CR Magazine released its list today of the 2012 100 Best Corporate Citizens, a ranking of the top companies graded in 318 elements across 7 core corporate responsibility (CR) categories. Topping this year’s list is Bristol-Meyers Squibb, IBM and Microsoft.
CR Magazine analyzes seven categories for the rankings – environment, climate change, employee relations, human rights, governance, finance, and philanthropy. This may seem like another trivial list of rankings, but CR is a characteristic that continues to grow in importance to customers. Regardless of whether your company is B2B or B2C, CR is an important quality upon which your company needs to maintain a focus. Nobody wants to do business with the bad guy or be portrayed as an accomplice in a 60 Minutes segment.
The companies ranked in CR Magazine’s list embrace sustainable business philosophies with many goals and significant resources committed to their efforts. Many of these CR programs are self-funded through a variety of programs, and they partner with responsible vendors who ensure internal and external compliance.
For the most part, CR programs can be self-funded, if the organization, for example, supports a reuse model for its post-consumption electronic assets. This requires a partner who can adequately mitigate any risks associated with the resale of used corporate assets. Electronics are unique in in that they are without exception the most valuable assets involved in a CR program. They also pose the greatest risk from two sources: corporate and/or client data and proper recycling of hazardous materials within the electronics materials.
As a result, corporations must take great care in selecting a partner who understands how to properly mitigate all risks associated with the disposition of IT assets. The good news is that there is help to make your decision easier. During the last few years a broad-based stakeholder group representing the electronics recycling industry, including the EPA, states, OEMs, recyclers, trade groups and NGOs created a standard for ITAD vendors. The standard is called R2, for Responsible Recycling, and applies a rigorous test of policies and practices to ITAD vendors wishing to qualify for this certification. The certification provides assurances to clients that your ITAD vendor is adhering to a minimum set of standards for our industry with regard to safe processing of electronic assets and protection of data
It should be table stakes for all ITAD vendors and a minimum requirement for corporations serious about CR programs. Gartner Research can also help in the selection of a sustainability partner through their report on ITAD Vendors. This report lists 17 asset disposition leaders in the US and discusses each of the vendors in detail. This is the most authoritative and detailed report on ITAD vendors available today and should be a vital part of the ITAD vendor decision making process for any corporation.
For more information on how responsible IT asset disposition can self-fund your organization’s corporate responsibility program and improve your ranking, click here.