James Tansey

Director and Advisor

Mr. Tansey is the founder and CEO of Canvas Impact Advisors, an advisory firm that works with institutional and high net worth investors to identify and evaluate target impact investments in North America and internationally. Canvas works with a range of clients including Vancity Credit Union, Global Sustainable Capital Management and the Telus Pollinator Fund, a new $100m impact fund launched in late 2020.

Mr. Tansey was the founder of NatureBank Asset Management (TSX-V:COO) who made the 2010 Winter Games Carbon Neutral for the first time in history. Offsetters also played a central role in creating the Great Bear Rainforest Carbon Project, conserving over 6.4m hectares of coastal rainforest in British Columbia. Following the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, he was selected as an international advisers working with the United Nations Environment Programme for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.

Mr. Tansey is an associate professor at the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business and is the Executive Director of S3i, a Research Centre at the Sauder School of Business dedicated to social innovation and impact investing. He received his PhD in Environmental Sciences from the University of East Anglia in 1999. He has taught in MBA, EMBA, Executive Education, MSc and Undergraduate programs in the UK and Canada. He was previously a faculty member at Oxford’s Saïd Business School.

Mr. Tansey has worked as an advisor and contributor to a wide range of organizations including the World Economic Forum, the UK National Audit Office, Oxford Analytica, Cisco, ISIS Innovation (Oxford), Environment Canada, the Federal and Provincial Governments and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency. Most recently he served on the Federal Social Innovation and Social Finance Advisory Committee, which established a $755m Social Finance Fund.

Research by Mr. Tansey covers a number of areas, including the social impacts and acceptability of new technologies, industrial ecology and scenario methods. More recently, his research has focused on social innovation and impact investing, clean technology policy and ecosystem services. He led the creation of the UBC Impact Accelerator and the UBC Impact Fund.

In 2010, Mr. Tansey was recognized as a Top 40 Under 40 by Business in Vancouver and was a Pacific finalist in the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year® 2010 Awards. In February 2013, he was one of 75 British Columbians honoured with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his environmental contributions to the province of BC.

Q: Favorite quote? A: "I never failed. There are just 100 things I won't try again."