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In Good Company: CEO, CN Tower Climber, Chief Auctioneer

This blog series highlights outstanding companies who have gone above and beyond their support and fundraising efforts for WWF through the Living Planet @ Work’s Spring Things campaign. Funds raised through the Spring Things campaign go towards WWF’s conservation work.

As the head of a multimillion-dollar real estate management corporation with more than 1,900 employees and thousands of projects around the world, Brookfield Johnson Controls president Gordon Hicks has one heck of a packed schedule. So when the head honcho himself took the time to man a table and sell raffle tickets for the firm’s WWF Spring Things campaign, you can bet staff members lined up.

The creative and delicious treats at Brookfield’s Polar Bear Week bake sale © Brookfield Johnson Controls

The creative and delicious treats at Brookfield’s Polar Bear Week bake sale © Brookfield Johnson Controls

On the day of the big draw, Gord was there again: announcing the winning tickets for the gift baskets of LED lights provided by Philips, one of the company’s major suppliers; auctioning off other prizes; and handing out Earth Day T-shirts. “It was pretty funny to watch him running around,” says Sarah Jane Wolch, one of the campaign’s organizers. “He really got people excited and engaged.”

Thanks to that enthusiasm, Spring Things was a big success at Brookfield Johnson Controls. Staffers snapped up polar-bear-themed treats at the company bake sale, while a screening of  “Chasing Ice” raised awareness about climate change in the Arctic. During Earth Week, employees took to the Twitterverse, describing all the eco-friendly choices they were making at home.

Gord Hicks announces the winners of the Earth Hour Week raffle © Brookfield Johnson Controls

Gord Hicks announces the winners of the Earth Hour Week raffle © Brookfield Johnson Controls

The campaign culminated on May 1, as 21 of Brookfield Johnson Controls’ keenest and greenest tackled 1,776 stairs in the 24th Annual Canada Life CN Tower Climb for WWF. Not surprisingly, Gord headed up one of the teams. All told, the company’s Spring Things challenge raised close to $10,000 for WWF’s conservation efforts.

According to Sarah Jane, the campaign gave Brookfield Johnson Controls an opportunity to tie their charitable giving to their company-wide commitment to sustainability.  No question, she says: this is something they plan to do again.

And while the 2014 campaign may be over, Sarah Jane and the rest of Brookfield Johnson Controls’ “green team” are still hard at work, using Living Planet @ Work resources to plan a paper reduction initiative in Brookfield Johnson Controls offices across Canada.

Brookfield Johnson Controls Snapshot

Number of employees: 1,927

Location: Across Canada

Corporate culture in a nutshell: engaged, innovative, sustainable

Years involved with Living Planet @Work: 1

Motivation to support WWF:  A triple bottom line — social, economic and environmental — has always been a cornerstone of our corporate philosophy. Supporting WWF ties in with everything else we do for the environment: giving our customers real estate options that use using less energy; finding ways to introduce sustainable approaches in the design, construction and operation of buildings; and encouraging our customers, suppliers and team members to reduce their footprint on our precious Earth.

Number of campaign participants: 25

Total amount raised: $9,721.58

Advice for workplace fundraisers:  Bake sales! Our employees loved them and helped raise a lot of our funds. Also, teamwork – you will need the support of a good team championing the campaign to help make it successful.

Lasting impressions:  “The best part about being involved with the campaign was getting the opportunity to engage with co-workers that I do not work with in my day-to-day. We were able to team up and support a cause we both cared about. It was truly a great team-building exercise and all the while for a good cause!” — Sarah Jane Wolch, Marketing & Proposal Coordinator

Learn more about how your company can get involved with the Living Planet @ Work program and the many ways you can bring sustainability to your office and support WWF’s critical conservation work.