The case for CSR/ Sustainability Reporting Done Responsibly


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Case study: How HP reduces the carbon footprint of product transportation

With a presence in 170 countries around the globe, developing and providing a wide range of PCs, printers, mobile devices, solutions and services to consumers, small- and medium-sized businesses and large enterprises, including customers in the government, health and education sectors, HP seeks to embed sustainability across every aspect of its business.  Tweet This!

This case study is based on the 2016 Sustainability Report by HP 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/ 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

On a typical day, over 1.5 million products ship between HP’s manufacturing sites, distribution centers, and customers. Decreasing the carbon footprint of this global transportation activity is, thus, a key priority. In order to reduce the carbon footprint of product transportation HP took action to:

  • promote a more efficient supply chain network
  • choose less environmentally impactful transportation
  • lead improvements across the transportation industry

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2016 Sustainability Report HP identified a range of material issues, such as product life cycle management, labor practices in supply chain, privacy, social application of IT, anti-corruption, ethical behaviour and business partnerships. Among these, reducing the carbon footprint of product transportation stands out as a key material issue for HP.

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 organization should identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations.”

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 HP engages with:   

Stakeholder Group
Employees
Suppliers
Customers
Peer companies
Public policy makers
Industry bodies
Nongovernmental organisations (NGOs)
Sector experts

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

To identify and prioritise material topics HP, working with the consultancy BSR (formerly Business for Social Responsibility), interviewed key internal and external stakeholders.

What actions were taken by HP to reduce the carbon footprint of product transportation?

In its 2016 Sustainability Report HP reports that it took the following actions for reducing the carbon footprint of product transportation:

  • Promoting a more efficient supply chain network
  • At every opportunity, HP optimises its global logistics network, improving efficiency, cutting costs and reducing environmental impact. When possible, HP consolidates shipments and sends products directly to customers or the distribution centers closest to them. In addition, HP seeks to identify new routes that reduce overall emissions and costs. HP also continues to use SmartWay partners for 100% of its products shipped by truck in the United States and Canada. This U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program increases road transportation efficiency and reduces GHG emissions. In 2016, HP won its fifth SmartWay Excellence Award in the large shipper category.
  • Choosing less environmentally impactful transportation
  • In 2016, HP shifted from air transportation to less GHG-intensive modes, such as ocean freight. Doing so, reduced HP’s carbon footprint and prevented the release of 35,000 tonnes of CO2e emissions related to notebook shipments from China to the Americas, Asia and Europe.
  • Leading improvements across the transportation industry
  • In 2016, HP joined the Smart Freight Centre-led Global Logistics Emissions Council (GLEC), to develop the Global Logistics Emissions Framework. This framework standardises the global emission calculations for the transportation industry and incorporates fuel usage. This new methodology offers more accurate data for analysis, improving comparability across companies and industries. In addition, HP worked with the following organisations to reduce GHG emissions in its global supply chain: Clean Cargo Working Group, Green Freight Asia, the International Air Transport Association, the United Nations Climate & Clean Air Coalition and U.S. EPA SmartWay.

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

The GRI Standard addressed in this case is:

Disclosure 302-2 Energy consumption outside of the organization

Disclosure 302-2 Energy consumption outside of the organization corresponds to:

 

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 HP, 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) http://www.fbrh.co.uk/en/global-reporting-initiative-gri-g4-guidelines-download-page

3) https://g4.globalreporting.org/Pages/default.aspx

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

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