On Monday October 19, we received a visit from Greg Spratt, the Chief Sustainability Officer for Eli Lilly in Indianapolis. Mr. Spratt started off his presentation by talking about what he loves most about working for Eli Lilly, which is what they do. Lilly's help in combating diseases like polio, diabetes, and Alzheimer's along with the quality of the people who work for the company helps make Mr. Spratt passionate about going to work everyday.
Mr. Spratt then went into Lilly's efforts to be socially responsible. Their first focus is to improve global health by focusing on developing countries and implementing patient programs that help increase the amount of people who have access to healthcare. Lilly's second focus is to help communities through philanthropy. One of their most notable philanthropic endeavors is the Lilly Day of Service in which employees get the opportunity to paint, plant trees, and pick up litter. They even planted along Interstate 70 this year. The third focus of Eli Lilly in achieving corporate social responsibility is through their operations. Lilly prides itself in the diversity of its hiring practices and is one of the top companies for women and mothers in particular to work for.
Next, Mr. Spratt discussed Lilly's efforts to improve the environment. He used an recent example from the company's headquarters to illustrate this. Mr. Spratt noticed that the trash cans in the cubicles of Lilly's employees were only 10% full every time they were changed and more than 50% off the trash in those bags was recyclable. So, Mr. Spratt decided to take away all personal trash cans from employees' cubicles. Employees did not take too kindly to this and at one point even piled trash on Mr. Spratt's chair. However, employees eventually got adjusted to the change and it ended up saving the company a lot of money in addition to reducing waste.
Finally, Mr. Spratt concluded by talking about the Lilly Corporate Responsibility Report. Lilly started investing in sustainability in 2006 and met all of its goals to reduce its carbon footprint. Now, the company has set even more ambitious goals for 2020 which include: a 20% increase in energy efficiency, a 20% reduction in waste produced, and a 15% decrease in phosphorous emissions. If Eli Lilly can meet these goals, hopefully other companies in the industry will take notice and make a real effort to be socially responsible.