One of the most notable acts a company can perform in its history of operation is giving back to the community around it. Many businesses and business persons have stepped up their CSR game in Canada, especially in the pandemic season.
Some business owners who had not initially supported their communities had to launch new philanthropic activities this season. That aimed at helping the most affected persons in the community. They supplied necessities like clothing, food, medicine, PPEs, and masks, among other requirements.
Those who couldn’t get to the community physically launched campaigns of sensitizing communities about COVID-19 precautions and safety updates. For example, Eugene Melnyk updated his followers on the team’s development and COVID-19 policies as reported on this news website. His followers and those following his team’s progress were aware of the happenings, even during the lockdown.
Notable Canadian Business Owners Supporting their Communities
The past year has seen a revived urge from business owners to exercise humanity. Some of the notable business owners who did and are doing a commendable job helping their communities include the following.
Shannon Leininger – President Cisco Canada
Through Cisco’s parent company, Shannon and the team announced a series of actions to support the global effort to combat COVID-19. They also pledged to maintain the teleconferencing systems, which keep people connected even in the pandemic. How were they going to achieve these projects?
- Offering funding to government agencies, heads of states, and businesses to use technology solutions in fighting the virus.
- Donating $225 million to boost global operations towards the fight against the virus.
- Expanding internet coverage to low-income communities helps them access distance learning, connect to family and friends, do remote work, and access health and social support.
They achieved this by partnering with the City of Toronto to develop Digital Canopy to connect more families to free Wi-Fi in vulnerable communities. Here they invested more than $1 million.
David Smith – CEO Keyera Corp.
Under his leadership, the Keyera Corp. – Canada’s top independent midstream energy company in Calgary, has given back to local communities in several ways. He has led in the satisfaction of the Canadians energy needs in the following methods.
- They supported United Way’s COVID-19 Community Response Fund in Alberta by pumping $50,000 into the project. The project supports more than 150 community agencies.
- The company has supported communities by holding the hands of other community organizations such as:
- The Red Cross
- Calgary Food Bank
- The Drayton Valley Health foundation
- Edmonton’s Food Bank
- The Strathcona Food Bank
- The Wood Buffalo Food Bank Association
- Family and Community Support Services (FCSS)
- WIN House women’s shelter
Jorge Bartolome – Janssen Inc.
Jorge Bartolome leads Janssen Inc. – a pharmaceutical company of Johnson & Johnson. Under his leadership, this company has continued to receive the medicine they need to fight other diseases even as they battle the coronavirus.
His leadership saw the company help communities fight COVID-19 in these ways:
- They made significant contributions to industries supplying N95 masks in hundreds of thousands of numbers. They have also funded frontline health workers’ operations, including mental healthcare professionals.
- They made contributions to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, which ensured that employees were covered financially during the lockdowns.
- Based on their support to food banks, they managed to help the increasing number of people availing themselves of food aid.
- Being a pharmaceutical company, they took steps to help mitigate the virus’s spread by investing in possible ways of creating a vaccine.
Rob Peabody – President and CEO of Husky Energy Inc.
Peabody is doing a commendable job at Husky Energy. With him as the President and CEO, the energy company has supported communities in its surrounding. The company has also been at the forefront of protecting its employee’s health and safety.
It has achieved these milestones in the following ways:
- It initiated a COVID-19 Relief Fund totaling $750,000, which the company donated through the United Way.
- They served coffee and take-out meals to drivers at its retail locations for free.
- The company helped residents of Fort McMurray, Alberta, following flooding in the area. They contributed to this project through the World Buffalo Food Bank and the Northern Lights Health Foundation.
- Addressing urgent COVID-19 needs and expenses of local communities’ members in Alberta and Saskatchewan. They reached them through indigenous community partners who they supported financially or otherwise.
John Sullivan – CEO of the Cadillac Fairview Corporation
John Sullivan has made it possible for a real estate company, Cadillac Fairview Corporation, to impact the lives of locals grappling with the COVID-19 challenge. In their endeavor to help the communities around them, they have done the following:
- The company donated 100 lunches to feed hungry frontline workers operating at Minoru Residence in Richmond, BC. They partnered with White Spot and Cactus Club to bring this project to success.
- In Hamilton, the company donated $1000 to five hospitals located within Hamilton but in different locations. They also donated $8500 to FoodShare Hamilton, which helps children and families that are hunger-stricken.
- They helped dedicated staff at Christie Gardens in Toronto by donating care packages to them. That came after the team had to live in a hotel when their long-term care facility was hard-hit by the COVID-19 outbreak, leaving them without a place to stay.
- With the help of Harvey’s, they delivered 400 hamburgers and 500 food coupons to workers at 5 Hamilton and ON Hospitals in the height of the pandemic.
- They worked with long-term care facilities in Ontario to help them adapt to COVID-19 and keep patients safe. They achieved this by loaning thousands of their food trays to these long-term care facilities.
Galen Weston – Executive Chairman at Loblaw Companies Ltd.
With about 200,000 Canadians working under his chairmanship at Loblaw Companies Limited, Galen Weston has a lot to take care of. Being a food and pharmacy leader in Canada, Loblaw Companies Limited had announced measures to ensure ease of access to food, drugs, and other essentials to all Canadians.
While this was not going to be an easy task, he managed it with the company through the following ways:
- He allowed seniors to shop in specifically dedicated hours. He also employed specific health measures to protect his employees’, customers’, and Canadians’ health.
- They made frequent public announcements to assure the public that they will receive services safely and securely during the pandemic.
- Creating more employment opportunities by employing more staff in the stores and expanding their online capabilities.
- The company played an essential role in the lives of residents in the surrounding community and its customers. They offered financial support to these groups through food banks and community charities. PC MasterCard customers who were going through financial hardships also received personalized solutions from the company.
- It took great care of all its employees by employing essential measures to keep them safe and healthy. The company also increased the wages of its employees.
Charles Brindamour – President and CEO of Intact Financial Corporation
At Intact Financial Corporation, Charles Brindamour is doing an excellent job as its President and CEO. He and his team came up with measures to ensure their customers impacted by the virus were safe. These measures are:
- Slashing car insurance rates for its customers by 15 percent for three months.
- They donated $2 million to support individuals and families affected by COVID-19, socially, physically, and economically.
- The company reduced monthly personal auto insurance premiums by an average of 75 percent to customers. That was, however, dependent on the fact that customers packed their vehicles safely.
- They offered customers using their cars and homes for different purposes during the pandemic flexible premiums.
- The company adjusted premiums for small to medium-sized businesses from home.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for philanthropic acts, some businesses have maintained healthy CSR programs even before. Both small and established companies have expressed their support to the communities around them in various ways. All the credit can rightfully go back to the business owners who have played a key role in allowing their businesses to leave an impact on the communities around them during the hard times.