Tag Archives: csr

Freely chosen employment: a focus of EICC Code of Conduct latest version


Background story: The majority of our blog posts deals with CSR topics; we write about the latest developments in this field and try to relate it to a company’s daily business. Our background stories have a different perspective: Here, we explain trends, scientific background and societal implications of corporate sustainability – sometimes with a personal touch.

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The EICC Code of Conduct – 5.1 version was released in January 2016 to include stringent requirements on the fight against forced and bonded labor.

A sectorial initiative to tackle CSR issues

The EICC is a nonprofit coalition of electronics companies comprised of more than 100 electronics companies with combined annual revenue of over $3 trillion, directly employing more than 5.5 million people. The companies are committed to supporting the rights and wellbeing of workers and communities worldwide affected by the global electronics supply chain.[1]

To do so, a Code of Conduct was set up, and the coalition provides training and assessment tools regarding environmental, social and ethical responsibilities.

The Code of Conduct was launched in 2004, and has been adapted and changed to match the evolution of these themes. The version 5.1 has been released on the 1st of January 2016 and will come into force from the 1st of April 2016.

Change in freely chosen employment section

The only change from version 5.0 released in November 2014 to the version 5.1 of January 2016 focuses on freely chosen employment (section A,1).

The version 5.0 states that “workers shall not be required to pay employers or agents recruitment fees or other aggregate fees in excess of one month’s salary. All fees charged to workers must be disclosed and fees in excess of one month’s salary must be returned to the worker.”, whereas the 2016 version reads that “workers shall not be required to pay employers’ or agents’ recruitment fees or other related fees for their employment. If any such fees are found to have been paid by workers, such fees shall be repaid to the worker.”

This means that the requirements are strengthening. Before, there was a limit which is no longer tolerated. Our understanding is that a common practice of forced labor is indeed that employees have to pay a fee to be employed, either to the employer or to a recruiting agent. However, they usually cannot afford it right away, so they remain in debt to the employer or recruiting agent, so they have to keep working in the company at least to be able to pay this employment fee.

This more stringent requirement can be explained in a larger context where forced labor is still existing. For instance, the NGO Verité’s two-year study of labor conditions in electronics manufacturing in Malaysia found that “one in three foreign workers surveyed in Malaysian electronics was in a condition of forced labor.”[2]

Tackling forced labor issues

There are different ways to tackle this existing issue:

  • Risk-mapping to identify where cases are most likely to happen
  • Action plans accordingly
  • Actions can feature:
    • Specific HR procedures preventing unreasonable restrictions on entering or existing the facilities, forbidding employment fees, prohibiting the confiscation of immigrant documents
    • Training of HR population in this sense
    • Whistle blowing system to detect and treat such cases
    • Audits to check the status of such actions

For more information, please contact us at info@dfge.de or read the EICC Code of conduct: http://www.eiccoalition.org/media/docs/EICCCodeofConduct5_1_English.pdf

[1] http://www.eiccoalition.org/about/

[2] http://www.verite.org/research/electronicsmalaysia

image source: https://pixabay.com/en/document-agreement-documents-sign-428334/

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SDGs: a topic of interest for companies


 

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On the 17th of February, DFGE co-animated a webinar on Sustainable Development Goals with the World Environment Center. For those who missed it, we summarize the main conclusions of the webinar in this article.

The webinar featured sustainability experts.

Elisa Tonda (Head of Business and Industry Unit, UNEP), Lorraine Francourt (Director, EH&S & Sustainability, EMEA & AP, The Dow Chemical Company), Wolfgang Berger (VP Business Development, DFGE- Institute for Energy, Ecology and Economy) and Terry F. Yosie (President and CEO, World Environment Center) presented current trends on how companies are using the Sustainable Development Goals and on how companies can address them.

Main highlights from the webinar

(1) The SDGs are becoming important because they provide an internationally approved framework to address global challenges. Business has a vital interest in a world free from human suffering and environmental degradation and finds it essential that coordinated and measurable action takes place.

(2) Companies find value in using the SDG’s, e.g. because they help identify and meet societal expectations, especially in developing markets where the major growth opportunities lie.

(3) Companies such as Dow Chemical are already applying the SDGs. They have gone through intense stakeholder consultations (both internally and externally) and have now embedded their sustainability goal-setting-process into a structure that allows for measuring and reporting on the SDGs. Dow sets goals for each of the SDG’s but not for each indicator. Even less ambitious companies that address just a few goals would be coherent with the United Nation’s objective: every company should find its own way of contributing to the SDGs.

