As an account executive for P&G Canada, Ashley Fill has worked hard to bring sustainability into her workplace. It’s a passion that began during her undergraduate career at Queen’s University where she led the school’s Fair-Trade initiative and learned more about challenges, including environmental issues, facing the global supply chain. She brought this passion from campus to the workplace, and was recently awarded with WWF-Canada’s 2019 Living Planet @ Work Champion of the Year for her sustainability efforts. Since joining LP@W, Ashley has encouraged others in her organization to make “green” changes to every day habits, like reducing their paper and plastics consumption, and even choose cold water when doing laundry. To date, over 250 P&G Canada employees have joined Ashley in thinking about “going green” in their workplace.
Here’s Ashley’s journey and how she became one of her organization’s top sustainability champions:
When Ashley first started her role at P&G Canada, she was assigned a peer buddy to help familiarize her with the ins and outs of the organization. This colleague happened to be head of the organization’s sustainability network and invited her to join. Being passionate about sustainability since her university career, Ashley happily accepted. “I was thrilled to continue learning more about sustainability at work”, says Ashley.
It was through this group that Ashley first learned about the Living Planet @ Work program, which offers free resources and support for employees that want to scale up sustainability in their workplaces. After a WWF-Canada event in 2016, at which the global WWF’s Living Planet Report results on the state of wildlife were revealed, Ashley realized just how urgent the situation really was. After that, she and her team became inspired to go bigger and set more ambitious goals. During this time, Ashley’s co-leads and manager supported her in taking on a larger role within the network by planning environmental events and creating the company’s first green employee challenge. “My manager was supportive of my passion and the sustainability network became a part of my work plan,” says Ashley.
Fast forward to today, and Ashley is taking huge strides within her company. “I now lead the Sustainability Network and am continuing to work with WWF-Canada through Shoreline Cleanups, consulting projects, CN Tower climbs and employee challenges!”
This year, Ashley’s favourite engagement activity was the Green for 2019 Challenge – a four-week interactive program that challenges employees to make small environmental changes to their daily routines. This included reducing single-use plastics, eating local and plant-based meals and washing laundry in cold water to save energy. The campaign was a massive success, with more than 250 employees participating. “The beauty of sustainability is that it’s generally a win-win scenario. For example, by reducing the number single use plastics used, we also reduced costs and saved the company money”, says Ashley.
On a personal level, Ashley’s experience as a workplace environmental champion has been quite valuable. “The Sustainability Network, and in particular Joyce Law who has been the rock of the network since I started, has enabled me to bring my passion to work every day. Nothing feels more rewarding than seeing the impact that the team’s environmental initiatives have made on our office. Seeing that I can influence the habits of those around me is beyond inspiring.”
Inspired by this story? Sign up for Living Planet @ Work to learn how you can start strengthening sustainability at your workplace with WWF-Canada.