Tag Archives: Management

A checklist to improve your CSR program!


Red exotic flowerWe have decided to publish a series of 8 press releases, along with blog articles, providing organizations with a checklist of questions they can ask to easily identify potential improvement areas in the sustainability/CSR management.

The first one focuses on the overall CSR strategy, and is divided into 6 main themes:

1 –  Is the management engaged?

2 – Are employees involved?

3 – Are stakeholders consulted?

4 – Is the sustainability strategy intertwined with the overall strategy?

5 – Is a mechanism review implemented to measure the efficiency of the strategy?

6 Does the company communicate about the CSR program?

The above points should ensure that the CSR/sustainability program is efficient.

First, the management needs to understand the importance of such topics, at least in terms of risks and opportunities. It is better to assign dedicated roles and responsibilities to make sure that topics are taken into account.

To ensure the success of the CSR program, it is important that employees are aware of such programs and can actively take part in it. Employees are the ambassadors of the company, which means that they can influence the reputation of the company. Also, such initiatives can reinforce their motivation.

Third, all stakeholders (not only management or employees) need to be consulted and engaged as the role of CSR is to manage impacts towards them. Their opinions and ideas are thus required.

From a strategical standpoint, the CSR program makes even more sense when it is embedded in the overall strategy. In this sense, organizations can prioritize topics which are relevant to address them. This can ensure a long-term strategy, which will be beneficial for the stakeholders and the organization.

Once the strategy is decided, the program can be rolled out. With this, it is paramount to set quantitative targets that will be measured by specific metrics. The metrics will show the success of the initiatives, and are a way to reassess the strategy and its objectives.

Finally, such successes and decisions should be communicated to impacted stakeholders, included involved employees and the management, so that they understand the efficiency of the CSR program. Such communication also acts as a basis for discussions.

To discover the full checklist for the overall CSR program, please go to http://dfge.de/en/checklist-to-easily-improve-sustainability-programs/ or contact us at info@dfge.de

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Define your sustainable procurement strategy with the SDGs


Cliff and blue seaSince their adoption, there is an ongoing discussion how SDGs can be integrated and used by businesses; indeed, the SDGs explicitly name companies as contributors to a solution for sustainable development challenges. This article describes how the SDGs can be used as a framework for sustainable procurement strategy.

Sustainable procurement means turning risks into opportunities

Many risks companies face today are located in the supply chain and refer to reputation (corporate image) and strategy. First, deficits in the supply chain can damage a company’s reputation severely. This refers both to social and environmental issues; a widely known example is BP whose reputation was damaged due to the company’s handling of the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe. While every supply chain issue can cause direct financial cost for a company, reputation damage is something which can last for a very long time and which can hit a company in multiple ways. Despite lower sales, a reputation damage can for example also discourage talented people from applying for a job at the company.

Secondly, it can also be a strategic risk for a company not to manage its supply chain properly. If future scarcities of resources which are essential for a company’s operations are not properly accounted for in the strategy, and if a company is therefore not prepared to future price rises, it endangers its economic viability in the long term.

To tackle such risks, companies can implement sustainable procurement. It means that they can set standards that their suppliers need to follow. It consists of integrating sustainability criteria into the supply chain. On the one hand, risks are reduced. Indeed, if the supplier environmental system is solid, accidents and crisis should be solved quicker, reducing operational risks. If there is sound social dialogue and decent working conditions, there are less risks of strikes and of related production disruption. If human rights are respected, the reputation risk is managed. In the other hand, companies can benefit from various opportunities: more collaboration, more trust, innovation and new products, customer satisfaction, …

How can now the SDGs help companies to address and structure supply chain management?

You can tune your sustainable procurement strategy with the SDGs

The SDGs essentially represent a framework which addresses the full scope of sustainability topics and actors. The strength of this framework lies in its global acceptance and popularity; thus, using this framework for CSR communications means lowering the threshold of stakeholders to understand and back a company’s CSR strategy, including the sustainable procurement strategy.

