Monday, December 7, 2009

Santa's CSR report

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle all the way… yes, Christmas is coming .. and time for Santa to write his CSR report. This year, Santa’s report is mainly about climate change and environmental issues, and yes, you’ve guessed it, it’s going to be a GREEN CHRISTMAS.

I thought I would give you a preview of how Santa introduces his report this year.

Santa Claus 
Elves, Reindeers and Responsibility Report 2009

A message from the CEO:

Dear Stakeholders,
It is my great pleasure to bring you this, my 1745th Responsibility Report which I hope you will read with joy in your hearts, happiness in your soul, and a glass of quality brandy in your hand. Oh my, the world has changed somewhat since I was born in 245 AD. They called me Saint Nicholas back then, and to this day, I try to live up to my saintliness by adopting the principles of responsibility, transparency and accountability. 2009 has been another Greening Santa year, with many environmental achievements which you can read about in the following pages, and an intensive year of improved governance, elf diversity, reindeer rights, equitable toy distribution to the world peripheries, and stronger ethical auditing of all my outsourced production factories. Furthermore, I am introducing for the first time this year a toy-recycling program – instead of delivering new toys this year, I will simply pick up all last year’s toys and deliver them to other children. This is likely to save 5,000,000 tons of carbon emissions, 95,000 tons of plastic, 4,973 rainforest trees, and close down 293 toy factories in China and Taiwan. In this way, I will keep children happy, reduce global warming, and save myself endless headaches wondering what to get for everybody. Should there be a discrepancy between the toys collected and the toys required, I plan to offer a virtual platform for ordering gifts via to further save on transportation costs and to advance my ambition to become the first carbon neutral Santa ever. I will offset all outstanding emissions by funding the production of eco-socks using 100% organic cotton recycled from elf undergarments for hanging on the mantelpiece. The socks, not the undergarments.

In preparation for this report, I conducted a Stakeholder Panel and received some useful feedback relating to elf exploitation, gender mainstreaming amongst elf communities, and the life-cycle of reindeer reins. I analysed all these issues in a materiality matrix, but I have not included this in the report, because none of these issues were actually found to be material.

The report is written in accordance with the highest global standards, the GRI framework, at Application Level A. The report is not assured, because I ran out of money to pay the Assurance fees. Apart from which, let’s face it, I am Santa. Who’s not gonna believe ME?

 During 2009, I have significantly improved the working conditions for my 583,000 elves in permanent, full time positions, by providing them with in-dorm TV’s, iPhones (one per couple, elves are half the size of regular people. I have had some complaints from those who have got half an iPhone, but I expect this will be rectified when wePhone is launched). I also formed a Professional Elf Education (PEE) program, to assist in developing elf talent and accelerating the rate of in-house promotion. We still have a problem with gender, and cannot seem to locate enough elfees to come to PEE. However, I have realized that if I have a sex-change operation, the entire Board of my Company will become female, so I have set this as a target for 2010.

Finally I wanted to draw your attention to the vast improvements in my environmental impacts, beyond those mentioned above. I have reduced electricity consumption by turning off all the lights on the sleigh. Last week, in rehearsals, 7 reindeer fell asleep, as they thought it was daytime. All elf uniforms are now produced under the watchful eye of the Ethical Trading Initiative and made from natural materials such as coconut-shell fibers and bamboo. Two elves were hospitalized because someone left the coconuts in the trouser pockets, and one got a bamboo splinter in his bum. But all problems should be ironed out by next year ( must remember to fix that old iron). My red Santa suit is now a kind of nondescript beige, reflecting the natural hemp used in its production. I will review this in the coming year and revert back to red if no-one recognizes me. All elves and elfees have been trained in office greening, and we now use disposable cups several times over, except for those who object to rapid proliferation of H1N1 virus amongst elf populations. Reindeers are fed only organic lichens with no added nutrients. On the ethics front, all elves have been trained in Responsible Practices, and are now able to assist in toy deliveries without insulting cheeky children or taking bribes from celebrity tots.

During 2009 I won several awards:
  • Best Santa for Diversity and Inclusivity (we have 34 different Elf Affinity Groups, including an Elvis Presley Elf Lookalike Group)
  • Best Workplace for Working Elf Moms (elfees get to do the late deliveries so they can cook Christmas Dinner on time)
  • Philanthropist of the Century (who has given out more toys than Santa, hmm?) 
  • Green Business Award  (i think this is because the elfves wear green uniforms)
  • Reindeer Lifetime Appreciation Award (because i turned the lights out on the sleigh)
  • Sleigh Manufacturers Society Honorary President (who has done more for sleighs than me?)
  • Chinese Toy Manufacturers Ethical Hero (yes, I beat Mattel)
  • Lapland Cartographers Award (modestly speaking, it was me who put Lapland on the map, any map)
I hope you will gain immense pleasure from reading this report and will provide your feedback via in the section entitled “Santa wants your Feedback.” Nice, eh?

Merry Green Christmas, everybody !!

Santa Claus
Chairman, President, CEO and COO
Santa Claus Universal Magnanimity (SCUM) 275 AD Ltd

elaine cohen is the joint CEO of BeyondBusiness, a leading reporting and social-environmental consulting firm . Visit our website at:  


Matthew said...

You've done it again Elaine. Outstandingly funny while staying true to format. Happy Holidays and may your new year be bright green.

Matthew Rochte
Sustainability / CSR Consultant

Cara C. said...

Elaine you are prolific! I love your wit and always enjoy and learn much from your blog posts. Happy Holidays! :-)

elaine said...

Thank you Matthew and Cara, you are the best !

Unknown said...

Elaine, you are a hoot. What a great way to get people to be happy and bright and think GREEN.

elaine said...

Thank you Lavinia!! You are a great friend ! Happy Holidays to all!

Daniel Roberts said...

Fantasic. I promise that the Assurance Review (pre-first draft) could not have been for this report.

Cheers and a wonderful holiday season to you and all.


elaine said...

Thank you Dan. I also follow your blog at
with great interest .
Happy Christmas to you too!

CSR TIMES said...

Dear Elaine, I loved reading this blog post. As an editor of CSR TIMES (a print publication in India), I'd like to publish this in our magazine. Hope you'll oblige us by allowing us to do so for our August 2013 issue of CSR TIMES.
Prashant Das

P.S.: Also let me know if you could contribute a regular column on CSR Humour. Thanks.

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