Recognized as one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2023):
Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Dec 8, 2022)
Here are some of the reasons why Home Depot Canada was selected as one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2023):
- Home Depot Canada celebrates exceptional performance and achievement through a number of initiatives, including the Angel Award (given to employees who have demonstrated the company's values by coming to the aid of a fellow colleague or customer during a life threatening event), the Rolex Watch program for district and store managers, and the Orange Blooded Award for non-retail employees who make long-term improvements for the company
- Home Depot Canada supports the ongoing education of current and future generations, offering generous tuition subsidies for employees interested in pursuing job-related courses (to $5,000) and academic scholarships for children of employees (to $2,500 per child per year)
- Home Depot Canada offers a number of financial benefits including a share purchase plan (available to all full-time employees), profit-sharing, referral bonuses, and employer RSP contributions
Recognized as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2022):
By Kristina Leung and Stephanie Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Mar 7, 2022)
Here are some of the reasons why Home Depot Canada was selected as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2022):
- Home Depot Canada participates in the federally funded Ready, Willing and Able project, a national partnership of Inclusion Canada, the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance and member organizations, to hire persons with intellectual disabilities and autism spectrum disorder
- Home Depot Canada created the Women in Leadership program to improve career opportunities for female employees and has organized a number of events and initiatives since its inception in 2010 (including content on career development, work-life balance, and networking)
- Home Depot Canada recently relaunched its diversity and inclusion committee as the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Leadership Council in 2020, with representation across all major stakeholder groups at the organization (including 25 captains for every district who help lead the company's initiatives each year)
The Home Depot builds a safe space for employees
At Ivan Ternovoy’s former store location for The Home Depot Canada, the break room was upstairs. Because of that, the store had no associates with mobility issues. When two candidates who use wheelchairs applied for jobs, Ternovoy and his leadership team tore apart an old main-floor office, created a break room and hired both candidates.
One of the associates started work in the department that included the store’s key-cutting station. He was unable to use the station, as it was not wheelchair accessible. One Sunday night, an assistant manager went into the store after it closed and rebuilt the key-cutting station to be accessible.
“I remember the impact that had on the associate,” says Ternovoy, a store human resources manager in Edmonton. “It was like, ‘Look at how valued I am by this organization.’ He was so excited when he told his family, and his dad thought so much of Home Depot that he applied for a job and now they both work for Home Depot.”
Ternovoy continues to take steps to create an inclusive space. He writes regular feature articles spotlighting associates and their experiences and challenges. He recently wrote one article with an Indigenous employee and another with an employee who is deaf.
“It opens up a conversation and associates talk about things they ordinarily wouldn’t have talked about,” Ternovoy says. “Sitting down and asking them their stories, and sharing them, raises awareness. We need to grow and learn from each other’s differences and my hope is that opening the door to some of these conversations makes it that much easier.”
Creating this inclusive culture is one of the four pillars of Home Depot’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) strategy, says Vinod Nalajala, vice-president of human resources and communications.
“This includes allyship and ensuring the mental and physical safety of our associates and that they get the required support and resources,” Nalajala says. Other pillars include regularly gathering feedback from associates and using that to inform the DE&I strategy. A learning and development pillar includes mandatory training on topics such as gender diversity and unconscious bias. Another pillar is leadership commitment and accountability.
“Every leader has to be held accountable to continue to foster this environment of diversity and inclusion. So we actually have certain activities they need to do that can be measured,” Nalajala says.
The Home Depot Canada also has associate resource groups to foster engagement through events, education and community outreach. The Orange Ability group aims to foster an environment where people of all abilities are able to reach their full potential. Orange Pride has a mission to celebrate LGBTQ+ associates and allies. Orange Mosaic encourages intercultural understanding, while Orange Women’s Network promotes professional growth for women through networking, development activities and community outreach.
“Our success as a company comes from things like having great products and online capabilities, but more importantly, we double down on our investment in our associates,” says Nalajala. “And when we have associates who value diversity and inclusion work with others who value diversity and inclusion and they enjoy what they’re doing, that’s the driving force for our success.”
