Dr. Joe Vipond works as an emergency physician in Calgary, Alberta. He is a board member of the Canadian Association for Physicians for the Environment (CAPE), a group of physicians, allied health-care practitioners, and citizens committed to healthy and sustainable environments.

 

As an emergency room physician for the past seventeen years, I’ve become increasingly vocal about the impact climate change and environmental toxins has on our health. I’ve come to learn just how dangerous air pollution from coal plants can be - as dangerous to our health as the carbon dioxide is to the climate.

These aren’t things they teach you in medical school, but the relationship between the pollution we pump into the atmosphere and the impact on our health and communities is hard to ignore. 

And, as a husband and father of two young girls, aged 9 and 11, my motivation to act is deeply personal too.

I became aware of these issues decades ago, but really started speaking out publicly about five years ago, while working on the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE)’s campaign to rid Alberta of coal-fired power. A campaign that I’m proud to say was won in 2015 with a commitment to phase out coal by 2030, and in a province that has historically had the dirtiest electricity grid in Canada, no less.

 


These aren’t things they teach you in medical school, but the relationship between the pollution we pump into the atmosphere and the impact on our health and communities is hard to ignore. 


 

I firmly believe it is our obligation, as physicians who hold the respect of society as a whole, to advocate for the change the world needs. It’s deeply satisfying work too. Actively helping to inspire medical students and citizens to become more engaged is powerful. 

It’s interesting how a passion in one part of your life can be an issue you haven’t even considered in another. Ever since I started earning my own money, I’ve been investing it too. But to be honest, I wasn’t very sustainability-focused with those investments until 2007 when I read the eye-opening book, The Weather Makers by Tim Flannery.

 


I came to recognize that my investment choices, while out of sight out of mind in my day-to-day, could play a significant role in either supporting or negating my ethics...


 

I came to recognize that my investment choices, while out of sight out of mind in my day-to-day, could play a significant role in either supporting or negating my ethics and the values I hold dear. From that moment on, I made a point of choosing green investments and divesting my portfolio of oil, gas and mining.

My registered accounts are managed by my brother-in-law who’s an investment advisor. We actually have a friendly competition to see whether his traditional, managed investments go further than my green ones. We’re both glad to say that the green investments have been doing really well over the last few years, but that hasn’t always been the case.

When I heard about CoPower’s bonds I was immediately intrigued by the possibility of investing directly to support clean energy infrastructure projects. I investigated further, spoke to a few friendly and knowledgeable representatives, and decided to jump in six months ago.

I’m so glad I did. Aside from enabling me to actively invest much more responsibly and ethically, CoPower has taken a lot of the worry out of my investment decisions.

 


We actually have a friendly competition to see whether his traditional, managed investments go further than my green ones.


 

Here’s the thing: equity is intuitive but when you’re dealing with bonds, it’s typically more difficult to know how they’ll fluctuate and how the market will influence their behaviour. But with CoPower, the bonds aren’t market-traded so you don’t have to worry about their fluctuations.

I love that I can just put my money into a bond and leave it knowing that it’s doing some good somewhere and that, at the end of the day, I’m going to have more money than what I put in. It’s reassuring. And, as a doctor, husband and father worried about the health of our planet and its people, that type of reassurance is appreciated.

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Editor's note: Dr. Vipond invested in CoPower's second issuance of Green Bonds (Green Bond II). Our third issuance (Green Bond III) is now available for investment.

The client testimonial that appears on this page was solicited by CoPower and may not be representative of the views of other investors or potential investors in CoPower Green Bonds.  Please consult the CoPower Green Bond Offering Memorandum for all material information in respect of CoPower Finance Inc., CoPower Green Bonds and the terms of the offering.Save