Sustainability Zinc & Health

President and CEO Don Lindsay and Hugh Anzulovich onstage at WE Day Vancouver on October 18

Taking the Stage at WE Day

Emma Schwartz and Hugh Anzulovich, two children of Teck employees, have made a real difference in support of the Zinc Saves Lives campaign, collecting batteries and even taking the stage at WE Day, inspiring other youth to help save children’s lives. Here, Emma and Hugh talk with Connect about their work on the Zinc Saves Lives campaign, and what it’s like to represent Teck at WE Day.


Emma Schwartz

School: Birchmount Park Collegiate Institute
City: Toronto, Ontario
Grade: 11
# of WE Days attended: 8
Teck parent: Michael Schwartz, Manager, Market Research, Toronto office

Emma Schwartz on stage at WE Day Toronto in 2017, along with WE Day presenter Hannah Alper.
Emma with Don Lindsay, President and CEO, and Craig Kielburger, co-founder of the WE Movement, at WE Day Toronto in 2015. 

Connect: What inspired you to get involved in the Zinc Saves Lives campaign?

Emma: My dad brought me to my first WE Day in Toronto five years ago when I was in grade 7, where I learned about the Zinc Saves Lives campaign. The next day I spoke at an assembly in front of my whole school and talked to them about why I wanted to get involved in the campaign. Everyone loved the idea and students started bringing bags and boxes filled with batteries to my classroom, which soon filled up most of the room. At this point we had collected over 5,000 batteries, but I didn’t want to stop there. I decided that if I wanted more people to be involved I would have to get help from others. So I went to local businesses and asked if I could set up boxes and posters explaining what the Zinc Saves Lives campaign is about, and get their help in collecting used batteries. To this day, those businesses are still involved and continue to help collect batteries for me. Over the years, and now at my new high school, I have spoken at a number of assemblies, encouraging other students to bring in their used batteries. So far, I have collected over 18,000 used batteries.

Connect: What have been your favourite experiences at WE Day?

Emma: WE Day is my favourite time of year. I love hearing other people’s stories about what they have done and how I can get involved. The first WE Day that I spoke at was my favourite experience because I was completely honoured to be speaking on behalf of Teck. The amount of energy in the room is louder than any concert I have ever been to. When I was on stage and said “I have collected over 5,000 batteries!” the kids were screaming and cheering so loud, and I think they realized that if one person can collect this many batteries to help save a child’s life, then they can too.

Hugh Anzulovich

School: Archbishop Carney Regional Secondary School
City: Coquitlam, British Columbia
Grade: 11
# of WE Days attended: 3
Teck parent: Adrian Anzulovich, Project Coordinator, Teck Digital Systems, Vancouver office

Hugh Anzulovich and Karina LeBlanc, Teck ambassador and former goalkeeper for the Olympic bronze medal-winning Canadian Women’s Soccer Team, meet WE Day attendees in Vancouver.
Hugh on stage at WE Day Vancouver 2017 with Don Lindsay, President and CEO.

Connect: What inspired you to get involved in the Zinc Saves Lives campaign?

Hugh: The first year that I went to WE Day was with my elementary school class, four years ago. I was so touched by all the stories I heard about changing the world and I knew that I wanted to get involved. After the event, the next day I went to school and discussed with my class how we could get involved. We did food drives, raised money to help build schools in Africa, and held a battery drive. After my dad heard we were doing a battery drive, he suggested that I get involved in the Zinc Saves Lives campaign. With the help of my class, we collected 5,000 batteries, and I am also in the process of starting up the campaign at my high school.

Connect: What have been your favourite experiences at WE Day?

Hugh: Being at WE Day is truly amazing, and being able to speak on stage is a whole new experience. It is so amazing to speak in front of such a positive crowd that wants to make a difference in the world. This year, I was lucky enough to go on stage with Teck President and CEO Don Lindsay for the second time, to talk about the Zinc Saves Lives Battery campaign. Speaking at WE Day on behalf of Teck has been very amazing, and I hope to one day come back to have this experience again.

Another favourite experience has been meeting Karina LeBlanc, former goalie for the Canadian national soccer team and Ambassador for Teck and the Zinc Saves Lives campaign. She is such an energetic person and helps set such an amazing mood at the event.

WE Day

Since 2011, Teck has partnered with WE, the world’s largest organization of children helping children, to raise awareness about zinc deficiency. More than 400,000 students have learned about Zinc & Health at WE Day, WE’s annual youth empowerment event.

This year, Teck continued its successful Zinc Saves Lives campaign at WE Day events across Canada. The campaign encourages students to recycle used batteries at WE Day or any Call2Recycle location to divert electronic waste from landfills and help save a child’s life, as one AA battery contains the equivalent amount of zinc that can save the lives of six children. For every battery recycled, Teck will donate the value of zinc recycled to WE, in support of zinc and health programs in Kenya. To date, more than 1.7 million batteries have been recycled as a result of the campaign.

Students across Canada like Emma and Hugh have enthusiastically participated in the campaign, holding battery recycling drives at their schools, churches and community centres.