Claiming This Spot

Only Canon Can – A Sustainability Analysis

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I recently just purchased a Canon Rebel T5i as an amateur photographer. It occurred to me that I didn’t really know a lot about the Canon as a company. I took the opportunity to research more about something that is very valuable to me when dealing with any company: Corporate Social Responsibility.

So as you can imagine, I was pleasantly surprised when I found out that Canon is ranked 13th on the Forbes list of Companies with the Best Corporate Social Responsibility Reputations. They have an influence in a variety of topics, including:

  • Enriching lifestyles and society
  • Arts, culture, science (space exploration), sports
  • Business, fair work environments and operations, customer care
  • Humanitarian support for those in harsh environments and locations
  • Environmental impacts and conservation

What I found quite interesting was what happened when I clicked on their FY2014 Sustainability Report on their CSR Activities page. To download it, I was prompted to give them an idea of who I was. I checked the boxes “Customer” and “Student”, and there were other options to choose from. What Canon wants to do is  figure out who is soliciting their services (in this case it is the Sustainability and CSR reports) and customize these reports to cater to the appropriate audiences. Also, companies often have trouble collecting, measuring and analyzing data. Canon can now take these quick surveys and determine a vague customer base and statistics for their websites to pitch to their executives. A win for Canon without being annoying about it to customers.

They even have a full survey you can take after reading their FY2014 Sustainability Report offering your opinion to a variety of topics and features. “Can-tastic“!

The actual report was well written and had headings that were easy to follow. The report is written for investors and social auditors that want to know more about the internal projects of the company. Headings titled “Contributing to the Promotion of Both Enriched Lifestyles and Global Environment” make me feel as though the company is doing something worthwhile and outstanding, even if they are doing similar practices as other companies. Another title I loved was “Contributing to Society through Business Activites” because the title offers a suggestion as to how Canon contributes through society in an active and genuine tone. Also, each subsection of most sections had a photo of an executive related to the written content. I found this to be comforting because I could put a face and job title to the cause they were supporting.

Speaking as a pretend investor, I would find not only great facts, but great enjoyment when reading Canon’s 2014 Sustainability Report. One thing that gave me a sense of unity was evident through stakeholder quotes and stories on various pages, no matter how extravagant the stakeholder was. For example, one of the stakeholders was a kindergarten teacher in Japan.

CSR Canon - executive and small stakeholder

I was also able to find some recent topics of Canon in the media throughout the report, like the one below. This shows me that Canon is an active member of the community and encourages growth in their employees.

CSR Canon - topic, award in the media

Safe to say, I could continue extensively on the subject of Canon. Some may say that I have a biased opinion of the company because I am a customer. However, I was a customer before knowing anything about the company. It was only after I started this investigation that I found a sense of pride for the company and can offer such a positive review. The company makes the report believable, genuine, and relatable by including their customers, culture, and beliefs into their report to accompany the facts. Therefore, I believe in what they say and I believe that their report has an influence on their business, as it has also influenced me. But that may be because of me writing about it off-and-on for the last 5 hours.

What company are you most proud of?



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