Green Living ECR Awards: Congratulations to the Winners!
The Natural Step Canada is proud to be a partner of the Green Living Awards for Excellence in Corporate Responsibility. We were involved in developing the criteria for the award and judging this year’s nominees. It was a pleasure for our team to recently attend the first-ever Awards for Excellence Gala, where corporate Canadians who are transforming business practices and creating social and environmental change were honoured.
Socially responsible companies shine at the inaugural Green Living’s Excellence in Corporate Responsibility Awards
"Outstanding,” “innovative” and “ambitious” — these are some of the words expert judges used to describe the winners of the first-ever Excellence in Corporate Responsibility (ECR) Awards by Green Living Enterprises. More than 20 organizations and individuals received much-deserved peer and public recognition at a special awards ceremony at Toronto’s TIFF Bell Lightbox, October 26th, for their hard work creating and committing to sustainable and ethical business practices.
An energetic room full of 130 thought leaders and change makers hooted and cheered on winners from a wide array of companies, including (to name but a few): Cenovus Energy Inc., Cascades, LoyaltyOne Inc., Canadian Tire Corporation, Steam Whistle Brewing, Lanefab Design/Build, The Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance, and TD Bank Financial Group. For details on the winners and how to apply for next year’s awards, go to http://greenlivingenterprises.ca/ecr-awards.
“These trailblazers have set an example of how businesses can and should operate sustainably in every dimension — socially, environmentally and culturally,” says Laurie Simmonds, the President of Green Living Enterprises. “Recognizing corporate and individual leadership at the ECR Awards is critical to establishing much needed corporate responsibility benchmarks and inspiration.”
Inspiration could have been a theme at the ceremony, which highlighted achievements ranging from a leader who transformed a Canadian oil company’s approach to corporate social responsibility to a director of business development who initiated an e-boutique providing innovative recycled products. Judging was based on leadership and innovation, performance and results, as well as process, and entries were scored from 1 to 100 over a multitude of key areas in corporate responsibility.
Audiences rose to their feet in a standing ovation for the night’s Outstanding Achievement Award recipient, the late Ray Anderson, CEO of Interface, Inc. His daughter, Mary Anne Lanier, told the awestruck audience how proud she was of her dad, when in 1994 he decided to make corporate responsibility a core business value, after becoming aware of the decline of the biosphere and how his company was a major contributor. “Ray said that making CSR part of the core business objective became part of his own success, and without it, he wouldn’t have felt that he was a success, said Lanier.”
Anderson’s example proves it is never too late to make change: after experiencing a mid-career epiphany, he dedicated himself to Mission Zero — his company’s promise to eliminate any negative impact it may have on the environment by the year 2020. By the time of his death, Anderson had brought his company more than halfway towards its goal, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent, fossil fuel consumption by 60 percent (favouring renewable forms of energy), waste to landfill by over 80 percent, and water use by 82 percent. During that same period, Interface avoided over $450 million in costs, increased sales by 63 percent and more than doubled their earnings. Anderson was a role model, inspiration and mentor to many.
The awards honour every level of influence within small, medium and large corporations across Canada and across a wide range of industries, from resources to technology to sustainable housing and much more.
The ECR Awards program was developed by industry experts with deep knowledge of corporate responsibility within Canada, including Laurie Simmonds of Green Living Enterprises, Valérie Bécaert of CIRAIG, Toby Heaps of Corporate Knights, Bob Mann of Jantzi-Sustainalytics, Chad Park of The Natural Step Canada, Marlo Raynolds of the Pembina Institute, sustainability consultant Lorraine Smith, and author and sustainability expert Bob Willard.
The expert panel of judges included: Bob Willard, a leading expert, consultant and author in corporate sustainability strategies; Kelly Baxter, Executive Director of The Natural Step Canada, a consultancy that trains sustainability practitioners; Valérie Bécaert, Executive Director of CIRAIG, the Interuniversity Research Centre for the Life Cycle of Products, Processes and Services; Heather Lang, Director of Research at Jantzi-Sustainalytics; and Matt McCulloch, Director of Consulting Services at the Pembina Institute.