Monday, December 21, 2015

Santa's 2015 SDG Report

With only four more shopping days to Christmas, the time is here once again to preview Santa's Sustainability Report. Reporting is a long Santa tradition. Check out Santa's prior reports:

Santa's 1750th Sustainability Report 2014
Santa's First G4 Comprehensive Sustainability Report 2013
Santa's First Integrated Financial and CSR Report 2012 
Santa's 1,747th 2011 Annual CSR Report 
Santa's 1,746th 2010 Annual CSR Report 
Santa's 1,745th 2009 Annual CSR Report 

Santa Claus Inc. 2015 SDG Report 
Leadership Message

Dear Stakeholders,

In a year when climate change has been on the agenda more often than leaked emails from Hillary Clinton, I have to wonder what all the fuss is about. My old friend Heraclitus, whose works I studied as a child, said "Everything changes and nothing stands still". He was so right. The only constant in our world is change. So, now that the climate is changing, why try to stop it? The leaders of the free world came together earlier this month to join forces to stop climate change. We at Santa Claus Inc. take a different approach. We embrace this change and look for opportunity in adversity. For example, the more people that stop stopping climate change, the more coal fires there will be. The more coal fires there are, the more chimneys we will have. The more chimneys we have, the more work we will be able to do, sliding down the chimneys to deliver Christmas gifts and cheer to the world's children. I implore the leaders of the world, for the sake of our children, let the climate be. Change something else. 

2015 has been another great year for Santa Claus Inc. Our revenues were up, our operating profit was up, our working capital was down and our spirits were high. (Non-spirits were placed on the lower shelves). We once again brightened up the world with LED lighting on our sleighs, made children happy with gifts bought in bulk from a Taiwanese toymaker with very few human rights abuses and supply chain irregularities, and engaged our employee elves and reindeer through enlightened human resources policies including embryo-freezing, 14 day paid parental leave for anyone who knows anyone who became a parent and a new policy to enable employees to contribute to their community by working as much unpaid overtime as they want. We couldn't have hoped for a better year. And to top it all, a special new customer was born in May 2015 - Princess Charlotte, daughter of William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Amner Hall, their residence, has several chimneys so delivering our gifts for both Royal Kids will be a doddle. The problem is that we are not sure if the 1.5 mile no-fly zone over their house applies to me, my sleigh and my reindeer. If you hear reports of a decline in reindeer population and/or I do not publish a Sustainability Report next year, you will know we were shot out of the sky. 

Business Development
In 2015, following years of doing well what we do best, we decided to diversify in order to enhance our contribution to happiness in the world and make more profit by doing things that we do not do best. Our first attempt at diversification was to balance our workload throughout the year, and not just at Christmas time, to provide our elves and reindeer with meaningful activity instead of them just lazing around waiting for the continuation of season 12 of Grey's Anatomy. We started a joint venture with a leading global drug company to increase accessibility to life-saving drugs for children in emerging economies. The plan was to have our elves and reindeer make all-year-round direct-to-home discounted deliveries of benzodiazepine to help families address panic disorder, general anxiety disorder and insomnia in children between the ages of 2 to 49. The program started well and we were able to provide tranquility to many households. However, when several elves started to have convulsive epileptic seizures we knew something was wrong. Investigation revealed a benzo black market resulting from elves skimming benzos from each delivery and selling them to Cuban drug cartels. The cartel chiefs threatened the elves if they did not increase drug deliveries to meet their growing demand. As a result, the elves were so agitated that they started ingesting the very benzodiazepine they had earmarked to sell. Following a review of this new business approach, we realized our risk management program had failed to identify that elf stress, theft, drug abuse and drug trafficking could be possible outcomes of this new business initiative. We have therefore decided to cancel our risk management program and go with our intuition. In this case, with hindsight, it was not such a disaster as, while it lasted, we made more profit from this initiative than we have done in the past thousand years and the Santa Claus Inc. Santa Retirement Fund is now well padded. In future, we will deliver only placebos so that if the elves are tempted, they will only think they are having seizures. 

Board on Board
In 2015, we made a concerted effort to onboard the Board of Directors of Santa Claus Inc. following new guidance published by the UN Global Compact. "The Global Compact Board Program is the first of its kind to align and support Boards of Directors to effectively oversee and drive a strategic approach to corporate sustainability....." This year, we decided that our Board must play a more active role in supporting our efforts to improve society and the planet. In addition to making personal contributions to the Santa Claus Inc. Santa Retirement Fund, each Board member has personally committed not to fall asleep in discussions about our sustainability program. Moreover, each Board member will engage in stakeholder dialogue. Fortunately, this is something they can do during their afternoon nap as most are prone to talking in their sleep. In fact, if you can catch what they are saying in between snores and grunts, it's actually more intelligent than what they say when they are awake. We feel sure that our valued stakeholders will not know the difference.  

