Confessions of a First-Year Reporter

I managed Intel’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) report process for the first time this year. It is now out for all the world to read, and I survived. It may seem melodramatic to describe writing a report in such strong terms, but I honestly feel like a warrior post-launch. For people who do this year after year at other companies, I applaud you. The process involves much more work than what meets the eye.

Working with more than 45 people across Intel on a tight, cannot-slip-for-any-reason launch timeline; drawing from more data sources then I can count; going through half a dozen executive reviews, up to and including our CEO; and, finally, obtaining independent verification of our key metrics is no easy task. The moving parts are endless, but through all the challenges, extra coffee, and much needed meditation, I learned a lot—about Intel’s commitments, about metrics, about reporting, and about my amazing colleagues. Now that the report is out, I can reflect with a clearer head. Here are my insights:

Intel’s commitments. While Intel is growing, innovating, and producing more each day, the company is also becoming more efficient in its operations, installing more on-site alternative energy, and engaging more employees to volunteer. (Hint: Read the report to learn more about all our goals and progress.) If I step out of my reporting shoes, I am simply incredibly proud to be an employee of Intel, where we take our sustainability, human rights, and inclusion commitments seriously.

Metrics. At Intel, we are serious about data, and even more serious when the data shows that we need to address something to continue to meet our goals. You would not believe the tracking that occurs all year long on our CSR goals and the intense discussions that ensue when we think we might have a problem. I’m not an engineer, but Intel is full of engineers who notice potential problems before they become problems, and that keeps us on track.

Reporting. Fun fact: We follow the Global Report Initiative (GRI) standards for reporting. We want to enable people who look at many CSR reports to easily compare our performance and goals with those of other companies. If you are not an avid CSR report reader, I almost guarantee you’ll see something in the report that will make you think, “Why did they share this?” or “Why did they go into so much detail on that?” It’s probably the GRI standards. (If you think you spotted something like this, share it in the comments and I’ll confirm.)

CSR rock stars. What you don’t always see in a CSR report is information about the people doing the work (it’s not a GRI requirement). I wanted to change that because I learned so much from them. In this year’s report, we highlighted just a few of the amazing people who make the work happen, and I encourage you to play their videos to hear from them directly. The environmental sustainability, supply chain responsibility, diversity and inclusion, and social impact professionals who do the work every day, solve challenges in the way of our goals, meticulously track metrics to ensure we are on track, and provide me with insights to share with you are the ones that make CSR at Intel what it is.

I would like to share a lot more of their stories in the future, because as I sit here taking a big sigh of relief that the report is out, they are back to doing the work that we will talk about in next year’s report. I am honored to bring so many people’s hard work together in a beautiful package to share with all of you so please go and read about their work in Intel’s new CSR report.

Have any questions about what you read? Comment below and I’ll make sure the right person sees your questions and provides some insight.

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