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Please visit our new blog


Liebe Leser,

dieser Blog ist umgezogen auf http://dfge.de/blog, deshalb wird es unter dieser Adresse keine Neuigkeiten mehr geben. Wir würden uns freuen, Sie auch auf der neuen Seite begrüßen zu können!

Ihr DFGE-Team

 

Dear readers,

this blog has moved to http://dfge.de/blog; hence, there won’ t be further updates on this page. We would be pleased if we could welcome you again on the new page!

DFGE team

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Companies are key to the success of the Sustainable Development Goals


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DFGE recently co-animated a webinar organized by the World Environment Center on how Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can be implemented at corporate level. Here is the short summary of what was discussed there.

SDGs are the world’s new sustainability agenda

The Sustainable Development Goals were defined by the United Nations to set the 2030 agenda for sustainable development. They build on the Millennium Development Goals (2000-2015) to extend them. The 17 goals cover the three dimensions of sustainable development (Environment, Social, Economic) and targets have been defined to reach them. All countries and all stakeholders agreed to strive to implement them.

SDGs are a reference for organizations

The partnership between stakeholders and companies is key to ensure the achievement of the SDGs. In this sense, companies can use the SDGs as a reference to showcase how their actions impact the global picture: it is a way to ensure better transparency.

Like many other frameworks, it does not compete with existing standards, but companies can build upon them. For instance, answering to CDP will enable to tackle SDG 13 on climate action.

SDGs are also a framework where companies can understand the needs of the stakeholders like local institutions and communities. Dialogue with stakeholders enable companies to identify topics which are material for them, and to align it with the CSR strategy.

CSR management and reporting can help address the goals

CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) is a way for companies to tackle these global challenges.

With CSR reporting, companies inform the stakeholders they previously consulted and engaged, and can show how their projects are reducing environmental, social and governance impacts.

With a CSR management system, a continuous improvement is fostered. Indeed, impacts are identified and targets are set accordingly. Then actions are implemented to reach these objectives. KPIs enable to measure the success of these actions, and a review leads to new actions.

Below you will find a list of examples of corporate actions that can be implemented.

Examples of corporate actions for each goal

  1. No poverty: labor management relations with a notice before changes, alternative solutions to lay-offs fostered through social dialogue, clear rules for remuneration
  2. Zero hunger: ensuring no poverty (SDG1) leads to less hunger. Partnerships with local community and NGOs on food topics (donation, training, volunteering,)
  3. Good health and well-being: health and safety program including stress prevention plan, ergonomics in the workplace, work-life balance measures
  4. Quality education: training plan for skills enhancement and implementation
  5. Gender equality: equal remuneration, rules for hiring, training of HR and managers on discrimination, whistle-blowing system
  6. Clean water and sanitation: water reduction project, wastewater treatment equipment
  7. Affordable and clean energy: resort to sustainable energy sources, energy reduction program
  8. Decent work and economic growth: rules for hiring, training of HR and managers on identification and prevention of child labor, forced labor, whistle-blowing system… Implementation of shared value initiatives including valorization of the value chain (for example by training a supplier, which then delivers a better product)
  9. Industry, innovation and infrastructure: participation in industry initiatives, like the EICC and the EICC code of conduct for Telecommunications sector
  10. Reduced inequalities: diversity program, non-discrimination training and whistle-blowing
  11. Sustainable cities and communities: stakeholder engagement program, shared value initiatives, community involvement program, community development program (donations, volunteering,)
  12. Responsible consumption and production: sustainable procurement program (risk-assessment, code of conduct, performance assessment, improvement actions, responsible sourcing) and promotion of sustainable consumption (eco-labels, information to customers about sourcing)
  13. Climate action: carbon footprint calculation, energy-efficient materials and measures
  14. Life below water: prevention of water pollution (waste water treatment), partnership with a dedicated NGO
  15. Life on land: natural habitats restoration, assessment of risks linked to biodiversity before construction, partnership with a dedicated NGOs
  16. Peace, justice and strong institutions: Ethics and compliance program, featuring a whistle-blowing line to report such cases, and adequate treatment
  17. Partnerships for the goals: stakeholder engagement program, partnerships on dedicated topics material for the company

If your company would like to know more about how these actions can be quickly implemented, we remain at your entire disposal at info@dfge.de. You can also visit our website: http://www.dfge.de/en/sustainability-communications/ . To know more about the goals: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs

 

We just released our sustainability report – what about you?


