Apr 8 2011

Tim Hortons “Sustainability Report” Full of Corporate Rhetoric

At the beginning of this week I wrote a blog post about Tim Horton’s dreadful sustainability efforts.

I haven’t heard from Tim’s.

I realize it may sound somewhat snooty to think that I would but if Tim Hortons has a social media team that monitors their brand online then there is really no reason why they should not be able to find the article and comment, or at the very least, contact me.

In fact, rather than being passive aggressive I also tried to add Director of Public Affairs, David Morelli, to my Linked In network, sending him a link to the article for his perusal.

Still nothing.

I heard today that a friend has forwarded the article to someone that should know if Tims is monitoring their brand online. Again, nothing.

So despite my efforts to get this in front of the corporate team (I even posted it, with a link, on their Facebook page and received “likes” from the general public.) I have heard nothing.

What’s even more interesting is that today Tim Hortons, through their Facebook page, announced their Sustainability and Responsibility Report.


While I applaud the notion of such a report I am dismally disappointed in this execution. The first 20 pages are filled with corporate cheerleading and pats on the back for their great initiatives. There are lots of nice graphs too, to break up the monotony of the 85 pages of “Look how great we’re doing!”.


I’m so much more disappointed now than I was before this report was published. First of all, who wants to read 85 pages of this nonesense when all one has to do to see if Tim Hortons is sustainable is simply walk a block or two to the nearest restaurant and take a look in the garbage bin?

Secondly, it’s clear this report has been written to applaud the corporate initiatives to shareholders and board members. It’s not written for the general public and it’s either laziness or apathy that has allowed someone to post this to their site and claim it answers all the sustainability questions.

There are pages and pages on what they have been doing to create this report. How the “commitment” and “goals” have been determined. And while they claim that sustainability is written into their core values one is hard-pressed to understand if they simply mean sustaining Tim Hortons restaurants rather than any sort of environmental responsibility.

Come on Tim Hortons! We want you to succeed. We want you to be a leader in Canada. We’re cheering for you! Why aren’t you paying attention to us?

Believe me, I know the frustration of bureaucratic paralysis. I get that pushing initiatives through a giant corporate machine is an exercise in patience and manipulation. But this is too important to make such a mess of.

I’m confident that I could put together a team of trainers and experts who could turn Tims into a corporate leader rather than an embarrassment to those of us who believe that Canada deserves a better role model.

Mar 31 2011

Tim Horton’s Get’s a Failing Grade for Sustainability

I am a die-hard Tim Horton’s fan! I love the coffee. I love the prices. I love that Tim Horton is a Canadian hockey hero. I love that they put kids through camp. I’m a fan.

As a fan, I can no longer sit idly by and watch as my beloved Tim Horton’s continues to ignore the environmental crisis that they’re causing.

I’m so sad to say that Tim’s is a failure at sustainability. It breaks my heart but it’s true.

Now, I’m not saying that the Tim Horton’s corporate people are not unaware of this and have not made an effort to do something about it. I get it. They’ve put recycle bins in the restaurants and have china available to people who eat in. These initiatives are great but they are NOT WORKING!

First of all, the bins that have popped up all over Tim’s in BC has a place for “waste” and a place for “recyclables” but the image on the “recyclables” does not include cups. Obviously the #1 culprit for waste.

There is no where to recycle the cups.

But that is not the worst part. Not by a long shot. Not so long ago, when you stood at the cash and placed your order the cashier would ask “eat in or take out?”. If you replied “in” they would serve your coffee in a mug and your food on a plate.

Now there is no question. (I can list the several restaurants I have tested to see if they do or do not ask) Every cup of coffee is served in a paper cup unless you are like me and insist that it be in a mug or you have, at the ready, your recycle cup.

Today, I was at Tims. (as I am almost daily) I ordered my coffee “for here, in a mug”. The cashier keyed it in and the girl next to him put milk in a paper cup then started adding coffee while I was practically yelling at her to put it in a mug!!! I was so upset that a cup had now been wasted by my order. I pride myself on the fact that I have not used a paper cup in over a year. I use only my recycle cup for take out and mugs for eat in. What’s worse is, she threw it away because there is no paper cup recycling behind the cash at our local restaurant.

My passion is well-known at our local Tims. I am quite sure that I am considered a nut job by the staff but this is serious.

