Women in CSR: Trisa Thompson, Dell

2013. május 31. 17:49

Trisa Thompson

I like to say that my current role in corporate responsibility combines my vocation with my avocation. Interjú.

„– Briefly describe your role and responsibilities, and how many years you have been in the business.

– I am Vice President of Corporate Responsibility. I have managed corporate responsibility at Dell, which includes our giving and sustainability work, for three years. Prior to that, I was vice president of legal for our global operations, marketing and product groups; I joined Dell’s legal team in 1998. Before Dell, I was a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Seyfarth, Shaw, where I specialized in federal, state and local procurement law and litigation.

I like to say that my current role in corporate responsibility combines my vocation with my avocation. As a lawyer, I dealt with many environmental legal issues. My personal avocation has always been working in my community, and I care a great deal about sustainability. So this is a great combination.

– How has the sustainability program evolved at your company?

– Our recycling program is probably our most visible long-running program. We knew early on that we needed to help our customers reuse or recycle their electronics responsibly and safely. Every product carries our founder Michael Dell’s name, so he felt a special interest in ensuring the Dell brand was managed well and wasn’t negatively affecting our environment. Our industry-leading global recycling programs have collected more than 800 million pounds of material since their inception.

Today, we use a materiality analysis to help us determine our CSR areas of focus. We use a variety of stakeholder engagement practices — everything from formal workshops to informal email — to solicit feedback. With that in mind, we can shape our sustainability strategy and reporting to ensure we’re addressing the areas that customers, NGOs, employees, shareholders and others most care about.

– Tell us about someone (mentor, sponsor, friend, hero) who affected your sustainability journey, and how.

– First, Michael Dell. His personal commitment to all that we do is inspiring, and his support for this work is unwavering. Second, when I first stepped into this role, I was surprised at how many people in the field were willing to help me quickly get up to speed. I know I will forget many of the people, but here are just a few:  Shelley Esque from Intel, Aron Cramer from BSR, Gabi Zadlmayer from HP and Elizabeth Lowery, who was with GreenOrder at the time. All of these great people helped me find the forest in the trees. There is so much information out there, and so many conferences. This »team« helped me prioritize and focus on the critical issues.”

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