For a nearly 100-year-old company, Clorox is showing itself to be quick to adapt to trends in sustainability. For its second sustainability report, published today, Clorox has become one of a small number of global firms to integrate CSR reporting with financial reporting.
The shift to integrated reporting — which companies including Southwest Airlines, Philips, United Technologies and Novo Nordisk have also undertaken — is one that investors are beginning to clamor for. Just a few weeks ago, the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Coalition called on U.N. member states to mandate integrated reporting for public and large private companies, or explain why they choose not to.
For Clorox, its financial performance and corporate responsibility commitment goes hand, it said on its website. “That’s why we have integrated our financial, environmental, social and governance performance in one report,” Clorox wrote. “Our success in each of these areas matters to our stockholders and a range of other stakeholders, including employees, consumers, customers, government and non-government organizations, business partners and our communities.”
Clorox makes it clear in the report that the company is working to make corporate responsibility (CR) core to its business. In fact, that’s outlined in its top-level strategy: “Achieve financial success with transparency, strong governance and CR embedded in our operations.”
Here’s a quick look at how the company is performing in three key areas:
• Financial: Net sales for the company stayed essentially flat at $5.2 billion for the 2011 fiscal year ending in June.
• Planet: Energy and water use, greenhouse gas emissions and waste all shrunk in both absolute and normalized terms between 2009 and 2010, the year for which data is available.
• Products: Clorox has made sustainability improvements in 16 percent of its product portfolio. The company has an overarching goal of improving a quarter of its portfolio by 2013.
The integrated report follows Clorox’s first official CR report published last year. At the time, the company was already about halfway toward several 2013 goals, including those for waste, energy and water use.
For a deeper dive, see the digital version of Clorox’s annual report here.
Image CC licensed by Flickr user FunnyBiz.