Molson Canadian Red Leaf Project

molson_red_leaf_projectLaunched in Canada June 2011, the Molson Canadian Red Leaf Project is a commitment to positively impact the Canadian environment in communities from coast to coast, incorporating tree plantings, urban greening projects and shoreline cleanup efforts.

In 2012, the Red Leaf Project was responsible for an additional 100 park clean-up projects across the country. With more than 5,380 volunteers participating from across Canada the Red Leaf Project, created a new pocket park in Calgary, planted more than 1861 trees, collected more than 220 bags of litter and removed more than 1,125 invasive species from parks and waterfront areas across Canada. More than 60% of consumers who participated said they “wanted to give back to the community and environment.”

While participating in a community greening event is reward enough for many people, many Red Leaf Project initiatives come with an added bonus – a free ticket to attend a local concert taking place afterwards.

The Red Leaf Project partners with Evergreen, a national charity in Canada that creates and sustains dynamic green spaces in parks, school grounds and communities across the country. By deepening the connection between people and nature, and empowering Canadians to take a hands-on approach to their urban environments, Evergreen is improving the health of our cities—now and for the future. For more information, visit

The Red Leaf Project drove significant engagement with consumers through digital media. There were more than 23,000 total “pins” redeemed online resulting in a $420,000 contribution to the program. The Molson Canadian Red Leaf project website received more than 110,000 visitors with more than 97,000 being unique visitors. The Facebook site had over 35,000 fans over the course of the program. The Red Leaf Project continues to be an initiative that positively drives brand equity and differentiation.

The Lush-est of gardens

By Erin Knutson

Special to The Pioneer

Since 2007, the ethically conscious handmade cosmetics company Lush Canada has been generously donating its profits from their charity-giving enterprise Charity Pot. Envisioned by CEO and founder Mark Constantine, the handmade cosmetic program supports grassroots organizations in exciting new ventures.

Locally, the Groundswell Community Greenhouse has been the recipient of a $20,000 donation by Lush towards its modern 12,000 square foot state-of-the-art permaculture garden. Harnessing both permaculture and renewable energy, Groundswell is in year four of construction on its inspired project.
“We are creating an outdoor teaching space, an open stage, a gathering place for community outdoor events,” said Bill Swan, project leader for the Groundswell’s Community Greenhouse development. “We are pushing toward completion — we are at eighty per cent.”

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Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home  – TELUS and WWF Canada

Canadian telecommunications company TELUS is the country’s second largest telecom company, differentiating itself with a strong community investment program. Since 2000, TELUS has contributed more than $340 million to charitable and nonprofit organizations including $5.2 million to animal-related causes.

In 2013, TELUS entered into a formal partnership with WWF Canada to not only help face conservation challenges head on, but also to provide opportunities for team members and customers to help make a difference. TELUS committed $1,000,000 over four years to WWF conservation efforts across Canada, including $250,000 in 2013 through a cause marketing effort called Home Sweet Home. The goals were to provide a fun and engaging way for Canadians to love and care for national critters, educate consumers on the TELUS commitment to animal welfare and build brand affinity. The campaign took home a Silver Cause Marketing Halo Award at the 2014 Cause Marketing Forum Conference. The campaign also won a Cause + Action award.

Through a charming and compelling mass campaign delivered through TV, online ads, transit shelter ads, billboards and in-store promotions, TELUS encouraged Canadians to buy a plush panda in-store and online with proceeds going to WWF as ‘the gift that gives back’ with $2.50 from each panda sale donated to WWF.

With clever social media activations that also earned this campaign a Silver Halo Award in the Social Media category (see details here), TELUS took the the streets in Vancouver and Toronto at bus stops and in malls to spread the campaign message.

To make sure Canadian youth had an opportunity to support the campaign, TELUS ran a challenge on We365 – TELUS and Free The Children’s app created to promote social good. The challenge invited kids to share which at-risk Canadian critter they were most passionate about protecting. When they did, they were entered to win a WWF adoption kit, and $5 was donated to WWF (to a maximum of $2,000).

In addition, the annual TELUS calendar featured WWF campaign critters and holiday e-cards triggered an additional $1 donation to WWF for each card sent, up to $50,000.

