Shell Canada president and country chair Michael Crothers, right, with a group of Shell volunteers at a Fuelling Kindness event in downtown Calgary.
Wil Andruschak © Postmedia Network Inc.
Joel Schlesinger © Postmedia Network Inc.
“It all got started a few years ago with employees doing random acts of kindness in the communities in which they work,” says Michael Crothers, president and country chair of Shell Canada, an integrated energy firm that employs about 3,700 people, including around 1,300 in Calgary.
Spreading those positive vibes has become part of Shell’s corporate philosophy.
“Fuelling Kindness initially was a grassroots idea that transformed into an umbrella for our work in the community, especially with United Way.”
A major figure in Canada’s energy industry, and Calgary’s economy, Shell Canada has a long track record of charitable support. The company has been involved with the United Way for more than 30 years, matching employee and retiree contributions now exceeding $95 million.
“Most of that has been raised in Calgary,” Crothers says, adding the company is headquartered here. “Last year, for example, we gave over $4 million.”
Besides raising money, volunteering is a core part of being a Shell employee, especially within the city.
“We’re aiming for over 5,000 hours of volunteering this year on over 80 projects, with most of those hours happening in Calgary, given our concentration of staff here.”
Fuelling Kindness sets the tone, he adds.
“This is something every employee can get involved in on their terms.”
Employees are encouraged to engage in acts of kindness of any size. They can be as simple as buying coffee and doughnuts for workers at a non-profit. But employees are also expected to take a few workdays a year to volunteer with a charitable organization.
“It’s interesting because our people get as much benefit out of the experience as the agencies get from our volunteers,” he says.
“It’s a known fact that doing something kind makes everyone feel good,” Crothers adds. “And we believe that our employees’ good deeds spread, prompting others to do the same.”
Fuelling Kindness illustrates Shell’s broader philosophy for doing business, says Crothers, from its industry-leading environmental stewardship and partnerships with Indigenous communities to pioneering the next generation of clean energy solutions.
“Our business is constantly evolving, and central to that is working with the communities in which we work and live in positive ways,” he says. “And that, to a T, is exactly what Fuelling Kindness is all about.”
Follow Shell employees and their acts of giving through #fuellingkindness on social media.
This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of Calgary Economic Development.