By Megan Maltenfort, VP of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)
This April, I celebrated my one-year work anniversary at Cardinal Health. It has been an incredible year, from building out a first-class team of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) experts to developing a new corporate ESG strategy in tandem with subject matter experts across the enterprise.
Over and over again, I have been moved by the commitment to our ESG work expressed at every level of the company – from our leadership team to subject matter experts to our frontline workers. Together, we are united by the desire to take the necessary steps toward becoming a more sustainable company. It isn’t surprising: Cardinal Health is a mission-driven company, and our employees feel an obligation to make a difference. Ensuring a fair, equitable and healthy planet in the future aligns well with our mission of improving the lives of people every day. Employees around the globe fulfill that mission by providing the products and services that allow our customers to best care for their patients; by giving back to the communities where we live and work; and by helping to drive our ESG agenda forward.
I’m excited to share that, together, we have made meaningful progress. We have narrowed in on seven key ESG priorities (talent management; employee well-being, with a particular focus on mental health; diversity, equity and inclusion [DE&I]; responsible procurement and sourcing; community engagement; climate action; and product and packaging innovation). We have created a strong internal governance structure and have significantly improved our external ESG reporting, as evidenced by our latest ESG Report, which we published in January.
We have reduced our Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 18% since fiscal 2019, and we are currently working to set an approved Science-Based Target – an ambitious climate goal that will include our Scope 3 GHG emissions in our supply chain. I’m very much looking forward to finalizing our carbon action plan and working with internal teams across the company as well as our suppliers to accelerate climate action in the healthcare industry.
Over the last 12 months, my team and I have spent a lot of time talking with employees around the globe about our work – and the roles they play in that work. Without exception, employees are eager to learn and to engage.
This month, I saw that come to life as I witnessed our employees honoring Earth Day. For example, 13 of our U.S. distribution centers held electronics recycling events; our employees recycled small electronics from their homes. Employees in our Canadian distribution centers and the head office in Canada joined in outdoor cleanups near their facilities. Employees in Rayong, Thailand, planted trees and promoted educational resources about reducing waste and reusing and recycling at work and at home. And across the U.S. and around the world, as teams and individuals, employees celebrated by planting trees in their communities, participating in local cleanups, and even plogging (picking up trash while jogging or walking).
Near our headquarters in Dublin, Ohio, my ESG team and I joined about 50 employees in volunteering at the Stratford Ecological Center, a nonprofit organization with the mission of educating children and adults about the interconnectedness of humans, animals, and our environment. Together, we helped plant more than 300 trees in Stratford’s forest, removed invasive species, cleared bramble from blackberry beds, and weeded and prepped 12 raised beds in the children’s garden.
Earth Day activities like these are important because they remind us of the impact we can make with even small actions, because small steps taken at scale can create meaningful change.
As I begin my second year at Cardinal Health, I am more enthused than ever to be leading ESG work at the company. Employees are clearly motivated to help build a more sustainable company and more sustainable communities. I am confident that, together, we are helping to shape a healthier future.
Photos, top to bottom: In Central Ohio, about 50 employees joined the ESG team to plant trees and clear invasives at the Stratford Ecological Center. Employees in Lakeland, Florida, planted thyme in small pots, which were then sent to children across the U.S. to help them learn about gardening. Employees in Norfolk, Nebraska, participated in cleanups near their work locations.
With deep expertise in ESG, Megan Maltenfort guides Cardinal Health's cross-functional ESG Working Group, consisting of vice president-level subject matter experts from across the company, in building and driving an ambitious enterprise-wide ESG strategy. She chairs the company's internal ESG Governance Committee, helping to elevate ESG-related risks and opportunities to leadership. Prior to joining Cardinal Health, she served as director of Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability at the Campbell Soup Company, where she advised on goal setting, led external reporting, and managed stakeholder engagement and ESG-related governance.