On April 22nd, people around the world will come together to celebrate Earth Day and take action to help protect the environment. Since the first Earth Day in 1970, more than 1 billion people have worked to raise awareness and advocate for global, national, and local policies to restore the Earth’s ecosystems and ensure a healthier planet for generations to come. Sustainability is central to HARMAN’s core mission and global purpose, and we have long been committed to environmental stewardship across the markets and communities we serve. From identifying new ways to reduce energy costs and conserve natural resources to focusing on rigorous health and safety standards in all operations, our devotion to sustainability continues to grow every year.
Earth Day might only be recognized once a year, but at HARMAN our commitment to sustainability is year-round. Last month, we issued our most recent Corporate Citizenship Report. The report focuses on three of our strategic pillars: People, Planet, and Performance, and our progress in those areas. Our commitment to sustainability is interwoven between these pillars and deep into our company DNA, providing specific guidance and direction in everything we do:
- Planet: We set strategic goals to decrease energy consumption, waste production, and improve water conservation. As a result, between 2018 and 2019, our absolute scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions decreased 6%, and waste generation decreased by 2%. While we are proud of our progress, we continue to assess and evolve how we reduce our environmental footprint across the globe.
- People: Our employees are at the heart of our business, and we’ve witnessed how they benefit from our sustainability efforts, like encouraging carpooling to help reduce traffic pollution. Volunteerism is baked into our company culture, which is why all full-time employees in the U.S. receive dedicated PTO to volunteer their time to their own important causes, from community clean-ups to mentoring students.
- Performance: We are committed to providing the highest quality of products and services without comprising our ethical, environmental, or social responsibilities. Across all aspects of our business, from product development and supply chain to employee programs and community outreach, we work with partners who share our values to create a more sustainable future.
To further help uphold our global purpose and sustainability initiatives and track our progress, the HARMAN Corporate Citizenship ESG committee was formed last year. Consisting of senior leaders from across the company whose responsibilities impact the environment and climate, the committee members meet regularly throughout the year to monitor climate-related trends and ensure all teams are executing against our corporate ESG goals.
We also know that we can achieve even more success outside our company walls by encouraging our partners, consumers, communities, and employees to make small changes in their everyday lives. Through HARMAN Inspired, our global purpose initiative, we introduced the 21-Day Challenge this month to help inspire all our team members to adopt greener habits at home and in the office. After taking the HARMAN Inspired Earth Day pledge, participants follow the challenge calendar and complete various sustainability-related tasks, such as swapping out plastic straws for a paper straw, trying out a reusable food wrap, or even making their own compost at home. All participating employees are encouraged to invite their friends and family to join them in the challenge, share their experiences on social media, and will be entered to win a JBL Flip 5 Eco – our first portable Bluetooth speaker made out of 90% recycled plastic!
Living and working more sustainably is more than just the right thing to do, it’s something we must do, and it will only become more crucial in the future. We are proud of the accomplishments and milestones we’ve reached over the last two years, but we also know our sustainability journey is far from over. We at HARMAN are committed to continue taking action to create a healthier, more sustainable planet for our generation and those to come.