MONTREAL — Air Canada has been recognized for its commitment to corporate social responsibility at the annual Canadian HR Awards.
The airline was honoured with the Payworks Award, which recognizes an organization for successfully establishing corporate social responsibility in its culture through its people and the role HR had in executing such initiatives.
“We are thrilled with this recognition as we see the integration of sustainability, environmental and social elements throughout our organization as equally important to economic factors in contributing to our airline’s success,” said Arielle Meloul-Wechsler, Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer and Public Affairs. “We have cultivated our corporate culture to consider sustainability and social good aspects in our strategic decision making, and this in turn has resulted in a wide range of opportunities to cultivate employee engagement in important causes that make a difference.”
Sustainability initiatives embedded across Air Canada’s organizational culture and people include:
- The Air Canada Foundation, which raised more than $1million and dispersed close to $600,000 to support close to 160 charities, and its Hospital Transportation Program and other partnerships to advance children’s health and well-being,
- Humanitarian work to support Ukraine, including employees volunteering their time to pack emergency family food and response kits, special flights transporting humanitarian and medical aid on behalf of global aid organizations, and the facilitation of flights for people to travel to Canada,
- A Climate Action Plan with strategies and absolute mid-term goals to achieve a long-term objective of net-zero emissions from all global operations by 2050,
- Air Canada Vaccination Hubs set up in 2021 to support the Canadian vaccination effort with temporary employment opportunities for furloughed employees in non-medical staffing positions at provincial vaccination clinics in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.
- Employee engagement opportunities to give back to their own communities through the causes they are involved in,
- Ongoing advancement of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives including rollout of DEI educational training across the organization, and commitment to creating a DEI Executive Council and DEI Steering Committee,
- Several textile re-use, recycling and donation programs, including development of an app to enable employees to exchange new and gently used uniform pieces, to promote sustainable alternatives to landfill disposal,
- The ‘Fill it Forward’ initiative to encourage employees to stay hydrated while supporting the environment and contribute to Water First, a Canadian charity that addresses water challenges in First Nations communities through education, training and meaningful collaboration.
Additional information about Air Canada’s people, employee and community engagement, safety, wellness, the environment, and other initiatives are detailed in the airline’s 2021 Corporate Sustainability Report, Citizens of the World .
Earlier this year, Air Canada was honoured with additional recognitions for its human resource programs and achievements, including being named by Forbes as one of Canada’s “Best Employers for Diversity”, and as one of “Canada’s Best Employers 2022”. The airline was also recognized by Mediacorp for the ninth consecutive year as one of “Montreal’s Top Employers” for 2022.