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Chronicling K-Cup® Progress for Diverse Audiences

It’s always exciting when our clients make significant strides toward meeting their commitments. Keurig did exactly that during its fiscal year 2016, which made for some great news to share in the company’s fiscal 2016 sustainability report.

 

The audiences for Keurig’s sustainability news vary from customer companies to campaigners to consumers. To tell the story of Keurig’s continuing sustainability progress, BuzzWord and Celery Design Collaborative  worked with Keurig to produce a full PDF report, digital and PDF summary brochures, and updates to the company’s sustainability webpages. The team also created infographics that can be used for multiple purposes throughout the year. This approach allows for consistent information and messages in a variety of user-friendly formats across multiple platforms.

 

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Among the progress reported: Keurig met its 2020 target to reduce life-cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of brewed beverages by 25% through efficiency measures that simultaneously accommodated the growth of the company. The company has also updated its GHG footprint, which it will use as the basis to set a new GHG reduction target. In addition, Keurig continued its longstanding leadership in sustainable coffee practices and social impact partnerships. The company is nearly halfway to its goal to improve 1 million farmer livelihoods by 2020, with more than 417,000 people in the supply chain engaged in projects to improve farming techniques and adopt climate- and water-smart practices. Check out page 52 of the report to learn how these projects impact real people around the world.

 

But many stakeholders are focused on another one of Keurig’s targets – the pledge to make 100% of K-Cup® pods recyclable by the end of 2020. In conjunction with the 2016 sustainability report, the company announced a significant milestone: All K-Cup® pods in Canada will be recyclable by the end of 2018.

 

A key component in the company’s recyclable K-Cup® pod strategy is to improve recycling systems through ongoing tests at material recovery facilities and collaboration with partners, such as the Closed Loop Fund. Keurig also recently joined the Circular Economy 100. Here are just a few ways Keurig helps to solve the recycling puzzle beyond the K-Cup® pod:

 

  • + Increasing recycling access by investing more than $1 million per year in recycling systems and education
  • + Transforming the understanding of how products and packaging are recovered for recycle with award-winning testing methodology
  • + Promoting use of recycled plastic in new, durable products, such as storage bins and outdoor furniture

Smithfield Foods Increases Engagement with Phased Release Approach

Smithfield Foods is a longstanding BuzzWord client that never stands still. And when it comes to sustainability reporting, the company consistently looks for ways to push the envelope.

 

This summer, Smithfield released its annual integrated sustainability report in phases over a period of nearly two months. The goal? To engage more deeply with stakeholders on a variety of topics and showcase each section of its sustainability program in manageable pieces. The complete report, which was posted in August, was in accordance with the core option of the Global Reporting Initiative’s G4 Guidelines (although Smithfield reported on many indicators beyond the core requirements).

 

Smithfield’s latest report includes a new feature designed to further increase the company’s transparency. The food ingredient glossary – the first of its kind by a pork processing company – lists and describes ingredients used in products across the company’s brands. Although the primary ingredient in Smithfield products is pork, the glossary includes nearly 100 additional ingredients used.

 

The report tracks the company’s progress on its sustainability commitments, including its industry-leading pledge to convert all company-owned farms to group housing systems for pregnant sows. At the end of 2015, Smithfield was more than 81% of the way toward its 2017 completion goal.

 

In addition, the report highlights the company’s recent “One Smithfield” initiative, which centralized the organization and is reaping efficiencies across the company, particularly in areas of transportation and procurement. And it features the company’s innovative partnerships in its agricultural supply chain with a leading national environmental organization, which together with Smithfield is collaborating on ways to reduce fertilizer loss from farms.

 

Read the full report here.

Kellogg’s CR Report Includes Bold New Goals

Earlier this month, Kellogg Company published its ninth annual Corporate Responsibility Report, which includes an ambitious set of new targets to help combat climate change. BuzzWord has worked with Kellogg from the beginning, helping it develop and update its reporting strategy and report content every year since 2007. While the company has long had goals aimed at reducing its own environmental impacts – including greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, energy, water and waste – the new targets outlined in this latest report reach into the supply chain and are even more robust and science-based than previous years. Specifically, Kellogg has pledged to reduce GHGs from its own facilities by 65 percent by 2050, and to work with direct suppliers to help reduce their emissions by 50 percent during that same timeframe. These targets were first announced at the climate talks in Paris in December 2015.

 

Kellogg has also pledged to remove artificial colors and flavors from Kellogg’s® branded cereals, a variety of Kellogg’s® branded snack bars and Eggo® frozen foods by the end of 2018. Worldwide, the company expects to change approximately 80 product recipes. Already in North America, 75 percent of the company’s cereals are made without artificial colors and more than half are made without artificial flavors.

 

Of course, Kellogg’s report covers recent accomplishments as well as forward-looking commitments. Their achievements include the following:

 

  • A 62 percent decrease in waste to landfill (per metric ton of food produced) since 2005
  • Steady reductions in sodium and sugar in its existing food portfolio
  • Programs to improve farmer livelihoods and crop sustainability are reaching about 8,000 smallholder farmers to date, including approximately 3,000 women
  • The donation of 1.4 billion servings of food to children and families around the world since 2013, through the company’s signature Breakfasts for Better Days® hunger-relief program
  • A Board of Directors that includes eight men and six women – one of the most diverse in corporate America

 

Kellogg’s Corporate Responsibility Report addresses these and other topics in its four “pillar” areas of marketplace, workplace, community and environment, plus the critical cross-cutting issue of responsible sourcing. Read the full report here.

