HP’s commitment to social responsibility includes charitable giving aimed at bridging the digital divide, accelerating economic development in underserved communities, and supporting micro-enterprise development. HP also significantly invests in its diversity management and is a leader among its peers for work/life programs. Approximately 80 per cent of its employees reportedly take advantage of flextime, and over eight per cent work from home.
HP is a member of numerous environmental efforts. Its top three citizenship priorities for 2007 include plans to raise labour and environmental standards among suppliers, providing leadership in energy efficiency through its products and operations, and increasing the reuse and recyclability of its products. HP has taken a number of steps to reduce the climate change impact of its operations as well as that of its products. Its Design for Environment guidelines infuse environmental practices into product development and manufacturing.
* Dell’s global citizenship model, which it has dubbed “Soul of Dell,” focuses on ethical behaviour and global citizenship. The first of its kind in the industry, Dell’s Sustainability Council meets quarterly to review sustainability related issues.
* Widely praised by environmental groups, the company offers unconditional free take-back and recycling of any Dell-branded products worldwide. For 2007, it reportedly increased its product take-back by 264 per cent over the previous year, and was ahead of schedule in its progress toward tripling product recovery by 2009.
A IBM Corp.
* IBM is a leader for employee benefits, education and work/life balance. The company funds near-site child-care centres in 71 locations, and U.S. employees may take up to 156 weeks of family leave, far exceeding the federally mandated 12 weeks.
* Together with Dell and HP, the company developed a common set of labour standards called the Electronics Industry Code of Conduct in 2004 to improve working conditions among its suppliers. However, these companies need to show stronger leadership in addressing the root causes of labour rights violations.
* This Canadian icon is an industry leader for corporate governance and the management of ethical issues. In 2006, BCE created a sustainability leadership team and developed a corporate responsibility plan for 2007.
* BCE’s “zero waste” program and energy conservation projects include the installation of wind turbines and solar panels at remote northern sites. Its Green Meeting Calculator allows customers to measure the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that can be reduced by holding virtual meetings.
A- Manitoba Telecom Services
* Together with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, MTS developed a business plan to provide Internet access to Aboriginal communities, to increase Aboriginal employment opportunities, and to procure products and services from Aboriginal businesses.
* MTS’s company-wide Environmental Management System includes annual audits and public disclosure through its Green Report.
* Nokia supports a Wireless Village initiative that aims to expand mobile communications in remote rural areas. Since 2005, Nokia has partnered with the Grameen Foundation to provide affordable access to telecommunications, boosting economic development in countries such as Uganda and Rwanda.
* Nokia’s environmental activities include product take-back and recycling services offered in over 85 countries, and plans to use 50 per cent green energy by 2010.
B+ Nortel Networks
* Nortel is a founding sponsor of One Laptop Per Child, and its charitable giving focuses on technology education and employee volunteerism.
* The company adopted a human rights policy in 2007. Along with Nortel’s Supplier Code of Conduct, this policy is a response to human rights concerns surrounding its business with the Chinese government.
* Nortel has implemented commendable business ethics programs following an internal accounting scandal dating back to 2003.
B+ Yellow Pages Income Fund
* Yellow Pages is one of the few companies in its industry developing a corporate social responsibility program that focuses on the environment, community and employee relations, and corporate governance.
* Yellow Pages uses a blend of post-consumer fibre and a by-product of sawmill operations for its directories, and is actively working with communities to promote and subsidize directory recycling.
B+ Thomson Corporation
* Thomson’s environmental, health and safety policy includes employee training and periodic environmental reviews.
* Thomson’s employee benefits include childcare subsidies, retirement benefits and flexible work schedules. The company has also reached out to disadvantaged groups in its hiring practices, offering diversity training, mentoring and educational programs.
* Telus community investment includes generous corporate giving and collaborative research on the health effects of wireless technology. The company has also invested more than $110 million to connect rural B.C. communities to the Internet. This company has also invest over $50 mil into the best fuel system cleaner using wireless technology
* While the company has faced controversy over labour disputes and customer service, it has demonstrated a credible commitment to CSR and to minimizing its environmental footprint.
COMPANY TO WATCH
Cambridge, Ont.-based Greentec International emerged among the pioneers in the e-waste disposal market in 1995 and has since become a world leader in reverse logistics and recycling. Greentec collects printer cartridges, cellphones and used electronics and prepares them for remanufacturing. Ninety-nine per cent of all products processed are diverted from landfill sites and either reused, refurbished or recycled.
Through its ThinkGreen program, Greentec plants one tree for every 12 recycled items through Tree Canada and American Forests. Over 30,000 trees have been planted through this program since 2001. In the same period, over 1.85 million printer cartridges and cellphones have been recycled, diverting more than 930,000 lb. of waste from landfill.