As a proud Canadian company, Corby joined Canadians from coast to coast in celebrating our country’s 150th birthday. Our brands got in on the action as well, in their own special ways:
- J.P. Wiser’s produced 7,827 bottles of a limited edition One Fifty whisky. Each bottle had a unique date printed on the label corresponding to one of the 7,827 weeks in Canada’s history since Confederation in 1867.
- Absolut vodka introduced the limited edition Absolut Canada bottle, which was designed in collaboration with Canadian textile artist Elizabeth (Libs) Elliott, renowned for her work with a custom computer program to design quilt patterns.
In Windsor, Ontario, Corby and Hiram Walker & Sons Limited employees planted 200 trees at the city’s Thompson Park, as part of the Green Leaf Challenge, an initiative launched by Forests Ontario and the Ontario government inviting Ontarians to plant three million trees in fiscal 2017 in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday.
Getting the message out on responsible drinking is a year-round commitment that for the past four years has culminated in a partnership with the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) to provide free public transit rides on New Year’s Eve. Called #CorbySafeRides, the program includes a campaign encouraging the public to join thousands of other Canadians in taking a pledge to not drink and drive on New Year’s Eve.
Separately, we were pleased to receive scores of 100% on all five of our industry’s responsible drinking commitments, agreed to by the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking signatories: reducing underage drinking, strengthening marketing codes, providing consumer information and developing responsible production innovation, reducing drinking and driving, and enlisting the support of retailers to reduce harmful drinking. The scores were calculated according to a formula developed by Pernod Ricard and based on the actions we’ve taken on each commitment. The initiative supports the World Health Organization’s global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol. You can learn more about it on the Pernod Ricard Smart Barometer website.
Our Five industry commitments
Reducing underage drinking
Strengthening marketing codes
Providing consumer information and developing responsible production innovation
Reducing drinking and driving
Enlisting the support of retailers to reduce harmful drinking
The devastating wildfires that struck the city of Fort McMurray, Alberta, in May 2016 hit especially close to home for our own employees in Alberta. In support of disaster relief efforts that continued one year later, our team joined forces with Royal Reserve Canadian whisky to donate funds typically spent on promotions to four Alberta organizations instrumental in helping Fort McMurray recover: Fort McMurray Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Canadian Mental Health Association Wood Buffalo Region, Alberta Strong Clothing, and Wood Buffalo Building Supplies.
“I am extremely proud to have worked on this home-grown initiative supporting ongoing disaster relief in my province. Albertans have stuck with Royal Reserve throughout the years, and Royal Reserve is proud to stick with Alberta in this time of need.”
– Mike Moorhouse, Corby’s Field Marketing Manager in Alberta
We also released a limited edition bottle, which included a special peel-able “Alberta Strong” sticker. Royal Reserve fans in Alberta have a long-standing tradition of peeling off the bottle’s iconic label and sticking it on their musical instruments, toolboxes and other favourite items. Ten thousand cases of this limited edition bottle with the #AlbertaStrong peel-able label were made available throughout the province, allowing the brand’s loyal fans to join the movement and show their Alberta pride.
On June 1 – instead of going to work – our team joined forces with some 18,500 Pernod Ricard employees worldwide to help out in their local neighbourhoods. The focus in the past two years was on creating or enhancing places where people come to gather.
The head office team revisited the Waterfront Neighbourhood Centre in Toronto, building on the work it had started last year in the heart of the city’s fastest growing community. The community centre supports thousands of local individuals, families, at-risk youth and seniors. We helped with improvements to program spaces, including gardening in the Community Connect Food Gardens, building furniture and outdoor equipment, and other painting and assembling projects.
Similar community-focused Responsib’All Day events took place in 10 other cities across Canada:
- St. John’s, Newfoundland – Clean St. John’s initiative
- Halifax, Nova Scotia – Point Pleasant Park cleanup
- Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island – Charlottetown Fire Department fire hall community area refresh and cleanup
- Point Parlee, New Brunswick – Parlee Beach Provincial Park cleanup
- Frelighsburg, Québec – Camp Garagona refresh
- Windsor, Ontario – Ford City revitalization
- Winnipeg, Manitoba – École Belmont beautification
- Saskatoon, Saskatchewan – Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre support
- Calgary, Alberta – Easter Seals Camp Horizon refresh
- Vancouver, British Columbia – Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup support
Respecting the Environment
In addition to the Green Leaf Challenge in Windsor, Corby employees partnered with the Toronto & Region Conservation Authority to plant trees in Toronto’s Tommy Thompson Park, the largest continuous habitat on Toronto’s Waterfront. The planting was one of several projects carried out within the park to create aquatic and terrestrial habitat.
A team of 25 people from our Toronto office also signed up to help clean their city during the 20-minute city makeover event in April. The event got businesses and schools involved in cleaning up litter and recycling around their places of work or yards.
Our most high-profile environmental initiative was the release of limited edition Polar Ice® vodka bottles that were missing the iconic polar bear from the label. In the countdown to International Polar Bear Day on February 27, this special bottle asked the question “Where’s the Bear?”, and aimed to increase awareness about declining polar bear populations in Arctic Canada.
As it is a truly Canadian brand whose hero is the polar bear, we felt it was natural for Polar Ice to partner with Polar Bears International and raise awareness about the dangers affecting the habitats of these majestic animals. The goal was to encourage consumers to learn more about the pressing threats of climate change, and to join Polar Ice vodka in taking action.