Our employees are deeply committed to being active members in the communities where we live, work and play. One of the ways they do that is through their dedicated support of the IWK Health Centre. It is a wonderful place that provides world-class compassionate care to women, babies, children, youth and their families. In 1987, our employees decided to champion the IWK as their charity of choice. That’s 30 years of ongoing support with over $1.7 million donated. From answering the phones at the IWK Telethon to hosting bake sales to having fun at Trivia nights, our employees have devoted much of their personal time to this cause which is so close to their hearts.
The IWK has touched the lives of many of our employees and their families and makes a difference to families in communities across our province. We’re proud to say that our store in Barrington Passage received the prestigious recognition as our top fundraising store. “We could not have done it without our customers,” said store manager Anita Spencer. “They generously support the IWK with direct donations at the store as well as by supporting fundraising events the employees organize, such as book and plant sales and auctions.”
Thank you to our employees, partners and customers. Your dedication to helping others resulted in a donation of $210,000 to the IWK in 2016-2017.
We take pride in being a responsible corporate citizen and good neighbour in the communities we serve. This often involves giving provincial charities the opportunity to conduct fundraising activities in our retail stores. With our Cash Can Program, registered charities place donation boxes at every cash lane for customers to deposit spare change. We raised just shy of $49,600 in 2016-2017, supporting ten organizations, including the Hope for Wildlife Society, Canadian Cancer Society, Canadian Red Cross and Fort McMurray Relief Fund.
Habitat for Humanity
Employees enjoyed a new experience last year with Habitat for Humanity. They donned hard hats and safety gloves and picked up power tools and tape measures to help build homes for a family in Oxford. It was a rewarding experience that we hope to continue and grow providing increased opportunities for our employees to contribute to creating better lives for appreciative Nova Scotia families.
NSLC Adopt A Stream
We believe we have an important role to play in being good stewards of the environment. The NSLC Adopt A Stream program is a partnership with the Nova Scotia Salmon Association that supports the work of more than 30 volunteer community groups. Through the Adopt A Stream program, these groups receive training and carry out projects to protect, repair and improve wetlands, lakes, streams, rivers and estuaries across Nova Scotia.
In the past seven years, we raised $700,000 ($100,000/year) through the sale of participating products in our stores during the month of April. That money has been used to hire field staff and train community groups to restore habitat and fish passage and improve water quality across Nova Scotia.
Since we initiated this program in 1998, we’ve completed 160 projects, protected and restored 1.9 million square meters of stream habitat, planted almost 61,000 trees, re-established 395 km of fish passage and created 615 seasonal field jobs. We couldn’t do this great work alone and are very thankful for the participation of over 2,300 community volunteers who gave over 51,000 hours of their time.
As we look to minimize our carbon footprint, we have established ambitious programs and targets to reduce our impact on the environment. These initiatives include implementing energy efficiency upgrades in our stores, Head Office and Distribution Centre. We conduct waste audits in our drive to divert 95% of solid waste from Nova Scotia landfills and ensure compliance with our Zero Waste policy and we have a liquid waste program to ensure waste from broken or damaged bottles and cans in our stores and Distribution Centre doesn’t endanger the local water supply. We collect all liquid waste which is then securely handled by a contracted service provider. We have also committed that all new build and renovations will be completed to LEED Silver standards. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, LEED, is an internationally acclaimed green building certification program that includes such features as energy efficiency, sustainable development and indoor environmental quality.
Looking across our business, we have reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 37% since 2010 in a sector that is heavily dependent upon transportation.