For three days in September 2010, 12 young leaders from Groupe Aeroplan’s various global business units convened in Clayoquot Sound to ponder how their company can best support sustainability across different scales and regions. With more than 17,000 employees worldwide, the Change Action Team was selected to share perspectives on how to best address environmental and humanitarian causes, and report back to the rest of the company.

The group visited the communities of Tla-o-qui-aht, Ahousaht, and Hesquiaht First Nations. Here, they learned and shared experience about struggles for social equity, failing economics in the resource sector, and the challenge to re-position rural communities for cultural and economic resilience.

For Ecotrust and the three host nations, the exchange with Aeroplan’s Corporate Social Responsibility proved inspiring and informing. Indeed, it was easy to draw parallels between dilemmas communities and the environment face from Clayoquot Sound, to Dubai, Australia, Lebanon, India, London, Montreal and Minneapolis. By focusing Groupe Aeroplan’s corporate engagement on Community Investment, Environmental Stewardship, and Employee engagement, the company seemed to echo a sentiment during the trip that the global village will only get stronger if economics, communities, and environment are weighed and valued equally.

You can check out their blog here.

– Daniel Arbour, Program Director, Development and Communications

Note: Special Thanks to the ISIS Research Centre at UBC’s Sauder School of Business and to Offsetters for making this trip happen.