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Nordstrom Revamps Its Corporate Responsibility Web Site

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January 6, 2011

Nordstrom relaunched its corporate responsibility and sustainability web site, Nordstrom Cares, featuring a new design and deeper content that details its programs and success in environmental programs, sustainability and human rights.

“We've always followed a simple philosophy when it comes to running our business: Leave it better than you found it. This also describes Nordstrom's commitment to social responsibility,” the company said on the opening page of its web site. “Since our early days, we've focused on doing the right thing for our employees and our customers. We continue to make every effort to be an ethical company where people want to work and shop. We're working to leave it better than we found it.”

Nordstrom energy chartIn a PDF on the home page, the company outlines its progress for all to see, and in most cases hitting its stated targets. For example, in 2009 it planned to achieve an 80 percent recycling rate and increase organic recycling by 2 percent. In actuality, it achieved 82 percent recycling rates (percentage of total waste diverted from landfills and/or incinerator and into recycling streams) and increased organics recycling by 3.1 percent in 2009. Its organic recycling goals apply to its in-store restaurants that compost organic food waste.

Another milestone is the company reduced energy usage by 4.3 percent in 2009, nearly a point over its stated goal of 3.3 percent by primarily by upgrading lighting and installing motion detectors in stores.

Nordstrom is a member of the Carbon Disclosure Project and the EPA’s Smartway Program. As part of those programs, the chain conducted a greenhouse gases emissions inventory. The chain fell a bit short of its 2009 7.25 milers per gallon goal for store deliveries and over the road deliveries, coming in at 6.63 MPG, but it hopes to achieve that target in 2010. The company is expected to report its 2010 results soon.

Other metrics the company tracks and reports include usage of water, paper and packaging and safer cleaning products, as well as natural and organic food offerings in its restaurants.

The Nordstrom tradition is that of a "very humble" corporate culture, Tara Darrow, the company's director of public relations told Green Biz in a recent report. "We do things not to get credit for them and not because it's a market initiative. We do things like this because it's the right thing to do.

"We've been doing social responsibility since 1901 when we were founded," she added. “Some efforts were companywide, others grew from grass roots efforts in stores. That work was organized under a strategic, formal and trackable program in 2007.”

Nordstrom has set social and corporate responsibility performance goals through 2015, Darrow told Green Biz, although the Nordstrom Cares web site only reveals targets and achievements for 2009 and 2010.


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