Corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability have been at the core of the Proof family’s business operations since our founding in 1994. At the heart of any successful business should be a set of values that guide the operations. Actions always speak louder than words. We believe that practicing social responsibility is essential to running a successful business.
Our Charitable Giving
The importance of making financial donations to charitable causes in the communities where we operate is engrained in our agency values.
For over two decades, Proof Strategies has supported organizations ranging from food banks to women’s shelters to environmental groups and more.
We are a longstanding supporter of Second Harvest, a food recovery organization that delivers food to shelters, hostels and other people in need. Over the past decade, we have funded over 67,650 meals through our potluck employee lunches, supplemented by company donations.
In Ottawa, we helped to launch in 2013 that city’s annual Lawn Summer Nights event in support of research into cystic fibrosis. This event now raises almost $90,000 annually with Proof Strategies providing a team, cash support and volunteer assistance.
We have also given regularly to the Nature Conservancy of Canada, Canada’s leading land conservation organization. In 2019, for example, as a part of our 25th anniversary celebrations, we donated $5,000 in support of the Hazel Bird Conservation Property east of Toronto.
In 2020, we initiated a $1,500 per month donation to local community groups supporting equity and advancement for Black, Indigenous or people of colour. Our focus is to seek suggestions from our employees to support the smaller organizations working tirelessly in local communities to help disadvantaged people. An example is our support to Success Beyond Limits, a youth-led community organization dedicated to improving educational outcomes and possibilities in the Jane-Finch area of Toronto.
Our reward for staff members upon reaching their 10th year of working at Proof Strategies includes a $1,000 donation to the charity of their choice.
We are proud of our charitable record and hope to inspire others. Proof Strategies is one of the few agencies to publish our own Corporate Social Responsibility Report, which further outlines our charitable giving and other ways we engage and support communities. You can download it here.
Sustainability has always been an essential part of Proof Strategies’ business operations. Climate change is an urgent issue. We follow the United Nations Bruntland Commission’s definition of sustainability: “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.” As a result of our commitment to this approach, our entire operation has been carbon neutral since 2008. We were the first public relations firm in North America to achieve this.
For more than a decade, we have quantified our greenhouse gas emissions through independent audits. These audits have allowed us to develop strategies to reduce our emissions in areas such as commuting to work, in our offices, and our client work. For the last fiscal year, Proof purchased 236 Verified Carbon Units to offset the equivalent amount of emissions created by our offices. Recently, our offsets have been sourced from the Nature Conservancy of Canada through their Darkwoods Forest Carbon Project initiative in British Columbia, a project with the Verified Carbon Standard certification.
In addition to offsetting our emission, our office teams have implemented initiatives that help change daily habits and activities that contribute to reducing our overall environmental impact.
- Creating commercial and office waste management and recycling programs, including batteries and electronic equipment. We have also implemented an organic waste and biodegradable product diversion program in our offices through Urban Street Organics.
- Reducing paper consumption through double-sided printer defaults and using 100 per cent post-consumer paper.
- Creating greener staff commutes initiative by offering a $350 bicycle allowance, a $500 hybrid car incentive, and supplying transit passes to travel to local meetings.
- We do not use refillable water coolers to reduce the use of plastic and the trucking of jugs. Bottled water purchase is discouraged with glass pitchers and glasses available for meeting use, and every new employee receives a branded reusable water bottle!
- Our Toronto office is powered by Bullfrog Power, which injects electricity on the grid matching our usage from clean, emissions-free sources like wind power and low-impact water power instead of carbon-intensive sources like coal and oil.
Since becoming carbon neutral, the team has reduced our greenhouse gas emissions from electricity, paper consumption, and business travel by up to 66 per cent. We have also implemented practices to ensure our consumption levels do not increase through the support of our staff Green Committee, which provides regular education, reinforcement, quizzes, etc. to ensure our team members are up to date on all things green!