Monday, May 5, 2008

AkzoNobel CSR

AkzoNobel CSR

Tyson Foods CSR Report

Tyson CSR Report 2007

Sun Microsystems 2007 CSR Report

Sun CSR Report 2007

Transparent Supply Chain Sends A Clear Message

Hewlett-Packard casts a huge shadow as the largest IT company in the world. Literally hundreds of thousands of people help produce the components, parts and computers that are sold under HP's name. In an unprecedented move, last week HP made public the list of its largest suppliers as part of its yearly Global Citizenship Report.

The goals in releasing the list are far reaching. First, HP is hoping to increase suppliers' accountability to workers, communities and the environment. Second, HP is hoping the increase in transparency will lead to an increase in collaboration with other IT companies and act as a model for other IT companies to follow.

One of the most important reasons for releasing its suppliers is HP's bottom line. The business case for the HP's supply chain transparency is beyond positive public relations. Working with suppliers to protect the environment and worker safety does help HP's reputation. However, it also creates positive business relationships with suppliers and keeps the supply chain working smoothly. HP also argues that supply chain transparency helps the company be more efficient and decreases costs. "

Each year, as part of HP's annual Global Citizenship Report (GCR), we report publicly on the supply chain SER (Social and Environmental Responsibility) program results," said Judy Glazer, director for HP's Global SER Operations. "This report is critically reviewed by socially responsible investors, non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders. They consistently ask for greater transparency about our suppliers as a mechanism for accelerating the effort to raise standards across the industry. In response, we have decided to publicly release the names of our suppliers."

HP's suppliers list of nearly 100 companies accounts for 95% of their spending on components, manufacturing and components. These suppliers consist of commodity suppliers, contract manufacturers, electronic manufacturing services providers, and original design manufacturers.

Glazer explained: "The expectations we set for suppliers that manufacture HP's parts, components and products, are a key aspect of our social and environmental performance. Beyond product manufacturing, social and environmental impacts also occur during the transport of our products throughout our supply chain. These suppliers are the focus of HP's SC SER Program."

"HP is the first company in the electronic industry to release the list of its top suppliers for materials, manufacturing and assembly," said Rev. David M. Schilling, program director of Global Corporate Accountability, Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR). "This is an important step in promoting transparency in its supply chain. My hope is that this action will result in HP suppliers taking greater ownership of social and environmental practices that improve the lives of workers on a continuous basis."

HP was instrumental in organizing the Electronic Industry Code of Conduct (EICC), which summarizes the social and environmental standards for the IT supply chain. The EICC was first released in October 2004 with revisions in 2005. Companies that have adopted include: Celestica, Cisco, Dell, Flextronics, Foxconn, HP, IBM, Intel, Jabil, Lucent, Microsoft, Sanmina SCI, Seagate, Solectron, and Sony.

Beyond establishing a supply chain code of conduct for itself, HP also conducts audits of its suppliers to make sure they are adhering to standards set by the EICC. HP has conducted over 400 audits of its first-tier suppliers. In 2007, HP conducted 150 supplier audits. Of these, 92 were follow-ups to verify progress against open non-conformances found during an initial review. "

HP promotes sustainable improvement in our suppliers' factories," said Glazer. "We believe that focusing on management systems and analyzing the root causes of non-conformances increases the probability of lasting change. To achieve this, in addition to auditing our suppliers, we provide training and support to build their internal capabilities."

HP's SER program follows four phases that promote continual improvement in supplier companies. HP developed a network of local internal auditing teams backed by independent verification in the regions where they purchase. However, HP does not rely solely on supplier certification to external standards, because they have observed that standards can vary among certified companies and that suppliers without certification can have equally rigorous SER management systems. "

HP has made supply chain responsibility one of its three global citizenship priorities," explained Schilling at the ICCR. "Over the past few years we have seen the company put substantial resources into monitoring, training and capacity building to improve the social and environmental performance of its suppliers."