(4) Companies can align the SDGs with their business strategies and existing reporting frameworks such as Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), UN Global Compact, and CDP responses. While the SDGs may have similar content to the aforementioned, these pre-existing initiatives and frameworks are generally more focused in certain areas. The SDGs are, instead, a framework to report on a company’s contribution to solve global challenges and enable a strategic perspective for companies that actively want to identify business opportunities for the common good.

A worldwide topic

It seems that companies show a deep interest in this topic. Slightly more than 100 sustainability experts attended the webinar. 74% were business representatives, while 26% were from academia, advisory firms, governments, and NGO’s. Geographical distribution was 49% from Europe, 38% from the US, 8% from Latin America and 5% from Northern Africa/Middle East/Pacific.

For more information, please consult: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs or our blog article on how to address SDGs: Companies are key to the success of the Sustainable Development Goals. You can also directly consult us at info@dfge.de

EcoVadis Partnerschaft mit DFGE: Neuer Schwung für nachhaltige Beschaffung in der DACH-Region


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DFGE wird der erste Consulting Partner in der DACH-Region von EcoVadis, dem Experten für Nachhaltigkeit in der Lieferkette. Diese Zusammenarbeit wird es Unternehmen künftig ermöglichen, besser auf die Anfragen ihrer Kunden bei einem EcoVadis-Assessment einzugehen und ihre CSR-Performance zu verbessern.

EcoVadis, eine kollaborative Plattform für Nachhaltigkeitsbewertung

EcoVadis betreibt die erste kollaborative Plattform, die Supplier Sustainability Ratings für globale Lieferketten bereitstellt. Über 25 000 Unternehmen nutzen das Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)-Assessment von EcoVadis, darunter mehrere Tausend in Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz. Sie erhalten darüber eine Bewertung und Scorecard ihrer Leistungen in den Bereichen Umwelt, Soziales, Ethik, und Lieferkette.

EcoVadis bietet eine konkrete Lösung, die Transparenz zu CSR in der Zulieferkette schafft. Unternehmen treten der EcoVadis-Plattform bei und fordern ihre Zulieferer dazu auf, deren Nachhaltigkeits-Management von EcoVadis beurteilen zu lassen. Diese Analyse wird von EcoVadis-Experten durchgeführt; die Ergebnisse werden auf der gemeinschaftlichen Plattform in Form einer Scorecard veröffentlicht, zugänglich für sowohl Einkäufer als auch für Zuliefere.

DFGE bietet verschiedene Dienstleistungen an

DFGE ist jetzt offizieller EcoVadis Consulting-Partner, der Zulieferern dabei hilft, diese Komplexität zu verstehen und die Anforderungen zu erfüllen. EcoVadis vertraut der DFGE entsprechende Trainings und Überprüfungen der ausgefüllten Fragebögen an.

Trainings werden für das Ausfüllen des Fragebogens und den Umgang mit der Plattform angeboten. Sie zielen darauf ab, es den Zulieferern zu ermöglichen, den Fragebogen selbstständig auszufüllen und die Anfragen ihrer Kunden zu beantworten. DFGE wird auch ausgefüllte Fragebögen überprüfen, um sicherzustellen, dass die Antworten den EcoVadis-Anforderungen und der Methodik entsprechen.

Mit mehr als 15 Jahren Erfahrung im Bereich der Nachhaltigkeits-Datenverwaltung kann die DFGE Zulieferern dabei helfen, die richtige Dokumentation zu finden und zu verbessern. Die DFGE bietet auch Komplettpakete an, die dabei helfen, die eingesetzte Zeit und Ressourcen bei einer EcoVadis-Teilnahme zu minimieren.

Darüber hinaus kann die DFGE unter anderem auch dabei beraten, die erzielten Ergebnisse zu verstehen, einen Verbesserungsplan aufzustellen, das Nachhaltigkeitsmanagement durch Erstellung beispielsweise eines Carbon Footprints zu verbessern oder einen CSR-Bericht nach GRI-Richtlinien aufzustellen.

Zusammenfassend können EcoVadis-Teilnehmer also von Beratung und Unterstützung durch die DFGE profitieren, und zwar in ihrer jeweiligen Landessprache. Die DFGE wurde durch EcoVadis geschult, um die offiziellen Produkte anbieten zu können.

Die ganze Pressemeldung lesen: http://www.dfge.de/de/ecovadis-partnerschaft/

Mehr zu EcoVadis: http://www.ecovadis.com/

Oder kontaktieren Sie uns unter  info@dfge.de

 

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.

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/

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Video: GRI Plenary on G4- Introducing the main features of G4


Plenary on G4- Introducing the main features of G4 from GRI on Vimeo.