Every year during the month of April, individuals, businesses, and organizations around the world come together to celebrate Earth Month and take action to keep our planet healthy for generations to come. At HARMAN, we remain committed to incorporating sustainability in everything we do, but we also know our work toward a sustainable future is never done. In honor of Earth Day today, we asked Tom Mooney, Senior Director, Government Affairs and Sustainability at HARMAN, five questions about sustainability.
Q: Why is sustainability so important at HARMAN?
A: Sustainability is part of HARMAN’s DNA. Our mission is to make life more connected, entertaining, personalized, and productive in a responsible way, while having a positive impact on society. We recognize how our actions impact our planet, and we’re taking measurable, impactful steps to create a more sustainable future. We’re proud of the recent achievements we’ve made, but we also know that sustainability is a journey, not a destination. That’s why sustainability is one of our key strategic business pillars that shapes everything we do as a company.
Q: HARMAN recently signed The Climate Pledge, can you share more details about the purpose and mission of this community?
A: I think I speak for all of us at HARMAN when I say we’re very excited to join The Climate Pledge! It is a cross-sector community of 300+ companies working together to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2040, a full ten years ahead of the Paris Agreement. Achieving sustainability is a team effort that requires constant collaboration, and working toward this common goal alongside other like-minded Pledge companies – like Best Buy, Mercedes Benz, Phillips, Salesforce, Uber, and more – many of whom are our partners and customers – is an important step toward a more sustainable future for the planet.
Q: What are some of the steps HARMAN is taking in its journey to net-zero?
A: To achieve carbon neutrality by 2040, we started with a deep assessment of how we could improve our sustainability footprint in meaningful ways. This gave us clarity on the areas within HARMAN where we have the opportunity to make the most impact in the shortest period of time, while also making progress toward long-term, sustainable change. We’re constantly evaluating and executing on new opportunities as well.
After the assessment, we set ambitious, measurable short-term targets that aim to reduce emissions, energy usage, and waste across our value chain, including: reducing emissions 40% by 2025, transitioning to 100% renewable electricity in all our factories by 2025, introducing more product lines made from responsibly sourced and recycled materials, and more. Our work toward a sustainable future is never done.
Q: How is HARMAN thinking about sustainability when it comes to its products?
A: We know that conscious consumers are looking for eco-friendly products and packaging that don’t compromise on quality, and that’s what all of us at HARMAN are aiming to deliver. One of our most recent developments was the launch of a new category of power accessories with our InfinityLab line, which are all eco-friendly products made from 90% recycled plastic. The core range of products include wall chargers, power banks, wireless stands, and lightning charging cables that were all designed with sustainability at the forefront.
Our JBL team is also building on the success of its Flip 5 Eco special edition speakers by focusing on integrating sustainable packaging for multiple products, including reduced packaging size, eco-friendly paper packaging and inner trays, soy ink printing, and more.
On the automotive side, we’re also helping make it easier for end-consumers to live more sustainably. For example, our HARMAN EV Plus+ solutions deliver the same level of premium in-car experiences drivers and passengers have come to expect while using less power and half the parts of traditional systems.
Q: “Resilient sustainability” is a concept that comes up often at HARMAN, can you explain what that means for our teams?
A: Over the last two years, there was a lot of conversation about our world’s “rolling reality,” where each day we were faced with new information, unforeseen challenges, and also unexpected opportunities. Business goals would be set but could quickly become obsolete as these new events and outside forces changed the landscape. We know that sustainability can’t be a choice – it just has to be. But, sustainability is still very susceptible to the fire drill of the day, whatever it may be. For a sustainability program to be impactful, it must be embedded in the organization in a resilient way. That means, from our overall approach to program governance to how we think about goal setting and the accountability model that drives progress, sustainability must be deeply embedded throughout, but not completely bolted down. This way, we can keep making progress toward our goals without getting sidelined by the unexpected.
Sustainability remains a year-round focus at HARMAN. Stay tuned to our Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and blog or visit https://www.harman.com/sustainability for more information about our goals, progress, and new initiatives at HARMAN.