Tim’s head office professes to be doing something about the environment. They have tons of posters asking people to recycle and/or purchase a cup. But they are grossly negligent in educating the staff and customers on these initiatives.

I would, gladly, volunteer to visit Tim Horton restaurants across the lower mainland and perform a sustainability assessment on them to help the mucky-mucks in Toronto understand that they are failing miserably at sustainability. Tim’s is meant to be a Canadian success story. We want to be proud of the brand. For now, I’m quite disappointed in their complete lack of follow-up and social and environmental responsibility to the citizens of Canada.

(and don’t even get me started on Roll Up the Rim! What a joke.)

Mar 21 2011

Can Social Media Buy Me, Us, You a House? Part 3

So a few things have happened since my last post about Social Media having the power to buy one a house (one being any”one” not just me)

The first thing that happened is I put an ad on Craigslist. I said that I am the mom of 2 cool kids and that I want to move to the area. I didn’t really expect anyone to come back with an offer to buy me a house but I did hope that someone who was looking to rent their place would find my ad and ring me up.

A really cool thing happened! A woman, in the right part of town, answered my ad! Now, her home is big, really big and it’s beautiful, really beautiful and, well, it’s just too expensive. That said, we had a great chat and found out we have similar business interests. Who knows, it might end up that we become great friends and business associates.

So while the CL ad did not find me a house…yet, it may very well have found my a great new business contact and friend.


The thing about the house offer got me thinking though. At the moment I pay about $1300/month in rent. I expect that, in the new part of town which is more expensive, I’ll have to pay somewhere in the area of $2,000/month for something a wee bit nicer than where we’re at.

My business is going very well and I don’t expect that the added expense will be a lot to contend with. What burns me up though is that I would be more than happy to up that if it meant some sort of equity share.

There must be people out there who are in a situation where they cannot sell their home for what they want or who are downsizing and want to enable someone else to own their own home. I am pretty confident that these people exist, we just have to find them.

This week is going to be about networking. I’m going to a major networking conference in Vancouver on Thursday called Twestival and am hoping to make the kind of contacts that will propel my business to the next level.

I’ll add them to the myriad of very cool people I know already and I will work all of them for a solution to solve my housing expectations.

I can do this because I am always, without fail, ready to help anyone who asks. To me that’s what social networking is all about. Provide value, provide value, provide value….and don’t expect anything in return.

If you show people that you want to help them just for the sake of helping you’ll get it back in droves in ways you never considered. That’s what I love about what I do. I see random acts of kindness every day and it empowers me to pay it forward.

Jun 28 2010

Livin’ the West(Wet) Coast Lifestyle – Ya Baby!

There are some things about living on the westcoast that are simply just better. It’s better to live near the mountains. It’s better to live near the sea.

It’s better to have the best hiking, mountain biking, sailing, skiing, wind-surfing, kite-boarding, snowboarding etc at your doorstep.

It’s so much better that Tourism BC’s slogan is “You Gotta Be Here”.

Yesterday, Sunday, a friend and I took advantage of living in BC.

We did the mack-daddy of all Vancouver “things to do”.

The Grouse Grind.

For those of you unfamiliar with “the Grind” it’s a ball-breaker. Sure there are some lunatics that run up the bloody thing. The locals call it “nature’s stair-climber” but I think that was in the 80′s when stair-climbers were cool. Doesn’t seem like a cool name anymore.

Essentially the grind is 2.9 km straight up. It’s a freakin’ mountain for Christ’s sake!

I found out something really important yesterday while struggling up the Grind….60 days of yoga does not provide ANY cardio!

The whole way up I was entertaining people by stopping to smell the new cedar posts or stopping to tie my shoe or stopping to look at the “scenery”.

Notice a theme here?

I had to stop….A LOT!!!

I was breathing out of my ears. I can’t get over how hard the grind is. There were 5 year olds peeling past me at break-neck speed. urrgg. stupid 5 year olds.

Just as you think that you’re getting fit and slim and all pretty, you find out you have no cardio and you’re probably going to die on the side of a mountain in front of a bunch of strangers. How awesome is that!?

(I have to finish this post later because my friend Krista is behaving like one of my kids and won’t leave me alone to write my blog post….friends…ppfffttt) ;)