Passionate CEOs inspire environmental philanthropy at work

Passionate CEOs inspire environmental philanthropy at work

This story first appeared on June 21, 2014 in the Globe and Mail’s Report on Business.

Ask any organizational development consultant and you’ll likely hear that the key to affecting lasting positive workplace culture change is to start at the top. A group of Canadian Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) took this advice literally.

Earlier this spring, these CEOs spent an evening climbing Canada’s tallest tower. The grueling hike up the 1,776 steps of Toronto’s CN Tower was part of a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) fundraising event. It was also a daring opportunity for business leaders to join their employees and demonstrate their commitment to WWF’s mission from the top.

It’s an idea whose time has come. According to a PriceWaterhouseCoopers study, 88 per cent of all employees want to work for a socially responsible organization. And the OXYGENZ Global Workplace Innovation Study reported that 98 per cent of 26-35-year-olds would prefer an environmentally responsible workplace. “Businesses need engaged employees just as much as we need footprint reduction,” says Hewlett-Packard Canada CEO Lloyd Bryant. “We believe employee engagement can be leveraged...

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