© RSA Canada

How one company removed 500 kg of trash to help wildlife

Company Story

February 28, 2019

Image © RSA Canada

Garbage bags? Yep. Gloves? Got ’em. Hundreds of passionate volunteers in purple RSA T-shirts? Heck yeah. 

During the week of June 18th 2018, RSA employees from coast to coast hit up nine local parks and shorelines for some serious spring cleaning. This was the second year the insurance leader has participated in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, with over 300 staffers coming out and removing nearly 500 kg of litter from our environment. 

In Vancouver, junior underwriter AC Buiza organized a team of 34 co-workers to collect discarded water bottles, cigarette butts, food wrappers and other detritus along False Creek. 

As a recreational scuba diver, AC feels a special passion for keeping our oceans clean. But every team member believed in the mission — and got plenty of high-fives from fellow Vancouverites for their efforts. “It was a nice way to just be out and help the community,” says AC. “They felt good that they were doing good.” 

In Mississauga, Ontario, over 130 employees descended on J.C. Saddington Park. For Chief Underwriting Officer Steve Cohen, who recently joined the company, it was the perfect opportunity to meet new colleagues, build team bonds and tackle an important issue. 

Image © RSA Canada

Although the site looked fairly clean at first glance, a closer look revealed lots of small plastic fragments, including a ton of tiny plastic fragments that can inflict major harm on wildlife and end up in the food chain. RSA volunteers even sifted through gravel to get to the smallest pieces. “It was actually pretty amazing the effort you saw some people go to,” says Cohen. 

Meanwhile, in St. John’s, weather couldn’t deter more than 40 eco-keeners from Johnson Insurance, part of the RSA Canada group of companies. On one of the coldest, wettest days of the month, employees put on their raingear and their biggest smiles and got to work. 

Johnson’s president, Ken Bennett, was right there, picking up trash and handing out kudos. “It makes me very proud to see people taking the time to give back,” he says. For volunteers, seeing their boss lead the charge provided a big motivation boost. 

The Shoreline Cleanup is a fabulous way to engage staffers, strengthen teams and enhance skills. According to one of the cleanup participants, “This is a winning activity for our employees”. 

It’s also a winning activity for the planet! Follow RSA’s example and sign up for your own corporate cleanup at shorelinecleanup.ca

© Staffan Widstrand / WWF

Stay Connected


Living Planet @ Work is WWF-Canada’s workplace engagement platform that offers free resources and ideas to empower you to lead sustainable initiatives at work. Sign up for the Living Planet @ Work Newsletter to learn more about how workplaces across Canada are becoming more sustainable.


WWF Canada is collecting postal codes so we can send you news and invitations most relevant to your area.

   Please leave this field empty