Over the past five years, Cenovus Energy Inc. employees have invested millions of dollars and contributed thousands of hours of their time in the communities where they live and work.
Thanks & Giving is Cenovus’ annual giving campaign that encourages and celebrates the community spirit of its employees. During the month-long campaign in October employees are given the opportunity to donate to charities that are important to them with the company matching the donations up to $25,000 per employee per year.
“We really try to be flexible in allowing our employees to contribute to organizations that are meaningful to them, and when we match those donations, employees feel proud that the impact of their donation is really being multiplied,” says Vicki Reid, director of community affairs.
“Some of our employees support large, national organizations and others prefer to support smaller, community-based organizations, but the choice is theirs.”
Since 2010 employees have donated $5.9 million. Thanks to Cenovus’ matching program, the total amount donated has reached $11.8 million.
“Our employees have donated to more than 1,000 organizations across Canada over our last five campaigns,” says Reid.
“That’s a remarkable amount, but we also try to support our employees in giving in other ways as well, so the amount of money they have donated really only reflects part of the story.”
Reid says Thanksgiving is a perfect fit for the Thanks & Giving campaign. In addition to making donations, many Cenovus employees contribute by serving Thanksgiving meals in Alberta and Saskatchewan, where the company operates.
“This also often allows them to volunteer alongside their family members, which our staff appreciates as well,” says Reid.“Over the last five years, our employees and their families have served 9,728 turkey dinners at places like the Calgary Drop-In and Rehab Centre, Ronald McDonald House and Inn From the Cold as well as many others.”
The campaign also encourages food bank donations. In Calgary, donations are taken to the Veterans’ Food Bank.
“In Calgary, our employees have given 28,138 pounds (12,763 kilograms) of food since we launched the campaign,” says Reid.
Cenovus’ commitments to sustainability and corporate responsibility have been praised locally by community groups and internationally by industry watchers.
In 2014, for the third year in a row, Cenovus was included in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index that recognizes companies around the world for leadership in corporate responsibility.
Cenovus was the only North American oil and gas company to make the World Index last year. It tracks the stock performance of the world’s leading companies based on economic, environmental and social criteria.
Accolades aside, Reid says supporting employees in volunteerism and philanthropy just makes sense for the company and its people.
“Our focus on supporting our employees in giving and volunteering really does contribute to creating a strong and healthy corporate culture and improves morale,” says Reid.
“We love hearing our employees tell us about how they have been positively impacted by giving, and as a result, our employees are more engaged in their communities and more engaged in our organization as well. Everyone benefits.”