By Melissa Campeau
When people feel aligned with the company they work for, good things tend to happen for both the employee and employer. That sensibility is at the root of Fidelity Investments Canada’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives.
“Today, employees expect more of their employers,” says Nancy Lupi, senior vice-president of HR at Fidelity in Toronto. “Good employers understand this and act on it.”
Employees want to work with employers who share their values, she says.
“What we are most proud of, though, is how fiercely committed our employees are to supporting their communities. Their efforts have turned a grassroots program into a corporate mandate and huge success.”
Success in employee communities translates into a stronger relationship between employees and the employer and helps attract the next generation of exceptional employees.
“Nowadays, employees are looking for more than a paycheque; they’re looking to make a difference,” says Lupi.
As an example, an Employees Assisting Charities program allows workers to dedicate full shifts to volunteer work while a grant program allows them to translate internal volunteer hours into $100 donations to the charities of their choice.
Fidelity has a long-running relationship with one particular charity.
“Fourteen years ago, we entered into a national partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Canada to help steer youth towards lifelong learning,” says Martha Carnegie, director of HR and community affairs at Fidelity in Toronto.
The 876-employee company organizes events for the charity that include an outing to a Toronto Blue Jays game and a trip to Canada’s Wonderland.
“Fidelity Investments also organizes and runs Unity Day — an annual outdoor summer carnival that celebrates the similarities and differences of children from diverse communities and backgrounds,” says Carnegie.
“On the back of this partnership, we founded the Power Up! Program that has helped more than 13,000 students participate in several linked initiatives, including the STE(A)M (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) Program,” she says.
“These programs encourage children to gain an appreciation for lifelong learning.”
Fidelity also offers scholarship opportunities for youth pursuing post-secondary education and supports the Who’s Got Your Back school supplies drive.
“Recently, our employees collected 162 backpacks and 52 boxes of school supplies,” says Carnegie.
Fidelity is also involved in disaster relief fundraising and last spring, it directed the proceeds of its weekly Jeans Day initiative towards the Canadian Red Cross in support of the Alberta Wildfires Relief Fund.
The Rexall OneWalk to Conquer Cancer has been another important charitable event for Fidelity. As part of this commitment, the organization recruits employees to participate in the walk to benefit the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.
Last year, 11 employees collected $28,000 in donations for their 25-kilometre trek.
Fidelity’s commitment to environmental concerns reflects employees’ values, as well, with green initiatives such as efficient resource consumption of paper, water and energy, and recycling and energy efficiency practices.
The company also has an Environment Sustainability Committee that champions environmentally friendly practices and keeps employees in the loop about its progress.
In the coming year, the organization has set aggressive targets, including the adoption of sustainably harvested paper for 80 per cent of its paper needs and a target to reduce paper use by 56 per cent.
Fidelity promotes energy conservation and innovative heating, cooling and lighting technologies in its buildings and data centres, and through these measures, has reduced greenhouse emissions by 22 per cent since 2007.
Commitment to diversity
The company also places a premium on diversity. In 2014, the National Business Inclusion Consortium honored Fidelity as one of the leading companies that’s taken significant steps toward sustaining best practices in diversity.
Melissa Campeau is a freelance writer based in Toronto.
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