The case for CSR/ Sustainability Reporting Done Responsibly


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Insights on how you can protect the environment, maintain and increase the value of your company, through a structured process.

Home / case studies / Case study: How Compal reduces the environmental impact of its products

Case study: How Compal reduces the environmental impact of its products

As one of the world’s leading manufacturers of notebook PCs, smart devices, data centre equipment and LCD products, with factories in Taiwan, China, North and South America, Compal seeks to design its products in ways that minimise environmental pollution  Tweet This!, preventing hazardous substances from being released into the environment.

This case study is based on the 2017 Corporate Social Responsibility Report by Compal published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate what CSR/ ESG/ sustainability reporting done responsibly means. Essentially, it means: a) identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment, economy and society, and b) measuring, managing and changing.

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Abstract

The rapid advancement of technology has shortened the life cycle of consumer electronics, making it increasingly important for electronics manufacturers to design and manufacture their products with a focus on waste reduction and the re-use of resources. In order to reduce the environmental impact of its products Compal took action to:

  • make products easier to recycle and environmentally friendly
  • optimise packaging

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2017 Corporate Social Responsibility Report Compal identified a range of material issues, such as economic performance, market presence, labour-management relations, customer health and safety. Among these, reducing the environmental impact of its products stands out as a key material issue for Compal.

Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:

“The reporting organization shall identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations and interests.”

Stakeholders must be consulted in the process of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.

Key stakeholder groups Compal engages with:

Stakeholder Group                Method of engagement
Employees

 

·      Labour-management communication

·      Internal publications

·      Welfare Committee

·      Internet and employee comment box, sexual harassment complaint hotline, fraud or violation of ethical conduct report mailbox

·      Compal_CSR FB fan page push notification and opinions response

·      Education and training

Customers

 

·      Regular communication and discussion conference

·      Email discussion

·      Customer audits

·      Customers’ supplier conferences

Investors/ Shareholders ·      Shareholders’ meeting

·      Shareholder hotline/mailbox

·      Investor seminar

·      Market Observation Post

Suppliers

 

·      Supplier conferences

·      Email discussion

·      Supplier online assessment and on-site audit

·      Supplier complaints mailbox

·      Internal supplier system

Government

 

·      Correspondence

·      Participation in Government Projects

·      Participation in regulatory seminars/conferences

·      Actual Visits

Non-profit Organisations ·      Participation in charity events

·      On-site Visits

·      Email

·      Telephone Contact

Media ·      Press releases

·      Press conferences

Community ·      Participation in community activities

·      Email Discussion

·      Telephone Discussion

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

To identify and prioritise material topics, Compal engaged with its stakeholders through questionnaires, which were complemented by a new round of stakeholder surveys in 2018.

What actions were taken by Compal to reduce the environmental impact of its products?

In its 2017 Corporate Social Responsibility Report Compal reports that it took the following actions for reducing the environmental impact of its products:

  • Making products easier to recycle and environmentally friendly
  • When designing its products Compal uses, as much as possible, environmentally friendly materials, also introducing numerous design improvements to make products easier to recycle. The environmental, sustainable and renewable designs that Compal implements include the following:
    • prohibiting or reducing the use of hazardous substances
    • using only one type of plastic materials, where appropriate
    • introducing renewable and bio-degradable plastics into electronic products
    • using plastic materials compatible with surface treatment materials, so that products can be recycled and reused
    • designing products in ways that make them easy to disassemble and recycle
    • using modularised designs so that main parts can be replaced and upgraded, extending the product life cycle
    • printing recycling labels on packaging materials, as a reminder to consumers
    • making sure all plastic objects weighing 25 grams or more have contents labelled in detail, to facilitate recycling
  • In addition, Compal designs all its products in accordance with WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) standards, which require that at least 65% of the materials used are recyclable. For main notebook brand clients, Compal designs products to enable an even higher recycling rate (96%-100%).
  • Optimising packaging
  • Compal is constantly improving packaging design to reduce, simplify and make the optimum use of packaging materials, minimising their environmental impacts. Compal’s achievements in recent years include:
    • In 2011, Compal launched its patented square package design, which not only requires fewer resources but also enables consumers to keep the package and use it as a storage box.
    • In 2012, Compal replaced EPE (Expanded Polyethylene) materials with 100% recyclable cardboard.
    • In 2014, Compal increased the number of products per pallet from 78-84 to 102-120.
    • In 2015, Compal optimised EPE cushions for notebook PCs by consolidating the old 3-piece design into a single piece. By doing so, Compal reduced the use of packaging materials by 50% and materials surface by 48%.
    • In 2017, Compal greatly increased the use of automated equipment for picking, sealing, labelling and exterior examining before shipping, to reduce the human error rate.

Which GRI Standards and corresponding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been addressed?

The GRI Standards addressed in this case are:

1) Disclosure 301-1 Materials used by weight or volume

2) Disclosure 301-3 Reclaimed products and their packaging materials

 

Disclosure 301-1 Materials used by weight or volume corresponds to:

Disclosure 301-3 Reclaimed products and their packaging materials corresponds to:

  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
  • Business theme: Resource efficiency of products and services
  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
  • Business theme: Resource efficiency of products and services

 

80% of the world’s 250 largest companies report in accordance with the GRI Standards

SustainCase was primarily created to demonstrate, through case studies, the importance of dealing with a company’s most important impacts in a structured way, with use of the GRI Standards. To show how today’s best-run companies are achieving economic, social and environmental success – and how you can too.

Research by well-recognised institutions is clearly proving that responsible companies can look to the future with optimism.



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By registering for the next 2-day FBRH GRI-Standards Certified and IEMA approved Course you will be taking the first step in gaining the many benefits of sustainability reporting.

 

References:

1) This case study is based on published information by Compal, located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses. However, we made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original, please revert to the original on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Disclosure Database at the link:

http://database.globalreporting.org/

2)  https://www.globalreporting.org/standards/gri-standards-download-center/

Note to Compal: With each case study we send out an email requesting a comment on this case study. If you have not received such an email please contact us.

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