Since the launch of the BLBW program last year, where have you seen achievements that show you are moving in the right direction?
Investing in renewable electricity has been an exciting achievement. One big step was our investment in a wind farm in Texas. Now, all of Philips Lighting’s electricity in the US is renewable. In fact, 67% of our electricity last year came from renewable sources. But part of that is also buying renewable certificates.
We’re also committing region by region to going carbon neutral. Last year it was in Middle East and Turkey and this year it’ll be in China. By doing it region by region, we’re seeing really good local engagement. The last months we’ve gotten much more clarity on what shape our carbon offsetting programs will take and how we’ll concretely go about reducing our carbon footprint.
There’s also more engagement and urgency on the topic of safety. I think my role is a little bit different from other people working on sustainability at other companies in that I’m involved in operations a bit more. I feel fortunate that my role is designed like this and that we can actually make things happen by sharing best practices among sites. That’s really effective.
We also won a few top ratings last year. With our best-in-class scores on innovation, climate strategy, and supply chain management, we achieved the status of Industry leader in the Electrical Components and Equipment category of the 2017 Dow Jones Sustainability Index. And on the Corporate Knights list of the World’s 100 Most Sustainable Companies, we placed 7th, also with Royal. We also have an A Rating from the CDP which is a very prestigious ranking.