Both Macleans and Corporate Knights recently published a list of the top 50 socially responsible corporations in Canada. They based their selections on a broad range of environmental, social and governance indicators. The listed companies are either Canadian or a wholly owned subsidiary of a foreign-owned company with significant operations or brand presence in Canada.
Tim Hortons has for many years now been raising money for their Children's Foundation which provides thousands of children from disadvantaged homes an opportunity to have a camping adventure. As well, they are working with farmers in Brazil, Columbia, Guatemala and Honduras to promote sustainable coffee production. And then there is Bombardier Inc. who builds emission-free urbanpower for light rail transit, buses and cars. And Loblaw Companies Ltd. who partners with the World Wildlife Fund and the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre by sponsoring the annual Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. The Gap Inc. protects local waterways by laundering their denim items in specially treated water. They are also committed to safe and fair working conditions by monitoring factories that produce Gap-branded clothing. In order to reduce emissions from commuting, Telus Corp. plans to have 70 per cent of its employees work part-time from home by 2015. Its national headquarters in Vancouver is currently being redeveloped to include a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum 22-storey tower and a LEED Gold 46-storey residential tower.
Businesses know that savvy consumers make ethical choices when purchasing products and services and are learning that it is no longer "business as usual". Be it retailers that have a good relationship with consumers by having a plan in place to deal with waste and greenhouse emissions, or mining companies that protect their workers and their communities, or telecom/electronic companies that have developed environmentally friendly electronic products and a management plan for electronic waste. All of these changes can positively affect a company's bottom line.
Are you looking for ways to become a good corporate citizen or do you want to learn more about companies that respect the world in which they do business? Here are a few titles to get you started: