Press and Media

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.

Fast Company Names Green Canopy CEO, Aaron Fairchild, One of the Most Creative People in Business

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In the 2018 summer issue, Green Canopy CEO, Aaron Fairchild, was named to "Fast Company's Most Creative People in Business." 

"Your inclusion on the list is an acknowledgment of your innovative and impactful work. You join 99 other remarkable leaders striving to solve global and societal problems in novel ways," states Fast Company Editor-in-chief, Stephanie Mehta.

Fairchild responds, "I am grateful to be recognized by such an esteemed publication as Fast Company, focused on revolutionizing the current business paradigm and to be listed among leaders and businesses using innovation to catalyze the next economy — one that is more regenerative and inclusive."

The Green Canopy Team is honored to have a leader who inspires us to continue doing the deep work necessary to realize the future we believe in.

Next Economy Now

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Green Canopy CEO, Aaron Fairchild, was recently featured on the Next Economy Now podcast by Lift Economy in the episode "Aaron Fairchild: Rooting Into Perennial Impact Under One Green Canopy." 

The podcast "highlights the leaders who are taking a regenerative, bio-regional, democratic, transparent, and whole-systems approach to using business as a force for good." Green Canopy is continually inspired by Lift Economy's work to benefit all life.

Listen to this episode to hear more from Aaron about how Green Canopy is influencing the existing construction paradigm while deliberately, methodically and incrementally addressing some of society’s most difficult challenges as we collectively work to create a more resilient and regenerative future.

Aaron offers Green Canopy’s past, present and future outlook, thoughts on culture and management, the phases of the company's growth and the importance of inclusive building for a more enriching world.

For more information on Green Canopy's approach to the current construction industry, listen to "Money is a Means to an End: Scaling Your Business with Aaron Fairchild" by The Construction Leading Edge.

Rockefeller Foundation Publishes Case Study on Green Canopy and the Company's Theory of Change

By Susan Fairchild | Director, Investor Relations and Impact | Green Canopy Homes

The Rockefeller Foundation strives to “promote the well-being of humanity throughout the world” by scaling transformative innovations, creating unlikely partnerships spanning sectors, and taking risks others cannot. To catalyze cross-sector pollinization from the social sector to impact investing, the Rockefeller Foundation recently released a case study on Green Canopy’s theory of change - “Putting Impact at the Center of Impact Investing: A Case Study of how Green Canopy Designed its Impact Thesis.”

"The case study provides an illuminating example of how investors can adapt theory of change to serve their impact management needs. By demonstrating the relevance and transferability of this tool for articulating, measuring, and managing impact, the hope is that this case study can contribute to strengthening other investors’ approaches, in turn contributing to building the evidence base for the “impact” of impact investments."

We encourage impact investors and impact enterprises to similarly consider integrating this tool into their organizations.  You can read more about Green Canopy’s theory of change and send any questions to susan@greencanopy.com.

Impact Assets IA 50 Impact Investment Fund Showcase

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“As impact investing grows exponentially, the IA 50 has remained a leading and trusted resource for impact investors of all experience levels,” said Jed Emerson, ImpactAssets Senior Fellow, and IA 50 Review Committee Chair.  “Our consistent and objective evaluation of impact fund managers is providing financial advisors and their clients with a starting place to make informed investment decisions.  And we are helping to catalyze the growth of impact investing by creating a centralized information source in a fragmented field.”

Green Canopy is honored to be featured on the 2018 IA 50 List as one of nine managers in the Real Assets category, one of 13 in Housing, and one of the 12 Certified B Corporations. See the press release here.

Leader in Sustainability, Presidio Graduate School, Features Green Canopy Cofounder, Sam Lai

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Green Canopy Cofounder, Sam Lai, was featured by Presidio Graduate School (PGS) in the article, "Net Zero Hero". Sam is an alumnus of the Sustainable MBA program at PGS — the graduate school that "educates and inspires a new generation of skilled, visionary and enterprising leaders to transform business and public policy and create a more just, prosperous and sustainable world." Presidio Graduate School has earned accreditation in the sustainability-sphere and acquired Pinchot University (formerly Bainbridge Graduate Institute).

