Thursday, December 23, 2010

Santa's 1746th CSR Report

Ho! Ho! Ho! Its the time to rejoice and be merry. Santa has a long tradition of reporting and is about to publish his 1746th CSR Report. (See his 1745th report here). Santa sent me his report for a pre-publication review (a service I offer to all corporate reporters - haha - PLUG!). I couldnt resist sharing with you  Santa's introduction to his 2010 report (with permission, of course!) .

Santa Claus
The CRAP Report 2010
(Corporate Responsibility And Presents Report)

Dear Stakeholders,

It is that time of the year again when the bells jingle, the carols carol, the elves work overtime and the reindeer suffer from torn ligaments. Also, at this time, I aim to publish my assessment of my sustainability impacts during the past year and communicate them transparently to all my billions of stakeholders all over the globe. I have been doing this now for the past 1745 years, and each time I sit down to write a sustainability report, I get that familiar warmth that comes from the knowledge that I am simply a wonderful corporate citizen (and even if I weren't, I wouldnt say).

This year has been a particularly difficult year for Santa.. The effects of the Global Financial Crisis have reduced the disposable income of many who bought lavish gifts for distribution at Xmas, the failure of major global economies such as Iceland have led to decommercialisation of  Santa merchandise and the BP Oil Spill Aftermath promises to make for a slippery arrival in the Gulf of Mexico. Instead of snow-hooves, I have had to purchase oil-proof wellingtons for the entire reindeer fleet. You will be pleased to note, however, that these are indeed made from 100% recycled post consumer organic waste. I just hope the reindeer don't eat them. 

Despite the difficulties, I have remained committed to Santa Values of giving, giving and giving and to my favourite colours - red and green. Red is of course the traditional symbol of the Santa cult, and cheap impersonations of Santa in purpleorange or hot pink have not gained much ground, I am pleased to note. Green of course is the colour of the environment, without which we wouldn't have, well, an environment.  I have also remained committed to my stakeholders: my workforce of 501,380 elves (down by 14% in 2010 after a difficult downsizing program - we tried to downsize by putting all the elves on a lettuce diet, but four died, so we reverted to standard redundancy letters), my  fleet of 103,000 reindeer (and no, despite the persistent approaches by Better Place, I will not consider moving to an electric reindeer fleet until Shai Agassi can guarantee battery exchange stations in every chimney and department store), the billions of children who receive my gifts (and some are very BIG children), and environmental activists (who recommend downloadable Xmas gifts powered by Google's sustainable servers). I was particularly pleased to note the recognition given by Gap Inc to my reindeers, even though they didn't include me in their reindeer movie

This year, I decided to establish a Santa Sustainability Steering Committee to ensure we progress on all fronts. The Committee is chaired by myself and includes the CSE (Chief Sustainability Elf), the CTE (Chief Technical Elf), the CRRE (the Chief Reindeer Relations Elf), and the CERE (The Chief Elf Resources Elf). I thought about including the Chief  Corporate Communications and Compliance Codes Elf (CCCCCE) but the number of C's in this elf's title was a problem for my secretary, who maintains that the C key on her keyboard has now ceased to function. The Steering Committee has established targets for 2011:
  • Reduce carbon emissions by 43%  through reindeer methane emission avoidance  (by modifying reindeer feed or purchasing cork anal-wind blockers)
  • Increase distribution of recycled toys to 97% (by offering incentives to kids who donate toys to the Santa Toy Recycling Center in Lapland - each will receive a Green Santa Certificate of Distinction)
  • Improve working conditions for elves (new ergonomic inspections of chimneys to reduce orthopedic stress during delivery operations)
  • Increase gender balance in the elf workforce (by demanding that female elves put on weight so that their average weight is in balance with the average weight of the male elves).
Feedback from external stakeholders on lat year's report through my website was double that of previous years. Two people gave input. The first congratulated Santa Inc. on an outstanding report. The second was from one of the Big Four, asking if we intend to assure the 2010 report. My position on assurance remains as in previous years. If you don't believe ME, then why should you believe anyone else?

Finally, it remains only for me to wish all the Citizens of the Universe  a wonderful joyous and happy Christmas. Remember to spread a little goodwill this Christmas - donate (a lot) to


Happy Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

elaine cohen, CSR consultant, Sustainabilty Reporter, HR Professional, Ice Cream Addict. Author of CSR for HR: A necessary partnership for advancing responsible business practices Contact me via  on Twitter or via my business website  (BeyondBusiness, an inspired CSR consulting and Sustainability Reporting firm)

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