CSR briefs

business July 06, 2014 00:00

By The Natio n

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Colgate-Palmolive 'gives the world reasons to smile'

“Giving the World Reasons to Smile” is the theme of this year’s sustainability report from Colgate-Palmolive, the global consumer products manufacturer. 
The annual report details the company’s long-standing commitments, achievements and challenges to sustainability and social responsibility around the world. 
This year’s highlights include the improvement in its sustainability profile in over 48 per cent of new products and the balance of its portfolio last year, based on representative products evaluated against comparable Colgate products, as well as the flagship oral-health education programme, “Bright Smiles, Bright Futures”, which has reached 750 million children in more than 80 countries since 1991.
Colgate cut both energy use and carbon emissions per tonne of production by over 16 per cent from 2005, and was named a “US EPA Energy Star Partner of the Year” for the fourth year in a row, with recognition for sustained excellence.
Colgate was also selected for CDP’s Climate Disclosure Leadership Indices, ranked as one of the “World’s Most Ethical Companies” by the Ethisphere Institute and was again named to the Dow Jones World and North America Sustainability Leadership Indices.
A new commitment is to reduce carbon emissions on an absolute basis by 25 per cent from 2002, with a longer-term goal of a 50-per-cent reduction by 2050. 
The company aims to help achieve no deforestation in its supply chain by 2020. It will increase the recycled content in packaging to 50 per cent by 2020 and improve recyclability.
It has made commitments to eliminate formaldehyde donors, parabens and microplastics from products over two years.
Emirates hopes for a ‘greener tomorrow’
Emirates, a global connector of people and places, has unveiled the recipients of its “A Greener Tomorrow” initiative, which provides funding for not-for profit environmental organisations in developing countries. 
Globally, more than 400 organisations were nominated by passengers, Emirates’ social media network, universities, environmental and conservation organisations and the general public. 
Applications came from countries across the Emirates network and beyond and spanned environmental initiatives such as animal, land and tree conservation, biogas, environmental research and green transportation. 
The applications were of such a high standard that Emirates has awarded the funding to three separate projects. 
The successful projects address a diverse range of issues from fuel-efficient cooking in Malawi and eco-villages and sustainable farming practices in Pakistan to a conversion of Manila’s iconic jeepneys into battery-operated versions that reduce emissions in the city.
“We are aware of the everyday challenges faced by communities around the world. ‘A Greener Tomorrow’ aims to assist some of those communities in the places we serve to improve their environmental conditions and livelihoods. 
“The three projects that we are supporting through ‘A Greener Tomorrow’ embody attributes that resonate strongly with us at Emirates,” Will Lfberg, vice president for international, government and environment affairs, said recently. 
22 firms rewarded for social responsibility
Recently 22 companies from Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore received the prestigious Asia Responsible Entrepreneurship Awards for their corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. 
The awards were presented by the regional non-governmental organisation Enterprise Asia at an awards ceremony in Singapore.
The awards aim to encourage continued corporate leadership towards sustainable economic development in four sub-regions of Asia – Southeast Asia, East Asia, South Asia and West Asia – with 32 countries participating to promote responsible entrepreneurship in Asia. 
The awards recognise organisations for their initiatives and impact towards society and the environment through their corporate sustainability projects in five categories – social empowerment, green leadership, health promotion, investment in people and SME CSR.
Among the winners is Isuzu Thailand, which received an award in the health promotion category. 
Senior vice president Panatda Chennavsin said this prestigious award has highlighted the “good corporate citizen” image of his company in Thailand. 
“We are determined to carry out the ‘Isuzu Gives Water... For Life’ project on a long-term basis for the schools in need all over the country until no school with clean drinking water problem exists in Thailand.” 
Philippine and Thai companies shared the limelight with the most projects awarded at six each, while Malaysian and Singaporean companies took home five and three awards and Indonesia had two projects recognised.
William Ng, president of Enterprise Asia, said that through the awards, the organisation hopes to create awareness of the importance of responsible entrepreneurship as an important driver of change in nurturing future generations of socially responsible individuals. 
This year’s submissions have improved quantitatively and qualitatively, indicating a growing awareness among corporations and the increasing maturity of the Asian CSR community in project planning and delivery, he added. 
Enterprise Asia is a think tank for the development of entrepreneurship across the region and in the promotion of opportunities and fair ground rules for emerging entrepreneurs. 
Holcim details its activities
Holcim has released its 2013 corporate sustainability report detailing the group’s activities in sustainable development and disclosing data on key sustainability performance indicators. 
A panel of independent external experts has contributed to the report by reviewing and confirming the sustainability topics covered. These experts have also made recommendations to Holcim that are included in the report.
CEO Bernard Fontana said recently that reflecting the vision to provide foundations for society’s future sustainable environmental performance and corporate responsibility are firm parts of Holcim’s strategy. 
“This mindset has also been part of the foundation of our Holcim Leadership Journey and the performance indicators we release with the report today confirm that we are making further progress in reaching our sustainability targets.”
Occupational health and safety is the No 1 priority for Holcim and key to ensuring continued business success. The production of cement – and in particular clinker – leads to the emission of large amounts of CO2. Reducing the carbon emissions of its operations remains a key focus of the company’s strategy. 
Holcim is on track to achieving its target to reduce CO2 emissions per tonne of cement by 25 per cent by next year from 1990, and by the end of last year had achieved a reduction of 24.3 per cent. 
With net emissions of 572 kilograms of CO2 per tonne of cement, Holcim remains the industry leader with the lowest CO2 intensity. Last year, Holcim had an average of 69.8-per-cent clinker in its cement – also among the lowest in the industry.
Holcim also made progress in other fields. It has significantly strengthened its compliance activities by enlarging and further defining the compliance function. 
There has been progress in the implementation of its human rights management system, and six human rights impact assessments have been carried out and follow up actions identified and instituted. 
A supplier code of conduct, based on the principles of the UN Global Compact, has also been published and communicated to all of the group’s suppliers. Work has continued with the implementation of its water management system and in 2012, an efficiency target was set to reduce water consumption per tonne of product by 20 per cent by 2020 from 2012. Holcim overachieved its target last year. 
About 80 per cent of “biodiversity sensitive” sites would have a biodiversity action plan with a 90-per-cent implementation rate.
By 2030, Holcim aspires to maintain net CO2 emissions at last year’s levels across the whole lifecycle of its products by compensating or offsetting any increases in emissions from its operations through products and services that reduce emissions from buildings and infrastructure.