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In Good Company: Canada Steamship Lines Going the Distance

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. 

If you popped by the Montreal offices of Canada Steamship Lines (CSL) in April, you may have noticed a few things. More bikes than usual in the racks outside. A lot of athletic sneakers stashed under desks. A traffic jam in the stairwell. And everywhere you looked, posters with CSL president Louis Martel’s face superimposed on King Kong atop the CN Tower.

The Active April month “leader board” © CSL

The Active April month “leader board” © CSL

It was all part of “Active April,” CSL’s inaugural Living Planet @Work campaign to engage employees in raising funds for conservation. For every kilometre staff walked or biked to work, CSL agreed to donate $3 to WWF. To up the ante, the company promised an additional dollar for every flight of stairs climbed — no small undertaking with their offices located on the sixth floor.

Nearly half of CSL’s 80+ employees got involved, and it didn’t take long for rivalries to form. Keeners jockeyed to bank more kilometres and flights of stairs, while “thermometers” posted in the staff kitchen tracked everyone’s progress. In addition to bragging rights, the top two performers earned the privilege of joining their president for the 24th Annual Canada Life CN Tower Climb for WWF on May 1.

It all added up to a month with fewer cars on the road, less energy used to power elevators, a greater awareness of how healthy lifestyles can contribute to a healthy planet, and a chance for a company with a passion for sustainable business practices to raise more than $8,000 for WWF.

The two Active April month winners along with CSL’s CEO Louis Martel at the CN Tower Climb in Toronto © CSL

The two Active April month winners along with CSL’s CEO Louis Martel at the CN Tower Climb in Toronto © CSL

While CSL has partnered with WWF on a number of initiatives over the years, this was their first Living Planet @Work campaign since joining the program last fall. With a successful Active April under their belts, it’s full steam ahead for CSL’s sustainability team. Next up: challenging their 400+ crew members to shrink the environmental footprint of CSL’s fleet of ships!

Canada Steamship Lines Snapshot

Number of employees: 80+ (in Canada)

Head office: Montreal

Corporate culture in a nutshell: Caring, innovation, excellence, people

Years involved with Living Planet @Work: 1

Motivation to support WWF:  CSL is always looking for practices and technologies to enhance our environmental performance. Supporting WWF is one way we show we’re serious about our commitment to people and organizations that work to improve sustainable business practices that respect the environment.

Number of Active April participants: 35+

Total amount raised: $8,256.50

Advice for workplace fundraisers:  Once you launch a campaign, be sure to follow up with colleagues and constantly motivate and encourage them to get involved. A campaign’s success is 10% idea development and launch and 90% motivation.

Lasting impressions:  “I was surprised at how many stairs I could climb in four weeks — and how many kilometres I walk every week simply to go to work. I was most proud of how much money this simple gesture earned for WWF. I was also very proud of working for a company that cares enough to be involved in, and to involve its employees in, a fundraising project like this one.” — Geneviève Levasseur, Active April participant

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.