Sleigh Emissions
Following the scandal regarding auto-maker Volkswagen who was found to have been systematically cheating regulators about vehicle emission levels through the use of an electronic device that falsifies emissions test readings, we decided to ensure we are not exposed to such a risk. Aside from a small number of electric sleighs, all our sleighs are run by reindeer power whose emissions levels are, well, restricted to natural bodily functions that involuntarily cause greenhouse gas emissions into the environment. We performed a check by an independent third party to ensure that no electronic devices are implanted in any of our reindeer to interfere in any way with the recording of reindeer emissions. The check involved an internal examination using ultrasound and rear-end visual inspections for all reindeer over the age of six months. While we did not find any emission-related devices, we were amazed at what we did find in our reindeer. In addition to old coins, chewed toy parts, several undigested hamburgers from McDonald's from the 1980s, millions of cigarette butts, an array of candy wrappers and chocolate bar foils, and quite a few old socks, we managed to salvage thousands of iPhone parts, laptop keyboards, earphones, flash drives and cables. As a result, we have created a new for-profit initiative to retrieve reindeer stomach contents and repurpose them for sale. In our first year, we generated a very significant supplemental revenue, most of which was diverted to the Santa Claus Inc. Santa Retirement Fund while the remainder went to fund a new recreational facility for in-service reindeer in the hope that they will swallow even more valuables in their spare time.

Sustainable Development Goals
In 2015, we undertook an intensive mapping analysis to identify where the activities of Santa Claus Inc. contribute to the 2030 Agenda and the global Sustainable Development Goals. This report therefore forms our first report against the SDGs and we expect to continue our reporting in line with the SDG framework. Enough of G4 and CDP and everything else. We are converting totally to SDG reporting. By doing this, we express our support for this UN-led initiative and hope to gain a reputational point or two that will help reduce our cost of capital so that the Santa Claus Inc. Santa Retirement Fund will enjoy an improved return over time. The problem was, that in reviewing the SDGs, we didn't actually find anything that we could align with. 

All the SDGs are about things we do not have a direct impact on and therefore we recommend an 18th goal. We will call this goal: 18: Make Santa Happy

We believe that the world will benefit immeasurably through ensuring Santa is happy. When Santa is happy, good cheer is spread and kids around the world smile and are more motivated to do well at school and help their parents with household chores. The world becomes a more harmonious place and society is enriched. With a happy Santa, you know that you can sleep easy at night as crime and violence will reduce and there will be more food to enable everyone at the bottom of the pyramid to live in comfort. The elderly will be cared for and poverty will remain a word in a dictionary, bearing no resemblance to any real-world situation. In other words, making Santa happy is the key to achieving all the other Sustainable Development Goals.  Here are the targets we recommend: 

  • By 2030, eradicate extreme poverty for all people everywhere, currently measured as people living on less than $1.25 a day, and ensure that people who now have all this extra income will make regular donations to the Santa Claus Inc. Santa Retirement Fund
  • Implement nationally appropriate Santa protection systems and measures including security, cyber-security, and free health care for Santa, elves and reindeer everywhere 
  • By 2030, ensure that all men and women, in particular the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to gifts from Santa 
  • Ensure significant mobilization of resources from a variety of sources, including through enhanced development cooperation, in order to provide adequate and predictable means for Santa to source gifts and toys for the world's children at significantly discounted prices and with elevated commissions for the Santa Claus Inc. Santa Retirement Fund
  • Create sound policy frameworks at the national, regional and international levels, based on pro-poor and gender-sensitive development strategies, to support accelerated investment in the Santa Claus Inc. Santa Retirement Fund.
Not only this, along with many other global corporations, we have made a pledge to achieve a science-based target. The target is to reduce our carbon emissions by 40% per total elves and reindeer employed by 2030 using 1843 as a baseline. In order to achieve this, we will gradually eliminate baked beans and green cabbage from our reindeer diet and demand that elves keep their iPhones on low-power mode at all times.

Elf Healf and Safety
Every year we intensify our efforts to ensure our elves and reindeer remain safe on the job. We don't care about them off the job. In 2015, we held several training activities to enhance the awareness of safety hazards. One of the most significant risks for elves is sliding down chimneys where fires are still burning. This has resulted in so many bottomless elves over the past hundred years that their lack of behinds almost looks like a genetic mutation. In fact, three elf babies were born without bottoms last year which saves on diapers but gives rise to concerns about how elves will manage to sit on our sleighs as we travel the world delivering gifts and good cheer. We are now ergonomically redesigning all our sleighs to enable standing-only. This is not so bad as it means we can cram 23% more elves onto each sleigh, which means we travel fewer overall kilometers which reduces the resource burden on our planet. For those elves that lost their bottom in 2015, we commissioned bebionic to create a unique multi-articulating, pearlescent design prosthetic bottom made of  post-consumer recycled stainless steel covered with multi-layered variable hardness material lined with fabric mesh. The bottoms look and feel so real that beneficiary elves can lead a perfectly normal life and sit and s*it wherever and whenever they want. They are so happy with their bottoms that, on World Toilet Day, they volunteered to take part in the global #wecantwait efforts by performing true-life demonstrations of toilet-use in refugee camps in Ethiopia. 