As a result, $250,000 was donated to WWF Canada and more than a quarter million Canadians were reached with the campaign message.

RBC Blue Water Project

RBC-Blue-WaterLaunched in 2007, the RBC Blue Water Project is a 10-year global charitable commitment of $50 million to help provide access to drinkable, swimmable, fishable water, now and for future generations.

The RBC Blue Water Project is a wide-ranging program dedicated to protecting the world’s most precious natural resource: fresh water. The company supports initiatives that help protect water in Canadian towns and cities.

RBC also promotes responsible water use with employees and clients, is committed to reducing the intensity of their own water footprint and encourages the growth of water businesses.

The centerpiece of the RBC Blue Water Project is a $50 million charitable commitment to support organizations that are working to protect water. RBC provides grants in regions where they have a business footprint.

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Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

greatcanadian_shoreline_cleanupA 21-year initiative, the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is a conservation initiative of Vancouver Aquarium and WWF presented by Loblaw Companies Limited.  The Shoreline Cleanup is Canada’s largest direct-action conservation initiative, mobilizing participants throughout the country to remove litter from its shorelines – anywhere where land meets water. In 2013, more than 58,000 Canadians helped remove almost 100,000 kilograms of garbage and debris from the shorelines of the country’s rivers, lakes and oceans.

Read more about the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

Tim Hortons Partnership Blend

CP-Info-packaging-coffee-bagIn May of 2014, Tim Hortons launched a new blend of packaged coffee sourced from its partnership with coffee farmers in Guatemala, Honduras, Brazil and Colombia. Called “Partnership Blend”, it is Tim Hortons’ first product sourced solely from the partnership it formed in 2005 to improve the lives of coffee farmers in those markets.

Sold at many Tim Hortons restaurants in Canada, the coffee costs $7.69, with $1 from each purchase going to support the partnership.

Read more about this effort

Blue Water Project

Blue Water Project: Royal Bank of Canada and nonprofits that protect watersheds and provide clean drinking water

The RBC Blue Water Project is their $50 million philanthropic commitment to hundreds of organizations throughout the world that are committed to protecting the earth’s most precious resource:  freshwater.  Each of the videos in RBC’s Blue Water series presents the story of a different member grant recipient. The video series won a Silver Cause Marketing Halo Award in 2011 in the video category.

Halo judges were captivated by the way in which RBC provided context for their $50 million grant through the use of this video series.  Showing each freshwater challenge in conjunction with an RBC-grant-funded solution made quite a wave.  Numbering each video by project number demonstrated that rising tides float all boats while maintaining a compelling storytelling focus.

Blue Water Project

Blue Water Project:  Royal Bank of Canada and Free The Children, Tides Canada and The National Geographic Society

In 2007 RBC took a leadership role in advancing the cause of water sustainability and created the RBC Blue Water Project – a $50,000,000, multi-year global commitment to protect the world’s most precious natural resource – fresh water, so that people, communities and businesses have clean fresh water today and tomorrow.

After establishing three years of credibility, RBC felt it timely to start talking about their freshwater initiatives by showcasing the work of three grant recipients – Free The Children, Tides Canada (Great Bear Rainforest) and The National Geographic Society.  Each grant recipient was featured in 30 second spots as part of a television and online media campaign. Longer documentaries on each recipient were also made available via YouTube.

The campaign’s social media platform was created to build internal employee advocacy for the cause by means of two internal programs taken into the social space.

The first RBC Blue Water Day enabled RBC employees to celebrate grant recipients in their region and encouraged employees to wear blue on the day as a sign of support for the cause.  Elsewhere, employees participated in watershed clean-up volunteer and education events.

In addition to brand lift, over 1,000 branches fully embraced RBC Blue Water Day with an employee participation rate of over 80%. The campaign won a Gold Cause Marketing Halo Award in 2011 in the Environmental/Animal Category.

Halo judges applauded RBC’s results and the magnitude of their long-term investment.  The level of employee and client involvement made a powerful splash, undoubtedly enabling RBC to continue to recruit and retain the best talent, of utmost importance to any business.