How GOJO Raised the Bar for Sharing Its Sustainability Progress
By: Nicole Koharik
Last fall, GOJO released our fifth annual sustainability report, What Matters Most. This report shares with all GOJO stakeholders – customers, team members and partners – our sustainability story and the progress we have made. It focuses on the areas that matter most to our stakeholders – creating Sustainable Value through collaboration, product innovation, our commitment to sustainable chemistry and more.
As a privately held family business, GOJO is not expected, nor required, to report on our sustainability efforts and progress, but we believe it is important to keep our stakeholders informed - so they can see our goals in action, but even more so, they can understand and help influence our work going forward. It’s the right thing to do, and we openly share our practices, learnings and the challenges we have encountered along the way.
Sustainability Reporting Strengthens all Organizations
Sustainability reporting is a strategic approach for proactively providing stakeholders with useful information and can serve as a differentiator in competitive industries. It can also drive investor confidence, trust and team member loyalty.
Other benefits of sustainability reporting include:
- Enhanced reputation – For example, the 2013 Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship and EY survey revealed that more than 50% of respondents issuing sustainability reports reported those reports helped improve firm reputation.
- Increased team member loyalty – More than 30% of reporters in that same 2013 Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship and EY survey saw increased employee loyalty as a result of issuing a report.
When putting together a report, organizations need to gather information about processes and impacts they may not have measured before, or maybe chose to look past. An organization should also look at how they address the three pillars of sustainability – social, environmental and economic. Essentially, how are they driving Sustainable Value in everything they do for all of their stakeholders?
This newly collected data creates a need for greater transparency about performance and provides knowledge necessary to reduce the use of natural resources, increase efficiency and ultimately improve overall organizational performance.
Our Next Step in Sharing Our Story – GRI Reporting
Our 2015/2016 report is the first time we reported in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) G4 standards for a Core level report.
GRI is an international, independent organization that helps businesses, governments and other organizations understand and communicate the impact of business on critical sustainability issues. After conducting our materiality assessment, we had a deeper understanding of what matters most to our stakeholders. We used the findings of our materiality assessment to guide the development of our 2020 Sustainable Value Strategies and Goals.
We wanted to utilize a framework that would help us consistently communicate the significance of each material topic, our management approach and the metrics we are using to measure our progress in reaching these goals. GRI reporting provided this structure.
Also, in the 2015/2016 report, we cross referenced our material topics and 2020 Goals with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This allowed us to illustrate how we are improving the lives of those around us and living out the GOJO Purpose, Saving Lives and Making Life Better Through Well-Being Solutions. In addition, we shared stories of how we are advancing our 2020 Goals. These stories were brought to life through the voices of our team members and external partners.
I invite you to not only learn more about our sustainability progress and story in our latest Sustainability Report, but to also share with us your feedback on this year’s report via email at SWOW@GOJO.com.