Royal Philips Electronics launched the company’s first annual Sustainability Report, adding detailed accountability for economic and social responsibility to its former Environmental Report. The reporting initiative is in line with the steps taken in recent years to increase transparency and accountability, adhering to the company’s business principles. Philips also announced that the company has established a Sustainability Board, Corporate Sustainability Office, corporate Sustainability Policy and a global sustainability sponsorship initiative.
The press briefing:
Press briefing launch Annual Sustainability Report Amsterdam, March 27, 2003 Addressed by Arthur van der Poel, Executive vice president of Royal Philips Electronics and member the Board of Management
Ladies and gentlemen, First of all welcome and thank you for being here. Today is an important day for Philips. We are proud to introduce our first Annual Sustainability Report. As Gerard Kleisterlee already announced in the Philips Environmental Report of 2001, we had the intention to produce a more comprehensive report for 2002. I think we can say weve done that.
Corporate responsibility or sustainability as we call it, is not new for Philips. It has been in our company for over 100 years. When Anton and Gerard Philips founded our company, they made no difference between business and sustainable business. For them it was evident that people and the society were at the center of their way of doing business.
At the locations of the Philips factories, the public infrastructure often did not provide for essential services. And therefore Philips decided to provide housing, education and sports facilities, to mention just a few. So we can say that sustainability is at our roots and in our DNA. Today we are living up to that heritage as well as to our values and commitment to improve the quality of peoples lives with meaningful technology.
The aim of the Sustainability Report is to measure and report according the triple bottom line, covering the performance in the fields of economic, social and environmental responsibility. Our financial reporting is recognized as world class. Together with the experience of our environmental reports, this will accelerate the learning for our Sustainability Reports.
In our report, we have followed the core indicators as defined by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). This helps us not only in reporting but also in defining areas for improvement and to set clear goals for the years ahead. Now let me give some examples of goals that we have set for ourselves:
In the environmental area we have set ourselves some tough targets. For instance reducing our waste by 20 % (mandatory) to 30 % (recommended), our water intake by 15 20 % and our energy consumption by 10-20 %. In all cases further building on the achievements reached by 2001. And, because purchased materials influence our performance to an important part, we will increasingly involve our suppliers in our environmental programs.
Regarding the diversity in our employee base. We strive to raise the number of women in senior management positions to a level of 10 % in 5 years. There is no scientific justification of that number as such. It simply means a big step forward from the very low figure of 4 % today.
Some people think that sustainability is just the latest trend, or even a PR thing. We dont think so. Its serious business; its challenging and inspiring, but above all, its business. It affects the entire company: from product creation and business development to production processes and the treatment of waste. We have put the bar high, because it is our ambition to be consistently recognized as the number one sustainable company in the electronics sector. That requires a creative and demanding process of continuous improvement, which is very much in sync with our improvement program BEST.
As we move forward, we want to work closely together with our stakeholders both inside and outside the company. Therefore we listen to our customers, our employees and their families, the local communities in which we work and society at large. By doing this we are back to where it all started. The basic belief we have in our company that, if we dare to make choices that will improve peoples lives, inside and outside the company, we will be successful, not by coincidence but by design.
Thank you for your attention.