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Prosperity and environment go hand-in-hand, new WWF partnership shows. Here’s how

When employees of one of Canada biggest insurance companies carpool, reduce paper use or hold a used holiday-decoration sale, they’re not just helping the environment. They’re showing that environmental considerations and economic prosperity go hand in hand.

That’s one of the reasons RSA Canada has stepped up as the new presenting sponsor of Living Planet @ Work, WWF-Canada’s environmental employee engagement program.

RSA employees from the Johnson Edmonton office on their annual tree planting day, September 2015. © RSA Canada

RSA employees from the Johnson Edmonton office on their annual tree planting day, September 2015. © RSA Canada

The five-year partnership with the insurance company, announced today, will help WWF-Canada provide tools, training and resources to nearly 1,000 other companies and organizations across Canada. And in helping other companies, RSA also turns up the dial on its own employee conservation initiatives, using WWF’s expertise to establish a more robust green-team program in its offices from coast to coast.

And in doing so, they can expect some impressive business benefits, as well as a smaller carbon footprint.

According to Mark Edgar, RSA Canada’s senior vice-president of human resources and executive sponsor of the new partnership, involving staff in green initiatives helps build loyalty, fosters a positive workforce and taps into employees’ passions and interests. As the U.S. Corporate Leadership Council reports, high employee engagement can lead to a 19 per cent increase in profits, a 20 per cent improvement in performance and an 87 per cent reduction in staff turnover.

“I think this particular campaign and this particular work is something that connects on a whole range of different levels with our people,” Edgar says. “Providing them with a forum to really make a difference is quite exciting.”

RSA employees celebrating Climate Week. © RSA Canada

RSA employees celebrating Climate Week. © RSA Canada

As tornadoes, floods, storms and wildfires become more frequent, RSA has seen how climate change affects the planet as a whole and their own business in particular. That’s why this global leader has committed to reducing the carbon emissions from its internal operations by 12 per cent per employee by 2018 from a 2015 baseline as well as helping its customers increase resilience to extreme weather events.

As RSA Canada’s green team leader, Rob Viscount knows all about mobilizing his co-workers around a good cause. During the past five years, he has challenged staff to carpool on Alternate Transportation Day, curb paper consumption during Waste Reduction Week and divert discarded Christmas ornaments from the landfill through the annual holiday decoration sale.

Viscount predicts the new RSA/WWF partnership will inject fresh energy into the company’s green team activities and equip them with more ideas, tools and opportunities to take action. “The whole goal is to try to bring to light simple things that people can do in their day-to-day lives,” he says.

When you have more than 3,000 employees from coast to coast, small changes add up to a big impact.


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