What's Your Biggest Accomplishment in 2011?
<p>The end of the year is a perfect time to reflect on where you've succeeded, as well as where you need to work harder next year. Sustainability leaders from leading green companies and organizations tell us about their big wins in 2011.</p>
With 2011 coming to a close and 2012 just around the corner, GreenBiz asked executives from a range of companies and organizations to reflect on the past year and look at what lies ahead.
They obliged by telling us about their accomplishments, goals, their thoughts about what will drive sustainability in 2012 and how they and their firms can do better in the coming year.
Here's what they said when we asked:
What's your biggest accomplishment in 2011?
Kathrin P. Belliveau, Esq., Vice President, Corporate Responsibility and Government Affairs, Hasbro
In 2011, a big accomplishment was leading the effort to issue Hasbro's first, formal Corporate Social Responsibility Report -- totally paperless and online at hasbro.com/csr. As part of this, we announced a number of goals, including an industry-leading commitment to sustainable packaging. The positive response from our stakeholders -- including our employees -- has been tremendous.
Peter Malik, Director of the Center for Market Innovation at the Natural Resources Defense Council
We made fantastic progress in our energy efficiency work. Having launched a series of high profile energy efficiency retrofits in New York City, including collaborating with Bloomberg on a new property on Park Avenue, we presented an efficiency project at the Clinton Global Initiative, with the former President recognizing it as one of the key commitments of the year. Our project will help advance efficiency within the commercial real estate sector on a larger scale. Working closely with a range of partners who are leaders in the financial, real estate and business sectors -- including Johnson Controls, Jones Lang LaSalle, Bloomberg, Malkin Holdings, Goldman Sachs and Rockefeller Foundation -- we are on our way to compile and disseminate a how-to guide for energy efficiency, together with a quantitative model measuring the financial and energy savings it provides.
Rupesh Shah, Director of Corporate Sustainability, Intuit
In 2011, the company approved a solar array at our Mountain View, California, headquarters. The timing was ripe to invest in solar given the City of Mountain View's commitment to become a sustainability showcase and Intuit's plans to remodel buildings and incorporate more green spaces and sustainable design. Additionally, after evaluating energy alternatives for our Woodland Hills, CA facility, which has the highest electricity rates across the company, we partnered with Bloom Energy to install Bloom Box fuel cells. Once the Bloom Boxes are installed and running in August 2012, we will use 75 percent of bio-gas to create 60 percent of the electricity needed for our nearly 400 Woodland Hills employees.
Robert C. ter Kuile, Senior Director of Environmental Sustainability, Global Public Policy, PepsiCo
Continuing to deliver on what we call "Performance with Purpose" -- delivering sustainable growth by investing in a healthier future for people and our planet -- with initiatives like: developing "A Vision for Sustainable Consumption" with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development; "cracking the code" on developing the world's first 100 percent plant-based, 100 percent recyclable PET plastic bottle; and engaging in a partnership with Inter-American Development Bank to significantly expand production of heart-healthy sunflower oil while benefiting local farmers.
In a year that was very busy overall, we won the three largest strategic sustainability projects in the history of BSR, in areas ranging from corporate strategy to local community development. The scope and impact of these engagements suggest that we -- and the field in general -- have graduated to a higher level of relevance and maturity. I am really proud of the great global team we have built over the last several years.
With the two year anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti approaching, it's hard for Project Haiti to not come to mind. With dedicated pro bono design partner HOK, we are catalyzing the unrivaled passion, expertise and generosity of the green building movement to rebuild the Haiti Orphanage and Children's Center in Port au Prince, which will be LEED Platinum. Not only will this project provide the people of Haiti with both a powerful symbol of hope, it'll serve as a model for sustainable, resilient building practices.
I also can't mention accomplishments without talking about USGBC's Center for Green Schools. The center was created with a vision of green schools for everyone within this generation. The Center for Green Schools will expand our efforts to drive change in how we design, construct, maintain and operate our schools and campuses so they will enhance student learning experiences. This past year, with the help of our seemingly tireless volunteer and chapter network, the Center for Green Schools at USGBC has had a first year that has exceeded many expectations. Just this month, we highlighted 10 leading states, cities, districts and decision makers that have gone above and beyond in their efforts to ensure every student has the opportunity to learn in a healthy, safe environment.
