We are proud of the gains we’ve made, but we also recognize that we are on a journey of continuous improvement.
To Our Associates, Communities and Stakeholders:
More than ever, as the COVID-19 pandemic affected our business, supply chain, employees and customers, we are reminded of how connected we all are and our shared responsibilities to one another and our communities.
I’m pleased to share HARMAN’s most recent Corporate Citizenship Report reflecting our progress over the past two years. We have continued to make advance our sustainability practices thanks to the dedication and purpose-driven passion of our employees.
Engaging with the communities in which we operate, our employees around the world and our planet’s environment are all central to HARMAN’s core mission and global purpose: to connect people by creating meaningful, personalized experiences. This purpose has helped distinguish our reputation with our suppliers, customers and within our communities for more than 60 years.
We are proud of the gains we’ve made, but we also recognize that we are on a journey of continuous improvement. This report covers progress and examples from the past two years—highlighting key areas of focus for HARMAN.
There are three overarching values we focus on as an organization: to be ethical, inclusive, and accountable. At HARMAN, people are the root of each of these strategic focus areas, and our employees embody these values. This focus extends from our business operations to the communities in which we live and operate. As many critical front-line workers faced shortages of protective equipment at the height of the COVID pandemic, our colleagues in Europe used 3D printers to make facemasks for healthcare workers who were treating hospitalized patients. On a global level, we supported World Health Organization and UNICEF’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund to help them deliver hundreds of millions of protective items for healthcare workers along with urgently needed medical equipment and hygiene supplies to fight COVID-19.
More personally, HARMAN is dedicated to providing a safe and diverse workplace in which every employee can thrive and grow. We provide a multitude of learning experiences, professional training, and career development opportunities. Harman promotes inclusion, allyship, and supportive training through HARMAN University. We offer employees the opportunity to acquire skills and tools to grow professionally as well as expand their perspective on empowerment and equality. For example, in 2020, more than 100 female employee received micro mentoring from women at manager level and above. We also established our Harman Black Professionals Network that ensures that our hiring process is equitable, that we support the development and advancement of Black employees, that we retain Black talent through a fair and inclusive environment, and that our culture is supportive both internally and externally.
Environmental stewardship is critical to our success—in our business and communities. Tracking our environmental performance plays a key role in our high-level business strategies. Our cross-functional and multi-divisional monitoring system revealed that between 2018 and 2019, our absolute Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions decreased six percent, our waste generation decreased by two percent, and we eliminated or avoided 2,161 metric tons CO2e. While we are proud of these improvements, we know that we have opportunities to do even better. In 2020, Harman commissioned an Energy Study to make initial steps towards the development of a timebound energy goal that will be defined and actioned in 2021.
HARMAN’s commitment to sustainability and increasing demand for green products inspired the JBL Flip 5 Eco edition, HARMAN’s first portable Bluetooth speaker made out of 90% recycled plastic. Other recent products that prioritize sustainability and responsible sourcing include our EV Plus+ solutions that deliver premium in-cabin experiences for eco-conscious consumers as well as HARMAN’s energy efficient amplifiers and shift towards sustainable packaging.
Our philanthropy is centered on our global cause initiative, HARMAN Inspired, which collaborates with partners to empower the next generation of technology leaders through unique, immersive and meaningful experiences in music education, technology and community service.
Knowing that we’re stronger together, HARMAN supports the work of nonprofit partners around the world. Recently, HARMAN Inspired collaborated with music education nonprofit Little Kids Rock and our JBL brand ambassadors to donate thousands of headphones to help students learn at home. Additionally, we continued to partner with 1,000 Dreams Fund to help young women pursue careers in STEM by funding micro-grants.
Recognizing our accomplishments is important, but it’s also critical to take further action and acknowledge that there’s much more to be done. After all, sustainability is about ensuring the well-being of people and communities around the world and about future-proofing organizations by addressing environmental, social and governance issues. With consumer expectations, digital communication and society evolving at lightning speed, we must hold true to this commitment.
As we navigate these unprecedented times together, upholding our sustainability commitments is one way we can make a difference today—and for future generations. I look forward to continuing our corporate citizenship journey together.