We wanted to move beyond a relationship that started and ended with data collection.
By Niki Kelley King, Manager-CSR Program Office, Campbell Soup
We’ve just launched our 2014 Corporate Social Responsibility Report titled, What’s in a Name? This is Campbell’s fifth comprehensive CSR report and demonstrates the shift underway at our company.
Along with a new look and feel, the report outlines our priorities and showcases our progress against our 2020 CSR goals.
How Is This Report Different?
We're celebrating our 145th anniversary this year and we wanted to embark on what has become an exhaustive annual exercise in data collection a tad differently. So instead of sending out requests for updates, etc., we chose to interview all of our internal subject matter experts to understand how they perceived CSR at Campbell.
We wanted to move beyond a relationship that started and ended with data collection and fully engage them in developing a theme for the report.
What we heard over and over again is that CSR and sustainability have been at the heart of the company for many years. It truly is inherent to who we are as a company. For example, in our conversation, VP of Infrastructure Engineering and Environmental Programs, who has been with the Company for 35 years, pulled out a notebook from 1930 that identified projects to make our facilities more environmentally friendly. So we decided to build upon that.
A Corporate Archivist & Focus on Stakeholder Engagement
Along with our Corporate Archivist – yes we have one, formal title and all – providing historical elements that you will see sprinkled throughout the report, we tied in our anniversary year as well as the 80th birthday of Campbell’s Condensed Chicken Noodle soup.
Next, we decided to focus on stakeholder engagement and materiality, consistent with current trends in CSR reporting. Throughout the year, we engaged with our stakeholders including suppliers, customers, consumers, NGOs and investors to understand what issues are important to them. We used these findings to develop our materiality matrix. As a result, we transitioned from four pillar areas to seven key opportunities in this report. [The Opportunities section of our report highlights our progress and challenges in each of these areas.]
Finally, not only do I believe you’ll find this report a good mix of storytelling, visual elements and data, it continues our commitment to more balanced and transparent reporting. All of our key performance indicators, for example, can be found in the Performance section. We've also integrated Report Builder and Downloads sections that allow for easy access to specific information. So, if you are a stakeholder who only wants to review our environmental data, you can easily access that information instead of having to go to several different sections of the report to find it.
For All Those Questions That Don't Fit
We also decided to publish a FAQ section this year to host information that is important to many of our stakeholders, but doesn’t really fit the flow of our CSR report. For example, we are often asked questions such as who oversees different policies or programs. So, instead of working that into the content, we put those responses in our FAQ section so our stakeholders can easily find the answers.
This report also focused on the progress against our 2020 agenda. Here are some of our highlights from fiscal 2013:
- We reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 4.4 percent, or more than 20,800 metric tonnes and reduced water consumption by 2.6 percent per tonne of food produced.
- We continued to combat childhood obesity and hunger through Campbell’s Healthy Communities Program by providing 193,000 hours of nutrition education to Camden children and 3,800 hours to adults; 175,000 hours of physical activity to youth through Soccer for Success and CATCH; and increased food access to 23,000 residents via 36 outlets including CSA memberships, corner stores and mobile markets.
- In the U.S. alone, we offered more than 430 products low in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol, more than 300 products with less than 100 calories per serving and more than 150 products that provide at least a half-cup serving of vegetables and/or fruits.
- We provided more than $52 million in food donations and global giving in the communities where Campbell operates, including $1.7 million in grants from The Campbell Soup Foundation to nonprofit community service organizations, with more than half dedicated to agencies serving Camden.
A Personal Journey
This report was especially exciting for me as I had the sole responsibility for pulling all elements of the report together, including identifying a new design agency and working with a variety of new internal stakeholders. While I have worked on past reports, and managed the past couple, this year I was the sole arbiter of information, which meant building relationships with both internal and external stakeholders and overcoming many obstacles along the way.
I personally love the challenges that come along with reporting. Besides a lot of patience and persistence, it requires an understanding of what topics are material, tailoring the content to appeal to a broad audience, engaging consistently and frequently – all while making sure we are striving to be transparent.
While producing the actual report takes about nine months from start to finish, the journey for consistent improvement never ends. There is always something that I want to do better and before I put one report to bed, I am already thinking about the next one.
At the end of the day, What's in a Name is all about sharing our CSR and sustainability journey with our stakeholders and continuously engaging with them along the way. We strive to make the report appealing to a wide variety of stakeholders by providing a variety of data and sharing the stories of how our employees are helping the company have the greatest impact in corporate citizenship and sustainability.
This is a journey of continuous improvement and one to which we are committed.
We'd love your feedback. Please send us your comments, whether you'd like a printed executive summary of the report, or want to be added to our distribution list for future communications by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.