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SETTING THE BENCHMARK

Celebrating Our Sustainability Journey on Earth Day 2021

by Teresa Lamberger / April 22, 2021

As a global manufacturer, Benchmark’s impact on the environment and our community matters. Our footprint spans the world, and we must develop unified and impactful initiatives and goals to uphold our commitments to our stakeholders and the community at large. Correspondingly, Benchmark has invested heavily in best-in-class environmental, social & governance (ESG)/sustainability policies, practices, and programs.

In honor of Earth Day 2021, we sat down with two Benchmark leaders: Steve Beaver, SVP, General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer, and Brenda Battin Cianciosi, Vice President, Quality Assurance Regulatory Affairs, who leads our Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG)/Sustainability Council. We asked them to provide an update on Benchmark’s sustainability journey, what’s new, and where we’re at as it relates to some of our goals.

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Steve Beaver, SVP, General Counsel
and Chief Legal Officer

Brenda Battin Cianciosi, Vice President, Quality Assurance Regulatory Affairs

What has BenchmArk done to improve our environmental and societal impact?

Steve – Since 2012, Benchmark has been monitoring our emissions and tracking our energy reduction plans, as well as taking action to ensure an open and honest culture valuing the safety and success of our employees and the communities in which Benchmark is located. Our sustainability journey has evolved to become more comprehensive across our business. We are committed to furthering our sustainability efforts throughout the organization.

Brenda – Benchmark has developed a framework around our ESG/Sustainability plan of action based on the five key tenets of our ESG/Sustainability strategy – environmental responsibility, our people, our community, governance, and our COVID-19 response. Utilizing this framework, we’re tracking our progress under each tenet. For example, all of our manufacturing facilities are either currently certified or undergoing certification to achieve ISO 14001, the international standard that specifies an effective environmental management system. We also endorse and follow the Responsible Business Alliance to ensure our supply chain is above board.

What’s new in ESG/sustainability for Benchmark?

Brenda – One of the most significant outcomes of our ESG/sustainability journey isEcoVadis-Silver-2021 being awarded the EcoVadis Silver Medal on April 13, 2021, reflecting our progress in the areas of Environmental, Labor & Human Rights, Ethics, and Sustainable Procurement. This recognition puts us in the top 25% of companies rated and validates our strategy, but it also means we have more work to do. As part of our journey, in October 2020, we formed an ESG/Sustainability Council, which includes leaders representing finance, operations, human resources, facilities, supply chain, marketing, investor communications, regulatory compliance, and legal. This initiative is a strategic imperative for us. Both the Nominating/Governance Committee of our Board of Directors and the Senior Leadership Team oversee the efforts of the ESG/Sustainability Council. We also invested in outside consultation from an ESG expert to help continue developing our strategy to progress our ESG/Sustainability journey.

Steve – Although we’ve had a strong ESG/Sustainability plan for many years, we’re doubling down on our commitments while also being more transparent about our efforts. One of the results is the development of our Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) Fact Sheet. SASB is an independent nonprofit organization that sets standards to guide companies' disclosure of financially material sustainability information to their investors. Our SASB Fact Sheet highlights our current ESG/Sustainability performance against the technical requirements for the Electronics Manufacturing Services / Original Design Manufacturing industry within the SASB framework.

What are Benchmark’s goals and outlook for the future?

Brenda – The first step in the evolution of our ESG/Sustainability journey was developing our SASB Fact Sheet to disclose our commitment, strategy, and progress. However, we have a lot more planned. With the help of our outside ESG expertise, we’ve outlined material indicators to assist with mapping our performance to other globally recognized ESG/Sustainability standards. We’re also now doing a similar mapping project to align with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standard. Our goal is to develop future qualitative and quantitative reporting that will align with SASB and GRI, and United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). These frameworks will help us create more quantitative reporting methods and goals.

Steve – All of our upcoming strategies to meet a bevy of international frameworks for ESG/Sustainability are to push the needle and improve our commitment to our five tenets. As we advance, we will continue to include ESG disclosures in our Proxy Statement in 2021. In 2022, Benchmark expects to release a stand-alone Sustainability report. As we continue to build out these frameworks and our reporting methods, we’ll share our progress with stakeholders and the community.

Benchmark is making meaningful progress towards our ESG/Sustainability goals. It matters to us that we go above and beyond to ensure a cleaner, more diverse, and safer environment for everyone involved in our company and the regions where we’re established. We are committed to sharing our plans for continuing to positively impact our environment, our community, and our people.

Stay tuned to the Benchmark blog and social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, to follow us on our journey to making the world a better place. You can find out more about Benchmark's Sustainability initiatives at www.bench.com/sustainability.

Benchmark

about the author

Teresa Lamberger

Teresa Lamberger is the Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Solutions for Benchmark. She is responsible for creating superior brand recognition, increasing awareness and understanding of the entire solution portfolio, cultivating opportunities in new and existing markets, and growing demand for Benchmark’s solutions.