More than 200,000 children are at risk of dying each year due to zinc deficiency, and a further 1.2 billion people around the world suffer from zinc deficiency-related disorders, such as diarrhea, stunted growth and neurological deficits. Unfortunately, the condition and solutions remain relatively unknown to the general public.
Since 2011, Teck has partnered with WE, the world’s largest organization of children helping children, to raise awareness about zinc deficiency. More than 314,000 students have learned about Zinc & Health at WE Day, WE’s annual youth empowerment event. Teck has Zinc Captains at 17 locations to educate employees and the general public about the importance of zinc for human health.
Teck also supports a number of organizations who focus on government advocacy and raising awareness about child health interventions, including the UN’s Diarrhea and Pneumonia Working Group, the Canadian Network for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and the UN Foundation’s Every Woman, Every Child movement.
Teck has held three innovative awareness campaigns at WE Day events since 2011, including:
Zinc Saves Lives Battery Recycling Campaign
This campaign encourages students to recycle used batteries at WE Day or any Call2Recycle location across Canada to divert electronic waste from landfills and help save a child’s life. Every AA battery contains the equivalent amount of zinc that can save the lives of six children. For every battery recycled until August 2016, Teck donated the value of zinc recycled to UNICEF in support of our Zinc & Health partnership in India. To date, more than 2.2 million batteries have been recycled as a result of the campaign. Today, for every battery recycled Teck will donate the cash value of the zinc it contains to WE, in support of WE’s zinc and health programs in Kenya.
Send One, Save One E-Postcard Campaign
Our Send One, Save One e-postcard campaign gave participants the opportunity to help save a child’s life while raising awareness about zinc deficiency. For every e-postcard sent, Teck donated $0.50 to UNICEF – the cost of a life-saving zinc treatment. By the end of the campaign, 3,240 e-postcards had been sent to recipients in 102 countries around the world.
One Tweet, One Life Twitter Campaign
Our One Tweet, One Life Twitter campaign harnessed the power of social media to raise awareness about zinc deficiency around the world. For each retweet of our WE Day message on Twitter, Teck donated $0.50 to Zinc Saves Kids. The campaign reached more than 5 million Twitter users and received 22,640 retweets. Its hashtag, #1tweet1life, was a trending topic in Canada, which means it was among the most popular topics on Twitter on the day of the event.