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DFGE – Institute for Energy, Ecology and Economy is happy to share its second CSR/sustainability report, which takes the shape of a Communication On Progress (COP).

What is a Communication On Progress (COP)?

In 2015, DFGE produced its first Communication On Progress, a document showing the targets, the actions implemented to reach the targets and the measurement of outcomes for four sustainability issues: Human rights, Labor Practices, Environment and Anti-corruption.

These issues are listed under the 10 United Nations Global Compact principles.

Companies who commit to the United Nations Global Compact need to issue this Communication on Progress on a yearly basis. This document can be considered as the CSR or Sustainability report of the company.

 

What can be the main highlights?

For each topic, companies can explain which risks they have identified and on which basis, set related targets and formalize commitments in this sense. For instance, DFGE committed to promote UNGC and CSR even more, hoping to have at least one additional partner taking part in this international initiative.

Then, organizations can describe their actions and specify their scope of application, their purpose, etc. For instance, DFGE of course assessed its own carbon footprint to identify sources of emissions that lead to take new commitments and set new targets.

Finally, a measurement of outcomes enables stakeholders to understand the progress of the organization in each domain. For example, DFGE committed in 2015 to formalize hiring processes and to implement appraisal interviews, and in 2016 it was reported that these targets were met.

 

What are the benefits of such submission?

As a sustainability solution provider, DFGE wants to uphold and support CSR/sustainability international standards. For any company, it is an internationally recognized tool that can help disclose information to stakeholders in an easy way. Indeed, the Communication On Progress offers flexibility as the principles can be adapted to any company according to its size, sector, location, corporate culture. It is also a tool that helps improving sustainability management thanks to the goal-setting and reviewing.

You can consult DFGE’s COP on the UN Global Compact database. Further information on our website: http://www.dfge.de/en/sustainability-communications/un-global-compact-services/ or on the UN Global Compact portal www.unglobalcompact.org.

World Economic Forum: the future is in your hands!    


 

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Why is the World Economic Forum important?

The 2016 World Economic Forum annual meeting took place in Davos, Switzerland, from the 20th to the 23rd of January and gathered decision-makers from all over the world. It enables to raise awareness among the most influential people of the world: indeed, it provides an opportunity to gain momentum and concretize current projects like the Paris Agreement from COP21 or the Sustainable Development Goals.

A new era: the fourth revolution

One of the key focus was the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a concept developed by Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, stating that this revolution is characterized by new technologies fusing the physical, digital and biological world. Technology can thus be a way to address current challenges.

Current challenges are deeply intertwined with sustainability agendas

  • Food security. By 2050, the world must feed 9 billion people.
  • Inclusive growth. Our current social, political and economic systems are exacerbating inequalities, rather than reducing them, which can lead to anger and xenophobic attitude
  • International Labor Organization estimates that more than 61 million jobs have been lost since the start of the global economic crisis in 2008.
  • Climate change. 2015 was the Earth’s warmest year in recorded history.
  • Gender equality. The gender gap has reduced, however some efforts still need to be done, including in remuneration.
  • The number of inhabits is rise to 9.7 billion in 2050 with 2 billion aged over 60.
  • 200 million SMEs don’t have access to formal financial services.
  • Focus in long-term projects will be beneficial.

How can your company contribute?

Any organization can contribute to address these global challenges, especially

  • Climate change. Organizations can assess their carbon footprint to identify the sources of emissions, set reduction targets accordingly, and implement actions to reduce them like switching to energy-efficient equipment, fostering car-sharing and public transportation among employees, among others
  • Gender equality. To tackle gender equality, companies can issue non-discrimination rules, raise awareness among the decision-makers, and provide the same compensation and benefits on the basis of past experiences and skills, or implement a whistle-blowing system to report such cases and deal with them
  • Inclusive growth/employment. Companies play a key role in employing people. A solution for inclusive growth can be to implement shared value initiatives by launching a new product meeting social needs, or redefining productivity the value chain while focusing on the social and environmental constrains in the supply chain, or create a local competitive cluster
  • Healthcare. Companies can help foster employees’ health and well-being by focusing on ergonomics in the workplace, preventing stress, preventing occupational diseases.

