We announced in January that we will remove plastic swizzle sticks from drinks served on our aircraft, eliminating so many sticks that if a year’s worth were laid end to end, they would stretch from Halifax to Vancouver. Now we are taking our coast-to-coast efforts even further by partnering with 4ocean, a company dedicated to cleaning plastic and trash from the seas.
Our ambitious plastic-reduction strategy is one of many ways Air Canada is shrinking its environmental footprint, and we are proud that our efforts were recognized when we were named the world’s Eco-Airline of the Year for 2018. It is also important because the environment is a key pillar of our Sustainability Program, along with safety, taking care of our people and supporting communities.
Real sustainability requires accountability. For this reason, Air Canada has issued public sustainability reports since 2011, and this month, our 2018 report is available online at aircanada.com/citizensoftheworld. It not only details our accomplishments for the past year, but also commits to targets for 2019 so our progress can be tracked.
Sustainability also means viability. Among our accomplishments in 2018, we safely launched 29 new routes and reinforced our 33,000 employees’ commitment to safety. For our people, we initiated numerous training and inclusivity programs, for which we were recognized for the sixth consecutive year as one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers. In the more than 200 communities we serve and where our people live, we supported 275 registered charities through the Air Canada Foundation.
To ensure we are capturing stakeholders’ concerns, we also conducted an extensive materiality assessment of customers, employees, suppliers and investors to identify the issues that matter most to them. We have also, as in past years, obtained third party validation of select metrics to ensure the integrity of our reporting. And we are expanding our Corporate Sustainability Report presence on our website, and intend to provide updates throughout the year to highlight our sustainability activities.
We believe that in business, you do well by doing good. At Air Canada, we take this very much to heart, as our experience has shown that that is how our airline truly thrives.Calin’s column appears every month in enRoute Magazine, Air Canada’s award-winning in-flight magazine found onboard all Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge and Air Canada Express flights. This edition is from the June 2019 issue.