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A photograph of a woman walking on a path that branches off in different directions.
Figure 13.1 Choices. Choices about where to invest and even where to work can be difficult if you can only evaluate options on the financial information they provide. (credit: modification of “Girl Crossroads Choice” by “Pixource”/Pixabay, CC0)

Gina studies supply chain management at a local university. Last summer, she worked at a manufacturing plant for a major auto manufacturer. She enjoyed her experience and learned quite a bit about the manufacturing and supply chain process, and she spent a significant amount of time on the production floor learning how the supply chain process affects the assembly of the vehicles. Gina felt she was well paid and she liked her colleagues. This summer, she has a comparable position and compensation with a different auto manufacturer. She is curious to see how the two companies compare.

One of the first things Gina notices is the number of reminders posted around the plant to save and conserve energy. There are procedures in place to save energy when machines are idle, and sensors that turn off lights when no one is in the offices or break room. Gina also heard fellow employees talking about taking paid time off to volunteer at local charities. Her supervisor has asked her to be one of the speakers at presentations given throughout the year at local schools as part of a project to promote school-age girls entering technical fields. She also visited the company’s research and development symposium and learned how the company is trying to improve fuel efficiency and move away from cars that use fossil fuels.

Gina never noticed initiatives like these at her position the prior summer. And though she enjoyed that job, she feels better about the current manufacturer because she realizes the company is trying to accomplish goals in addition to making money for its shareholders. Her current employer takes steps to promote the well-being of its employees, the community, and the environment. When Gina asks one of her professors about the difference, she learns that her current employer is more involved in corporate social responsibility and the company’s sustainability reports will provide more information. Gina decides to learn more about sustainability reporting.

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