In honor of Earth Day 2021, Benchmark sat down with two of its leaders: Steve Beaver, SVP, General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer, and Brenda Battin Cianciosi, Vice President, Quality Assurance Regulatory Affairs, who leads the company’s Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG)/Sustainability Council. We asked them to provide an update on Benchmark’s sustainability journey, what’s new, and where we’re at as it relates to some of our goals.
What has Benchmark done to improve its environmental and societal impact?
Steve: Since 2012, Benchmark has been monitoring our emissions and tracking our energy reduction plans, as well as taking action to ensure an open and honest culture valuing the safety and success of our employees and the communities in which Benchmark is located. Our sustainability journey has evolved to become more comprehensive across our business. We are committed to furthering our sustainability efforts throughout the organization.
Brenda: Benchmark has developed a framework around our ESG/Sustainability plan of action based on the five key tenets of our ESG/Sustainability strategy – environmental responsibility, our people, our community, governance, and our COVID-19 response. Utilizing this framework, we’re tracking our progress under each tenet. For example, all of our manufacturing facilities are either currently certified or undergoing certification to achieve ISO 14001, the international standard that specifies an effective environmental management system. We also endorse and follow the Responsible Business Alliance to ensure our supply chain is above board.
What’s new in sustainability for Benchmark?
Brenda: One of the most significant outcomes of our ESG/sustainability journey is being awarded the EcoVadis Silver Medal on April 13, 2021, reflecting our progress in the areas of Environmental, Labor & Human Rights, Ethics, and Sustainable Procurement. This recognition puts us in the top 25% of companies rated and validates our strategy, but it also means we have more work to do. As part of our journey, in October 2020, we formed an ESG/Sustainability Council, which includes leaders representing finance, operations, human resources, facilities, supply chain, marketing, investor communications, regulatory compliance, and legal. This initiative is a strategic imperative for us. Both the Nominating/Governance Committee of our Board of Directors and the Senior Leadership Team oversee the efforts of the ESG/Sustainability Council. We also invested in outside consultation from an ESG expert to help continue developing our strategy to progress our ESG/Sustainability journey.
Steve: Although we’ve had a strong ESG/Sustainability plan for many years, we’re doubling down on our commitments while also being more transparent about our efforts. One of the results is the development of our Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) Fact Sheet. SASB is an independent nonprofit organization that sets standards to guide companies’ disclosure of financially material sustainability information to their investors. Our SASB Fact Sheet highlights our current ESG/Sustainability performance against the technical requirements for the Electronics Manufacturing Services / Original Design Manufacturing industry within the SASB framework.
What are Benchmark’s goals and outlook for the future?
Benchmark is making meaningful progress towards its sustainability goals. It matters to us that we go above and beyond to ensure a cleaner, more diverse, and safer environment for everyone involved in our company and the regions where we’re established. We are committed to sharing our plans for continuing to positively impact our environment, our community, and our people.
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