What Do Electronic Waste, Shoes and Fettuccine Have in Common? Ask Domtar’s EarthChoice Ambassadors!

Domtar’s EarthChoice Ambassadors, now mobilized at 21 of our sites, were more active than ever in 2015.
Feb 17, 2016 9:35 AM ET

What do electronic waste, shoes and fettuccine have in common? Ask Domtar’s EarthChoice Ambassadors!

Research shows that employees who are passionate about sustainability at home would like to see those same practices valued at work. These folks are known as sustainability champions and in their case; leadership is a role, not a position. Sustainability champions lead by example, benefitting both themselves and the organization as a whole.

Domtar believes that informed choices lead to better, more sustainable lives and a better world, and so it created the EarthChoice Ambassadors employee engagement program in 2010 to promote these principles. Now going into its fifth year, this very successful program is on track to have chapters in place at all Domtar facilities by 2020.

In fact, three new teams were added throughout 2015, with a fourth set to launch at Domtar’s Hawesville, Kentucky mill during Earth Week later this year. As Hawesville Mill Manager Steve Henry recently pointed out, “Sustainability is part of our culture at Hawesville; the EarthChoice Ambassador program will build on and enhance our sustainability efforts.”

Now mobilized at 21 sites across North America and Europe, the EarthChoice Ambassadors are more active than ever.  Together their efforts have a measurable impact, and the numbers tell the story.  Some 2015 highlights include:

  • Teams across the company helped recycled hundreds of pounds of electronic waste, ink cartridges and other reusable materials
  • The Ashdown, AR team collected over 200 pairs of shoes for the Salvation Army
  • Montreal, Quebec’s EarthChoice Ambassador team diverted more than 29,000 plastic stirrers sticks from the landfill by using uncooked fettuccini to stir their coffee instead

“What stood out to me this year was that we doubled the number of hours spent volunteering in the community with friends and family,” said Heather Stowe, Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility. “Our employees gave over 2,000 hours of their own time to plant trees, clean up parks and do other hands-on activities. This is more than a strong work ethic; it shows heart.”

Domtar site managers recognize the positive effect EarthChoice Ambassadors have, both internally and externally. “Since launching the EarthChoice Ambassadors program at our Waco location, I’ve seen our group passionately bring awareness to not only sustainability at Domtar, but in our community too. Our employees gave hundreds of volunteer hours to community service projects. I am very proud of the eagerness and willingness of our employees looking to make a difference,” said Greg Linscott, Manager at Domtar’s Personal Care facility in Waco, Texas.

Read more about Domtar’s EarthChoice Ambassadors here