Recently two TELUS team members added to our reputation as leaders in sustainability when they were named Clean50 Champions for their outstanding leadership by the Delta Management Group. Andrea Goertz and Lloyd Switzer were recognized for being on the forefront of making TELUS one of the most sustainable companies. Honourees are chosen by Delta Management, with advice from internal researchers and external advisors, from an initial pool of approximately 500 candidates. “The Clean50 come from such a broad background that only a few individuals are recognized within any given category. To be one of them is truly indicative of industry leadership in that category,” says Gavin Pitchford, chief talent officer, Delta Management Group. “The individuals we chose for the Clean50 this year are true leaders, and set a remarkable example for all Canadians.”
What does the Clean50 do?
Good question. The Clean50 celebrates those that are actually on the ground making a difference. I like this quote from their site. “We believe that collaboration between different types of parties: learning from each other – looking outside our own tents and catching a spark from the campsite next door – that – THAT – is the magic that makes humans unique – and can perhaps accelerate our dwindling opportunities to reverse the damage we have done to the world which we bequeath to our children.” You may or may not know that I am a dad, and the principle of leaving the world in a better place for future generations resonates more with me now than it ever has, especially as the years seem to fly by!
After working in the field of sustainability for over 20 years, I am wary of greenwashing. However, reading through the top 15 project list is impressive. It’s partly impressive because I understand the many challenges (even in a progressive company like TELUS), that are required to get innovative projects off the ground. Whether it’s replacing outdated systems with new ones, proving a reasonable ROI for projects, changing an internal culture and getting support or just being the first to try something (without proof it can work) are all real life challenges. For instance, The City of Markham’s Rooftop Microfit Solar project demonstrates innovation, leadership and an embracing of technology that has not widely been utilized in Canada to date. The clean electricity generated reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 120 tonnes and while that is not going to curb climate change by itself, it is contributing to green technology and a cultural shift in mindset. To me that’s equally important at this stage in Canada’s sustainability journey.
Here at TELUS, I’ve seen the real changes and a commitment to push sustainability. Some of the projects that lead to our leaders being recognized are:
- The construction of TELUS Garden
- Our climate change strategy and targets for absolute GHG and electricity reduction
- World class efficiency at our new Internet Data Centres built to LEED Gold standards
- The implementation of TELUS’ Work Styles program
As the Senior Sustainability Analyst at TELUS I take pride when individuals or the company as a whole get recognized for the work we do in sustainability. I know we can do more at TELUS, but what I do see is an on the ground commitment to do better. We are lucky we have leaders like Andrea and Lloyd embracing sustainability, because it makes the work I do that much easier (not saying it’s easy).