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This secret ingredient allowed one company to unlock the green power of its workforce

Green team leaders in the workplace can make a world of difference by championing sustainability. And there’s an extra impact when the CEO gets involved in those efforts.

Brookfield Global Integrated Solutions is proof of that.

Since 2013, the crackerjack combo of CEO Gord Hicks and Green Team co-ordinator Sarah Jane Wolch have made this real-estate management company an environmental leader.

Led by CEO Gord Hicks, Brookfield GIS gets ready to climb the CN Tower at last year’s 25th Anniversary Climb. © WWF-Canada

Led by CEO Gord Hicks, Brookfield GIS gets ready to climb the CN Tower at last year’s 25th Anniversary Climb. © WWF-Canada

Thanks to the duo’s efforts, Brookfield employees have braved frigid waters and scaled the CN Tower, raising thousands of dollars for WWF-Canada’s conservation work. They have also cleaned up beaches, shrunk Brookfield’s carbon footprint and more. Those achievements earned Brookfield the title of 2014 Living Planet @ Work Green Team of the Year.


Inspired? Gather your own gang and join the Brookfield team at WWF’s CN Tower Climb or our all-new River Quest Canoe Challenge.


While Wolch handles the nitty-gritty of organizing events, Hicks ensures everyone in the company knows about them. Instead of sitting back, this hands-on CEO gets busy selling raffle tickets, sharing conservation tips and leading the charge up the CN Tower.

In a company with more than 3,500 employees from coast to coast, the head honcho’s commitment makes a big impact. “Without his buy-in, his vision, a lot of this wouldn’t be possible,” Wolch says. “I wouldn’t have the tools that I need to be successful in running these programs.”

Hicks’s motivation is simple. “I am personally committed to preserving the environment for future generations,” he explains. “And I believe the best way to get others engaged is through visible action and conversation.”

From payroll clerks to project managers, there’s plenty of passion for sustainability on his team. Wolch works with a group of dedicated volunteers across the country to help staff reduce their environmental impact outside the office as well as at work.

With this year’s Spring Things fundraising campaign for WWF now underway, Brookfield’s dynamic duo are shifting into high gear. Hicks is getting ready to lead a contingent up the 1,776 stairs of the CN Tower in April. At the same time, Wolch and her Green Team members are hammering out logistics for events like the River Quest Canoe Challenge in Laval, Quebec., in June.

If the past is any indication, this dream team’s winning formula will once again deliver big results.


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