2Sustain

A blog focused on sustainable business issues and challenges

Archive for November, 2011

Researchers Find Significant Inaccuracies in CSR Reports

November 30, 2011 | No Comments →

Recent research by KPMG found that even though corporate responsibility reporting has reached an all-time high among the Global Fortune 250 (G250), many of the reports lack rigor.

Now, another new study offers an even harsher critique.

After analyzing more than 4,000 corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports, rankings and surveys published by companies worldwide over the past 10 years, researchers at the University of Leeds and Euromed Management School (France) found that most included significant errors, such as unsubstantiated claims, gaps in data and inaccurate figures.

In fact, out of 443 European Union companies featuring in the FTSE All World Index between 2005 and 2009, fewer than one in six reported greenhouse gas emissions that covered all corporate activities, while others were vague, failing to reveal precisely how the data applied to specific activities.

The research uncovered some glaring examples of misinformation. (more…)

UK Retailer Says Sustainability Will Deliver More Than $1 Billion in Savings by 2020

November 28, 2011 | No Comments →

Asda, which operates more than 500 retail stores across the UK, announced earlier this month that it is on track to deliver customer savings adding up to £800 million (about $ 1.2 billion) by 2020, thanks to its commitment to sustainability initiatives.

The company has been working towards a variety of sustainability targets since 2005, when global parent Walmart announced its commitments to sustainable sourcing and reductions in energy use and waste.

Asda has already made considerable progress. The company has:

  • saved more than £70m in 2010 alone by reducing waste and energy usage in its operations.
  • reduced absolute carbon emissions by an industry leading 11.9 percent  –exceeding its target to achieve a 10 percent reduction by 2015.
  • eliminated 149,000 tonnes of carbon from operations since 2007. (That’s the equivalent of taking 60,000 cars off the road for a year.)
  • eliminated 900 jumbo jets worth of packaging from its products.
  • reduced energy use in stores equivalent to that used by over 55,000 homes every year.
  • eliminated 17 million miles from its supply chain. (The company says that’s the same as going to the moon and back 38 times.)
  • redirected all food waste and 96 percent operational waste from landfill through recycling programs, including diverting waste for energy.

In addition, over the past nine months, Asda has asked customers about their views on sustainability issues and what matters to them. Based on this research, the company concluded that: (more…)

Tiffany & Co. Launches Website Dedicated to Corporate Sustainability Initiatives

November 25, 2011 | Comments (2)

Tiffany & Co. has launched its first annual web-based Corporate Responsibility Report.

Developed in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative’s voluntary sustainability reporting framework, the online report includes highlights regarding environmental and social performance, and also provides intriguing insight into the jewelry giant’s standards and operations for the sourcing of precious materials.

For example, Tiffany says that:

  • In order to minimize environmental and social risks, gold, silver and platinum used in its workshops are sourced from responsibly mined metal deposits and recycled sources in the US.
  • The company has implemented a multiphase assessment process of its supply chain. Accordingly:
    • Vendors are required, when applicable, to complete a self-assessment of their performance against the Tiffany Vendor Code of Conduct.
    • Tiffany performs internal audits of its vendors.
    • Tiffany contracts with a third-party social responsibility auditing firm to provide audits on its suppliers.

In addition: (more…)

Heinz Releases 2011 Corporate Social Responsibility Report

November 23, 2011 | No Comments →

Last week, the H.J. Heinz Company released it 2011 Corporate Social Responsibility Report and announced that the company is on track to achieve or surpass its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, solid landfill waste, energy consumption and water consumption by at least 20 percent each by Fiscal Year 2015.

Since the baseline year of 2005, Heinz has achieved the following cumulative reductions through Fiscal Year 2011, which ended on April 27:

  • 45.6 percent global reduction in solid waste per 100 metric tons of production globally
  • 21.8 percent global reduction in water consumption per metric ton of production globally
  • 13.2 percent decrease in greenhouse gas emissions per metric ton of production globally
  • 15.1 percent decrease in energy consumption per metric ton of production globally

The 2011 report, which adheres to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G3 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, also includes these additional highlights from 2011: (more…)

McDonald’s Cuts Ties With Egg Supplier After Video Reveals Cruel Treatment of Hens, Chicks

November 21, 2011 | No Comments →

The nonprofit advocacy group Mercy for Animals launched an undercover investigation into McDonald’s egg supplier Sparboe Egg Farms and found cruel conditions. Hidden-camera video from the investigation showed a number of abuses, including:

  • the use of battery cages, which are banned in California, Michigan and throughout the entire European Union,
  • workers burning off the beaks of young chicks and callously throwing them into cages, some missing the cage doors and hitting the floor and
  • rotted hens, decomposed beyond recognition as birds, left in cages with hens still laying eggs for human consumption.

In a statement, McDonald’s described the behavior on the video as “disturbing and completely unacceptable.” (more…)