There are many factors that make up the Domtar difference. One of them is our EarthChoice Ambassador (ECA) program. ECA is an employee engagement program that began in 2010 to promote sustainable principles throughout the company.
Our ECA members are committed to promoting sustainable practices by focusing on our customers, employees, company and communities. By identifying and sharing innovative methods, educating and encouraging sustainable habits and leading by example, this group helps push our sustainability message throughout our organization.
Currently, we have 26 ECA teams in four countries and are on track to have chapters in place at all Domtar facilities by 2020. In 2017 alone, our EarthChoice Ambassadors put in more than 6,000 hours of volunteer work.
“One of my favorite projects that I’ve been involved in was our park and baseball field cleanup during EarthWeek this year,” says Jackie Lundy, administrative assistant at Domtar’s Johnsonburg Mill and ECA captain. “Over 80 volunteers worked throughout the day to prepare the grounds, fields and park for the summer season. I was impressed with the number of volunteers that turned out, how well they all worked together and the amount of work that was done. Even more impressive, though, was the dedication of our employees and leadership to making our community better for people of all ages.”
Other examples of the Domtar difference, also known as “The ECA Effect,” made by our ECA program include:
- Park cleanups in various Domtar communities
- Care packages to provide diapers to needy families
- Earth Day and Earth Week celebrations
- Book drives and giveaways with First Book and Classroom Central
- Tree planting events
- Recycling program development
- School-supply drives
“As the market continues to get tighter for talent, no longer are candidates just talking about opportunity and salary,” said Erin Boswell, Domtar’s talent acquisition manager. “When my team talks to candidates and asks them what attracts them to Domtar, we hear a common theme as it relates to the community involvement and opportunities Domtar provides. Our ECA program is a big part of supporting this and is a great perk we are proud to sell when speaking with potential employees and interns.”
EarthChoice Ambassador Captains
Behind each of our ECA programs and the many other events that take place each year are EarthChoice Ambassador Captains.
“At the beginning of the ECA program, I managed the projects at our first two locations, but once the teams started to grow and more facilities adopted the program, I knew I needed help,” says Heather Stowe, Domtar’s corporate social responsibility manager and creator of the Domtar ECA program. “That’s when we created the ECA Captain role.”
Our 26 ECA Captains are the local leaders at each of our EarthChoice Ambassador chapters. They manage meetings within their local chapters, brainstorm ideas with fellow members and turn ideas into reality within their communities.
“Giving back to the community and coworkers in one way or another has always been something that I have enjoyed doing. It’s not a job; it’s an opportunity,” says Cheryl Osborne, ECA Captain and raw material coordinator at our Delaware, Ohio, facility. “Being Captain has its challenges. I have had to come out of my shell and be more outgoing, which I still struggle with but I’m getting better each day. Giving back to our community, our company and our environment is a passion of mine, and I’m so honored to be involved in the ECA group.”
Lundy volunteered to be an ECA Captain because she saw value in the program and wanted to be part of the Domtar difference at work and in her community. But what she wasn’t expecting was how much of a learning experience it would be.
“I have learned so much in the past year as ECA Captain. I learned that I have amazing coworkers who are interested in giving back to the community and that our small community has a lot to offer,” says Lundy. “I also learned that sustainability doesn’t just mean recycling. Sustainability means making the world a better place for our generation and future generations, and there are so many simple things we can do as individuals and teams to encourage this. But most importantly, I learned that when we work together, we can accomplish so much!”
Stowe credits much of the success of the ECA program to the ECA Captains. “An interesting development since the creation of this program has been the effect it has on our employees’ career paths,” she says. “I’ve witnessed firsthand how being an active member has cultivated a group of leaders and doers in our company and in our communities. Without the leadership of the ECA Captains, locally, I don’t think we could have accomplished what we have. Ideas are never in short supply, but making an idea a reality needs the commitment and passion of our Captains.”
To find out more about our ECA projects and how they make the Domtar difference in our communities, check out these other articles:
- Domtar and SCA Clean Up Parks in Two of Our Communities
- Celebrating Earth Week 2018 at Domtar
- Truck of Books Event Offers Free Books for Kids
- Domtar Gives Back in 2017: Comfort and Care Year-in-Review
- Domtar Colleagues Help Restore the Johnsonburg Community Center