The SDG Compass, issued by the Global Reporting Initiative gives an overview, how companies can link these targets to their business. By means of a high-level mapping of their value chain, companies can first identify topics where impacts are likely to occur. In the end, it should be clear whether core competencies, technologies and product portfolio of a company have rather positive or rather negative influence. This mapping process includes external stakeholder participation which adds additional aspects and points of view to the process. It is highly important to interact with the suppliers to understand what the impacts are, and where they occur. Indeed, in some cases such impacts are located only in the supply chain. For example, any retailer will avoid the potential risks linked to manufacturing, like occupational health and safety linked to machine use and high resource consumption. To do so, companies can ask suppliers about such risks during business reviews, make a quick analysis of their website or resort to risk databases.

After the mapping, a company should set measurable and time-bound goals to reflect the priorities and adopt related indicators. Such indicators express the relation between the company’s activities and the impact on stakeholders, and data for these indicators should be collected. Depending on the magnitude, severity and likelihood of current and potential negative impacts, a company then prioritizes indicators. Indicators linked to the supply chain need to reflect actual actions: share of suppliers considered at risk, share of suppliers audits, share of suppliers completing corrective action plan, share of successful re-audits, number of products including new sustainable features thanks to supplier collaboration, …

These preconditions met, a company is ready to integrate sustainability into its sourcing practices. In the case of supply chain, active leadership by the procurement management is key to implement the company’s requirements. A shared understanding of how value is created by becoming more sustainable help to anchor the set sustainable procurement strategy. In this sense, the company needs to communicate such requirements to the procurement department, who then interacts with the suppliers. Another best practice is the integration of sustainability goals into supplier performance reviews.

Finally, progress has to be constantly reported in order to demonstrate credibility. Results should be communicated to both suppliers and buyers. To ensure transparency throughout the supply chain, it is important to communicate such results publically. Indeed, clients of the company might also want to want to know what happens in the upstream supply chain. In this sense, the use internationally recognized reporting standards such as GRI, CDP or others is recommended in order to achieve comparability between companies.

For more information, contact us at info@dfge.de or visit our page on Sustainability Management.

DFGE has just signed a 3-year partnership agreement with CDP


CDPToday, 22nd of April is Earth day. To support environmental initiatives, DFGE is happy to extend the fruitful partnership with CDP for the next three years.

A partnership aiming at helping respondent companies

DFGE has been an official Silver Climate Change Consultancy Partner of CDP since 2014, to support companies responding to CDP. DFGE and CDP have now signed a 3-year partnership contract to extend this collaboration. DFGE believes that CDP is one of the key drivers in climate change reporting, and thinks that the initiative will keep growing as the topic keeps becoming more important for stakeholders.

Indeed, climate has been gaining momentum over the past few years, to the point that the UNFCCC countries opted for the Paris Agreement in 2015.

To help companies take part in CDP, DFGE supports companies by providing official response checks following CDP methodology. DFGE can help companies formalize an environmental management system and can assess the carbon footprint of any organization. DFGE’s purpose is to support respondent companies in the best possible way.

To read the full press release, please consult: http://dfge.de/en/dfge-cdp-partnership/

A partnership beneficial for CDP and DFGE

DFGE is also happy to help extend CDP programs, by raising awareness on them and providing technical feedback. In exchange, CDP provides an in-depth training on CDP methodology. DFGE and CDP collaboration also features co-hosting of webinars, participation to events, promotion of partners on communication and more.

For instance, DFGE took part to the CDP DACH Spring event. In this sense, DFGE was aware of new methodology changes, could support CDP and could meet CDP respondents. DFGE had the opportunity to take part in a workshop called “Market Place”.

The Market place aims at empowering attendants with quick knowledge. There were 4 sessions of 15 minutes, so participants could cover 4 topics among the 12 workshops.

Marketplace

DFGE 15-minute session focuses on the link between CDP and SDGs. By taking part in CDP, organizations already help addressing the SDGs, the new 2030 sustainability agenda powered by the United Nations. DFGE also gave tips and recommendations to companies to tackle such objectives and show how they are already part and parcel of the companies’ sustainability strategies and actions.

For more information, please contact us at 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