Catalyst gets double honours for corporate citizenship

Catalyst Paper has been named one of Canada’s top 50 corporate citizens by two national magazines.

Catalyst Papr

Catalyst Paper has been named one of Canada’s top 50 corporate citizens by two national magazines.

Catalyst ranked among Maclean’s magazine’s top 50 socially responsible corporations in Canada, and placed 13th in Corporate Knights’ best 50 corporate citizens in Canada list.

Lyn Brown, Catalyst’s vice-president of corporate relations and social responsibility, said the company’s socially responsible status is well earned.

“We aim to bake sustainability into everyday practices at Catalyst,” she said. “We made good progress in some areas, like our 85 per cent absolute reduction of greenhouse gas emissions since 1990, and we have room to improve in others.”

The awards, Brown added, also reflect Catalyst’s efforts in being a good employer and community member.

But at least one Cowichanian thinks the titles are nothing to brag about.

“I don’t think the awards are something we really should be taking seriously,” said Robert Douglas, a frequent News Leader Pictorial letter-writer and Catalyst critic.

“If you look at some of the other companies on the list, there are a handful that do deserve to be there — like VanCity and Mountain Equipment Co-op, companies that really are socially responsible — but the overwhelming majority of them are not.”

“It’s like a who’s who list of some of the most unethical companies in Canada,” he said, calling the awards nothing more than corporate propaganda.

“If I was the CEO of Catalyst, I’d ask to be taken off that list, because it’s so ridiculous.”

Douglas, meanwhile, noted Catalyst’s legal fight with municipalities such as North Cowichan over industrial taxes, and suggested the public view the corporate awards with a critical eye.

“BP has won all kinds of awards, but we know the type of behaviour they’re guilty of,” he said. “I think we just need to be careful at looking at who these organizations are.”

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