Sam tells Shawna Cain, "I selected PGS after a process of visiting classes and interviewing students and asking what their experiences were like. I realized that what I wanted was:

  1. A tribe. I wanted to be connected to people who cared about what I care about. I didn't want to be just another number, just another competitor

  2. I wanted to deepen my commitment and I wanted have a broader view of the way the systems work that perpetuate some of these challenges like climate change that we deal with all the time


Finally, the biggest impact that I think graduate school has had for me, beyond some of the hard skills, is that when you go to Presidio Graduate School you're able to look deep within yourself, and understand how to optimize our own personal growth, and I don't think any graduate school is able to do that the way PGS does."

Green Canopy's Alexa Ashley further interviewed Sam on his time at Presidio Graduate School and the value he took away from the Sustainable MBA Program:

AA: How did PGS teach you to think in systems?
SL: One of the things we did in first quarter was systems mapping, which is its own discipline, where you look at different components of how the world is structured, how  businesses are structured, environmental systems are structured. You deconstruct them, allowing you to understand the components and then you can see how they’re integrated. So often in business you might be a specialist and you might have mastery in one thing — but you may be working 100% in the wrong direction because you haven’t taken that high-level, systems-level view.

AA: What is the most value that you took away from the Presidio Graduate School MBA Program?
SL: The opportunity to practice and take big risks, and explore ideas, that typically — in the business setting — there just isn’t enough bandwidth or space or willingness from everyone, to just take a wild idea, to play with it, to deconstruct it, and to go all the way with it in a risk-free environment.

I saw lots of people grow from not having much experience in public speaking to feeling comfortable with it at the end of the program. For me, I was able to take storytelling and public presentation and be able to have a very formal structure to bounce off of and play with to where now I feel very confident. I now have a process to be able to get from point A to point B in a very short amount of time because that’s what the process forces you to do. It says, “Okay you have an idea? Okay, test it. Prototype it. Get up and talk about it." That’s a lot of what we do in business. We iterate through ideas very rapidly — and that’s what’s required for progress. 

It’s really encouraging and energizing to see other people that are just as passionate about sustainability and improving our world and that they are professionals engaged in business, and the curation of those two characteristics are unique to the PGS tribe.

Watch Shawna Cain's interview with Sam Lai below and read her article, "Net Zero Hero".

Modern Homebuilder Magazine Feature

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Green Canopy is pleased to be featured in the Winter issue of Modern Home Builder Magazine. The feature titled "Green Canopy Homes: Problem Solvers" was written by Tim O'Conner in the "Smart Homes" section. Here are a few quotes:

"Communities and homebuilders are accustomed to working with companies that have craftsmen but that lack a larger purpose. Green Canopy strives to marry its skill for building quality homes with its belief that homebuilding can improve communities." 

"When Green Canopy Homes builds a new project, it gets the entire neighborhood involved. The company holds community meetings at the onset of every project, often before it takes ownership of the property."

"'We didn't start the company just to make money," Fairchild says, "We started started the company to make money work for positive change.'"

"In building energy-efficient homes, Green Canopy hopes to evoke change throughout the entire market."

"Affordable homes will build on Green Canopy's effort to solve social problems through responsible building. "Our cities are not vibrant if they are only enclaves of the affluent," Fairchild says.'"

We Are UW Fans

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Green Canopy is fortunate to have a couple executives who hold Executive MBA degrees from the esteemed University of Washington’s Foster School of Business, including CEO and Founder, Aaron Fairchild and CFO, Andy Wolverton.
 
The EMBA degree is “a rigorous, lockstep MBA curriculum, taught by the best business school faculty, to a select, accomplished cohort” and is designed to coincide with a typical work schedule, while providing a longstanding community and network.
 
After working in his father’s banking business for almost a decade, then gaining insight on energy-efficiency from working at Puget Sound Energy, Aaron decided to start his own business and realized the benefits of earning an MBA. “The EMBA experience showed me how much of a load I can really carry… I saw that I can build a business approach and model that serves investors, and their social, environmental and financial values as much as mine, while we collectively move a market and create positive and meaningful impact for the planet for future generations.” – Green Canopy CEO, Aaron Fairchild

Green Canopy CFO, Andy Wolverton, adds “The program helped me grow professionally in that it gave me another set of questions to ask. Going into a meeting, I had a new perspective and I was armed with examples that I had seen in class or topics that I was learning about that gave me a broader perspective on our business. It directly helped me be CFO in giving me confidence around how to communicate what I’m doing. Whether it’s to our employees or to our investors.”
 
