As Senior Sustainability manager, Colleen Dix has a unique role at TELUS. To share a better understanding of her career and experience, we asked Colleen what drew her to this role and what her experience working here has been like. Here is what she had to share with aspiring professionals who want to make a difference for the environment, for their community and for their company.
1. In your own words, how would you describe your role to someone outside of TELUS?
I have a pretty diverse portfolio of projects and programs that I support that are tied to our environmental goals. For instance, I manage resource stewardship, team member education in regards to sustainable practices and communications including disclosure, awareness campaigns and TELUS’ annual Corporate Social Responsibility report.
The best part of this job for me is finding ways to help TELUS be a leader and innovator in this space. I really feel that our sustainability efforts, much like the amazing work we do through our community investment programs, are some of the ways that we differentiate ourselves from our competitors.
2. How long have you been with TELUS and what initially drew you in?
I began my career just over 16 years ago at what was formally BC Tel. As part of the Interactive department we helped customers move from dial up internet to high speed ADSL. This was no easy undertaking but I welcomed the challenge.
My initial interest in TELUS stemmed from the company’s reputation as a progressive technology company that valued its community and employees equally. In passing, I’d heard that it was a great place to work in respect to compensation / benefits. Most importantly, I had discovered that they valued career development and encouraged learning and professional growth.
3. With sustainability being such a hot topic globally how do you keep your eye on trends? Do these trends influence the ideas you bring to the table?
One of my previous roles at TELUS was on the Social and Media Relations team so it’s definitely in my blood to keep up to date on news and information. I subscribe to sustainability professional groups on LinkedIn, have my own focused lists on Twitter, network and consume as much as I can online.
My team is incredibly collaborative and we’re fortunate enough to have a champion in Andrea Goertz, (SVP, Chief Communications and Sustainability Officer) that encourages us to push the limits and gives us creative licence to develop new ideas and projects around sustainability.
We’re currently test-piloting an employee engagement app that’s sustainability focused to get a sense of how employees feel and what they would like to see TELUS doing. Later this year, we’ll be rolling out a brand new e.Sustainability course to help educate and inspire our team members to use the most sustainable practices.
4. In your experience, has the TELUS culture/work environment shaped the way you approach your role?
Most definitely! Back in 2007, I was approached to be one of five participants to pilot a new project and a human resources approach called “Work Styles.” In a nutshell, it’s now what’s known as “working from a home office” but back then it was a pretty radical idea. At one point in my career I was commuting close to 100kms round trip and spending upwards of 3 hours of my time per day stuck in traffic. That also didn’t take into account fuel, parking, and added insurance. Needless to say, I was all for this, however I always say that it takes self-discipline to stay focused.
The Work Styles program gives team members flexibility in managing their day, saves valuable time and has some pretty incredible environmental benefits. By the end of 2015, we’re aiming to have a large amount of our team members located in our top national buildings working in a mobile or at-home capacity. Our environmental performance is also a reason that top employee candidates are interested in working at TELUS and that’s something we’re very proud of.
5. In terms of sustainability, where do you believe TELUS is heading? And why?
I truly believe that in the corporate world, TELUS is a leader and innovator in this space. We have made great strides to embrace sustainability into our DNA and culture as a way of doing business. We take our environmental responsibility seriously and consideration is made to guide every business decision. We will always strive to do better, and as such our vision for sustainable transformation has us pursuing new ways to make real lasting changes within our organization. Exploring alternative energy opportunities to complement our energy management program, seeking innovative product and service offerings, and looking for ways to build sustainability capacity and awareness with our customers, suppliers and team members are just a few ways that we continually aim to improve our organization.
The hard work and innovation that Colleen and her team produce strengthens TELUS’s position as a global leader in sustainability. Be sure to check out our Careers section and learn more about opportunities with TELUS.
Stay up to date with TELUS’s sustainable future by following SVP, Chief Communications & Sustainability Officer, Andrea Goertz (@AndreaGoertz)