Schilling continued, "We appreciate HP's focus on the root causes of violations of its supplier code of conduct and systemic solutions rather than quick remediation plans that aren't sustainable. Clearly, some of the key challenges, such as excessive hours and lack of workers' right to organize and bargain collectively, have not been solved in many locations. But, the company is engaged with non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders to find ways to address systemic injustices."

HP also announced it is starting a HERproject program at a supplier's site in Cuidad Jaurez, Mexico, where a majority of the manufacturing activity for HP takes place. The HERproject (Health Enables Returns project) offers women's reproductive health services and education. Pegatron Technology and Foxconn, two suppliers for HP in Cuidad Jaurez, will partner with HERproject to help meet women's physical and mental health needs. HP is also planning to launch a HERproject site in China as well. HP is initiating the project through a partnership with Business for Social Responsibility (BSR). "

Advancing women's health issues in the supply chain is another step that HP has taken to further SC SER within the technology industry," explained Glazer. "It is consistent with our core values to be a force for positive change in the communities where we work and live. Investing in SC SER and supplier diversity reflects our global citizenship principles and meets our stakeholder expectations."

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Wal-Mart Expands Sustainability Efforts With Coffee, Trucks

BERKELEY, Calif., April 2, 2008 -- Along with its visionary goals of reaching zero waste and using 100 percent renewable energy, Wal-Mart is launching or planning a number of smaller sustainability initiatives, from the trucks it ships products in to the coffee on its shelves.

Matt Kistler, Wal-Mart's senior vice president for sustainability, spoke at University of California-Berkeley's Haas School of Business yesterday about the past and future of Wal-Mart's environmental initiatives. In late 2005 the company unveiled its goals of reaching zero waste, using only renewable energy and selling products that sustain resources and the environment. "Today we do not have clear-cut direction of how we're going to attain every goal," Kistler said. As of example of how it's approaching renewable energy, Wal-Mart is planning 22 different solar projects to see which work best. Some of its recent and coming programs are with its fleet.

Although the company is planning to start rolling out hybrid trucks this month, it's already made its fleet 20 percent more efficient than in 2005 by designing aerodynamic trucks and using auxiliary power units that turn off the engine but not the heating, cooling and lights. To sell more earth-friendly products, Wal-Mart is introducing a line of environmentally friendly coffee this month. Under it's private label Sam's Choice brand the company now offers three Fair Trade Certified coffees, one Rainforest Alliance certified blend and one USDA Organic coffee. The coffees are roasted by Cafe Bom Dia, a Brazil-based company that offsets its emissions through CarbonNeutral.

The sustainable coffee rollout is part of the company's Earth Month promotion. Throughout April Wal-Mart is highlighting its greener products and informing customers how making better choices, especially on a large scale, can cause a difference. Wal-Mart is featuring more than 50 products in stores and 500 online, from transitional cotton shirts to mulch made from rubber to Clorox Green Works products.

The majority of Wal-Mart's environmental footprint, Kistler said, comes from suppliers. The company has direct control on about 8 percent of its footprint, with the remaining 92 percent coming from its supply chain. To green its supply chain the company launched a packaging scorecard last year. By filling in information about products' packaging, suppliers are rated and find out their rank in relation to peers.

Kistler said Wal-Mart works with suppliers, telling them what they can do to improve and let them know what other suppliers have done to reduce packaging. Wal-Mart launched the packaging push as part of its goal to reduce packaging by 5 percent by 2013. Although suppliers were supposed to provide packaging information on all products by the end of February, Wal-Mart has only received information for about half of its products so far, according to the Arkansas Morning News.


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Major League Baseball Changes It's Colors

When the Washington Nationals play their home opener against the Atlanta Braves on Sunday, the grass on the field won't be the only thing that's green.

The Washington Nationals' new $311 million stadium, built by the District of Columbia, is the first big league ballpark to meet standards set by the U.S. Green Building Council. It will have energy-efficient lighting, ultra low-flow lavatory faucets, low-flush toilets, recycling bins, a green roof, bike racks and preferential parking for high-mileage cars.

