Engaging employees on sustainability issues

This June, RSA Canada employees were enthusiastic participants of the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup campaign, a partnership with the Vancouver Aquarium and WWF-Canada. SUPPLIED

This June, RSA Canada employees were enthusiastic participants of the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup campaign, a partnership with the Vancouver Aquarium and WWF-Canada. SUPPLIED

CONTENT FROM: CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY REPORT 
PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 27, 2017

WWF-Canada, the country's largest international conservation organization, and RSA Canada, a leading insurance provider, have teamed up to inspire and engage employees in workplaces across Canada to take environmental action and make a difference when it comes to tackling climate change.

"It's the kind of partnership that just makes sense because the two organizations share a common energy and concern about climate change, not just in terms of wildlife sustainability, but its potential to accelerate natural disasters, including fires and floods," says RSA senior vice-president, Human Resources, Mark Edgar.

The combined forces and the potential to inspire other working Canadians presents a huge opportunity to drive truly meaningful change, adds Amy Castator, employee engagement specialist, WWF-Canada. "The Living Planet@Work program empowers employees to make a difference at work by leading sustainability efforts and engaging their colleagues to get involved," she says.

And getting involved they are. In addition to RSA Canada Green Teams leading local initiatives at the regional level, close to 200 employees from 11 offices from Vancouver to St. John's took part in the first-ever Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup campaign this past June, tossing more than 427 kilograms of litter into the bin from 10 locations across the country.

In addition to making a difference on the ground, programs and partnerships like this have enormous potential to help the companies involved get the best out of their workforce, says Mr. Edgar. "Employee engagement is the Holy Grail for many organizations," he says. "You get the most out of people who feel that the company they work for not only shares their values but works actively to promote them. This link with WWF-Canada does just that, while at the same time giving our people the opportunity to connect with each other."

Ms. Castator agrees, adding many Canadians are looking for more than just a paycheque.  "We've found that engaging employees on sustainability issues and solutions not only reduces a company's environmental footprint, it confers economic benefits associated with more highly engaged employees, making it a win-win for business and the planet," she says.

And for those involved in the activities, there's a good deal of personal satisfaction as well, adds Mr. Edgar. "Our people have really enjoyed being involved and making a difference in a way that can be seen and measured," he says. "It proves that if you work hard to create a strong partnership with an organization with which you have shared values and then act on them, both win. That is exactly what we have achieved through our partnership with WWF-Canada."

Looking ahead, Mr. Edgar says RSA Canada is committed to expanding its involvement in the Living Planet@Work program, adding more Green Team action committees at the regional level and continuing to be part of the solution to mitigate the effects of climate change.


This content was produced by Randall Anthony Communications, in partnership with The Globe and Mail's advertising department. The Globe's editorial department was not involved in its creation


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Tanya Camp