Our purpose—to protect lives, preserve the earth and transform our industry—has tremendous power to inspire and engage our employees. We defined six pillars of sustainability through which we will carry out that purpose, and regularly check our progress against objectives in each of those six areas. Our leadership team in one of our largest operating regions took living our purpose one step further, defining sustainability objectives that every employee in the region can help attain.
“Sustainability is not only a business necessity—it is a route to organize and measure the very best of our people, skills and efforts. I am confident that this is a challenge that we all accept, and one that we all intend to achieve,” said Pedro Chidichimo, Diversey’s president of global customer solutions and innovation, who served as president of our Europe, Middle East and Africa region for more than four years.
The region’s entire leadership team signed the EMA Sustainability Charter. The Charter commits all employees in the region to 100 specific measures to improve our performance within the six areas of responsibility we have defined as our sustainability pillars: operations, customers, communities, workforce, partners and governance.
Some of the region’s 100 commitments are already in place as a matter of global Diversey policies, such as the Charter’s objective for governance which commits the company to having a corporate crisis and contingency planning committee and the objective which requires that all of our employees comply with health and safety laws and with Diversey health and safety standards.
“It is important that we spell out our commitments for every employee to know and understand,” said Ed Roberts, EMA sustainability leader. “Some of these 100 points are already embedded in what we do. Some are aspirational. Quite a few are within the reach of individual employees.The Sustainability Charter lays out our commitment in clear terms so that every employee can take responsibility for seeing to it that we live up to what we have said we will do.”
The Charter itself calls for full employee engagement as one of its objectives: “100 percent of employees will be trained on sustainability and encouraged to sign up to the principles of this Charter.”
The Charter gives employees a clear definition of what the company expects and promises, as well as a tool to encourage progress, Roberts said. For instance, the Charter commits the region to provide a hands-free device for mobile phones in all company-owned or leased vehicles. While there are employees responsible for delivering that objective, any employee who operates a company vehicle should take the responsibility of requesting such a device if it has not yet been installed.
The Charter begins with a focus on our customers, including the commitment that “We will provide innovative solutions to our customers to maximize their profitability such as productivity improvements, reduced waste, reduced accidents, reduced water and energy consumption, and improved satisfaction of their customers.”
The scope of the commitments in the Charter also helps employees understand the breadth of our commitment to sustainability in all we do, Roberts said.
Among the 100 points are:
- We will work with our logistics providers to understand how they can improve the efficiency of deliveries of our products to customers.
- We will maximize the concentration of our products to reduce manufacturing, packaging and transportation impacts.
- Hotel stays and external meetings will be in eco-accredited hotels and venues wherever possible.
- All employees will be provided with advice on reducing their environmental footprint both at home and at work.
- 100 percent of operating countries and zones will support the Global Children’s Initiative, through which the company “adopts” schools or organizations that serve children who live in poverty, and provides opportunities for employees to volunteer their time and talents to serve those children.
- 100 percent of our facilities will be assessed against a suitable accreditation such as LEED or BREEAM and 100 percent of all new leases or builds achieve suitable accreditation such as LEED or BREEAM (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design or Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method, two globally recognized green building certification systems).
- 100 percent of ink cartridges will be sent for recycling.
- 100 percent of our facilities will be cleaned during daylight hours.
- 100 percent of our manufacturing facilities will undergo AquaCheckSM system water efficiency audits.
- 100 percent of plants used in our landscaping are indigenous to or adapted to the local climatic conditions.
- 100 percent of printers will be set to duplex and black & white printing as a default.
- Zero use of portion packs, e.g. ketchup, in our catering facilities except where required by law.
Our purpose—to protect lives, preserve the earth and transform our industry—has tremendous power to inspire and engage our employees.