Medtronic’s Corporate Citizenship Update Touts Engagement, Environment

Medtronic HQ, courtesy Wiki Commons
Medtronic HQ, courtesy Wiki Commons

Medical technology giant Medtronic employs 14,000 around the globe and has annual revenues over US$14 billion.  With that size and breadth comes growing awareness of its impact on the planet and people, and to that end, yesterday the sixty-year-old Minnesota company issued its 2011 Corporate Citizenship update.

In addition to boosting its health and wellness programs, Medtronic has also set goals on the employee engagement and environmental stewardship fronts.  In addressing corporate social responsibility (CSR) issues while executing its overall strategy, Medtronic uses what it calls five citizenship pillars to identify both opportunities and risks. These pillars cover supply chain management, communicating with its global workforce, and balancing environmental responsibility with its goals to boost growth.

Medtronic’s employee engagement rests on three elements:  participation, performance, and inclusion.  Employees participate in a quarterly feedback and goal setting, an ambitious program as anyone who has administered such a system would know.  Participation in a women’s mentorship program almost doubled in one year, and the company also fosters a culture of volunteerism that many companies would envy.  Over US$1300 per employee was spent on professional development, for a total of US$52 million.  And for a health care technology firm, its wellness program demonstrates some impressive statistics, too.

As far has the health of the planet goes, Medtronic has already reached some of its 2013 environmental stewardship goals.  Metrics including waste diversion, energy efficiency, water stewardship, and carbon emission reduction targets earned the check box.  Its Minneapolis headquarters has set the tone:  the building’s metrics earned it a high rating on the Green Globes certification scale–to which the company insists it will stick as there is already overlap with LEED ratings.

Not everyone around the globe, of course, can afford the market prices for Medtronic’s products.  The company is partnering with organizations like the World Health Organization and United Nations to address health problems.  For now the focus is on such noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) as chronic heart disease and diabetes.  Medtronic has fronted US$1 million to the NCD Alliance, and also contributes resources to organizations like the Global NCD Initiative, the HeartRescue Project, and Partnership for Innovative Health Delivery.

Medtronic has always has maintained a reputation as a solid corporate citizen internally and externally.  From CR Magazine to Newsweek to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, Medtronic sets a high bar.

A summary of Medtronic’s 2011 Citizenship Update is here.

Leon Kaye is a consultant, writer, and editor of and also contributes to The Guardian Sustainable Business; you can follow him on Twitter.  He lives in Silicon Valley.

Based in Fresno, California, Leon Kaye has written for TriplePundit since 2010. He has lived across the U.S., as well as in South Korea, Abu Dhabi and Uruguay. Some of Leon's work can also be found in The Guardian, Sustainable Brands and CleanTechnica. You can follow him on Twitter (@LeonKaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost).

Leave a Reply