PPAI Magazine November 2023

The State of Responsibility 2023 | Must Read Distributor Benchmarking TABLE 3. Has your company completed a sustainability audit from EcoVadis or a similar organization? Completed Underway Waiting Haven’t solicited yet PPAI 100 Distributors 36% 15% 6% 42% Distributors $250M+ 50% 20% 10% 20% Distributors $50M-$250M 32% 11% 0% 58% Distributors $5M-$50M 30% 4% 4% 61% Distributors Under $5M 7% 7% 0% 87% TABLE 1. Does your company have an established internal sustainability committee, “green team” or individual head of sustainability to lead advocacy for sustainability efforts? Yes No PPAI 100 Distributors 82% 18% Distributors $250M+ 90% 10% Distributors $50M-$250M+ 74% 26% Distributors $5M-$50M 65% 35% Distributors Under $5M 27% 73% “It’s great to see that many distributors are creating the space for a dedicated person or team to lead this type of work,” says Mel Hubner, director of social impact and sustainability at Raleigh, North Carolina-based Brand Fuel. “It requires an innovative mindset, expertise and passion for elevating our industry. Engaging the team in the company’s sustainability efforts is also critical, so establishing an internal committee can drive lots of positive change as well.” TABLE 2. Has your company defined in writing its core commitments to sustainability? Yes No PPAI 100 Distributors 85% 15% Distributors $250M+ 90% 10% Distributors $50M-$250M+ 74% 26% Distributors $5M-$50M 70% 30% Distributors Under $5M 33% 67% “Large companies with revenues exceeding $250 million are at the forefront of internal sustainability initiatives, often forming dedicated committees and documenting their sustainability commitments,” says Bart Simpson, president of Hixson, Tennesseebased Flywheel Brands. “They also lead in sustainability audits, office recycling programs and investments in renewable energy. Moreover, these companies have more robust charitable give-back programs and prioritize DEI training.” David Tate, president of Memphis, Tennesseebased Signet, speculates that the data shown above shines a light on how distributors are truly faring when it comes to sustainability. “Most all respondents are stretching to say yes,” he says. “Note the suddenly low percentage for the EcoVadis audit and you most likely get a truer picture of percentages, or at least somewhere in the middle.” Regardless of how accurate the percentages may be, Tate stresses that there is a “great need” for the industry to be “mindful and purposeful” about CSR. “The real key is, are we as an industry dealing with these issues – and the answer is yes,” he says. “The good news is that more and more will make progress.” Mel Hubner Bart Simpson David Tate PPAI • NOVEMBER 2023 • 53