High Level Statement | ACER ESG
Throughout 2022 Acer has kept evolving with changing lifestyles, focusing on maintaining its business momentum. In a year filled with economic challenges and environmental concerns, we asked Acer Chairman and CEO Jason Chen how the company managed the impacts on its operations and key steps taken for the environment and society.
Chairman and CEO, Acer Inc.
What were the key economic impacts felt by Acer during 2022?
I’d like to start by highlighting that we have centered our efforts on optimizing inventory levels with the right portfolio of goods, optimizing operating expenditure and increasing net cash to enhance operational sustainability. While multiple industries have faced challenges stemming from inflation, geopolitical issues, and lingering impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, the PC industry has entered a period of correction
How has Acer managed these impacts?
As we keep evolving with changing lifestyles and adjusting strategies dynamically for business needs, we are also focusing on maintaining business momentum and marching toward a more sustainable future. Throughout 2022, in addition to launching various innovative computer and display products, we expanded our Vero portfolio made with recycled materials, and significantly grew our numerous businesses other than computers and displays.
We have shaped a company culture driven by innovation and intrapreneurship, and we are confident that new technologies will trigger new usage models and stimulate market demand over time. In Q4 2022, businesses other than computers and displays contributed 26.3% of total consolidated revenues of Acer Inc. In addition, we own patents in the AI medical field and 300+ patents in thermal cooling technology, and rank No. 2 for patent applications in Taiwan. For the world-renowned iF Design Awards, Acer holds the titles of “Top 50 (of 7128) Companies” worldwide during 2018-2022.
How are the non-PC and display businesses as part of your multiple growth engines doing?
Also known as “new initiatives” these growth engines complement our existing computer and display business. The common objective shared by our initiatives and existing businesses is to explore new markets and broaden current boundaries, and ultimately to optimize operations, reach profitability, and contribute to Acer group’s sustainability.
Currently, we have subsidiaries in diverse scopes of business, including beverage, system integration, EV charging stations, gaming, apparel, home appliances, AI-assisted medical solutions, e-mobility, smart cities, cyber security, cloud solutions, and more. Our strategy to promote intrapreneurship by building multiple business engines continued to gain momentum with nine public subsidiaries by December 2022. There are also several businesses under incubation, such as for servers and home appliances that continue to show strong progress. Meanwhile, to ensure our shareholders have their share of voice in our business development, we offer them the opportunity to invest in these new engines as they go public, thereby also ensuring our adherence to corporate governance.
What key progress has been made on exerting your influence to inspire others to join efforts on addressing environmental and social issues?
First of all, we are committed to reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 starting from three major aspects: operations, products and services, and value chain, and we will continue to work toward the goals of using 20-30% post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic in our computers and displays by 2025 and sourcing 100% renewable electricity by 2035 for the Acer Group, for which we have reached 17% and 44% respectively in 2022. Since launching our eco-conscious Vero laptop that utilizes recycled plastic, recyclable packaging, and ocean-bound plastic, the line has expanded to desktops, monitors, displays, all-in-ones, Chromebooks, and even accessories. Acer’s Vero portfolio offers consumers, businesses, and organizations more options to reduce their carbon footprint and join our advocate for circular economies.
Secondly, our “Earthion” sustainability platform that unites employees and supply chain partners to tackle environmental challenges continues to gain in strength. We held a “21-Day Green Challenge” for which over 7,000 employees of Acer, our partners, and suppliers were motivated to reduce their carbon footprint. The campaign succeeded in raising awareness for environmental protection, helped employees form “green” habits, and cut an equivalent of 152 tons CO2 emissions.
Thirdly, we continued to respond to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with our existing businesses and new initiatives. For example, our AI-assisted medical solutions, including diabetic retinopathy diagnosis software, responds to SDG 3 for good health and well-being; we provide rainfall and flood control water storage systems that answer to SDG 11 for sustainable cities and communities; and our Vero devices respond to SDG 12 for responsible consumption and production as well as SDG 13 for climate action.
Last but not least, we donated laptops and tablet PCs to replace computer science lab equipment at a school in Ukraine, in support of their goal to enhance student learning. Acer is committed to contributing toward social responsibilities for which education is one of our key focuses. As a global technology company, Acer seeks to promote digital equity, and break the barriers between people and technology. For this, we are pleased to be named among the World Benchmarking Alliance’s 2,000 most influential companies on meeting the United Nations SDGs, in the field of digital inclusion.
ESG is a hot topic for almost every company, if you could, how would you rate your efforts?
Acer’s focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) through transparent reporting and initiatives under our Earthion mission has gained increasing global recognition. We believe they have been instrumental in our growing inclusion in worldwide sustainability indices throughout 2022, and that third parties’ score cards are testament that our efforts are making a difference.
For the third straight year, Acer has been named in the Top 5% category of the S&P Global Sustainability Yearbook for sustainable business practices. For the ninth consecutive year, we have been a constituent of the MSCI ESG Leaders Indexes – garnering the best rating of “AAA” in our category – and listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) Emerging Markets. For the first time, we were awarded Platinum medal that represents EcoVadis Sustainability Rating’s highest recognition representing the top 1% of rated companies. We were also listed on the FTSE4Good Emerging Index for the seventh year.
Moreover, Acer was included in Forbes’ list of the World’s Best Employers and the World’s Top Women-Friendly Companies in 2022.
Is there something new and upcoming from Acer that you’d like to share with your stakeholders?
Yes, in 2023 we plan to publish our TCFD (Climate-related Financial Disclosure) separately from our corporate sustainability report. TCFD is an important framework providing companies with risk management and decision-making planning. As climate change is today a critical topic, the individual report allows us to disclose our plans in detail for our stakeholders to better understand the related financial impact and demonstrates our determination to tackle climate change.