Doug Cutler: From a sustainability point of view, I believe CSR initiatives are easily communicated due to an increasingly educated public. The population as a whole has become more aware of the impact they may be imposing on their surroundings and with this heightened education, there is also awareness of how the products we buy and the components that are used in manufacture are handled. We generally attempt to steer our clients towards more sustainable and renewable materials, which they appreciate, because it makes sense to do so from a supply chain point of view, makes good business sense in terms of costs savings and contributes measurably to their sustainability efforts.
SDCE: What trends do you see on the global horizon as far as how different regions and countries adopt CSR practices within their business differently based on economic factors?
Doug Cutler: We currently have three regions that we focus on within ModusLink—Europe, Asia and North America—and we have intentionally established like practices for all three regions to follow. Thus far, minimal difference has been seen in application and practice as all 3 regions have shown acceptance and compatibility. With more and more standards being globalized, with the intent that they will be implemented uniformly throughout a company’s numerous locations, I expect this is a trend that not only will we continue to follow, but that will likely become the norm. In time, it’s likely to be independent of economic factors, as it will become a standard cost of doing business, at least for many highly visible markets.