Why I love my Timmies!

Timmies, or to non-Canadians, it is called Tim Horton.

What does Timmies have to do with Corporate Social Responsibility you ask?

Everything! It is the top ranked Canadian company by Corporate Knights ; The Global 100 Most Sustainable Companies 2015.


Corporate Knights Global 100 Most Sustainable Companies

Corporate Knights Global 100 Most Sustainable Companies

The Corporate Knights Capital is an investment company that does portfolio management. Which means it has both a fiduciary and sustainable responsibility. This is important.

For some reason, many people think that financial success and social conscious are mutually exclusive.  What I respect about the Corporate Knights assessment is that they are not mutually exclusive. The KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for this methodology include resource management; how operations manages energy, carbon, water and waste. Employees are important so safety, retention and leadership diversity are all measured.

And then the key financial indicators for a solid SRI financial investment are screened. Simple things like, are net profit and operating cash flow positive?  Has gross margin improved? There can not be any increase in long-term debt. These and other key financial measurements show how responsibly a company is managed.

So Timmies net profit and operating cash flow are positive and its gross margins improve year over year.

What does Timmies do in the area of Corporate Social Responsibility?


They have many community programs. For example; Send a Kid to Camp. This program is designed to send economically disadvantaged kids to summer camp to have the opportunity to develop self-esteem and sing by the campfire. In almost every municipality, they sponsor development sports programs to introduce kids to fun, exercise and teamwork.

You knew that. What else do they do?

Well Tim Horton is committed to Animal Welfare. They partner with the University of Guelph to fund research in “sustainable outcomes in the best interest of animals and farmers in the protein food chain. The focus for the first year will be on eggs and pork. The research aims to understand the costs of making transitions to alternative hen and sow housing systems, and the viability and timeline of implementation. Traceability of these alternative value chains has already emerged as a major challenge to the industry.”

The idea that Tim Horton is buying from and researching how to improve sustainable farming practices for animals is not what you would usually expect from a highly profitable company. But they do and they source 10 million eggs from alternative hen housing systems. Tim Horton has also committed to buy more eggs when supply becomes available.

The next partnership that makes me proud is their Coffee Partnership. They work with the Coffee Farmers to develop sustainable farming practices. They help create wealth for the farmers so that they can have better homes, cleaner water and access to education for their families. Yes it is a good thing to do. But it is also prudent. Coffee is a commodity. The commitment by Tim Horton to respect and develop its key supplier guarantees a quality cup of coffee for its customers today and in the future.

See SRI is not just about doing good and saving money it is also about creating sustainable wealth for the company.

Click on the link below, you will access some great videos on how the Coffee Partnership is impacting farmers’ lives.

Tim Horton Coffee Partnership

Tim Horton Coffee Partnership

What about diversity?

Well Tim Horton also develops our Aboriginal community. It invests in education opportunities, it develops culturally diverse franchise owners. It sponsors opportunities in sports for aboriginal communities. What is most impressive is that it works in partnership with the Aboriginal community. It is not company that says, I will give you money with strings attached. It works with the goals of the Aboriginal community and leadership to develop what they need in the areas of
1) Education
2) Empowering Youth
3) Economic Development
4) Employment

Horizons; a bright future, new interests and experiences, achievement and a quest with no limits

Horizons; a bright future, new interests and experiences, achievement and a quest with no limits


Ok so from the perspective from SRI – a commitment to animal welfare, diversity and fair wages for its farmers, my Timmies gets an A+.

But I hear people criticize it. Here are some things that I have been told:

1. They have a drive through and all the cars are idling – think of the waste of carbon and damage to the environment.

True. So as consumers we have choices. I choose to bike over. I park my bike, I go into the store and I pick my coffee. Municipalities are introducing no idling laws and now I see more people turning off their cars or parking them. So let’s help Timmies by asking for more municipalities to fine people who sit in their cars with the engines running.

2.They promote waste.
Nope. Corporate Knights has assessed that they are decreasing their carbon footprint, improving waste, water, and energy usage. They have found innovative ways to reduce waste and use more recycled material in their packaging. Timmies focuses on green construction ion restaurants and management buildings.

3.They use sugar.
Many of today’s health problems are caused by sugar. True. So review their detailed nutritional information and order accordingly. Try the chile – it is awesome.

4.Roll up the Rim
I never win. Well somehow I doubt that Tim Horton can fix the Roll up the Rim to Win promotion. It would be unethical and Socially Responsible companies sign up to a higher standard of transparency and ethics. So if you have not yet won at Roll up the Rim, I suggest you do what I do….try again.

I love my Timmies. Both as an SRI company and as a great cup of coffee.

Yours in Corporate Social Responsibility,
Cara MacMillan

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