For Ternovoy, it’s this focus that has kept him at Home Depot for 14 years, when his intention was to work there for six months. “It’s the values that keep me there,” he says. “At Home Depot, our values truly guide us in everything we do and in taking care of our people. I’ve never worked for an organization that does such a great job of taking care of its people and living all of its values.”
Recognized as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2022):
Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Apr 19, 2022)
Here are some of the reasons why Home Depot Canada was selected as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2022):
- Many Home Depot Canada stores have longstanding partnerships with Habitat for Humanity chapters across the country -- through this partnership, Home Depot donates returned and refurbished materials and products to the organization's ReStore outlets, with all revenues donated directly back to the charity's program of building new homes for low-income families
- Home Depot Canada's longstanding and familiar Eco Options product line includes a variety of products that offer lower environmental impacts (as assessed by third-party organizations) -- with over 1,700 products available, the program helps Canadians make greener choices and supports sustainable practices through five key categories including energy efficiency, water conservation, air quality, healthy home, and sustainable forestry practices
- Home Depot Canada has 49 stores with rooftop solar panel arrays, with three store locations being LEED-certified -- and has incorporated many green features into its new constructions, including underground rainwater collection cisterns, water-saving sprinkler systems, drought-resistant and native planting species, high-efficiency HVAC systems, insulated white roof and additional energy saving features
The Home Depot Canada hammers away at emissions
Every year, stores of The Home Depot Canada donate millions of dollars of slightly used or unsold products to the Habitat for Humanity Canada ReStore program. Habitat ReStores sell donated home furnishings, appliances and other renovation materials at low prices, with all proceeds supporting construction of Habitat for Humanity homes.
“Our partnership with ReStore helps us divert products from landfill,” says Joanna Caners, senior manager, sustainability. “In 2020, we donated about nine million lightly used or unsold products to Habitat for Humanity. That helps the environment and also helps people in our communities. So it is a double benefit.”
The Habitat for Humanity partnership is just one of the ways The Home Depot Canada focuses on environmental sustainability. For example, its global parent company has announced a goal to have 100 per cent renewable energy in all its facilities by 2030, worldwide. The Home Depot has also pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent by 2030 and 50 per cent by 2035.
Over the last decade, The Home Depot Canada has reduced electricity usage by 43 per cent. In 2020, the Toronto-based company installed LED lighting, building-automated systems, and energy-efficient heating, air conditioning and ventilation systems, which led to an eight per cent electricity reduction in its stores.
“This commitment is important because, when we reduce our impact on the environment, it strengthens our business and our communities. It is part of us being a responsible company,” Caners says.
“Operational changes and the LED lighting upgrades are a big part of it, but it also includes how each store and its associates take steps to minimize energy consumption as much as possible.” The Home Depot Canada encourages associates to take ownership of this commitment, Caners adds, offering an example of an associate who held a Lunch and Learn on how to improve waste management in the break room.
The Home Depot Canada also has significant goals regarding product packaging. “Packaging has a significant impact on the environment and we are working very deliberately on reducing the amount of waste that comes from our product,” says Pam O’Rourke, vice-president of merchandising.
O’Rourke says the company is well on its way to meeting its pledge to exclude expanded polystyrene (EPS foam) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in all of its private brand packaging by 2023.
“Although foam is protecting products, it’s difficult to recycle and takes more than a century to break down,” O’Rourke says. “So we’re replacing it with innovative materials, like wood pellets or moulded pulp and paper.” PVC is also difficult to recycle and takes a long time to biodegrade, so The Home Depot Canada is working on replacing that and encouraging some of its partners to do the same.
“We recognize that the biggest impact on the environment comes from the products we sell. So anything we can do to reduce that impact is just the right thing to do,” O’Rourke says, adding that the views of its customers and associates are crucial.
“If it is important to our customer and to our associates, it’s important to us. We’re guided by what our customers and associates are telling us regarding waste and the impact that we’re having. So we view that as one of our obligations.