MEC Leads the Way in Canada’s 1% for the Planet Network
Andrew Stegemann, Community Program Manager at Mountain Equipment Co-op, was the featured speaker at the 1% for the Planet Vancouver Member meet-up on September 10, 2013. The event, which was sponsored by MEC, took place at East of Main Café in Vancouver’s Chinatown area. Andrew spoke to the mixed crowd of 1% for the Planet members (including Boldt Communications, Salt Spring Coffee, and 1% Ambassador Kris Holm) and NGOs about the ways in which MEC leverages its community investments through partnerships with national NGO’s on strategic campaigns.
When MEC became a member of 1% for the Planet in 2007, it had already established itself as a leader in community investment. Since 1987, MEC has given over $21 million to community groups working on a variety of issues, and in the last few years, has focused its investments to better align with its business strategy. According to its website, through its Community Contributions program, “MEC helps keep space for adventure by conserving ecologically and recreationally important places, and by inspiring and enabling Canadians to be active outside.”
All of MEC’s investments comply with 1% for the Planet criteria, making it the largest member in 1% FTP’s Canadian network. One of MEC’s long-time grant recipients, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, received its first MEC grant in 1988. Andrew described two of the latest campaigns in which MEC and CPAWS have joined forces. Last year’s Dare to Be Deep campaign brought awareness to ocean conservation efforts, while this year’s I Love Parks campaign focuses on preserving (you guessed it) Canada’s parks. In both cases, MEC’s support not only aligns with its 3.6 million members’ interests, it also helps to promote its outdoor retail products.
MEC’s newest community investment initiative will be around freshwater, an issue that affects all ecosystems and has a wide variety of stakeholders. Andrew invited any 1% FTP members who are interested in collaborating on what will be a high-impact partnership to contact him at Andrew.Stegemann@mec.ca.