Stanley Black & Decker is one of the world’s most recognized manufacturers of industrial tools and security solutions. Headquartered in Connecticut, the company has disclosed to CDP for close to a decade, is a Reporter Services and Supply Chain member, and in 2018 was awarded a place on the CDP A List for Climate Change, Water, and Supplier Engagement. As Deb Geyer, Stanley Black & Decker’s Corporate Responsibility Officer, tells us, disclosing to CDP has helped guide the company’s sustainability strategy in to one of the most ambitious in the sector.
Initially, Geyer explains, the company took a short-term approach to sustainability planning. “We focused on achieving year-over-year, incremental changes on energy conservation, reducing our carbon footprint, waste minimization, and water conservation.”
According to Geyer, CDP’s questionnaire played a role in moving Stanley Black & Decker towards more strategic, long-term goals. “It was as though CDP was giving us the answers to the test. Their questions on climate change and water security were very thoughtful, forward looking and clearly based on critical feedback from analysts, investors and other stakeholders. It provided us with a strategic outlook on the sustainability landscape.”
This focus on long-term planning is reflected in Stanley Black & Decker’s sector-leading emissions targets; the company recently published its new Corporate Social Responsibility strategy, including a goal of reducing its Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions 100% and moving towards carbon positivity by 2030, verified by the Science Based Targets initiative.
To achieve carbon positivity the company is seeking to invest in carbon capture technology, using carbon capture to take more CO2 out of the atmosphere than it emits. It has also set targets to reduce its supply chain emissions by 35% by 2030 and is working towards mapping its water risks and setting context-based targets to reduce water insecurity throughout its operations.
Transparency is key
As Geyer highlights, CDP disclosure has also helped increase the transparency of their sustainability efforts. “Every year when we report to CDP, we share the results with our senior leadership team through an internal quarterly review of our environmental impact and sustainability progress, resulting in a platform to formally share our results across the global organization.”
For Geyer, Stanley Black & Decker’s sustainability efforts are not a nice-to-have; they’re a key part of the company’s identity. “We use the word differentiator. To survive today, a company needs to do more than perform financially, it also needs to align with its employee base and deliver impactfully on material issues.”
As an example, Geyer highlights how CDP has allowed Stanley Black & Decker to respond to their customers who are increasingly concerned with addressing environmental impacts in their own supply chains. “We know that customers are driving sustainability and the results of those efforts are trickling down to us as a supplier. We have at least ten direct customers that use CDP to ask us very specific questions about the emissions generated through the production of our products and goods sold, our risks and opportunities, and our next steps to improve as it applies to the products they buy.”
For Stanley Black & Decker, disclosure has been a key part of the process which has taken them from sustainability novices to the ambition they are currently displaying.