We have been very busy over here at BlueCircle Advisors! So much going on but thought I’d share some great news…
Many of you know that I’ve been working with and writing about G4, the Global Reporting Initiative for a while. I just got back from completing G4 training in New York City. I get so inspired to take on the world when I’m in New York!
Having been a disciple of GRI 3.1 and knowing that version of the standard will sunset on December 31, 2014, it was important to take training for the upgrade to G4, especially with the new focus on materiality.
For those who are unfamiliar with the term materiality, GRI defines it as “defining what matters and where it matters to your company.”
I highly recommend the class for anyone interested in managing and pulling together G4 for their company. The class was well-structured, had a good pace, great materials, and an exciting mix of people. The certified class pulled together all of the concepts into an easy to understand delivery format.There were 12 of us in class from various backgrounds. People from Informattica, International Flavor and Fragrance, Loreal, Estee Lauder, the UN, a person from a bio-pharma and students all shared their experiences and passion for sustainability.
Have to tell you, I was most impressed with Estee Lauder’s comprehensive programs. At this time, they are transitioning to a new sustainability director named Pamela Alabaster. She has such a deep understanding of how important stakeholder engagement is and clear definition of the types of programs Estee Lauder needs to take on in order to align with their stakeholders. I think we will see EL held up as a model in the upcoming years. Pam appears to have all the support she needs to move forward and her contributions added so much to the class. The one thing she shared that impressed me the most was Estee Lauder’s huge list of initiatives spanning things like animal rights, counterfeit products and safety, lead in lipsticks, compliance to EU REACH, and many others that you can check out here on their website, Estee Lauder CSR. Truly a company that cares!
I was like a sponge soaking up as much knowledge and story telling as I could, while sharing some of my own experiences in sustainability with the class.
When I worked at EMC, years back I was responsible for Environmental Compliance and served on the senior staff for the Global Design for Environment Team and Green Business Leadership. Through that position, I got to contribute to the GRI 3.1 and CSR reports by adding information my team collected about hazardous materials, packaging, and e-waste. I was fortunate to be mentored by Kathryn Winkler, a strong advocate in the sustainability world. (To this day, I’m sure she still has no idea of what a profound impact she had on my future.)
To get a sense of what EMC has for programs, check out how they measure and monitor their environmental impact, as well as, how they report for GRI and their yearly CSR report.
At PTC, I was the Director of Product Management for their flagship environmental product called Windchill Product Analytics. Windchill Product Analytics focused on software solutions that aligned a company’s product development lifecycle (PLM) system with ways to track materials and substances, supply chain, and environmental compliance to regulations like EU ROHS, EU REACH, EU Battery Directive, and Conflict Minerals. I got to work side by side with environmental folks at Motorola/Google, Apple, Microsoft, Schneider Electric, Philips, and many more Fortune 500 across every industry. While at PTC, I was also fortunate to serve on the Sustainability Board to help drive new initiatives and help plan the company’s first global Earth Week.
Check out Sustainability at PTC.
It felt good to be able to share some war stories alongside the inspiring ones.
To sum it all up, the G4 class was great! I got to apply past experience and learning to the present. The final exam is take home and I will be submitting it tomorrow, and it is with great anticipation that I am looking forward to receiving my certification completion email.
We love meeting new people and helping them solve their sustainability challenges. Send us a message and let us know what you need. We’ll listen, then suggest a plan of action to get you started on your sustainability journey.