Corporate Social Responsibility
The Invasive Species Centre (ISC) is built on the principle of connecting stakeholders, knowledge and technology to prevent and reduce the spread of invasive species. An organization’s Corporate Social Responsibility plan can be seen as the “soul” of the organization. It describes the organization’s values as they pertain to the environment, to its people and to the community/communities in which it operates. Through its actions, the organization demonstrates to funders, project partners, clients and stakeholders, how these values are embodied and integrated into the organization’s operations.
The ISC’s Corporate Social Responsibility plan will provide a framework that will enable the Invasive Species Centre to make more environmentally sound and ethically responsible business decisions. This will complement its mandate and guide its operating decisions to visibly demonstrate the organization’s commitment to communities, the environment and our workforce. The Corporate Social Responsibility Plan will position the organization to perform more optimally in delivering its mandate, which in turn, will bring about positive change in the prevention, detection, response and control of invasive species within Canada.
Principles of the Corporate Social Responsibility Plan
Beginning in 2015-2016, the ISC will implement a three-year plan with specific measures to illustrate the ISC’s commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility. This is a public Plan which will be posted to the organization’s corporate website, and will be reported on annually at the summer (June) Board of Director’s meeting.
The Corporate Social Responsibility plan is based on three principals:
Giving Back to Communities by helping to educate the public on the importance of invasive species.
Reducing the Invasive Species Centre’s Environmental Impact by conducting business operations in an environmentally friendly manner.
Being a Great Place to Work by providing a nurturing, learning environment for all staff to help develop skills, build confidence and gain valuable work experience. The ISC is committed to building a safe and respectful workplace culture that enables staff to contribute to projects and programs, and voice opinions or suggestions on how to make the ISC better.
The ISC adheres to these principles as a guide to the way in which we do business. This will, in turn, communicate our integrity to current and future funders, project partners, stakeholders and followers.
The specific measures for three years (2015-2018) are:
Reducing the ISC’s Environmental Footprint by:
- Using certified paper (FSC, SFI or CSA certified) for all in-office and contracted printing, and ensuring that the logo of the certification body is evident on all official publications.
- Providing digital versions of documents to avoid printing where possible.
Building and nurturing the ISC’s human capital capacity by:
- Hiring new graduates and new entrants to the workforce through internship, placement and summer work opportunities.
- Nurturing a learning environment by providing affordable training and professional development opportunities to our workforce, when appropriate.
- Developing a suite of human resources policies that foster a transparent, safe and fair workplace.
Giving Back to the Communities in which we operate by:
- Actively searching for community partners to host invasive species events so that individuals across the province have an opportunity to learn about these issues.
- Encouraging all full-time staff to volunteer in their community for the equivalent of one (1) working day (7.5 hours) on their own time (i.e. unpaid) to support an event/events that promotes environmental sustainability, builds capacity among youth and/or contributes to the understanding of invasive species (e.g. contributing to local science or environmental events, speaking at a school or community event, attending a weed pull or watershed clean up, etc.).
Animating the John Rowswell Hub Trail
The NORDIK Institute and the City of Sault Ste. Marie partnered with the Invasive Species Centre as part of the Animate the Hub Trail Project. With the help of many local organizations, the NORDIK Institute gathered information about the rich history, culture, and environment surrounding the Hub Trail. The trail is a 25 kilometer long route within the city limits that takes users through ecologically diverse, culturally significant and historically rich settlements. The animation project will give access to this wealth of information through a web portal, mobile devices, and a trilingual Trail Guide and Audio Tour. The Invasive Species Centre identified trail markers where invasive species can be seen on the Trail and provided invasive species-related interpretive content and educational activities that will be accessible with an electronic device at those markers. Hub trail users will learn to recognize local invasive species in real life settings while learning more about preventing introductions of new species.
For more information go to the project website.