PCL Construction is marking Earth Day with a challenge that encourages employees to be more mindful of the environment.

Its employees across the country are working their way through a list of 50 small but meaningful activities — from changing how they use paper to planting trees to recycling batteries — to enter into a draw for four eco-friendly and biodegradable prizes. In order to enter, they have to show photographic proof they took on the challenge.

“It’s nothing earth-shattering, it’s more about moving intention to action,” says Mike Olsson, PCL’s vice-president of human resources and professional development.

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As well, staff members at PCL’s headquarters in Edmonton will head to the company’s Ross Grieve Centennial Learning Centre, popcorn in hand, to stream a National Geographic documentary series on Earth Day.

The events are part of the company’s WellPCL initiative, which offers employees health and wellness support through monthly themed events and challenges, as well as through fitness classes, health education and lunch-and-learn sessions.

Olsson says the Earth Day events will be bittersweet for the company. Its former U.S. professional development director Darcy Belanger, a 46-year-old Edmontonian and a passionate environmentalist, died in the Ethiopian Airlines crash in March.

Belanger, a founding member of global charitable organization Parvati.org, had been on his way to Nairobi, Kenya to take part in the United Nations Environment Assembly to promote the organization’s Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary treaty.

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“We know Earth Day’s going to be an emotional time for our company because of Darcy’s commitment to the earth,” says Olsson. “Darcy is going to be in the hearts and minds of all of us.”

Olsson says Belanger was a good friend who was empathetic and kind. “His personal vision was really all about helping others unleash their potential so they could be their best self,” he says. “He was an exceptional leader here at PCL.”