More and more, people are concerned about environmental sustainability, strong communities, and individual health. You could easily argue that those three things often go hand in hand. People are looking for ways in their everyday life to improve overall health outcomes, as are many companies in the business community.
Recently, we were tasked with creating a large group of trophy plates for the Stantec Cool Commute Challenge. There were some very interesting awards on those plaques, and they really peaked our interest…we wanted to know MORE about this event.
Stantec is a global design firm. Founded in Edmonton in 1954, Stantec now employs more than 15,000 people in more than 250 offices. To get the scoop on Stantec’s Cool Commute Challenge, we contacted Melissa Peneycad, associate, sustainable development, in Stantec’s Toronto office.
The Stantec Cool Commute Challenge is an annual, friendly inter-office competition which encourages employees to use more sustainable modes of transportation such as cycling, walking, transit, carpooling, or telecommuting, instead of single-occupancy driving. It helps to improve participants’ health while reducing their transportation costs and greenhouse gas emissions. The month-long challenge is held in June. It began in 2007 and now attracts more than 2000 participants each year from all across Stantec’s offices. By participating in the Cool Commute Challenge, our team members not only reduce their environmental footprint, they can also simultaneously save money, get some great exercise, avoid the stress of gridlock, and connect with coworkers across the Company, all while having fun.”
Trophies, called “Commuties” (which are made from old bike parts in the shape of a bike) are awarded to offices for highest participation rates, and points per employee for biking, walking, taking public transit, carpooling, and telecommuting. In 2015, 2,453 Stantec employees participated in the Challenge across 137 offices in Canada and the United States. More than 1,000,000 sustainably traveled kilometers were logged (approx. 640,000 miles) during the Challenge. The Challenge runs annually, during the month of June.
While looking for information about this event, we ran across an article that mentioned Stantec as having been named one of Canada’s Greenest Employers, for 4 years in a row! Clearly this event, along with other activities in many communities, shows this company’s commitment to something they value strongly. Namely, “design with community in mind.”
Congratulations to Stantec for offering their employees a fun and important event. And good luck to everyone participating in the next Cool Commute Challenge!