Our friends at BAE Systems published their Annual Report today (proof in a nutshell, by the way, of why the concept of 'One Report' ain't getting us any closer to transparency or progress on sustainability at big corporates). And magically enough, here's what you get when you land on their homepage:
That's right, a disclosure for you to sign up to before you even see the content. This kind of Extreme Manouever doesn't really mesh with their commitment to a culture of 'Total Performance', which is hands down the most dystopian corporate strategy of all time. Here's a snapshot of what that means:
"Total Performance is about every aspect of the way we do business: Customer Focus, Financial Performance, Programme Execution and Responsible Behaviour."
I assume their use of the word 'Execution' is unintentionally ironic.
But spend an efficient 5 minutes parsing the bare bones of a report they've been able to cobble together and you'll see that this 'cautionary statement' is hardly necessary--it's pretty clear that anything sustainability related sits in the convenient 'sometime in the future' box at BAE. Where else could it sit for the largest military contractor in the world?
And just for kicks, in their words here's a snapshot of their motivation behind trying to do anything sustainably at all, according to their lovely CEO:
"Our CR strategy covers the issues that have been identified as having the most potential to affect the sustainability of the Group, by directly impacting the Group’s reputation or ability to operate."
That's right, reputation. Where have we heard that before? I think I'll start paying attention when BAE looks at their indirect impacts as a business. Boy, that'll be interesting. Human rights, anyone?