Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Nordstrom: CSR efforts and then some

For a privately-owned company, Nordstrom maintains a strong presence in the realm of corporate social responsibility (CSR) by spearheading a CSR mission of Leave It Better Than We Found It. Though private companies often have the reputation of being more fiscally conservative,  Nordstrom has truly extended its CSR program to include many social causes that are pertinent in the global and corporate environment today. Nordstrom’s CSR efforts are two-fold: first, the company is consciously making an effort to contribute what they can to global issues such as environmental and social programs. Secondly, the company is making a strong effort to change its own utilization of natural resources.
It is imperative to understand the plight of Nordstrom and their efforts to improve themselves internally and externally. Most corporations are constantly waging social responsibility wars externally, but I think it is fascinating that Nordstrom is truly making a contribution to fighting environmental waste within its own company. In today’ corporate world, it seems that many companies act as if they are combating global issues; but when the company itself  is evaluated internally, it is often revealed that corporate business practices are not as honest as an audience would want them to be.
In terms of internal CSR efforts, Nordstrom is continually working to reduce excess waste and cost in order to appease its consumers. In the Nordstrom’s 2009 Progress Report, it is stated that organic recycling was increased—the nationwide recycling program allowed for 97 percent of total waste was recycled through fulfillment and distribution centers. The company is also working to guarantee greater energy efficiency and wants to gain a total 18 percent energy reduction by 2015. Nordstrom’s current improvements regarding internal transportation involve the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions through carton delivery optimization and reduced air freight (Nordstrom). The company began to see success in 2008 when it improved its total fuel economy by 7.3 percent.
Another way that Nordstrom is advancing its internal CSR efforts is through its in-store restaurants. The retailer offers sustainable and organic choices to its consumers for meals, and is environmentally responsible with its usage of plates, cups and recycling after the guest completes his or her meal. In addition to being environmentally responsible, the company also makes efforts to ensure the protection of human rights across the globe.
Responsible manufacturing is within the Nordstrom Code of Conduct and all private-suppliers are to abide by these guidelines through the Social Responsibility audit process and Nordstrom partnership guidelines. Supplier training is meant to affirm suppliers’ true efficiency, worker retention, productivity and the treatment of manufacturers (Nordstrom).
Nordstrom is known to respond quickly and appropriately to world disaster and tragedy as well. Recently, the company donated over $150,000 to Japan relief efforts. In addition to these CSR efforts, Nordstrom also contributes much of its earnings and mission to those in the community.

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