Steve Clemente, Principal in Charge, Operations Services and Leader of Living Green initiative, KPMG
Our greatest accomplishment was achieving our initial 3-year goals and an overall 22 percent absolute emissions reduction from our 2007 baseline. Our success exemplifies high performance and is due to the support of KPMG partners and team members across the U.S. who are helping us reach our goal by integrating environmentally friendly practices into everyday business operations whenever possible. Plus, KPMG is working with clients to implement similar solutions, so it's good for our people to be able to talk about our successes in putting these strategies into practice.
Living Green is a major pillar of our corporate responsibility agenda, and we are committed to affecting change in our business operations to minimize the firm's environmental profile, educating our people on sustainable behaviors, and continuing to focus on environmental stewardship in the communities where we operate.
Susan Arnot Heaney, Director, Corporate Responsibility, Avon Products
We are proud to have published the third Avon Corporate Responsibility Report, capturing our commitments, goals, achievements and challenges against three missions: women's empowerment, philanthropy and sustainability. Imbedded in the report are some especially proud accomplishments that support our commitment to help end deforestation, including our Avon Green Building Promise, with proof points such as LEED Platinum in Shanghai and the first-ever LEED Gold building in all of Colombia; and the Avon Palm Oil Promise, to drive the supply and demand of sustainable palm oil and the protection of forests and biodiversity.
Michael Frank, Vice President of Operations, US Foods
We've reduced GHG from our fleet operations and in distribution centers. We installed solar arrays at three US Foods distribution centers. They now generate an average of 4,198,000 KWh annually. We also opened our first LEED certified facility in Buda, Texas, installed energy-efficient lighting, and invested in efficient refrigeration systems. We earned a Top SmartWay Score and Certified Partner status in the EPA's SmartWay Transport Partnership by improving the efficiency of our fleet operations. We reduced engine idle times through driver awareness training and automatic engine shut-off, and reduced fuel consumption by installing maximum speed controls on vehicles and investing in strategic route-planning technologies.
Carl Rush, Senior Vice President, Organic Growth, Waste Management
We've really amped up our investments in waste based renewable energy, conversion and recycling technologies -- like turning waste into gas and liquid fuels -- this year. The investments are helping us to extract value from the variety of materials we manage, everything from food waste to plastics. The projects, part of our Organic Growth Group portfolio, are the future of our business. Our investments are also advancing progress on our sustainability goals: doubling renewable energy production by 2020, tripling the amount of recyclable materials we manage by 2020, and investing in emerging technologies for managing waste.
Amy Hargroves, Manager, of Corporate Social Responsibility, Sprint
In January 2011, Sprint announced a partnership with UL Environment to develop environmental standards for all mobile devices. We saw this as an opportunity to lead our industry with a consistent environmental standard for all carriers -- and one that would help our entire product life cycle -- from sustainable design to end-of-life. We saw this as having the potential to change the industry for good and ultimately increasing the sustainability of mobile devices within the whole industry. In June, Sprint also announced the first phone to be UL Environment certified -- the Samsung Replenish -- which was recently honored by Global Green with the Sustainable Design Award in November.
Method moved to a 100 percent PCR source of PET in early 2011, improving upon our previous PIR/PCR blend. This change reduced the carbon footprint by about half for making approximately 25 million PET bottles -- a massive reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Most impressively, the recycled PET bottles retain exceptional clarity and strength, proving that sustainability can integrate seamlessly with product quality and good design.
Adam Mott, Corporate Sustainability Manager, The North Face.
Our biggest accomplishment in 2011 was digging deeper into our supply chain and making significant environmental improvements. The primary result of this is the rapid conversion of almost 30 percent of our fabrics to the bluesign standard. We are also very proud of our first public sustainability report that we published at expeditionsustainability.com.
Bart Alexander, Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer, Molson Coors
We've managed to integrate corporate responsibility into our strategic plan, annual operating plan and into the results objectives and targets for our key leaders. Our VP level leaders are now driving the agenda, rather than meeting somebody else's expectation.
Alison Taylor, Vice President, Sustainability-Americas, Siemens Corporation
Siemens' biggest sustainability accomplishment is achieving best in our sector, diversified industrials, again this year on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. A high ranking on this index becomes more challenging each year, so we are very proud of our 90 points that we achieved in 2011.
Neil Hawkins, Vice President of Sustainability and Environment, Health & Safety, Dow Chemical Company
In January, Dow and The Nature Conservancy announced a breakthrough five-year collaboration to determine the value of ecosystems to Dow's operations. Our scientists are working together on the ground at our first pilot site, developing and testing models that we will eventually share with other companies and the science community. Early next year, we will issue a public progress report on the collaboration, as well as a broader update on Dow conservation projects around the globe.
Medal photo via Shutterstock.