Connecting with Communities
YVR is a community-based organization: we receive no government funding and our mandate is to provide social and economic benefits to the people of British Columbia. We share our success and in 2017 we shared a lot—attending 17 community events over 25 days across B.C. and kicking off a broad range of new programs.
Building meaningful relationships with the community connects our business values with our social responsibility and this is reflected in our community investment theme: Caring Beyond, Every Day.
A key component of YVR’s Social Management System is to support our communities and in 2017 we did this through a range of methods—including donating over $1 million to over 50 organizations and an additional $36,910 to organizations through one-time funding sources of lost and found money at the airport. Our coin balls collected $18,427 and we donated this and another $3,500 of in-kind donations to local organizations. Major funding contributions included YVR Art Foundation, Vancouver Fireworks Society, Canucks Autism Network, BC Mobility Opportunities Society, BC Wheelchair Basketball, Canadian Mental Health Association, Quest Food Exchange, Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre, Pacific Salmon Foundation, YVR for Kids, Vancouver Adaptive Snow Sports, Covenant House and Canadian National Institute for the Blind.
Our community investment program has three key areas of focus: Accessibility, Community and Environment. We constantly look for opportunities to support organizations that focus on at least one of these areas and are creating innovative programs in our community.
Our employees positively represent YVR at all times—at work and in the community. In June 2017, we launched our Dollars for Doers program designed to reward and recognize employees who make a difference in our community by volunteering for non-profit organizations. 82 employees participated and $10,920 was donated towards Canadian charities of their choice. YVR Giver’s, consisting of a group of representatives from various departments, helped provide direction for YVR’s Employee Giving campaign, which saw a record 43 per cent employee participation rate.
Vancouver Airport Authority participated in the Pride Parade for a third year and showcased a new co-branded float in partnership with Air New Zealand to help support their strategy. Over 75 YVR and Air New Zealand employees and their friends and family joined us in the parade, our largest showing of support from employees at a community event to date.
Quest Food Exchange
In 2017, we continued to support Quest Food Exchange and we led the annual Sea Island-wide Holiday Hamper Drive for the seventh year, setting a new record of 1,077 donated hampers—almost 40 per cent more than our record-setting year in 2016. Each hamper feeds a family and for every hamper donated YVR contributed a turkey to complete the holiday meal.
Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup
On September 16, we had 356 volunteers from the airport and the community join us at Iona Beach Regional Park to take part in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. This team wielded gloves and pick-up-sticks to help clear the beach of debris and help to protect local habitats. Thanks to the efforts of our volunteers, we removed and recycled an estimated 215 kg of waste, down from the 600kg of waste we collected in 2016. YVR donated $55,000 to the Vancouver Aquarium in support of this initiative, ensuring we continue to keep Canada’s shorelines clean.
Engaging with our communities is fundamental to the success of our airport. And we don’t just communicate—we find ways for the community to actively provide input, ideas and insight into projects that impact them. We provided multiple opportunities throughout 2017 for the community to engage with our team: at our Annual Public Meeting, at local festivals and events throughout the Lower Mainland, through YVR presentations at local Chambers of Commerce and organizations such as tourism bodies and online where we engage through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Weibo.
During summer 2017—our busiest period ever—we undertook a number of construction projects at YVR that could impact our community. We notified our neighbours of our taxiway repairs and engaged with key groups regarding summer construction on the South and Crosswind Runways’ Runway End Safety Area (RESA) project and plans for the North Runway.
In November, YVR began initial engagement with Burkeville residents for the Templeton Area Redevelopment Project, which seeks to develop 44 acres of land in the Templeton Area. During our engagement we presented to the Sea Island Community Association General Meeting, launched an online survey to gather community input and compiled a consultation report that reflects the input of 136 Burkeville residents. Through our survey, more than 50 people expressed interest in joining an Advisory Committee. The Sea Island Community Association nominated five people from this group—all residents of Burkeville—to join the Advisory Committee. In 2018, YVR will include an opportunity for broader community input as part of its ongoing engagement program and will continue to work with the Advisory Committee to ensure we take measures to minimize project impacts and consider a range of community enhancements.
YVR 2037 – Phase 3 Consultation
In 2017, we launched Phase 3 consultation for YVR’s new 20-year Master Plan—YVR 2037. Go here for more information on Master Plan consultation and activities in 2017.
We undertake a community survey each year as part of our public engagement strategy to monitor and measure our social impact. In 2017, we achieved a 77 per cent favourable impression—up one per cent from 2016. In addition to metrics on brand familiarity and overall impression, we aim to get a better understanding of the perceptions and attitudes people have for our programs, our organization and our community connections.
Our Explorer Tour has been very successful. The free, year-round guided tour of YVR showcases our award-winning art, accessible terminal features and architecture. In 2017, we hosted 100 tours, totaling 2,339 participants. This included day camps, school groups, adult students, seniors, social support groups, leisure groups and other interested community members.
Summer Festival Series
As a good neighbor and a local contributor, it’s essential for YVR to connect with the communities to support their initiatives and share our story. We were very active doing this throughout 2017—especially in the summer, which saw the introduction of YVR’s new #getpacking social media contest. This year’s activation invited members of the community who visited the YVR tent to take a picture standing on one of our “destination tiles” and post the picture to either Twitter or Instagram for a chance to win two free flights.
The contest promoted tickets and destinations from many of our airline partners including XiamenAir, Aeroméxico, Capital Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Air Canada and Air New Zealand. We brought this exciting contest to 17 events over 25 days, with total festival attendance of over 2,583,000 people.
We are committed to the local communities surrounding the airport as well as the business organizations that benefit from our role as an economic hub and jobs creator. YVR has a long-standing partnership with the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, Richmond Chamber of Commerce, Canada China Business Council, Hong Kong Canada Business Association, BC India Business Network, Surrey Board of Trade and numerous business and trade organizations throughout the province.
Sustainability is about more than just reducing our impact—it’s also about maintaining positive relationships with our neighbours. Both the Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC) and the Aeronautical Noise Management Committee (ANMC) enable our community to give us direct feedback. Representatives in the committees are appointed by their stakeholder groups, which include community and environment groups, industry, government, Musqueam, airlines, NAV CANADA, Transport Canada and Vancouver Airport Authority. These committees allow us to stay actively engaged with our communities, ensuring open and honest two-way communications. More information on the EAC and ANMC is available at yvr.ca.