Tag Archives: United Nations

Be part of the growing CSR reporting trend!


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.

success-1093889_1920

You already have heard this acronym at work, and even came across a CSR report, and you will hear even more. Indeed, CSR reporting is growing.

CSR reporting is a communication tool on dedicated topics.

You may wonder: what is CSR reporting? There are different scientific and accepted definitions. Our definition is: any documentation related to the company’s management and performance regarding social and environmental topics that is disclosed publicly, and which aims at informing the stakeholders of how the companies manage the impacts towards them.

A stakeholder is said to be any party affected by the organization’s operations: shareholders, customers, suppliers, employees, local communities, civil society, industry, government… CSR reporting is then a tool to communicate the organization’s efforts to the impacted stakeholders.

We identified some of the main CSR reporting schemes

To bring more value to your reporting, you can use reporting standards and schemes. Although there are many CSR schemes, standards, ratings, we chose to focus on the ones which are leading in terms of influence and companies participating and which are not-for-profit organizations. The following list is then not exhaustive.

Regarding environmental reporting, you can choose to answer the CDP questionnaire, on water, climate change, or forest management. CDP[1] (Carbon Disclosure Project) is an NGOs collecting environmental data to ensure transparency to decision-makers like investors or clients.

To structure your CSR report, you can opt for two options: use the framework suggested by the United Global Compact, or use the GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) Guidelines.

When you adhere to the UNGC 10 principles[2], you have then to report your progress on a Communication On Progress. This can be a good idea for beginners, as this communication offers a structure which is not too much stringent.

Read our article for a full overview: https://blog.dfge.de/2015/01/29/un-global-compact-dfge-publishes-2015-cop-report/

For more experienced reporters we will suggest to use GRI Guidelines[3], where companies can identify the topics which are the most relevant for them and their stakeholders, and then report specific indicators accordingly (see our blog article for more information: https://blog.dfge.de/2015/11/25/understand-gri-in-2-minutes/).

CSR reporting has grown steadily over the past fifteen years

Over the past decade, CSR reporting has become mainstream. The figures show that the use of internationally recognized standards and schemes is steadily growing. This can be explained by the fact that these initiatives are multi-stakeholder, hence they are more objective than a stand-alone reporting. They also provide guidance and structure which can help the company identify gaps to improve on some areas.

GRI trends

(data extracted from the search function of GRI database, http://database.globalreporting.org/search)

UNGC trends

(data extracted from UNGC infographic Communication on progress, 2015 key facts,https://www.unglobalcompact.org/docs/communication_on_progress/cop-key-facts-2015.pdf)

CDP, in its 2015 activity report, indicates that they analyzed 1799 responses in 2010 against 1997 in 2015, showing also a growing participation. The number of signatories has also been increasing.CDP trends

(data extracted from CDP Global Climate Change Report 2015, https://www.cdp.net/CDPResults/CDP-global-climate-change-report-2015.pdf )

It means that companies have an advantage to report through these schemes: they are of interest for investors, clients, and other stakeholders.

What are the next trends in CSR reporting?

We believe that reporting will increasingly focus on sectorial-specific issues. Indeed, now that the general framework is somehow set and recognized by organizations, some more specific information can be added.

For instance, the Telecommunications sector is faced with the problematic of conflict minerals. Electronics companies now report on how they implement due diligence process in their supply chain and declare if they are conflict-free for the following materials: gold, tin, tantalum, tungsten. A dedicated guidance is provided by the CFSI (Conflict Free Sourcing Initiatives).[4]

We also think that more and more SMEs will report their CSR progress – as bigger companies will increase their pressure on suppliers to take the next step and report along the whole supply chain.

DFGE can guide you through your reporting process. Don’t hesitate to contact us for more information at info@dfge.de or consult our website.

 

[1]CDP: https://www.cdp.net/en-US/Pages/HomePage.aspx

[2] UNGC: https://www.unglobalcompact.org

[3] GRI: https://www.globalreporting.org/standards/g4/Pages/default.aspx

[4] CFSI: http://www.conflictfreesourcing.org/conflict-minerals-reporting-template/http://www.conflictfreesourcing.org/conflict-minerals-reporting-template/http://www.conflictfreesourcing.org/

image link: https://pixabay.com/en/success-curve-hand-finger-touch-1093889/

Advertisements

SDGs: a topic of interest for companies


 

IMGP3116

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

Companies are key to the success of the Sustainable Development Goals


IMGP3134

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?


Endorser Logo_gradient_blue_RGB

 

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.