Putting a Spotlight on Progress

After years of research and development, Keurig Green Mountain recently reached an important milestone. To meet its 2020 sustainability targets and address consumer concerns, Keurig announced the introduction of recyclable K-Cup® pods this spring. The Keurig sustainability report was an important part of the launch, chronicling the company’s journey, which included tests to learn more about what happens to K-Cup® pods in the recycling stream. Armed with this knowledge, Keurig began transitioning its manufacturing facilities to bring the first recyclable K-Cup® pods to market in June of 2016.

 

The company also made exciting progress toward its goal of balancing 100% of the water used in all its beverages through projects that give back an equal volume of water to people and nature. Based on the K-Cup® pod sales volume for 2015, the company has balanced nearly 80% of the water used in its beverages through a funding partnership with Raise the River, a coalition of organizations working to restore the Colorado River Delta.

 

To tell the story of the company’s continuing sustainability journey, BuzzWord crafted a suite of communications, including a full PDF report, a summary brochure and updates to the company’s sustainability webpages. Designed in partnership with Celery Design Collaborative, the report and brochure used friendly graphics, simple animation and warm imagery of employees, farmers and partners.

JPMorgan Chase Takes a Two-Report Approach to Better Meet Stakeholders’ Needs

Like many companies, JPMorgan Chase has a broad set of stakeholders interested in information about the company’s corporate responsibility and sustainability efforts. And, like many companies, JPMorgan Chase has duly issued an annual Corporate Responsibility Report – with BuzzWord’s assistance since 2012 – to provide stakeholders with the information and data they were seeking.

 

For the 2015 reporting cycle, however, JPMorgan Chase and BuzzWord decided to take a slightly different tack. Recognizing that the company’s varied stakeholders have distinct information needs, we tailored an approach to better meet those differing needs. Rather than an “all things to all stakeholders” approach, the company issued two reports: JPMorgan Chase’s 2015 Corporate Responsibility Report, which uses a lively, magazine-style format to focus on the company’s philanthropic initiatives to expand access to opportunity in communities around the world. And its 2015 Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report – a GRI G4 Core report – which provides clear, concise information on the ESG issues JPMorgan Chase views as among the most important to its business and how it is addressing them.

 

This two-report approach allowed JPMorgan Chase to better target the content for each report – enabling the company to more clearly communicate its core messages and its stakeholders to more easily access the information they want.

Novelis Continues its Sustainability Reporting Leadership

Atlanta-based Novelis is the global leader in aluminum flat rolled products, which are used in beverage cans, license plates, aircraft skins and more. Novelis is also the world’s largest recycler of aluminum. With a bold vision to reduce the embedded carbon in its products by dramatically increasing its use of recycled content, Novelis is recognized as a sustainability leader. The company is also an award-winning sustainability reporter – it released its fourth annual sustainability report in December 2015 – and BuzzWord has provided Novelis reporting strategy and content development assistance every step of the way.

 

The development of Novelis’ 2015 sustainability report took place amidst a transition point in the company’s sustainability journey. After a few years in which Novelis rapidly expanded its operations and laid out a ground-breaking sustainability vision, market headwinds and a change in the company’s leadership meant that 2015 brought a refocusing of priorities toward operational efficiency and executing on its investments. The challenge for the 2015 sustainability report, then, was to clearly convey the company’s strong progress and ongoing commitment to sustainability, while also transparently communicating its refocusing of priorities and expectations about a likely moderated pace of progress in the near term. The resulting GRI G4 Comprehensive report does just that.

 

Southwestern Energy Publishes First Full CR Report

Southwestern Energy (SWN), a Houston-based natural gas company specializing in hydraulic fracturing, published its first full corporate responsibility report in late 2015. BuzzWord provided assistance to SWN – a first-time reporter – from the outset, assisting with everything from reporting strategy, benchmarking and materiality analysis to content development and GRI analysis.

 

SWN has a great story to tell, as it is among the leaders in the industry in wastewater recycling, methane capture and community engagement. The challenge was telling that story to a broader public that is often critical of the industry as a whole.

 

The resulting GRI G4 Core report includes a wealth of detail and data on SWN’s environmental performance, conservation efforts, health and safety practices, community engagement, workforce programs and more. The report moved the company from 27th to 6th in an influential ranking, conducted by the Investor Environmental Health Network, of the top 30 oil and gas companies’ reporting and transparency efforts.

Smithfield launches new integrated report

Smithfield Foods today launched a new website, www.smithfieldfoods.com, that brings together a wide range of information about its ongoing efforts to be a sustainable consumer packaged goods company. Embedded in the site is the company’s integrated report, with content developed by BuzzWord. The new site replaces a corporate responsibility-only site and a corporate website (there’s also a consumer-facing site at www.smithfield.com). The site is notable because it includes a range of content that updates frequently, including press releases and videos, along with the comprehensive disclosures in its integrated reports. The entire site is designed to be responsive, or useable on any size device.

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