2012-03-20 - ABB has launched its annual Sustainability report highlighting a new strategy and the progress made in 2011 in embedding sustainability values and considerations in business processes.
"We can see year-on-year the way in which health and safety, and environmental, social and security issues are becoming part of our business case and success," said Adam Roscoe, head of Sustainability Affairs. "Our new sustainability strategy is part of that process and will help us capture the benefits of a sustainable approach to business."
Among the highlights was the finalization of the new strategy – known as Sustainability Strategy 2015+ - after an analysis of the widest-ever consultation process with internal and external stakeholders. The new strategy, formally being launched in 2012, was produced in alignment with the ABB Group strategy review.
The sustainability strategy is based on five focus areas – all of them part of or directly related to ABB business operations – and establishes a governance board for the first time. The ABB Sustainability Board will comprise the entire Executive Committee; it will oversee how sustainability policies and programs support business goals and aspirations, and monitor progress.
The new strategy is being supported by the development of key performance indicators to measure progress, a competence management and organizational development program, and additional measures to communicate with stakeholders.
On environmental issues, the 2011 Sustainability report highlights innovative products and systems, the progress on reducing energy consumption within the Group, the phasing out of hazardous substances, and efforts to reduce ABB’s carbon footprint in areas such as manufacturing, logistics and transportation.
The value of training in raising ABB’s performance and standards is also featured. Health and safety training helped ABB to a year in which there were no fatalities in operations for the first time in a decade; security and crisis management sessions helped the company ensure the safety of employees and subcontractors, as well as business continuity, in times of crisis - most notably following the Fukushima tragedy in Japan and the political upheavals in the Middle East and North Africa; and training on supply chain and human rights are also contributing to greater awareness of the kinds of issues ABB faces and helping the company towards better risk management.
"One of the core messages that emerges from the report is the way in which sustainability issues are increasingly being embedded in business processes – particularly project risk review, supply chain and our mergers and acquisitions process," said Roscoe.
"ABB’s corporate tagline is 'Power and Productivity for the better world' and we want to deliver on that promise to contribute to 'a better world' – a more sustainable society in which a growing population has fair access to resources, health and well-being now and into the future."
The Sustainability report also reviews how ABB performed against the targets it set for the two years until the end of 2011. One of the key statistics is that ABB was able to reduce its energy use by 5.5 percent in those two years – slightly above the target that was set.
As every year, ABB reports against the Global Reporting Initiative Indicators, the internationally-recognized standard for sustainability reporting. Credibility is further enhanced by the assurance provided by an external company, Det Norske Veritas, which examined the environmental and social data in the report.