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Sprint views corporate responsibility (CR) as a long-term strategic approach to balancing business opportunities with social, economic and environmental responsibilities. Although we’ve actively been engaged in corporate responsibility efforts for many years, Sprint established a CR Steering Committee in early 2008 to holistically orchestrate these efforts for the corporation. One of the committee’s first objectives was establishing our CR priorities and long-term goals. Sprint partnered with Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) to conduct a materiality assessment that took into account the importance and impact of various sustainability issues with both Sprint stakeholders and business objectives. This work resulted in the creation of CR priorities that cover the five key areas of our impact -- our operations, products and services, customers, employees and communities.
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Sprint revised its CR governance structure in early 2010 to reflect best practices it had observed through benchmarking activities. The structure now includes the Executive Steering Committee, chaired by CEO Dan Hesse; the Leadership Committee, chaired by Ralph Reid, Vice President Corporate Responsibility; an external advisory panel (starting in 1Q11); working committees; and a scorecard. The Steering Committee provides periodic updates to the Sprint Board of Directors.
The Executive Steering Committee guides overall CR efforts, ensures adequate resources are in place to address new opportunities and challenges, approves CR policies and ensures corporate responsibility is fully integrated into Sprint business processes. The Steering Committee meets quarterly and expects to meet semi-annually with an external advisory panel beginning in early 2011.
The Leadership Committee is responsible for performance against company CR priorities and goals and consists of Senior Vice Presidents and Vice Presidents from key business operations groups. The Leadership Committee meets bi-monthly and provides quarterly performance reporting to the Steering Committee. Members of the Leadership Committee serve as executive sponsors for the working committees.
The working committees were initiated in 2010 to enable cross-functional problem assessment and recommendation development on key sustainability challenges. Each team is tasked with formulating formal company policy for their issue, planning the strategy and coordinating implementation. By mid-2011, approximately 10 working committees will be operating focusing on such topics as climate change, e-waste management, water management, responsible supply-chain management and employee engagement. Each committee is co-facilitated by a member of the CR organization and a business-unit subject matter expert. Teams generally have five to ten internal members representing each of the internal stakeholder organizations and one to three external stakeholder advisors from NGOs, advisory firms, governmental entities or business partners. The working committees are empowered to implement process changes as necessary to achieve Sprint CR goals.
Sprint has three other important governing structures for portions of its CR efforts – the Executive Inclusion Council, the Sprint Foundation, which has its own President and Board of Directors, and the Audit Committee of the Sprint Nextel Board. The Executive Inclusion Council also meets quarterly and is responsible for ensuring Sprint maintains a diverse and inclusive workplace. Sprint CEO Dan Hesse also chairs this strategic committee. Ralph Reid, Sprint Vice President of Corporate Responsibility, also serves as President of the Sprint Foundation and, with the Sprint Foundation Board, directs the Sprint Foundation grant programs to ensure they support the company’s philanthropic vision. In addition, the Audit Committee of the Sprint Nextel Board of Directors oversees Sprint’s compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, Sprint’s Ethics and Compliance Program, and Sprint’s Enterprise Risk Management program.