"I feel proud to have supported our country and fellow Canadians during these unprecedented times. Working with the Red Cross gave me a chance to give back in a meaningful way." – Air Canada employee Ameena Youssef on working with the Canadian Red Cross in their fight against COVID-19 by recruiting humanitarian workers for long-term health care facilities.
With the help of its employees like Ameena Youssef and others, Air Canada continued to support communities in need across the country for various causes throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. This is one example of many other actions and accomplishments outlined in Air Canada's 2020 corporate sustainability report Citizens of the World released today.
"Our employees have shown great dedication, courage and tenacity. I am grateful to them for their professionalism, commitment and ability to overcome adversity," said Michael Rousseau, President and Chief Executive Officer at Air Canada. "2020 was without any doubt a year of great challenges, but also of opportunities for changes and improvements, innovations and creative solutions. Despite the challenges, one thing has never been clearer: we remain focused and committed to sustainability. Air Canada has been on this journey for quite some time, made significant progress over the years and will continue to move forward, ensuring to achieve its goals. We are definitely well positioned to take up on the challenges in the coming years."
As a global airline and as Citizens of the World, Air Canada aims — in everything it does — to integrate economic, environmental, and social factors organized into three sustainability pillars: Our Business, Our People and Our Planet.
Sustainability Report: 2020 Highlights
- Implemented the Covid-19 Mitigation and Recovery Plan which include its industry-leading CleanCare+ Program, technological enhancement and developed key medical relationships and collaborations.
- Operated 48 special flights in close cooperation with Global Affairs Canada and brought nearly 10,500 Canadians and Canadian residents home.
- Expansion of Air Canada Cargo more than 10,000 cargo-only flights since March 2020.
- Transformed Aeroplan program, which offers a range of new benefits, was recognized as the "Best Upand-Coming Program" in the Americas at the Freddie Awards.
- Re-distributed more than 770,000 kilograms of food to more than 70 front-line social service organizations across eight provinces, representing over 1.3 million meals. For 2021, we have already re-distributed 320,000 meals to 25 front-line organizations.
- Celebrated community heroes engaged with partners and supported communities by distributing in-kind support, carrying out fundraising initiatives and granting financial support to Canadian-registered charities.
- Named one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers for the sixth consecutive year.
- Established and exceeded a target of women representing at least 30% of senior management by 2020.
- 33% of the Board are women.
- Committed to the BlackNorth Initiative pledge.
- Supported various scholarships.
- Committed to an ambitious Climate Action Plan with a long-term goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, and 2030 absolute mid-term GHG net reduction targets.
- Achieved pre-pandemic, 2020 Corporate Waste Strategy targets.
- First airline in North America to be IEnvA Stage 2 certified, the highest level of IEnvA compliance.
- Signed the Buckingham Palace Declaration and attaining International Air Transport Association (IATA) Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) certification for cargo operations.
- Repurposed 809 tonnes of Air Canada materials, avoiding sending them to landfills.
"All these accomplishments would not have been possible without our dedicated employees. I am proud to see that despite the severe disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic, we succeeded in maintaining a strong culture. Our ongoing commitment to employees has also been recognized. We were named one of Montreal's Top Employers for the eighth time and one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers for the sixth consecutive year. We progressively and continuously step up our efforts towards a more diverse, equitable and inclusive work environment because we know that a strong employee culture is the key to our recovery and future success," said Arielle Meloul-Wechsler, Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer and Public Affairs at Air Canada.
The airline obtained third-party assurance of select metrics, continuously ensuring the integrity of its reporting. More details about our 2020 performance are also available in our 2020 annual report. Further details are available at www.aircanada.com/citizensoftheworld.