The program allows the students to go back and add value to their organizations in real-time, in addition to providing long-term benefits. Because I was working at Green Canopy while going through the program and was, every night, reading case studies or articles and then having to think about them, talk about them in class, I was able to come back to the office and apply them right away. Some of the connections I have, who are a well-spring of knowledge that I wouldn’t have otherwise, are now people throughout the city, throughout the region, who I can contact and get advice from.”

The Foster School of Business’s EMBA publication, the Edge recently featured Aaron and Green Canopy in the article, “Building Better Homes for People, the Community and the Planet.” Here are a few quotes:
 
“Through harnessing the collective knowledge of the people I have met along the way and work with today, and coupling that with the education I received through the EMBA, I have come to understand that, while there are limits to everything there is very little that I can’t accomplish.” – Aaron Fairchild
 
(Green Canopy’s) homes are exceptional in both construction quality and design, and Green Canopy is one of the first urban infill companies in the region to programmatically build net-zero energy, four-and-five-star, Built-Green, and LEED-certified homes.” – UW, Foster School of Business
 
We’re the only for-profit homebuilder we’re aware of in America that was intentionally and deliberately started to combat and lessen negative impacts of climate change and resource scarcity via in-city homebuilding. We’re pivoting an entire market by engaging the real estate ecosystem continuum: from investors to builders, suppliers to banks, mortgage lenders to appraisers, agents to homebuyers. They’re all a part of the process.”–Aaron Fairchild
 
Read the full article and magazine on the Foster School of Business EMBA website.

The Nation's Oldest and Largest Local Homebuilder's Association Honors Green Canopy

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On December 5, 2017, the Master Builders Association (MBA) awarded Green Canopy and CEO, Aaron Fairchild the 2017 Built Green Moving the Market Award at the Master Builders Association Awards & Gala. Aaron and Green Canopy were chosen “for taking the step to build only net zero energy homes.” Founded in 1909, the MBA is the “nation’s oldest and largest local homebuilder’s association” and continues to move the industry towards greater innovation and sustainability.
 
“I’m extremely honored to represent Green Canopy’s team, owners and stakeholders in receiving this award from such an established and reputable organization as the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties.” -Aaron Fairchild, CEO, Green Canopy Homes
 
“Aaron is an inspirational force in the Puget Sound area residential home building industry. He and his team continue to push the limits at the intersection of sustainability and business in new and exciting ways. I commend Aaron and Green Canopy for all they do for our association, our communities, and our region,” states Aaron Adelstein, MBA Director of Programs and Products. 

The MBA featured CEO, Aaron Fairchild, in the Master Builder Winter 2017 issue in the article, “The Man in the Green Hat.” Here is some of what they had to say:
 
“Aaron’s drive to transform the market is indicative of not just his desire to align business, community, and sustainability but of the work and thought that he puts into this effort. He is truly a leader in the regard, constantly innovating and aligning actions with his words. Aaron is a collaborator, mentor and leader all at the same time.” -Leah Missik, Built Green Program Manager
 
“The positive culture Aaron has cultivated resonates throughout his company, the Master Builders Association, and our region.” -Cameron Poague, Master Builders Association
 
“Aaron is the type of person who is actively changing home building for the better” -Cameron Poague
 
Also included in the article is a quote from Green Canopy Co-Founder, Sam Lai, “Aaron can seem enigmatic to some because he’s difficult to pin down. He is a disciplined business mind– as fierce and pragmatic as you would expect from a third-generation banker and Foster School MBA grad. Yet his unwavering passion for social and environmental justice seems counterintuitive… like the trucker cap on his head and Wendell Berry poetry on his lips. One way to understand my friend and CEO is that he is true to his heart and that’s what drives him. He has a vision to make the world a better place and the grit to execute a business plan to make that vision a reality.”
 
Green Canopy continues to be a leader in the housing industry, and in our city.