Our In Conversation piece this month features Lisa Harlow, External Relations Manager at Intel Ireland.
Please describe your role and responsibilities, how many years you have been in the company?
I am the external relations manager for Intel Ireland. My role is very varied and includes being responsible for managing external stakeholder relationships, our volunteering program with its associated matching grants process, philanthropy, Corporate Volunteer Hero Award, Site Signature Charities, Women in Supply Chain initiative, Community Advisory Panel. I have just reached the 25 year milestone of working in Intel.
What was your background previously, how did you enter the CSR field?
Before I worked in CSR I worked in manufacturing in Intel. I started out in Intel straight from school where I had a job on the manufacturing line making systems (desk top computers with 386 technology). I worked on the line for approx. 3 years upon which I was promoted to a supervisor role within manufacturing, I spent the next 7 years working in this area. This business evolved from systems manufacturing to boards and eventually the business wound up. As that business finished in Ireland and the new silicon fabrication business was taking off, I applied for the job of managing the volunteer program for the Ireland site. That role evolved and I learned many new skills which ensured I had the skills to progress to my current role.
How has the sustainability/CSR program evolved at your company?
CSR has evolved over the years it is no longer seen as being owned by one or a group of individuals it’s embedded in everything that we do as employees of the company. Our commitment to corporate responsibility is unwavering, even during economic downturns. Taking a proactive, integrated approach to managing our impact on local communities and the environment not only benefits people and our planet, but is good for our business. Making corporate responsibility an integral part of Intel’s strategy helps us mitigate risk, build strong relationships with our stakeholders, and expand our market opportunities.
In 1998, Intel first codified its expectations of suppliers regarding human resources, environmental management, worker safety, and business ethics.
In 2008, we started to set environmental goals in key areas such as emissions reduction and water conservation. And to help focus all of our employees on environmental sustainability, we aligned a portion of our employees’ compensation with environmental criteria for the first time.
In 2004, we helped form the EICC and adopted the Electronic Industry Code of Conduct (EICC Code), which is consistent with Intel’s own Code of Conduct and Human Rights Principles. We expect our employees and suppliers to comply with the EICC Code, which describes best practices adopted and implemented by major electronics companies, our customers, and their supply chains.
In early 2012, we requested that our top 75 suppliers publish by the end of 2013 sustainability reports using the Global Reporting Initiative* (GRI) Guidelines and more recently we are focusing on increasing women owned business within our supply chain.
In January 2014 we announced that our entire 2014 line of microprocessors would be free from “conflict minerals,” making them the us the in the rare mineral-heavy industry to completely phase out their use in one of their products.
CSR will continue to evolve over time but one thing is for sure when its embedded throughout your organisation and with consistent leadership….
What are the challenges you encounter in driving the sustainability agenda and how do you stay inspired?
To stay ahead and continually improve, we are committed to developing energy-efficient technology solutions that can be used to address major global problems while reducing our environmental impact. We are also committed to empowering people and expanding economic opportunity through education and technology, driven by our corporate and Intel Foundation programs, policy leadership, and collaborative engagements.
I am lucky to work for a company that is forward thinking so each month, year I am inspired at what we can achieve from the “Intel She Will campaign” to increasing “Women in Business”.
What is your biggest accomplishment or learning so far?
From a personal perspective it would have to be my three children who are all healthy and enjoying the life stages that they are at. From a professional perspective it would have to be building a strong stakeholder relationship in the community and growing the site volunteering from 2% to 56%.
What is your motto in life?
Always stay positive, look for the good and smile. Don’t spend time with people who negative as they will bring you down.
What would a perfect day entail for you?
My perfect day would be have my son home from abroad along with family, cousins aunts, nieces/nephews for a big re-union, with a barbeque with the sun shining.