Supporting the Sharing Economy
In an attempt to modernize our services, improve global wellbeing and generate new revenue streams, Santa Inc. has finally joined the sharing economy. As you may know, the sharing economy is a new business model based upon peer-to-peer-based sharing of access to goods and services (coordinated through community-based online services). Alongside Uber, AirBnB, Zipcar, Bookmooch and, we have decided to make Santa a sharing Santa. Sign up online at to make use of anything that we have and pay for it. For example, book taxi rides by sleigh to any global destination, hire an elf to clean your house or babysit your kids, or borrow one of Santa's red suits to supplement your party wardrobe. We also offer, at a modest rate of $4,000 per night, a place to sleep - Santa's bed in his Lapland home. Of course, Santa sleeps in the bed 364 nights per year, so you will have to share it. If you need earplugs to silence Santa's snores there is a small extra charge. If you need a noseplug for various involuntary odors that Santa emits, there is a small extra charge for that too. If you'd like to be woken up by a live elf alarm system, we can make our elves available in all shapes and sizes, also for a small extra charge. So far, in 2015, the sharing economy has generated more than $1 million in revenue for Santa Inc. Actually, this is not so much from the sharing we offer for use of Santa facilities, but more from the sharing of other's facilities with us. We decided that the many households we reach around the world through our toy deliveries should have the opportunity to share their economy with Santa too. During each visit, we help ourselves to cash we find in wallets, handbags and kitchen cookie jars. This has proven to be a major success as on more than 84% of visits, our beneficiaries have shared more than $100 with Santa. We think this sharing economy is a fantastic idea and kindly request that households make it slightly easier for us to find the cash they wish to share by leaving it on the mantlepiece in an envelope marked Sharing with Santa. 

New Mentoring Program for Elves
In response to last year's employee survey, where elves expressed a desire to receive guidance relating to personal growth and development, we hired several mentors to help elves grow. Of course, by nature, elves are short. Helping them grow requires several innovative techniques and ongoing coaching. In order to provide relevant role models, we hired top players from the Chicago Bulls, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Seattle Supersonics. Each player was paired with an elf and charged with teaching him how to overcome his height-challenged physique related issues during a period of six months of intensive mentoring. During this period, elves learned how to spring-jump, walk on stilts, use electronic arm extensions, hover 15 centimeters above ground using kinetic energy, and extend their neck muscles using yoga techniques. Regrettably our elves are still short. Therefore, in a final attempt to meet the personal growth needs of our very important elf stakeholders, we purchased a set of distortion mirrors that reflect you back in triple height. All our elves now think that they are three times taller than they actually are and are completely satisfied. The only problem is that they all applied to join the Bulls, Lakers and Supersonics and couldn't understand why they were rejected.  

Combatting Santa Counterfiets
As we report each year, we maintain our ongoing battle to delegitimize Santa branded products that are not approved and licensed by Santa Inc. Although we failed to have the Talking Naughty Farting Santa Doll we reported last year removed from the market, we did succeed in receiving royalties of 50% on each sale. We are now working on the same thing with another product that came to our attention this year, the Chantilly Lane Rip Von Kringle - Singing Farting Santa.  As all these Santa functions in doll form appear to delight our customers all around the world, we adopted the "if you can't beat them" philosophy and created our own Santa doll. We call it the Talking Naughty Farting Singing Dancing Twirling Belching Jogging Screaming Humming Skipping Spitting Punching and Praying Santa. Check it out now on to get your delivery just in time for Christmas. We have also adopted a similar collaborative approach with app developers. For example, while the Personalized Phone Call from Santa app may not feature the real me, we have come to believe that this kind of application can support our mission and help spread the Santa message. Unfortunately, this app is free, so our 50% royalties amount to 50% of nothing. Therefore, we successfully negotiated to become the sole and exclusive provider of in-app purchases where all profits go to, yes, you guessed it, the Santa Claus Inc. Santa Retirement Fund. So far we have developed several in-app purchases: a slurpy kiss from Santa ($50), a Santa fart (using the Talking Naughty Farting Santa Doll) ($100) and a Santa indecent proposal ($500). As you can imagine, the last app is the most popular, although several customers asked for a refund when they discovered that the indecent proposal was a copy of the 1993 move starring Robert Redford and Demi Moore which can be rented from at $3.99. We are now considering more sustainable options.  

Feedback on this report
We will be happy to receive your feedback on this report, as long as it's positive.

In the meantime....

 We Wish You and Everyone in the World 
a Happy Holiday Season and a 
Happy New Year

elaine cohen, CSR consultant, Sustainability Reporter, HR Professional, Ice Cream Addict. Author of Understanding G4: the Concise Guide to Next Generation Sustainability Reporting  AND  Sustainability Reporting for SMEs: Competitive Advantage Through Transparency AND CSR for HR: A necessary partnership for advancing responsible business practices . Contact me via Twitter (@elainecohen)  or via my business website   (Beyond Business Ltd, an inspired CSR consulting and Sustainability Reporting firm).  Need help writing your first / next Sustainability Report? Contact elaine:  

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