will focus on efficient land use through infill development, multiplying the number of homes in established, walkable neighborhoods. With an emphasis on access to essential services including schools, grocery stores and transportation. By building more resource efficient homes on less land, Cedar Fund will help preserve the Pacific Northwest identity which is interwoven with farms, forests, wild lands, and salmon streams.

“I am excited and inspired by the commitment of our initial 18 Cedar Fund Limited Partners who have expressed deep faith in our mission and potential to transform the real estate market towards more regenerative and inclusive communities and environments,” says Aaron Fairchild, CEO.  

About Green Canopy
Green Canopy, Inc. and wholly owned subsidiaries Green Canopy Homes, LLC and Green Canopy Capital, LLC have offices and teams in Seattle and Portland. Green Canopy Homes began building in 2009 and has successfully sold over 140 third-party certified, green homes earning over $100 million in gross revenues.

Green Canopy has successfully developed a disruptive and specialized business model for urban infill homebuilding at scale. Development projects are built on small, medium and large, non-contiguous lots in walkable urban neighborhoods. The Company has an integrated process and established systems for feasibility, design, estimating, construction project management, sales, owner services and fund management. Since inception the Green Canopy Team has focused on creating an authentic, disruptive and widely recognized brand. 

The Company’s mission is to build homes, relationships and businesses that help regenerate communities and environments. By committing to the deep work of its missionGreen Canopy believes a future is possible where net zero energy homes are the norm, these good homes are affordable, wildlands are preserved, communities are resilient and vibrant because they are inclusive, and people who want to invest in that future earn profits.

For more information contact: 
Susan Fairchild, Director, Investor Relations & Impact
206.792.7280
susan@greencanopy.com

Green Canopy at the Annual Starbucks Sustainability Fair

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Green Canopy had the pleasure of being a part of the 2018 Annual Starbucks Sustainability Fair. This year’s fair was an opportunity to introduce the 6,000+ Partners working at the Starbucks Support Center to community resources aligned to the Partners For Sustainability mission: to educate, engage and empower Starbucks Partners to make sustainable change. Here are a few Partners we got to meet at the Green Canopy booth:

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"I’m a bit of an eco-enthusiast... I was intrigued in talking about the ways that architecture impacts home temperature and how the local climate, the lot and the orientation of the structure on the lot can be leveraged to reduce a home’s carbon footprint." — Brian L.

 
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"I'm a project manager for Starbucks in the Design & Construction Services.  I love the idea of a zero energy home, especially in our region of the US.  When utility bills can vary so hugely, it's nice to know that not only would I be keeping them steadier for our month-to-month energy costs, I would be helping to sustain resources and working against a large ecological footprint." — Nicole M.

 
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The Green Canopy Crew enjoyed meeting so many thoughtful Starbucks Partners while finding new and old friends who are using business as a force for good in the world. Here is just a snapshot of those we met: