Softchoice issued a "new style" CSR report. (which I picked up via Google Alert and a CSRWire.com press release). Well, how many times have you heard that "new-style" thing before ? New, different, groundbreaking, unique, remarkable... how many Companies think they have produced something absolutely original when really its same sort of stuff with a picture of a different kid on the cover, or a few extra links, or an e-book which takes till 2050 to download ? STOP. Softchoice has really done it ! Their report is really "new style" . It's really different from the pack.
It's part of a suite of what Softchoice calls their "Sustain-Enable" web-based report site. The site contains a downloadable interactive ebook style PDF in the style of a spiral notebook with handwritten graphics, sketches, photes, text and links. OK. So far so good. Also, the site contains several CSR themed vids which all look interesting, though the one that intrigued me was the one called the "Tie Jacket". Watch it here and see what it's all about:
What is also interesting on the Softchoice report site is their offering of tools for readers to reapply their own learnings and proceses. You can download templates for a Supplier Green Audit, a Travel Carbon calculator, a Commuter Survey Sample, or a Light Bulb Project Plan and more. In other words, not only are Softchoice reporting their progress, they are also sharing the way they did it. This is quite unusual for a CSR report. Some Companies share policies generously in their reporting, but I must say that I have not yet come accros a report that deliberately makes a conscious choice, perhaps we should call this a Softchoice, to share their tools and processes. CEO David MacDonald says the theme of the report is about "Sharing". Yep. They live up to that. Here is the way they do it:
A creative and engaging approach to reporting ! Learn from our pitfalls - for example, make sure you consult with people in the business before shutting off their computer automatically to save power. Some people might have different needs. Low-hanging fruit - for example, make sure you know what your electronics recycler is doing with your assets. Some of the tips are modestly self-serving for example, a You can do it! tip includes "When you place your next hardware order with Softchoice, make sure you ask for the consolidated shipment option" ! But, what the heck, they deserve a few extra orders for sheer creativity!
The report is delightlfully full of the people who make CSR at Softchoice, even including a 4 year old bulldog who accompanies "Mom and Dad" to the office and a host of photos and vids of the Softchoice people.
The Report itself is a GRI C level, and reasonably comprehensive, and for a mid-sized business with under 1,000 employees, its a major achievement. Their first report was pretty good, too!
Thumbs up to Softchoice! You can see they had a lot of fun writing this report! I bet they like Chunky Monkey as well.
elaine cohen is the CEO of Beyond Business, a leading social and environmental consulting and reporting firm. Visit our website at www.b-yond.biz/en