Canada goes green mile by mile – Air Miles launches My Planet
A massive 94% of Canadians believe it is important that they personally help the environment by choosing green products, but two thirds of them have trouble with the validity of green claims.
According to a new poll by Environics Research for the Air MilesReward Program 67% of Canadians worry if products are really good for the environment, and 66% believe that green products cost more. The difficulty of finding green products bothers 59%.
Against this backdrop, Air Miles has introduced the My Planet program (www.airmiles.ca/myplanet), an initiative designed to help its over 9.5 million active Aie Miles collectors make more environmentally sustainable choices in their everyday lives through green rewards, information and an online community.
The first phase of the My Planet program helps collectors live greener and keep their cash by offering a broad range of over 100 My Planet rewards that contribute to a more environmentally-sustainable lifestyle, according to an assessment process created by TerraChoice, a North America environmental marketing firm.
Items range from transit passes to green energy services to environmentally friendlier cleaning products, all available by redeeming Air Miles reward miles. My Planet also includes an easy-to-use, online learning centre with information-rich content that provides Collectors with facts, articles, tips and community forums to help them make more environmentally sustainable choices.
“The goal of the My Planet program is to harness our tremendous relationship with 70 per cent of Canadian households to affect positive change for the environment,” says Bryan Pearson, CEO of LoyaltyOne and its Air Miles Reward Program. “Canadians have voiced their concern for the environment and their strong desire to help, and our goal with the introduction of My Planet is to enable them to make more sustainable choices, every day. By launching My Planet, we also will continue to introduce changes that reduce their own carbon footprint.”
My Planet Rewards
Each My Planet reward is identified, assessed and approved using principles and guidelines developed in collaboration with TerraChoice. This assessment subjects each potential My Planet reward to life cycle-based environmental screening criteria to help advance at least one of Air Miles’ three key environmental priorities: reduced CO2 emissions, reduced harmful chemicals and conservation of natural resources.
“Many Canadian consumers are eager to make more environmentally preferable choices, and we’re proud to be working with Air Miles to create benchmarks and assessment tools to help them screen each My Planet reward for environmental benefits,” says Melissa Peneycad, consultant, TerraChoice Environmental Marketing, creators of the Government of Canada’s EcoLogo program. “We applaud Air Miles for the thorough approach they have taken in selecting My Planet rewards. Air Miles Collectors can be assured that they are participating in a program based on sound environmental science and best practices.”
Making a Difference
In addition to products and services, Collectors can redeem reward miles for tax-receiptable cash donations to WWF-Canada, one of the country’s leading conservation organizations and a new charitable partner for Air Miles. WWF-Canada is actively engaged in programs and initiatives to ensure the sustainable use of renewable natural resources and promote the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption. WWF-Canada’s environmental leadership, combined with the marketing reach of Air Miles, will help make a difference towards awareness and action.
“We’re very pleased to be selected as the environmental charity of choice of the My Planet program,” says Gerald Butts, president and CEO, WWF-Canada. “Through Earth Hour we have seen that Canadians are ready to be part of the solution on climate change. As consumers, we can have a big impact on the planet through the choices we make. We congratulate the My Planet program for providing Canadians with alternatives that can enable them to reduce their individual footprint on the planet. In providing new, lower footprint rewards such as transit passes and clean energy discounts, the My Planet program is encouraging green choices,” added Butts.
The initial launch of the My Planet program provides collectors with a learning section to help them live a more sustainable lifestyle as well as the opportunity to redeem their miles for products that are better for the environment. As the program grows, Air Miles and its sponsors will look to expand offers that will enable Collectors to earn reward miles on their sustainable purchases as well. Already, some sponsors in high-frequency businesses including grocery, hardware and pharmacy offer consumers green options to their everyday purchases.
LoyaltyOne’s sustainability efforts began three years ago with a series of changes aimed at reducing the Company’s environmental footprint. Recent initiatives include the appointment of a chief sustainability officer, use of environmentally sustainable office materials and products, plus changes to workplace processes and behaviours such as carpooling and videoconferencing. Future plans include leasing LEED standard buildings, a fleet of shared Smart Cars at the LoyaltyOne head office in downtown Toronto to encourage employees to use public transit to get to work, and a plan to equip the Company’s Mississauga Customer Care Centre with one of Canada’s largest building-mounted solar panel arrays of over 600 panels that will generate more than 100 kilowatts of clean electricity per year.