JCPenney Reports On Sustainability, Ethics Initiatives

JC Penney Inc. has released its 2013 Sustainability Report, detailing activities in fiscal year 2012, which ended February 2013. The report highlights strategic initiatives to reduce the company’s environmental impact and encourage positive social change.

“JCPenney has recently experienced a time of transition and change, but we’ve never lost our focus on the importance of being socially and environmentally responsible,” said CEO Mike Ullman.  “Supporting the communities we serve goes well beyond philanthropic efforts— it’s also about making mindful decisions in all of our operations, whether in stores, supply chain, customer service centers or international offices.”

With regard to its stores and operations, the company reported that it has a “clear focus on operational efficiency, utilizing programs to manage energy consumption, reduce waste and encourage recycling across all approximately 1,100 stores and 14 logistics facilities.” JCPenney has received Energy Star certification in over 500 locations and earned the Energy Star Sustained Excellence Award for five consecutive years. 

With regard to its supplier’s social and environmental standards, the company reported it is “committed to responsible sourcing and improving social and environmental supply chain standards.” To ensure these high standards are met consistently, the company said it contracted Bureau Veritas to perform independent social compliance audits. BV began independently auditing in February 2012, and completed 826 audits within 12 months, the company reported.

JCPenney also reported that it partnered with BV’s Consumer Products Services group to analyze product performance test results and spot potential issues and concerns. The company also said that it “encourages national brand partners to meet the same high production standards.”

The report continued: “To emphasize the importance of our ethical culture, the company publishes a statement of business ethics in 10 languages to be accessible to associates in the countries where JCPenney does business.” 

“With approximately 116,000 associates across the globe in stores, offices and facilities, JCPenney continually celebrates and enriches its diverse and skilled workforce through business resource teams and continuing education,” the company added

“James Cash Penney founded JCPenney on the Golden Rule of treating people as you would like to be treated.  This principle continues today through the company’s grants and sponsorships, disaster relief, in-kind donations and community engagement through employee giving and volunteerism. Our customers joined our efforts by rounding up their purchases to the nearest dollar and donating over $10 million to non-profit organizations from July to December of 2012.”