Sustainability Spotlight: Kal Tire
At DP World Vancouver, we believe businesses can help the community in many ways: by making donations, by encouraging volunteers, and even by operating their own charities. One great example of a company that helps contribute to the greater good in Vancouver and across the country is Kal Tire, through their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives.
What Corporate Social Responsibility Means to Kal Tire
Kal Tire’s business is guided in every way by its Seven Aims. Aim #7 reads, “… to continually improve every aspect of our company, recognizing our responsibility to our customers, each other, our communities and the environment.” To help meet this aim, Kal Tire established a Corporate Social Responsibility committee, made up of representatives from all levels of the company and headed by Corporate Social Responsibility Coordinator, Kevin McCarty. Kal Tire’s CSR strategy has three main pillars: Environmental Sustainability, Community Investment and Development, and Internal Team.
Environmental Sustainability is especially important because as Canada’s largest independent tire retailer, Kal Tire has the opportunity to make a significant contribution to environmental protection. For example, the tire retread program involves retreading approximately 400,000 tires each year. This saves about 22 million liters of oil annually by reducing the oil demand to produce new tires. Not every tire can be retreaded, and eventually, even retreaded tires come to the end of their useful life. When it happens, these tires are still recycled through provincial tire stewardship programs, ensuring scrap tires are kept out of landfills.
Kal Tire sustains the environment with reduced electricity use in its warehouse and retread divisions, as well. The company undertook a carbon footprint study for its Canadian operations, which revealed that electricity is its top source of carbon emissions. Waste and recycling are also significant emission sources, so recycling is a high priority, from cardboard and paper to hazardous materials such as batteries, used oil, and used antifreeze. The company is currently working to increase recycling of soft plastic items used during tire changes; such as plastic seat covers, steering wheel covers, and the bags old tires are placed in. It’s all done in the name of increasing environmental sustainability.
Kal Tire Helps and Builds the Community
The Community Investment and Development pillar is where Kal Tire’s charitable activities come into play. Here are just a few of the events and organizations the company supports:
- Its main partner is Kids Help Phone, which offers young people in need the opportunity to call for help 24/7/365.
- One of Kal Tire’s biggest sponsorship initiatives of the year is the annual Walk So Kids Can Talk 5K. Kal Tire helps fund the event and organizes games and activities in which kids can engage and learn.
- Kal Tire also supports the Boys and Girls Club of Canada.
- It funded the startup of the Skilled4Success program, a career exploration and jobs program for kids aged 13 to 18, where youth participate in Kal Tire job shadows to learn more about career opportunities in this industry
Creating Safe Conditions
The third pillar is the Team pillar and safety is a significant part of it. Simply stated, Kal Tire wants to ensure that each member of the team is safe at the end of the work day. The Journey to Zero programme provides training for senior managers, who in turn train their teams in operational safety.
Another aspect of the Team pillar is career development. Kal Tire wants employees to stay for the long haul while finding fulfilment in the work they’re doing—so the company invests time and money in their growth and advancement. And if an employee wants to support a particular initiative in the community, Kal Tire will work to offer support, too, through its community matching gifts program. Any Kal Tire team member anywhere in the world raising money for charity can apply to receive matching funds from the company.
We wanted to acknowledge the important work Kal Tire is doing in the community and share for those who might be seeking an example of how to best allocate their own sustainability resources.
If your company would like to learn more about Kal Tire’s initiatives, you can visit the Kal Tire website, or check them out on Facebook and Twitter. You’re also invited to contact Kal Tire’s Corporate Social Responsibility Coordinator, Kevin McCarty, by e-mail at CSR@Kaltire.com. If you’d like to support any of Kal Tire’s community programs, Kevin can tell you more.