GOJO Blog

Earth Day 2017

How Engaging with the GreenBiz Community is Helping GOJO Advance Our Purpose

2/28/2018


By Nicole Koharik


Corporate Communications Director, GOJO Industries

The GOJO Purpose of Saving Lives and Making Life Better Through Well-Being Solutions inspires our commitment to sustainability and drives us to find new ways to create Sustainable Value through innovative solutions—solutions that bring social, environmental and economic value for all GOJO stakeholders.

We recognize integrating the voice of our stakeholders into our strategies is critical for our success and GreenBiz is an essential part of our stakeholder engagement strategy. GreenBiz has long been an important contributor to our sustainability work – serving as a source of education and a community to share our own sustainability story and connect with customers, thought leaders, peers and external partners.

Earlier this month, GOJO sponsored and presented at GreenBiz 2018. GreenBiz is the premier annual event for sustainable business leaders and this year attendance exceeded 1,000 sustainability leaders from the business world, government agencies, academia and non-government organizations (NGOs). I enjoyed sharing this energizing and valuable experience with my GOJO colleagues, in our third year as a corporate sponsor. The quality of content and meaningful interactions this conference delivers, keep us coming back.

Inspired to Lead and Learn 
While every GreenBiz engagement is memorable, I will never forget my first GreenBiz event in 2009. The conference was called Greener By Design, and I was fascinated by the conversations about the opportunity for designing greener products to create value not only for businesses, but also for health and the environment. At the time, I was a marketing manager charged with developing a strategy for GOJO to enter the green cleaning products market. I listened carefully, soaking up every word, bold aspiration, and example from the speakers who were doing this work. I was inspired to be a part of this movement for positive change.

Partnering to Share and Advance Best Practices
Today, nine years later, GOJO is a proud member of the GreenBiz community and is making progress against an ambitious set of corporate goals to advance our Purpose. We appreciate the opportunities GreenBiz has given us to share the GOJO story, progress and insights. We have partnered with other GreenBiz community members to share our learnings from conducting a materiality assessment for results and engaging stakeholders in ways that generate mutual value. This year, I had the opportunity to present the workshop, “Strategies for Setting and Advancing Breakthrough Goals.” I was elated to be joined by sustainability thought leaders, Barb Brown, Principal and Co-founder of BrownFlynn, Mark Rossi, Executive Director of Clean Production Action and Co-founder of the Chemical Footprint Project, and Andrew Winston, Author, The Big Pivot & Green to Gold and founder of Winston Eco-Strategies. During our 60-minute workshop, we shared perspectives on the value of corporate goal setting, defined goal types and trends based on Winston’s work on Pivot Goals, addressed the importance of materiality, provided actionable approaches to goal development, including how to align corporate goals with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, and discussed real examples from private and public companies.

Leading By Example
I shared my experience with the GOJO corporate goal setting journey, including our logic and approaches for setting our first (2010-2015) and second phase (2015-2020) sustainability goals. Examples of breakthrough goals for GOJO that were highlighted include the GOJO BHAG and long-term social sustainability goal, “Bring Well-Being to One Billion People Every Day” and our first-of-its-kind goal to reduce our Chemical Footprint by 50%. Mark Rossi shared the NGO perspective on the importance of corporate goal setting and recognized GOJO for our leadership in being the first company to ever set a public Chemical Footprint reduction goal, explaining the value in terms of industry transformation. Rossi also shared examples from Walmart and Kaiser Permanente, industry leaders in proactive chemicals management. He urged participants to adopt chemical-focused goals by articulating the value, including reducing regulation and reputational risks, and capturing the upside from creating products that support healthy communities and workplaces.

Below are key takeaways from the workshop 

  • Start by conducting a materiality assessment to identify your most significant material topics and where they occur in the value chain.
  • Set bold goals in areas that are meaningful to your company and your stakeholders to stretch your organization to new heights.
  • Engage internal and external stakeholders in the process to maximize value.
  • Be transparent about your progress. Your stakeholders value your efforts to be accountable and will not be penalize you for falling short of an ambitious target.

In the coming months, we will share our progress on the 2020 GOJO Sustainable Value Goals in the next GOJO Sustainability Report. In the meantime, I invite you to learn more at www.GOJO.com/Sustainability-Report and to share your ideas or collaboration opportunities by email, at SWOW@GOJO.com .

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