Today, Barbara Shepard, vice president of human resources and community relations at The Doe Run Company, shared insights as part of an expert panel at the first-ever U.S.-based Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Focal Point Conference. Hosted at Saint Louis University’s (SLU) John Cook School of Business, the conference focused on how sustainability reporting can be used to support corporate strategy.
“This conference is the first of its kind in the U.S., and we are thrilled to have an opportunity to participate,” said Shepard. “Making sustainability a part of our business practices has helped us improve our company, so we consider it a privilege to share our experience, as well as to learn from other leaders.”
Shepard presented on national and international trends in reporting alongside a number of other national sustainability leaders, including Microsoft, Dell, Bunge, Bloomberg, Wells Fargo Advisors, Prudential and Clorox. Shepard has overseen Doe Run’s award-winning reporting efforts for more than 10 years, including the evolution from its Neighbors community report into the GRI format in 2009.
“Doe Run was an early adopter of community reporting,” said Shepard. “What started with a data-centric report that focused on emissions data and transitioned to a magazine-style community report to educate readers about our products and our performance. Today, we conform to GRI’s international reporting standards so that readers can quickly review our performance over time and draw their own conclusions about our progress.”
According to a 2011 KPMG study, 95 percent of the 250 largest companies in the world reported on corporate responsibility, and 80 percent of those apply the GRI guidelines.
“Part of the commitment companies reporting through the GRI process make is to identify and report on what matters most to stakeholders,” said Shepard. “We are refining our stakeholder engagement process to ensure we are both sharing information, and listening to our stakeholders. This dialogue helps us improve our business operations and relationships with various groups, including our nearby communities.”
During the panel discussion, Shepard noted several important trends in sustainability reporting, including the continued push for environmental transparency by regulators and consumers, which is moving sustainability reporting from being a strategic opportunity to a business imperative. The panel also discussed how companies who are already completing sustainability reports are encouraging suppliers and customers to report on their own efforts.
Employees at Doe Run have been integral to driving sustainability initiatives within the company. In 2011, a team of Doe Run employees recommended sustainability principles and metrics to the company’s executive team, who ratified the principles and directed incorporating the principles throughout the organization. In 2012, Doe Run’s Sustainability Governance Committee is identifying the metrics for each principle and is setting targets for future performance.
Doe Run is developing its third sustainability report this year. Due in part to these and other efforts, Doe Run received a 2011 Green Business Award from the St. Louis Regional Chamber & Growth Association.
About The Doe Run Company
Based in St. Louis, The Doe Run Company is a privately held natural resources company and the largest integrated lead producer in the Western Hemisphere. Dedicated to environmentally responsible mineral and metal production, Doe Run operates one of the world’s largest, single-site lead recycling facilities located in Boss, Mo. The Doe Run Company and its subsidiary deliver products and services necessary to provide power, protection and convenience. Doe Run has operations in Missouri, Washington and Arizona. For more information, visit sustainability.doerun.com.
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