When CSI first joined the Women of Ontario Social Enterprise Network (WOSEN), we knew it was going to unlock opportunities for an underserved group of women: women who traditionally faced barriers to access to entrepreneurship training, mentorship, and business support, and women who have solutions that put people and the planet first.
This week, we are thrilled to announce the publication of a report detailing exactly how WOSEN fosters the growth of women-led social enterprise. To celebrate the report, we are also sharing a series of stories on our program participants in collaboration with our WOSEN network partners: Pillar Nonprofit Network, SVX, and NORDIK Institute‘s Social Enterprise and Entrepreneurship.
Meet Jessica Correa.
Written by: Angelica Zagorski
In a time of climate crisis, “there is hope for change,” according to Jessica Correa, CEO of Random Acts of Green (RAOG). Jessica is the face of the new green movement. Her vision is to build a glocal (global + local) climate action community through her company. RAOG empowers everyone to take action together, as a community, while proving that seemingly small changes like composting, refusing single-use plastics, or air drying your clothing, make a collective worldwide impact.
Since she was a little girl, Jessica was inspired to conserve energy and care for our planet. She remembers frantically running around her house turning off all the lights, sometimes even refusing to eat unless they were all turned off, as a form of informal protest against wasting energy. From science projects teaching people to recycle in school, to working at a fast-food restaurant and witnessing the large amounts of food going to the landfill at the end of every shift – she has long been inspired to pursue a career in the environmental sector.
As a life-long learner, Jessica dedicated herself to finding solutions for sustainability issues in local communities and on a global scale. Jessica earned her Masters in Sustainability from Trent University and has worked for Algonquin Provincial Park, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, and the County of Peterborough waste management department. While working for the waste management department, she had the chance to work at a landfill. There she noticed the trends of overconsumption, which reaffirmed her aspirations to begin the research that became the foundation for Random Acts of Green. Jessica’s research focused on how to motivate people to take greener action, and through RAOG, she is an example of putting passion into practice.
Through the Be Your Own Boss summer program run by the Government of Ontario, Jessica started Random Acts of Green. The name was inspired by “random acts of kindness,” and encourages people to do something kind for the planet. Since its inception, Random Acts of Green has reached over 8 million people using social media and has inspired people to come together to share ideas on how to keep our planet green . And while the acts of green may be random, they are not without purpose.
RAOG is not just another blog, app or website. It’s a living, breathing community. Through their interconnected network of users on social media, the Random Acts of Green app, and website RAOG has managed to spread into other areas, while always maintaining their core community. Members can stay connected on the savvy RAOG mobile app, where they can see the amount of greenhouse gas reduced by each Act of Green. Additionally, users can also be rewarded for green acts through the app, and learn new tips and tricks on becoming more environmentally conscious every day. Random Acts of Green also has a commitment to crowdsourcing ideas to ensure everyone in their community can take action in innovative ways.. They are constantly looking for fresh, new, unique and random ideas to save the planet and they care deeply about what their members have to say. Currently, they have over 3,500 + Green Acts in their database they like to share.
Since being affiliated with WOSEN, the Random Acts of Green community has been able to connect with coaches and different opportunities for growth through mentorship. Random Acts of Green has connected people across the world, and has inspired them to share photos and descriptions of acts of green they see in their everyday lives. One member, for example, shared an impactful story about spring cleaning, where she opted against throwing old phones and electronics in the garbage and took them to a nearby electronics store. Little acts like this have the power to inspire others to mirror them, and keep the community thriving and expanding.
Environmental problems don’t have boundaries – and neither does Random Acts of Green. Random Acts of Green’s goal is to continue to grow “glocally” – both local and global. Jessica hopes the initiative spreads into different areas, cities, and countries across the world. Starting out in Peterborough, Ontario, and now expanding to the U.K. and U.S., RAOG is working its way up to be a climate impact leader. . So much so that, in 2018, Ontario’s Partners and Climate Action Program, a program which supports innovative initiatives that help residents and businesses reduce greenhouse gas pollution, recognized RAOG and funded their initiatives ($113,000). Later in 2019, the social enterprise was rewarded through Canada’s Climate Action Fund in 2019 ($200,000), which supports projects to raise awareness of climate change and to build capacity in order to increase climate actions that contribute to Canada’s clean growth and climate change plan.
The Random Acts of Green community is proud to be a Canadian organization, spreading random acts of greens to different communities from coast to coast. They have 130 Random Acts of Green members and through the RAOG app to date, 73,028 Green Acts have been logged, with a savings of over 503,229.82 kg of CO2e. The business social enterprise takes pride in its collaboration with other businesses, organizations, and people to focus on the same vision, shared values, and mission. Astonishingly, their collective business members together have over 50,000 employees and Random Acts of Green encourages them all to embark on a journey to improved environmental sustainability. Not only have affiliated brands been able to enhance their reputations, but also grow their market through exposure to the RAOG community.
Through online challenges, positive highlights, educational articles, guides, resources, social media channels, newsletters, webinars, and a crowdsourced database of over 3,500 simple and impactful Green Acts – Random Acts of Green has made it accessible for anyone to contribute to saving the planet. Jessica Correa had a vision to make a difference when she started the community of Random Acts of Green. Her business inspires a future in small acts of sustainability that have a big impact when we come together as a community. One act of green can make all the difference in your life, and for the planet. You can make your mark on the mission for worldwide sustainability by becoming a Random Acts of Green Member or connecting with RAOG on Instagram, Facebook, by downloading the app, or visiting their website.