Water Droplet On Leaf – Sustainability

Nanaimo In Economic Doughnut

Clean Tech, Stories

The Doughnut or economic doughnut is a framework that explains the idea of sustainable development and what it means for a community, city, or country. The model combines planetary boundaries with social boundaries, i.e., meeting the needs of the people without crossing the Earth’s threshold. Nanaimo has recently adopted this model and is leading the way for Canada.

Nanaimo’s economic development policies have successfully paid off as the city just was recently recognized for its sustainability and growth-driven capitalism approach. Many cities take the doughnut economic development policy for granted, but Nanaimo has shown how it can reshape our quality of life and make the idea of sustainability more approachable.

Nanaimo experienced a lot of success during the pandemic. During its post-COVID resiliency, Nanaimo focused on social well-being and kept a very close eye on its natural resources, hence pitting one circular economy against another.

How it Came to Be

Nanaimo city councillor, Ben Geselbracht first announced the idea of the Doughnut policy in December 2021. In his proposal, it was evident that the concept would present investment and business opportunities and improve the social well-being of the city as a whole. The motion was put to the vote and won by 5-4 votes.

Key Areas The City Had to Address

To start moving towards a successful society and to drive global investments towards the ventures, the councillor had to focus on:
·       Reducing Nanaimo’s carbon emissions from transport (70%)
·       Reducing carbon emissions from the build environment (30%)
·       Increase walking, biking, and electronic transit infrastructure
·       Address rising homelessness
·       Reduce water pollution from industries
·       Focus on tech development to create job opportunities lost due to the reduced carbon emissions and to create more jobs for the residents

Because of these efforts and how quickly Nanaimo managed to adopt the model, the city has been named as the first Canadian city to adopt the model on a global scale – and is a source of pride for all. It is now paving the way for other cities, leading Canada into a new era of economic and social well-being.


To find out more about the investment and business opportunities in Nanaimo or if you are a business in the region and have a story, and you’d like to be featured on TechIsland, contact us:


Amrit Manhas

Economic Development Officer