If you are an organization aiming at improving sustainability and planning to participate in sustainability reporting, or looking for support when calculating your carbon footprint – contact us to learn more about our services via info@dfge.de

For more information about the forum: http://www.weforum.org/about/world-economic-forum and the world challenges: http://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/01/what-are-the-10-biggest-global-challenges

The DFGE– Institute for Energy, Ecology and Economy provides consulting and auditing services to realize a Green Vision integrated in corporate business processes. Strategic advice on topics like technology, energy and emissions is expanded to business related and socio-economic aspects. Services range from consultancy in developing and managing customized analysis for testified Carbon footprint to validation of analysis methods and results for sustainable accuracy. As independent Institute DFGE’s work is based on advanced scientific and research methods and institutionalized standards. More at  http://www.dfge.de

Image credit: World Economic Forum, under the Creative Commons licence (BY-SA 3.0)

 

COP21: speeding up climate change actions


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THE UNFCCC 21th Conference of Parties (COP21) was held in Paris from the 30th of November to the 12th of December, 2015. The 195 countries represented here reached an historical agreement to curb climate change.

The Paris agreement at a glance:

  • Objective to keep temperature rise below 2°C and try to limit it to 1.5°C
  • Five-year cycle of actions. 186 countries have published their action plans to reduce emissions.
  • Review mechanism every five years, with a first world review in 2023. This will help increase the transparency, countries will be required to report on their emissions.
  • Focus on climate change adaptation instead of mitigation, which means “adjusting systems in response to climate change, with changes in processes, practices, and structures to moderate potential damages or to benefit from opportunities associated with climate change,”(UNFCCC) while mitigation is about reducing GHG emissions.
  • Finance and burden-sharing. Developed countries are to provide financial resources to help resources countries, up to 100 billion dollars from 2020.
  • Loss and damage principle. The agreement acknowledges the Warsaw International Mechanism (WIM) on Loss and Damage, created in 2013 to deal with the cases when mitigation and adaptation fail.

 

What is next?

The agreement will be open to signature on next Earth day, the 22nd of April, 2016. To be enforced, at least 55 countries must ratify it, and they must represent at least 55% of the world’s emissions.

What can you do?

Every organization can take part in mitigating climate change and reducing emissions! A first step is to assess the carbon footprint to then reduce the identified emissions by implementing many simple actions at local level.

For more information: Paris agreement and a related infographic, UNFCCC, carbon footprint,  or contact us at info@dfge.de

Top 10 Sustainability documents


Financial Planning, Pen and Calculator and Review of Year End Reports

Lost in all the requests for information linked to sustainability management and reporting? DFGE has chosen the top 10 documents you can easily share with your stakeholders.

Nowadays, transparency is expected from companies and CSR/sustainability reporting has been increasing by 5 points from 2011 to 2014[1]. There are many channels where information can be reported: it can be asked directly from customers, it can be a need from the communication department, the sales department might need to answer a bid of tenders, the shareholders may want your company to publish a CSR report, audits are also taking these topics into account, among other examples.

To make your company save time, DFGE has listed the top 10 documents that can be provided in this sense and their interests, like the CSR report. To consult the full list please go to our press release.

You can also contact us directly at info@dfge.de or consult our website: http://dfge.de

[1] Source: http://www.grantthornton.co.uk/en/insights/trends-in-corporate-social-responsibility-2014/

Understand GRI in 2 minutes


What is the purpose of GRI?

GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) is an internationally recognized standard for CSR reporting to help organizations set goals, measure performance, and manage change in order to make their operations more sustainable. The guidelines are now in their 4th version (G4).

G4 process in a few words:
– Identify your company’s “Material Aspects”, e.g. the environmental, social and other CSR impacts that your organization is facing and how they relate to the broader sustainability context. In this sense, you will be focused only on what truly matters and how it impacts your stakeholders. When defining such issues, it is fundamental to consult them to match your organization’s priorities with theirs. This step is also called “Defining Report Content”.
– Prepare the data to be submitted in the report: the “General Standard Disclosures” (including “Material Aspects” and “Stakeholder Engagement”) and “Specific Standard Disclosures”, whose contents will depend on the “Identified Material Aspects”. Here you can choose the extent to which your company wishes to report, with “Core” and “Comprehensive” option. During this step, “Principles for Quality” are to be complied to make sure that the report is comparable, accurate, understandable,…
Write and shape the report. You can choose any structure, for instance according to your strategy’s pillars. You just need to include the GRI index showing the indicators can be found. If the report is not complete, a given statement will be added.
Publish your report and notify GRI.

What are the benefits?

  • Identify CSR priorities
  • Track performance
  • Benefit from competitive advantage
  • Enhance relations with stakeholders
  • Facilitate comparability

DFGE is happy to answer your questions and provide more support.

For more information, please consult the GRI-Website or check this video focusing on the differences between GRI3 and GRI4: