Jonathan Cocker


[email protected]

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Jonathan provides advice and representation to multinational companies on a variety of environmental and product compliance matters, including extended producer responsibilities, dangerous goods transportation, GHS, regulated wastes, consumer product and food safety, and contaminated lands matters. He assisted in the founding of one of North America’s first Circular Economy Producer Responsibility Organizations and provides advice and representation to a number of domestic and international industry groups in respect of resource recovery obligations.

Jonathan is a Partner and a member of the firm's Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) leadership team. He is a frequent speaker and writer on environmental issues and has authored numerous publications.

As the International Bar Association’s first Sustainability Officer, Jonathan is spearheading a strategic relationship with the World Business Council Sustainable Development on its Circular Economy Program. Prior to joining BLG, he headed a national firm’s Environmental practice group.

Jonathan is actively involved in numerous initiatives across the environmental industry, including:

Plastics and packaging

  • International project development for regional/global plastic waste management
  • Works with consulting firms for plastic packaging projects, including beverage containers and legacy plastics pollution risk management


  • Creating independent producer responsibility organizations to meet regulated resource recovery obligations for hardware and lighting
  • Advises appliance sector industry association in Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act obligations


  • Founding member of one of North America’s first producer responsibility organizations under end-of-life tire laws
  • Advises industry on regulated resource recovery obligations for EV batteries and tires
  • Part of strategic international working group on tire environmental market opportunities


  • Actively involved with International Aviation Waste Management Association
  • Provided airport waste assessment for public and private industry stakeholders

Textiles and apparel

  • Founded international joint venture for Canada’s first circular economy clothing project
  • Strategic advisor to Canada's principal textile recycling proponent

Commercial food

  •  Together with a European Commission research organization, advancing commercial food packaging standards for industry use in biogas production


  • Represent a principal Canada-wide proponent of recycling certain medical devices


  • Represent anaerobic digestion proponents in international renewable natural gas markets

Waste to energy

  • In Sault Ste. Marie, negotiated Canada's first municipal solid waste to energy agreement
  • Represent proponents in Canada's two legally-mandated Renewable Natural Gas markets


  • Advised and counseled on environmental compliance issues for resource, energy manufacturing and other production facilities, including matters involving air emissions, water discharges, the management, transportation and disposal of waste, and occupational health and safety obligations across Canada.
  • Managed environmental liabilities under provincial/territorial and federal statutory and tort law, including purchase, sale, lease, project development, and exit matters.
  • Prepared product safety notifications, recalls and other negotiated resolutions with Health Canada, including those under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act.
  • Advised on Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act matters, including import, safety documentation, labeling and transit requirements.
  • Counseled on Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System compliance, including Globally Harmonized System implementation and related Hazardous Products Act requirements.
  • Assisted with product certification/labelling, including under the Canada Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act.
  • Designed and implemented environmental compliance programs, sustainability policies and corporate audit initiatives.
  • Advised and represented importers and retailers on waste diversion and extended producer responsibility obligations under a myriad of provincial and territorial programs, including waste electronics and electrical equipment, on- and off-road tires, used oils, paints, batteries, printed paper and packaging, and other municipal hazard/special waste streams.
  • Made strategic voluntary disclosures and negotiated compliance agreements under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act and provincial/territorial equivalents for new substances, notified chemicals, toxic substances and other regulated materials.
  • Defended resource development, energy and industrial operations in government enforcement actions under federal/provincial/territorial environmental protection acts and related environmental quality statutes.
  • Managed food contamination matters with Health Canada and provincial/territorial food safety authorities.
  • Negotiated with federal port authorities under the Canada Port Authority Environmental Assessment Regulations in permitting, compliance and redevelopment matters.
  • Advocated before environmental review/appeals tribunals, provincial offences and civil courts on EHS matters.
  • Provided industry product compliance advice for electronics, chemicals/polymers, automotive, toys, food, pharmaceuticals and other controlled substances.
  • Managed food production licensing, permits and compliance with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and provincial equivalents.
  • Audited facilities and projects for EHS compliance.
  • Completed project development work on energy conservation, smart metering and demand management projects in Canada and the Caribbean.
  • Advised and represented clients on Radiocommunications Act requirements for radio-emitting devices.
  • Participated on behalf of industry groups in federal and provincial regulatory standards and policy-making processes, including occupational exposure limits and waste diversion plan content.
  • Completed renewable energy project work for solar, wind, biomass, municipal solid waste-to energy and energy storage projects in Canada, United States, Latin America, Caribbean, European Union, China and Southeast Asia, including Canada's first direct MSW-to-energy sourcing agreement.
  • Provided compliance advice on Radiation Emitting Devices Act obligations.
  • Advised on Energy Efficiency Act and Regulations requirements and related provincial requirements.

Beyond Our Walls

Professional Involvement

  • Member, Law Society of Ontario
  • Member, Canadian Bar Association, Environmental Law Section
  • Member, International Bar Association, Environmental Health and Safety
  • Sustainability Officer, International Bar Association
  • Member, Ontario Textile Diversion Collaborative
  • Member, Ontario Waste Management Association, Resource Recovery/Energy from Waste
  • Member, Consortium of Researchers for International Collaboration
  • Officer, International Bar Association, Environmental Health and Safety Committee
  • Partner, Realizing the Transition to the Circular Economy (ReTraCe), European Commission
  • Founding Member, International Aviation Waste Management Association
  • Member, National Zero Waste Council
  • Member, International Waste Working Group
  • Member, European Union Circular Economy Platform

Bar Admission & Education

  • Ontario, 1998
  • LLB, Faculté de droit Osgoode Hall de l'Université York, 1996
  • BA, Université de Western Ontario, 1993