Named ‘Top Newsmaker’, Softchoice’s ‘Green IT Girl’ Shares Top Tips for Sustainable Business

Toronto, January 27, 2011 – Softchoice is delighted to announce that its Sustainability Programs Manager, Melissa Alvares, has been recognized as one of Computer Dealer News magazine’s  Top 25 Newsmakers for 2010. Ms. Alvares, also known as ‘Green IT Girl’, has been at the forefront of the Company’s efforts to share information and create a richer dialogue on sustainable practices for IT and business in general. 

“It’s such an honour to be recognized for the effort we have put into supporting Green IT initiatives,” says Alvares. “Through our Sustain-enable strategy we’ve focused on sharing our knowledge and expertise with customers and industry peers. Our goal is to inspire others through dialogue and straight-forward, practical advice.” [Read more…]

About the 2010 Report & GRI Index

Because we want to keep the conversation with you going all year round, we are no longer publishing an annual report. =But in order to still maintain our GRI status, ever year we will put together a summary post like the below that will link to all the necessary GRI information.

All data in the Softchoice Corporate Social Responsibility Blog is dated based on when things are actually happening. The below links to sections are based on the 2010 reporting period.

This blog covers Softchoice’s operations North America wide, unless otherwise stated in the relevant section.

  • Many factors were considered in determining the contents of this blog, including industry, and external guidelines such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G3 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines.
  • Softchoice will continually report on our sustainability at
GRI IndexSoftchoice self-declares this report to GRI G3 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines Application Level C. See to view the comprehensive list of GRI G3 reporting items.
Strategy & Analysis
Item Description Location in the Blog
1.1 Statement from the most senior decision-maker of the organization about the relevance of sustainability to the organization and its strategy.
1.2 Description of key impacts, risks, and opportunities.
Organizational Profile
Item Description Location in the Blog
2.1 Name of the organization
2.2 Primary brands, products, and/or services
2.3 Operational structure of the organization, including main divisions, operating companies, subsidiaries, and joint ventures.
2.4 Location of the organization’s headquarters. Toronto, Ontario Canada
2.5 Number of countries where the organization operates, and names of countries with either major operations or that are specifically relevant to the sustainability issues covered in the report.
2.6 Nature of ownership and legal form.
2.7 Markets served (including geographic breakdown, sectors served, and types of customers/beneficiaries).
2.8 Scale of the reporting organization.
2.9 Significant changes during the reporting period regarding size, structure, or ownership.
2.10 Awards received in the reporting period.
Report Parameters
Item Description Location in Blog
3.1 Reporting period (e.g., fiscal/calendar year) for information provided. About this Report
3.2 Date of most recent previous report (if any).  April 22, 2010
3.3 Reporting cycle (annual, biennial, etc.) Continuous
3.4 Contact point for questions regarding the report or its contents.
3.5 Process for defining report content. About this Report
3.6 Boundary of the report (e.g., countries, divisions, subsidiaries, leased facilities, joint ventures, suppliers). About this Report
3.7 State any specific limitations on the scope or boundary of the report (see completeness principle for explanation of scope). Noted in relevant sections
3.8 Basis for reporting on joint ventures, subsidiaries, leased facilities, outsourced operations, and other entities that can significantly affect comparability from period to period and/or between organizations. About this Report
3.10 Explanation of the effect of any re-statements of information provided in earlier reports, and the reasons for such re-statement (e.g.,mergers/acquisitions, change of base years/periods, nature of business, measurement methods). None
3.11 Significant changes from previous reporting periods in the scope, boundary, or measurement methods applied in the report. None
3.12 Table identifying the location of the Standard Disclosures in the report. GRI Index
Governance, Commitments, and Engagement
Item Description Location in the Blog
4.1 Governance structure of the organization, including committees under the highest governance body responsible for specific tasks, such as setting strategy or organizational oversight.
4.2 Indicate whether the Chair of the highest governance body is also an executive officer (and, if so, their function within the organization’s management and the reasons for this arrangement).
4.3 For organizations that have a unitary board structure, state the number of members of the highest governance body that are independent and/or non-executive members.
4.4 Mechanisms for shareholders and employees to provide recommendations or direction to the highest governance body.
4.8 Internally developed statements of mission or values, codes of conduct, and principles relevant to economic, environmental, and social performance and the status of their implementation.
4.13 Memberships in associations (such as industry associations) and/or national/international advocacy organizations. Climate Savers Computing Initiative, ThinkGreen Alliance
4.14 List of stakeholder groups engaged by the organization. Softchoice’s stakeholders include shareholders, employees, customers and prospective customers, vendors, strategic partners, and distributors.
4.15 Basis for identification and selection of stakeholders with whom to engage. All stakeholders included.
Item Description Location in Blog
EC1 Direct economic value generated and distributed, including revenues, operating costs, employee compensation, donations and other community investments, retained earnings, and payments to capital providers and governments.
EC3 Coverage of the organization’s defined benefit plan obligations.
Item Description Location in Blog
EN1 Materials used by weight or volume.
EN2 Percentage of materials used that are recycled input materials.
EN5 Energy saved due to conservation and efficiency improvements.
EN6 Initiatives to provide energy-efficient or renewable energy based products and services, and reductions in energy requirements as a result of these initiatives.
EN7 Initiatives to reduce indirect energy consumption and reductions achieved.
EN13 Habitats protected or restored.
EN18 Initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reductions achieved.
EN26 Initiatives to mitigate environmental impacts of products and services, and extent of impact mitigation.
EN27 Percentage of products sold and their packaging materials that are reclaimed by category. 
EN29 Significant environmental impacts of transporting products and other goods and materials used for the organization’s operations, and transporting members of the workforce.
Labor Practices and Decent Work
Item Description Location in Report
LA1 Total workforce by employment type, employment contract, and region.
LA3 Benefits provided to full-time employees that are not provided to temporary or part-time employees, by major operations.
LA8 Education, training, counseling, prevention, and risk-control programs in place to assist workforce members, their families, or community members regarding serious diseases.
LA10 Average hours of training per year per employee by employee category.
LA12 Percentage of employees receiving regular performance and career development reviews. ,
Item Description Location in Report
SO1 Nature, scope, and effectiveness of any programs and practices that assess and manage the impacts of operations on communities, including entering, operating, and exiting. 
SO5 Public policy positions and participation in public policy development and lobbying. IT Association of Canada
Product Responsibility
Item Description Location in Report
PR3 Type of product and service information required by procedures, and percentage of significant products and services subject to such information requirements.
PR5 Practices related to customer satisfaction, including results of surveys measuring customer satisfaction.
PR6 Programs for adherence to laws, standards, and voluntary codes related to marketing communications, including advertising, promotion, and sponsorship.

