Today, most business leaders recognize the importance and value of adopting a formal sustainability platform. According to the Value of sustainability reporting, in addition to the cost savings, effective sustainability practices improve operational efficiencies and natural resource stewardship. However, one of the main challenges is ensuring employees and team leaders incorporate sustainability in their day-to-day decisions in the workplace.
In our most recent webinar, Supporting education: Meeting the needs of community and company, we learned from three professionals who have developed unique education programs that strategically align with their core business as well as their communities’ needs. Hilary Ayala, Director of Consolidated Edison’s Grassroots Management and Strategic Partnerships Programs, Janet Nicholas, Director of Strategic Initiatives at Dassault Systemes, and Dave Enzerra, Senior Director of Community & Public Affairs at Lubrizol Corporation, demonstrated how they successfully implemented and now maintain their education initiatives while facing budget constraints and global challenges. In this webinar we got an in-depth look into three programs that differ in scope, targeted participants, goals, and outcomes.
Hilary Ayala from Con Edison utilizes a grassroots approach, listening and optimizing employee passion for a program that addresses a key issue for both the betterment of local students, and for the company’s future in recruiting students that have excelled in the STEM areas (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Con Edison became involved in the FIRST Robotics competition in 1999 because it provides an opportunity for employees to connect with students on a one-on-one basis and to use skills that they use throughout their work at Con Edison, creating a win-win situation for both students and employees.
There is a lot of discussion about the importance of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and its impact on local communities, a company’s image and even its bottom line. There is an area, however, though equally significant a component as the others, that is often overlooked in this conversation. That is the way in which CSR strengthens a company’s culture and offers associates (employees) at all levels an opportunity to become more engaged.
I am the senior manager of community relations at MSC Industrial Supply Co., one of the nation’s largest direct marketers and premier distributors of Metalworking & Maintenance, Repair and Operations ("MRO") supplies. I work out of our company’s headquarters in Melville, NY, and have seen firsthand the way in which our community engagement programming has benefited our corporate culture. But let’s take a step back. While giving back has always been one of our core values, and an important element of MSC’s culture, in 2005 we decided to formalize this tradition through the creation of the Community Relations Department, which coordinates all of the company’s CSR programming.
In 2011, Newell Rubbermaid developed an environmental sustainability program designed to measure progress toward its goals to reduce water and energy usage, lower emissions and increase recycling across the company. The Environmental Sustainability Excellence (ESX) program, as it is now called, allows Newell Rubbermaid’s facilities to systematically assess the environmental impacts associated with production and upstream supply chain activities. Balaji Jayaseelan, Newell Rubbermaid’s Program Manager of Environmental Sustainability, recently shared some insights into the development of the ESX program and its impact on the company’s sustainability efforts.