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- Background Resources
- Climate Survey Response Synopsis
- Climate Survey Full Response
- Clients and Campaigns
Rhian Rotz, program director of corporate citizenship at Waggener Edstrom Worldwide (WE), responded to our survey. He said that WE "recognizes the threats and challenges of climate change" and "[commits] to taking a precautionary approach to environmental challenges."
Key areas of focus in reducing WE's carbon footprint include "travel and commuting, energy use, paper and waste," many of which are accomplished by investing in technologies that reduce office waste and the need to travel for business. "Voice over IP (VoIP)" and video conferencing services such as Microsoft Lync have been adopted to minimize the number of in-person meetings WE conducts.
WE's internal sustainability policy is published externally in its corporate citizenship report, in accordance with Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards. WE has also worked to tell the "sustainability story" of a number of Fortune 100 clients. These campaigns have covered "the production tax credit for wind energy; the importance of water through a company-led campaign that celebrated World Water Day; [and] major environmental commitments and partnerships," including one with the World Wildlife Fund.
Good afternoon Kert and Kelly, below are replies to the (4) questions that we received from you. Please confirm receipt and let me know if you have additional questions.
Does your company acknowledge the threat and challenge of climate change as companies like Walmart, Coca-Cola, Apple, Google, AIG, Swiss Re, NRG, Unilever and others have done?
Waggener Edstrom Communications (WE) recognizes the threats and challenges of climate change. As a signatory of the UN Global Compact, we commit to taking a precautionary approach to environmental challenges by integrating sustainable business practices into the company’s operations. Since 2008, WE has measured its annual carbon footprint with the goal of identifying and tracking material aspects of its business and ways to continually reduce or minimize its impact on the environment.
Does your company have any internal carbon accounting policies or energy use reduction targets? Have you taken actions to reduce your “carbon footprint”?
For the past five years, WE has been working proactively to reduce its environmental footprint through its procurement decisions, technology investment strategy, education and engagement with employees with the goal to encourage behavioral changes that will translate into actual reductions and positive habits in the workplace and at home. WE recognizes its role in minimizing the negative impact of its business on the environment; the company considers it an important initiative that will benefit the health and security of employees and future generations, the communities where it operates, and economic interests. Since 2008, WE has conducted an annual carbon footprint assessment to identify the material impact areas of its business and measure changes as a result of concerted operational initiatives or business growth. Here is a summary of WE’s most recent carbon footprint assessment.
WE has a goal to the reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from the baseline year after year, our results are published here. Travel and commuting, energy use, paper and waste are the four material areas of the company’s carbon footprint and initiatives have focused on managing the carbon levels associated with business travel and improve client service options. WE has continued to invest in Microsoft Lync technology, an initiative that the company started in 2009. In addition, WE has made investments in high-definition videoconferencing gear and upgraded audiovisual equipment in its largest offices to improve the quality of the experience and appeal of using the technology among employees. As of 2012, all WE offices have at least one of the following technologies: voice over Internet protocol (VoIP), high-definition videoconferencing and/or Microsoft Lync with Polycom devices. WE has an ongoing commitment in the areas of recycling, composting, sustainable purchasing behaviors and operations within offices that helped keep the company on a positive carbon emission trajectory. Over the past five years, WE has made progress on its commitment to embed environmental sustainability practices into its operations. These practices continue to be measured using a 8-point scorecard, developed by the company’s senior operations manager for internal tracking purposes and available to all WE operations managers worldwide. Details on WE’s emission reductions since 2008 are here.
Does your company have an internal Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy regarding climate change or the environment generally?
Yes, WE has an internal policy that is published externally as part of our annual Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) corporate citizenship report. The policy states WE’s commitment to promote sustainability and minimize the adverse environmental impacts of its operations and services in ways that are responsive to the needs of employees, clients, partners and the communities and our commitment to comply with all applicable laws, regulations and internally established environmental practices, communicate the company’s environmental position and provide guidance and resources to engage employees and seek opportunities to continually improve its ability to identify, measure and control the environmental impacts of its business and operations.
Has your agency advised any client corporations on communications around CSR programs with a specific climate change focus, or on other climate change related public relations efforts?
WE advises several Fortune 100 companies on telling their sustainability stories as well as several non-governmental organizations that are stewards of the environment. Our counsel is always to be transparent about the challenges they face, the goals they have set for themselves, and the progress they are making toward those goals. Typically for our corporate clients, these initiatives are outlined in GRI-certified sustainability reports produced by the companies. We are proud that the causes we advise on are generally viewed positively by the environmental community. For example, some of our client assignments included:
- extending the production tax credit for wind energy;
- advising on communications for renewable energy purchases;
- increasing awareness of the imprtance of water through a company-led campaign that celebrated World Water Day; and
- announcing major environmental commitments and partnerships, including company commitments to improving their impact on the environment and partnerships with leading environmental non-profits, such as the World Wildlife Fund.
As an independently held company, WE selects clients whose values are in alignment with our own sustainability goals, as outlined in our corporate citizenship report.
“Waggener Edstrom Worldwide was selected as the communications partner for Chevron Corporation's global community engagement and corporate social responsibility initiatives and has started working on this new account to the agency. The scope of work will support Chevron's community engagement initiatives, with a focus on education, global health and economic growth.” - From Bulldogreporter.com