Building a Corporate Social Responsibility Program for 10k Employees with Heather Stowe of Domtar

changemakers- heather stowe
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We had the pleasure of sitting down with Heather Stowe, the Corporate Responsibility Manager at Domtar in the latest episode of our podcast, Changemakers from Within. 

 

Here’s a rundown on what we talked about with Heather on Domtar’s corporate giving and employee engagement programs.

For some background, Domtar is a fiber production company with two main divisions: Pulp and Paper and the Personal Care division. The Pulp and Paper division produces paper that goes into the production of many goods such as gum wrappers, lollipop sticks, and hospital gowns. On the other hand, the Personal Care division manages the production of adult incontinence products, products for infants and children, and other absorbent hygiene solutions. 

Heather let us in on the cool fact that in a couple of years, Domtar will be turning 175 years old!

This year marks Heather’s 14th year at Domtar. As the Corporate Responsibility Manager, Heather excitedly shares that:

“ I have the best role at Domtar! Hands down!”

Heather’s journey at Domtar has been a crazy ride! She first joined Domtar in 2006 as the Business Development Manager. However, her role quickly changed after partaking in an eye-opening 6 month class on building a business case for employee engagement through sustainability! Upon completion of the class, Heather presented her case to her team at Domtar who was amazed by her work and asked her if she was interested in forming a green team program for the company.  This was the start of a new chapter at Domtar.

Domtar’s 3 Social Impact Focus Areas

In her current role, Heather manages three programs:

  1. Powerful Pages
  2. Earth Choice
  3. Comfort and Care 

Each of these three programs relate to Domtar’s focus areas. Powerful Pages, which handles Domtar’s paper business, is connected to its focus area of literacy. Earthchoice is committed to Domtar’s passion towards sustainability. Lastly, the Comfort and Care program which relates to Domtar’s Personal Care division, focuses on the company’s commitment to health and wellness. 

Heather’s role at Domtar has brought her a lot of joy! 

“I think passion drives a lot in this world… I love what I do!”

 

“1K Your Way”

Heather began to notice that many organizations “Outside of our company organizations are receiving financial support from us and I thought ‘How does that relate to our employees at all?’”

With over 10,000 employees at Domtar, Heather wanted to engage employees in community giving. She decided that she would ask employees what they would do with $1,000 in their community and the answers she received were incredible!

One employee suggested building a weather station for students where they can learn about the weather and climate. 

After the success of this project with just $1,000, Heather and her team decided to give away 20 $1,000 grants. This year, she received over 60 applications! 

A question a lot of people might ask is how can you get 10,000 employees involved in an impactful way? 

Heather explains that she is not trying to engage every single employee at Domtar. Instead, she only hopes that the giving program provides a platform for the employees who are passionate about these programs sharing,

“I want to give employees what they need to be happy, satisfied, and proud about the company that they work for!”

 

Looking to the future

Domtar is always looking for opportunities to engage employees. They not only want to focus on financial or product donations but are always finding ways to make their employee engagement efforts more impactful.

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