When Viasat earlier this week released its first Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) report, it was the culmination of years spent growing our efforts in these areas. The inaugural ESG report is an important stake in the ground in defining Viasat’s commitment to a set of principles, and it also establishes a benchmark for how we continually improve on these goals in the years ahead.
“We are on a journey to connect the world using sustainable, responsible, and inclusive business practices, and the launch of our first ESG report reinforces the commitment our leadership and global team has made to better understand our impact on the world,” said Melinda Kimbro, chief people officer at Viasat. “Our focus is on continuous improvement — which we believe will be achieved by integrating ESG principles into our global business strategies, and by continuing to foster a culture of transparency, innovation, and creativity.”
How a company approaches creation of ESG goals is influenced in a number of ways, and we started with a statement we believe is core to everything we do: Putting people first. That means we’re committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive culture; supporting and protecting our employees; providing opportunities for employees to learn and grow; and encouraging employee engagement to continuously improve the overall employee experience.
As we look outward, it’s clear that our strengths as a communications company are central to the next key area: Powering connections. Our global growth is grounded in our expanding ability to bring digital and social inclusion through the delivery of powerful communications and connectivity experiences. Keeping customers connected — whether in a hard-to-reach community, a commercial aircraft, on the battlefield or at home during a global pandemic — is a top company priority.
Protecting the planet is important to us all, and Viasat is taking action to reduce the environmental impact of our own operations. We’ve taken critical first steps to understand and measure the impact of our actions on the planet, and we’ve taken a lead role in demanding accountability for the responsible use of space. We’re focusing more than ever on how we can use resources responsibly across the organization.
All of these goals need to be fostered at all levels of the company, which is why our fourth key area of focus is Leading with integrity. We already employ robust corporate governance frameworks, which have built a long-standing history of trust among our stakeholders. The Company believes in following honest, transparent, and ethical business practices and works diligently to ensure compliance in key categories such as human rights and conflict minerals.
In preparing this report, it was important to us to align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). There are 17 of these, and while we support them all, we identified these five in particular as areas where we believe we’d have the most impact:
- Quality education
- Gender equality
- Decent work and economic growth
- Industry, innovation and infrastructure
- Reduced inequalities
We’ve also incorporated valuable pillars from the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) — organizations dedicated to helping businesses around the world fulfill ESG goals.
The 2021 Viasat report provides details and metrics on the priority issues as defined by internal and external stakeholder analysis, including: business continuity, corporate governance, diversity and inclusion, ethical conduct, product stewardship, supply chain management, and talent management and engagement.
Going forward, this document will serve as a set of guiding principles we can turn to in our ongoing efforts to make Viasat more responsible and responsive to our employees, our customers, our investors, and the global community.
“We believe we can achieve continuous improvement by integrating ESG principles into our global business strategies, policies and procedures,” Kimbro said. “We will track our ongoing progress to deliver more meaningful and empowering connections, while maintaining a culture of transparency, innovation and creativity, to continue to deliver ongoing financial value to our shareholders.”