This is FCL’s fourth year of reporting on its sustainability and social responsibility efforts around the following five pillars: Fiscal Responsibility, Environmental Sustainability, Community Investment, Employee Engagement and Co-operative Leadership. We have chosen to highlight some specific stories for you to better understand our efforts.
Jade Stolen, Edmonton Warehouse Supervisor, with new compost bins at the Edmonton distribution centre.
FCL is reducing the waste going to landfills as the result of its operations. The latest initiative, as part of the larger goal, is composting organic materials from distribution centres in Calgary and Edmonton. Not only will organic products be turned into compost and nutrients – which can grow future products and effectively complete a full sustainability cycle – but plastic and tin packaging from products is sent for recycling.
The fresh and packaged food products being composted are no longer suitable for distribution to Co-op Food Stores or local food banks. In 2015, FCL donated 675,000 kilograms of perishable food items to food banks in the cities in which we operate.
Overall, FCL had a waste diversion rate of 48 per cent in 2015, up from 37 per cent the year previous. The waste diversion rate excludes the Co-op Refinery Complex and the Crude Oil Department.
Grown at Home
FCL has a long tradition of sourcing fresh fruits and vegetable products from local producers when possible. FCL and its produce-handling business unit, The Grocery People, are breaking new ground working with producers and marketing products from Western Canada through the At Home campaign. FCL has worked with the Prairie Fresh Food Corporation – a collective of 16 growers – to supply Saskatchewan produce in Co-op Food Stores in the province. In 2015, FCL purchased 2.1 million pounds of produce from the organization, an increase of nearly 200 per cent from its initial buy two years earlier.
Gil Le Dressay (left), Vice-President Refinery Operations, presents a donation to the City of Regina for a new mass notification system.
Refinery Supports Safety Alerts
Emergencies can happen at any time. This is why preparedness is key for organizations and communities alike. The City of Regina can now reach residents, including FCL employees, with timely information thanks to a new notification system called Notifynow. In May 2016, Gil Le Dressay, Vice-President of Refinery Operations, presented a $320,000 donation , a commitment to be made over five years, from the Co-op Refinery Complex to Regina Fire Chief Ernie Polsom and Mayor Michael Fougere to help purchase and maintain the system.
FCL employees are not only the foundation of our organization, they are invested members of the community. They dedicate their time and effort outside of work hours to community organizations and initiatives that matter most to them.
In 2015, FCL introduced its Community Builders program, which provides up to $1,000 to a non-profit or charitable organization where an employee volunteers. Every month, one employee from each of FCL’s five operating regions – Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon and Winnipeg – and Home Office will be awarded the Community Builders donation.
This donation acknowledges the importance of our employees – at work and in the community.
General managers from more than 100 retail co-operatives signed the Saskatchewan Health & Safety Leadership Charter.
Going Home Safe
FCL was among the inaugural signatories of the Saskatchewan Health & Safety Leadership Charter. In May 2016, general managers from more than 100 retail co-operatives, representing more than 9,500 employees, signed the charter. The Charter aims to shift perceptions on injuries and injury prevention, advocating for health and safe workplaces and communities.
Employees support communities
FCL’s Community Investment Fund supports programs and organizations that matter to our employees. The fund is administered by employee-led committees in Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina and Winnipeg.
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Co-operatives continue to be leaders in sustainability. As the founding member, FCL and three other co-operatives are working together with researchers and industry as part of the Sustainable In-Situ Remediation Co-operative Alliance (SIRCA). SIRCA targets research that leads to sustainable, economical and practical solutions for cleaning up contaminated fuel and fertilizer sites. As of June 2016, there were 17 members of SIRCA, including four co-operatives in Canada and the United States.
Funding a new first
The co-op model remains feasible in rural and indigenous communities, but needs vigorous co-op development locally and focused efforts across provincial boundaries. These findings of the two-year, FCL-funded Co-operative Innovation Project (CIP) encouraged funding the next phrase. In January 2016, FCL announced a five-year, $5 million commitment to establish Co-operatives First, an organization designed to inspire co-operative development.
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