The Green Life

The Green Life focuses on staying up-to-date with the latest green trends, events and news around the world.

Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) has been given top spot on Corporate Knight's Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada.

MEC has made long strides in the greening of its operations, as well as reducing carbon emissions in their supply chains. For example, MEC uses lower emitting modes of transportation including rail and sea transportation. It is also putting much emphasis on increasing the efficiency of its buildings and increasing the use of renewable energy at its locations with the biggest carbon footprint - Toronto, Halifax, and Ottawa.

MEC also has numerous partnerships, including 1% For The Planet and The Big Wild. The store locations themselves used recycled materials in the building process, as well as the Toronto location has a state-of-the-art green roof.

Green roof at mec's toronto location

As a retail store, consumers are more curious on where and how their clothes and products are produced. In response, MEC is very transparent and are telling you just how its done with its Ethical Sourcing blog. Want to buy local? Check for the Canadian flag signs on the tags of its products.

Employees at MEC are also behind its good corporate citizenship. Over 80 per cent of employees use alternative transportation such as bikes or public transit.

Congratulations to MEC and the other 49 top corporate citizens in Canada. It's important to reward organizations that are doing more than just donating money to a charity, but incorporating sustainability into their business model.

For more information on MEC's corporate citizenship initiatives, check out its 2009 Accountability Report.

About Corporate Knights

Corporate Knights Magazine is Canadian magazine covering clean capitalism and is published four times per year. Since its foundation in 2002, it is the world’s largest circulation magazine with an explicit focus on corporate responsibility.

Corporate Knights bases its ratings for the Best 50 Corporate Citizens on several indicators, including: environmental, social, and governance. A third-party is also used to verify the results.

To evaluate environmental performance, energy use, carbon emissions, water use and water production are evaluated. For social performance, evaluation includes the ratio of the CEO to lowest-paid employee and number of injuries and no-lost time accidents per 1,000,000 hours worked. For Governance, the link between sustainability criteria and a senior executive's compensation, and the percentage of women, Aboriginal and visible minorities on Boards of Directors are also factors.

Transparency is also another key message when evaluating an organization's corporate citizenship. If companies choose to report the good and bad, as well as use reporting systems such as the Global Reporting Initiative, they are more credible and thus better corporate citizens.

To see who else made the list, click here.