Hewlett-Packard And Gap Win Sustainability Reporting Awards
Hewlett-Packard and the Gap are among four U.S and Canadian companies that received sustainability reporting awards today in an international competition sponsored by the Boston-based Ceres coalition and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). The award winners, selected from among 68 nominations, also included YSI Inc. in Yellow Springs, Ohio and the Vancity Credit Union in Vancouver, British Columbia.
The Ceres-ACCA North American awards program, now in its third year, is designed to highlight best practices in reporting on sustainability, environmental and social issues by North American companies and other organizations and to provide guidance to other groups that are publishing or intend to publish sustainability reports. The record number of nominations included 47 sustainability reports, 14 environmental reports and seven social reports.
"Transparency and disclosure are the foundation of good corporate governance, and these winning reports are exemplary models that other companies and organizations should emulate," said Mindy S. Lubber, president of Ceres, a national coalition of environmental groups and investors that has long advocated for improved corporate disclosure on sustainability issues. "With the expanded information-sharing capabilities of the 21st century, investors and consumers make an increasing number of their decisions based on a company's handling of environmental, social and other sustainability issues. These reports are one of the key ways companies can communicate these issues to investors and other stakeholders."
Selected by a panel of eight judges who focused on the reports' completeness, credibility and effectiveness of communication, the award winners are:
Best Sustainability Report
Hewlett-Packard in Palo Alto, California: Selected from among 46 nominations, HP's 78-page 2004 Global Citizen Report presents three-year goals and targets on a wide range of priority issues, including electronic waste reduction, improving environmental and social performance in its extensive supply chain and increasing global access to information technology.
Best Small and Medium Enterprise Report
YSI Inc. in Yellow Springs, Ohio: Following the reporting guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), YSI's 52-page Sustainability Report analyzes energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, recycling, land use and other sustainability issues at all of its sales and manufacturing locations around the world. YSI is a $64 million employee-owned business that provides precision scientific instruments for collecting, monitoring and assessing data in water resources, bioprocessing, medical and aerospace settings.
Commendation for Sustainability Reporting
Vancity Credit Union in Vancouver, British Columbia: Finishing a close second behind Hewlett-Packard and the top report in the financial services sector, Vancity's 2002-03 Accountability Report details the company's economic, environmental and social performance. Done in accordance with GRI guidelines, the report was evaluated by 27 community leaders before its release.
Commendation for Social Reporting
Gap Inc. in San Francisco, CA: Selected from among seven nominations, Gap's 40-page Social Responsibility Report focuses on the company's programs to improve garment factory conditions around the world, including its factory approval process and factory monitoring protocols. The report also evaluates the company's community involvement programs and environmental issues such as energy consumption and waste reduction.
Andrew Savitz, a partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers' Environmental and Sustainability Services, presented the top award to Hewlett-Packard at a lunch ceremony today in Toronto hosted by ACCA Canada.
"The winning reports articulate vision, establish targets, identify actions and invite engagement with stakeholders," said Savitz, whose company sponsors the awards. "Hewlett-Packard's report provides an excellent benchmark for companies that seek to enhance the quality and credibility of their non-financial reporting."
"We are seeing sustainability reports improving and growing in importance," added Lynn Beauregard, administrative director of ACCA Canada. "The number of reports submitted to the judges increased by 40 percent this year. The best reporters are also integrating all of their component communications -- the web site, print copies, special reports -- and placing references to sustainability and corporate social responsibility on their home page or the next level of their web sites. "
The award winners will also be honored at the upcoming Ceres Annual Conference April 13 and 14 in Boston. The conference will include numerous workshops and presentations addressing issues of corporate sustainability.
The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) has promoted transparency in reporting the impact of business activities on sustainable development for over a decade and is involved in reporting awards in more than 20 countries around the world. ACCA is the largest international accountancy body with over 345,000 members and students in 160 countries.