8 Things That Stood Out From PCNA’s 2022 Sustainability Report
The report demonstrates the New Kensington, Pennsylvania-based firm’s commitments, progress and performance across the company’s global operations to meet its three global strategic priorities: safeguarding natural resources, strengthening its communities and operating efficiently and profitably.
- The report also highlights PCNA’s significant new targets, key performance indicators and material issues to reflect its alignment with social, economic and climate change trends.
- Additionally, PCNA’s high marks in the PPAI 100 reflected its extensive sustainability initiatives.
“Today is a milestone in our sustainability journey,” says Nick McCulloch, director of ESG at PCNA. “This report doesn’t simply reiterate our commitment to social and environmental sustainability; it codifies that commitment into a clear set of priorities and goals. In doing so, we’re committing to transparency and accountability. This report highlights the impact we’re making, where we’re going and how we’re going to get there. It’s also an invitation for the promotional products industry to join us in transforming our industry.”
Here are eight things that stood out from PCNA’s 2022 sustainability report:
- Spotlighting Sustainable Products
In April 2022, PCNA launched ProudPath, a product portfolio dedicated to social and environmentally impactful products. The CSR platform offers customers hundreds of sustainable and responsible products, as well as education materials presented in a format that makes it accessible and easy to understand for distributors and end users.
- Since 2019, PCNA has grown revenue from environmentally conscious products by 67%.
PCNA has also taken significant steps towards increasing the use of third-party certified materials and products, working with the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Global Recycled Standard (GRS). In fact, 3.1 million pounds of third-party certified products and materials were sold in 2022.
- Giving Back To The Community
Partnering with 1% for the Planet, PCNA has contributed nearly $1 million dollars to non-profits working to improve water access, food security and nature-based carbon solutions. The supplier joined more than 3,500 other participating businesses in committing 1% of gross sales (a total of $940,000) from several ProudPath products to supporting an alliance of businesses financially committed to creating a healthy planet.
- Undergoing Testing
PCNA completed a carbon footprint assessment for its Scope 1 – direct emissions that occur from sources that are controlled or owned by an organization – and Scope 2 – indirect emissions associated with the purchase of electricity, steam, heat or cooling – emissions.
- PCNA plans to complete a Scope 3 – indirect emissions that occur from sources that aren’t controlled or owned by the organization, but are still affected by it – footprint assessment in 2024.
The assessment will serve as a baseline for setting science-based carbon reduction targets, which the company intends to submit to the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) for approval. PCNA also undertook its first EcoVadis assessment, which assesses the sustainable supply chain and procurement practices, and earned a silver score.
- Re-incorporating Into A PBC
Cementing CSR as one of its pillars, PCNA updated its charter and re-incorporated as a public benefit corporation (PBC), which means that its board of directors are now required to include considerations of its social and environmental mission into their fiduciary responsibilities.
PCNA also plans on implementing a comprehensive traceability program for its products. Through collaboration with its sibling subsidiary PF Concept (based in the Netherlands), the company will work with direct suppliers to monitor key environmental and social performance indicators, such as energy use, waste management and wastewater practices.
- Committing To Zero Waste
PCNA has announced an ambitious goal of having zero waste at its New Kensington campus by 2025. Progress has already been made through various efforts:
- 1,280 estimated tonnes of CO2e were avoided through operational initiatives.
- By running on renewable electricity, ETS Express and Trimark – both owned by PCNA – avoided emissions of 782 metric tons, the equivalent of taking 174 cars off the road for a year.
Furthermore, employees at ETS Express facilities developed an efficient process for reusing inbound polybags on outbound products, eliminating 54 tons of plastic waste in 2022.
- Promoting Inclusion & Diversity
PCNA has established a workforce development program (LIFT) that targets different barriers to employment, such as lack of formal education credentials, illiteracy, language barriers, lack of access to reliable transportation and the presence of criminal records.
- Through LIFT, the company has created a fair-chance employment program, which has resulted in 16 full-time hires.
- PCNA has also partnered with Hello Neighbor, a Pittsburgh-based non-profit that works to improve the lives of recently resettled refugee and immigrant families.
Starting with a group of six refugees and immigrants, PCNA has now hired more than 20 as they make the U.S. their new home. The supplier also hired a full-time translator to facilitate their communication with colleagues and supervisors.
PCNA also established its first employee resource group (ERG): PRIDE.
- The ERG provides a forum for employees who are LGBTQ or are relatives, friends or allies to LGBTQ individuals for discussion, mentoring and networking.
- Additional objectives of PRIDE are to ensure that all PCNA internal policies are inclusive of LGBTQ issues, that the PCNA climate is safe and welcoming of LGBTQ employees and to act as a conduit for outreach efforts to the local community.
In terms of benefits, PCNA has expanded its coverage to include diverse family-forming options, such as support for egg donation, adoption and gestational surrogacy.
- Prioritizing Safety
PCNA has established an Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) team at each of its facilities to coordinate and implement various measures, including waste minimization, hazardous waste and chemicals management, air and water quality monitoring, compliance with personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements and equipment safety training.
- Between 2017 and 2022, the company’s Total Recordable Incident Rate declined by 62%.
PCNA has also implemented stringent measures to enforce compliance with human rights standards as an essential condition for its partnerships. To uphold supplier compliance, the firm conducts annual third-party audits of its partners’ environmental and social practices.
- All PCNA suppliers have signed its code of conduct that explicitly prohibits forced labor and other labor rights violations.
SMETA (Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit) is the predominant ethical audit methodology used by businesses, including PCNA, to evaluate the social and environmental practices of their suppliers. SMETA’s methodology is based on the conventions of the International Labor Organization, as well as applicable local laws.
- PCNA has pursued SMETA compliance at six of its eight manufacturing facilities.
- Strengthening Cybersecurity
To mitigate the risk of a data breach, PCNA implements strict access controls, including multi-factor authentication and role-based permissions, to ensure that only authorized individuals can access sensitive information. The company not only conducts regular security audits and assessments to identify vulnerabilities in its systems and infrastructure, but also provides training programs to educate employees about the importance of data protection and best practices for handling sensitive information.