Congratulations to the winners!
Celebrations much-deserved at Green Living’s inaugural Excellence in Corporate Responsibility Awards
The first ever Excellence in Corporate Responsibility (ECR) Awards by Green Living Enterprises were a sweeping success thanks in no small part to the 130 thought leaders and change makers who supported the achievements of the night’s winners. Individuals from more than 20 organizations 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.
“Highlighting the efforts of such a distinguished group of award recipients is not only our honour, but our responsibility,” says Laurie Simmonds, President of Green Living Enterprises. “These Canadians have demonstrated a commitment to the highest standards and ideals of Corporate Social Responsibility, and by example should serve as a model that inspires excellence in others.”
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 recognize that change can take a lifetime of dedication and hard work. This is why it created the Outstanding Achievement Award, and awarded it to the late Ray Anderson, CEO of Interface, Inc. Anderson’s life’s work and his legacy embody all the very goals of the ECR awards.
Anderson’s 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 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.”
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 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 applied a rigorous assessment to its winners, ranking them from one to 100 in a multitude of key areas in corporate responsibility.
The judges included:
Bob Willard, a leading expert, consultant and author in corporate sustainability strategies; Kelly Baxter, Executive Director of The Natural Step Canada; Valérie Bécaert, Executive Director of CIRAIG; Heather Lang, Director of Research at Jantzi-Sustainalytics; and Matt McCulloch, Director of Consulting Services at the Pembina Institute.