The team isn't the only one stepping up to the plate when it comes to reducing environmental footprints. Last summer the Cleveland Indians put up solar panels at Progressive Park - and the Boston Red Sox are in the process of installing them up at Fenway Park. The Seattle Mariners recycle food waste, as well as paper and plastic containers. And when you buy a beer at an Oakland A's game this season, expect a cup made of biodegradable cornstarch.

The Pittsburgh Pirates probably won't reach the top of the league standings, but they just may be baseball's environmental mascot. The Pirates use corn-based cups, toilet paper made from 100% recycling input, and game-day programs printed with soy-based inks. Their scouts even drive flex-fuel cars. (Quick aside: Did you know that Pirates owner Bob Nutting comes from a newspaper family that also publishes Mother Earth News and the Utne Reader? Me neither.)
Much of the impetus for these changes comes from a partnership between Major League Baseball and the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental group that has also worked with the NBA, the National Hockey League, and organizers of the Oscars and Grammy Awards.

"By getting America's pastime to embrace environmentalism, we can move beyond the debates about left, right and politics," says Allen Hershkowitz, a senior scientist at NRDC, longtime Mets fan and manager of his son's little league team. Hershkowitz is especially hopeful that baseball's green drive will influence fans too. "There's nothing comparable to the brand loyalty that professional sports teams generate."

The NRDC began working with baseball several years ago after Robert Redford, one of the group's trustees, suggested during a board meeting at his Sundance Resort that NRDC work more in entertainment and sports. Robert Fisher, a trustee whose family owns a stake in the Oakland A's, offered to connect the group with the baseball commissioner's office, according to Hershkowitz.

Since then, Hershkowitz has spoken with more than 20 teams and visited numerous parks. (He's been invited to throw out the first ball at Fenway on Earth Day next month, when the Red Sox gets an award from the Environmental Protection Agency.) NRDC is asking teams to look at their ballpark operations, which consume energy and generate greenhouse gases, and their supply chains, where opportunities abound to buy recycled paper, organic cotton T-shirts or locally-grown food. Soy dogs, anyone?

Most of baseball's greening happens behind the scenes. The new Washington Nationals ballpark, for instance, is built on a "brownfields" site, which was once home to an asphalt factory, according to Susan Klumpp, one of 22 architects and designers on the project. Construction waste was recycled, and a sophisticated water treatment facility is built under the stadium, so that wastewater doesn't pollute the nearby Anacostia River. "How to pursue LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification without additional construction dollars was the tough part," she says.

Still, there's an obvious way that teams could save energy: by scheduling more day games to reduce the need for power-sucking field lights. (Most teams play at night to attract more TV viewers.) I'm looking forward to my first trip to the Nationals park on Sunday, but I could do without the 8 p.m. start time and the 30-degree temperatures. Baseball should play more games in the afternoon - for the fans and for the earth.

By Mark Gunther, Fortune

Monday, March 31, 2008

CFOs View Sustainability as a Business Opportunity: Survey

NEW YORK, March 31, 2008 -- More than half of chief financial officers and finance executives in a recent survey believe their companies will boost revenue, investor returns and employee retention through sustainability.

CFO Research and commercial real estate and money management firm Jones Lang LaSalle surveyed 175 top finance executives for the report, "The Role of Finance in Environmental Sustainability Efforts." The executives represented Herman Miller, Dow Chemical, Bank of America, Weyerhaeuser and American Electric Power.

The survey found that regulatory compliance was the highest priority objective for incorporating sustainability into company initiatives, followed by improving energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions and operations-related environmental impacts.

The difficulty in measuring the effects of sustainability on shareholder value and on financial performance proved to be the greatest barriers to incorporating sustainability into financial strategy.

CFOs, though not chiefly responsible for fueling sustainability initiatives, can play a role in using sustainability to improve financial performance, the survey found.

"Most CFOs believe sustainability can lead to cost savings, increased revenues, greater customer retention and a competitive advantage, so clearly this is an opportunity that can not be ignored," said Lauralee Martin, global chief operating and financial officer at Jones Land LaSalle. "The question each of us should ask is whether we are taking an aggressive enough position, given the rapidly approaching tipping point of this issue."