For STMicroelectronics, matters of environment, safety and health are not just corporate. They're personal. ST's legendary president and CEO, Pasquale Pistorio, has been speaking out for years on the company's ecological vision and its investments for environmental protection.
Pistorio says his consciousness was raised in the early 1990s while on vacation with his son, Carmelo, then a philosophy major at Tufts University. Carmelo talked about issues like environmental protection and the distribution of wealth, and asked his father to read "State of the World," the Worldwatch Institute's annual report. It argued that future economic progress depends on reversing environmental degradation.
"We had tough arguments," said Pistorio. "By lecturing me, Carmelo stimulated me a lot."
Pistorio, an engineer who moved into marketing and then management, initially at Motorola, admitted that he was a tough sell. "I was much more used to American-style business, focused on the bottom line."
But Carmelo prevailed. Pasquale Pistorio is now a man who believes that "being a good corporate citizen is not only ethically correct but good for the bottom line."
Pistorio, who has announced he will retire next May, maintains that ST's ecological commitment can enhance profitability by using less raw materials and energy and by being attractive to a younger generation that professes a strong sense of environmental responsibility.
In 1999, ST published the second edition of its Environmental Decalogue, spelling out "10 commandments" that specify its target for actions. They include conservation of energy and reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions and landfill waste, among others. For chemicals, ST promises to reduce the consumption of the six most relevant substances by at least 5 percent per year through process optimization and recycling. Meanwhile, Worldwatch Institute's annual "State of the World" report is required reading for all ST managers.