Phew. I’m exhausted. As I sit here in the lobby of the hotel, I reflect on my week. Three cities in three days, where my colleagues and I have literally been on planes, trains and automobiles (and, when we made the brilliant decision to arrive at Penn Station at rush hour, on foot dragging luggage through Times Square amid a sea of people…)
All of this for a great series of meetings with leading research and investment firms in the sustainability and social responsibility space. Our team – which included representatives from our Corporate Responsibility Office, our Environmental Health and Safety and Supply Chain Responsibility groups – met with analysts from about 20 different firms in DC, Boston and NY to provide an update on our corporate responsibility efforts and learn from them about their priorities and questions for the coming year.
In these meetings we covered a number of topics – including human rights, supply chain responsibility, conflict minerals, water conservation, renewable energy, employee engagement – but three key themes ran throughout the discussions: including transparency, integration and leadership. As we look out at the next few years, we believe that these trends will continue to inform Intel’s corporate responsibility strategy and will continue to transform the way in which companies and investors more broadly integrate environmental social and governance (ESG) factors into their decision making.
- Transparency: Transparency and improvements in the quality of sustainability data drive improvements in performance and better decision making. Intel published our 11th annual CSR report in May 2012, and for the first time achieved third-party review-level assurance for a number of report indicators. We also are focused on transparency in our communities and in our supply chain, rolling out new exploreintel.com websites to provide our local communities with real time information on our environmental performance and asking our top 75 suppliers to begin preparing sustainability reports based on the Global Reporting Initiative.
- Integration: Increasingly, we see corporate responsibility integrated across many different parts of Intel’s business. We see this in the work our supply chain organization has done to improve supplier performance through audits and capacity building (including an upcoming supplier summit this month on ESG issues for many of our top suppliers in China). From our IT teams to our events marketing group, we see employees in many different business functions integrating sustainability issues into their day jobs more than ever before.
- Leadership: In the coming years, companies will play a more critical role in addressing complex sustainability challenges. At Intel, we have been focused on identifying opportunities where we can lead based on our assets and expertise. And leadership will increasingly be about collaboration with others (a good example is where Intel worked with others in our industry to address the issue of conflict minerals in the supply chain.)
Importantly, these themes also played out in another way for us this week: Intel’s inclusion in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes for the 14th year in a row and our addition to the Carbon Disclosure Project’s Carbon Performance Leadership Index (in both the S&P500 and Global 500 lists). Our commitment to transparency and long history of CSR reporting is a key driver in our strong performance of leading sustainability indexes such as DJSI and CDP.
Our work to integrate considerations regarding our energy use and climate change impact into our operations management, product design, and collaboration with others in the ICT sector have helped us to achieve meaningful reductions in our impact and identify new market opportunities related to energy efficient products.
Finally, leadership is about sustained performance improvements and commitments. One of the things that I am most proud of when I study the various ratings and rankings on sustainability is that we have often been included in these lists for many years, and we also look for opportunities to continue to improve over time. In the DJSI for example, we have seen a steady improvement in our supply chain responsibility sub-score and our operational eco-efficiency sub-score over the past few years.
Looking forward to digging into this year’s results next week with our different teams to see where we can improve for next year. But first, I’m going to work to recover from my week and stay in the same place for a little while.