3 Rules for Crowdsourcing Your Sustainability Projects

In the last few weeks I’ve been thinking about ways to take our green strategy to the next level. We’ve done a bunch of great projects and have a passionate green team, but how do we do more and get more employees involved? We have a blog and a twitter account, so we are utilizing social media. But it’s been more of a communication vehicle than something that “engages” our stakeholders. I came across this article today, and it’s an interesting way to get people involved. We don’t have the brand recognition of GE or eBay, so I’m not sure how well it would work for us. But I want to add it to the things to do list for next year.

A new trend in the corporate pursuit of sustainability has emerged: crowd-sourcing via social media. While adoption has been easy, gaining useful ideas has not. By looking at three recent efforts — GE’s Smart Grid challenge, eBay’s Green Team, and a leading European retailer’s green customer foray — three rules for companies considering crowd-sourcing of sustainability ideas are coming into focus. Read more


Don’t miss out on a gift to green your data center

Data center efficiency projects such as virtualization, consolidation, power and cooling upgrades all have pretty strong business cases and ROI. The reduction in hardware means lower operating and managing costs for your organization.

Many utilities are now sweetening the deal and offering rebates and incentives that put an extra bang into your business case.  Some of these rebates are paid out per kilowatt hour saved (usually 5 – 11cents per kw) and others are a percentage of the overall project costs (anywhere from 35 – 50% of your project cost paid for) [Read more…]

Softchoice Named ‘Software Asset Management Partner of the Year’ at Microsoft IMPACT Awards

November 29th, 2010 – Softchoice is delighted to announce it has been named Microsoft’s ‘Software Asset Management Partner of the Year’.

“Technology partners are at the core of Microsoft’s business and we’ve always relied upon their commitment to infinite possibilities to provide the foundation for delivering truly innovative solutions to the marketplace.” said Corinne Sharp, National Director, Canadian Partner Network, Microsoft Canada Inc. “We are pleased to celebrate the outstanding solutions of industry leaders like Softchoice.” [Read more…]

CSR Energy Audit & Recommendations

Softchoice had a great CSR intern work with us over the last year. As part of her program at Seneca College in Toronto she took a current snaphot of our current energy use, and gave us some great recommendations for 2011. Here is a summary of her report: [Read more…]