Corporate Social Responsibility
Another showpiece program?
As a supplier to multinationals, you are often subjected to CSR questionnaires. They are very time consuming and to be honest, you can answer whatever you like as long as it is sociable. I have never really fully understood the usefulness of these questionnaires and frankly, the completion of these elaborate lists gets on my nerves as they always seem to arrive in peak moments and colleagues question my questions 😉
It is not that I think that it is not important. As a person and as a company, we are responsible and accountable for the society we live in. We at Contraload take this task very serious. We take good care of our employees; we provide our customers with a green packaging solution that helps them lower their CO2 output and our own employees choose a number of charities to support each year. (www.contraloadcares.com)
But I was talking about CSR questionnaires and the fact that they are very time consuming. Luckily there are tools available that can make our lives a lot more enjoyable. Two weeks ago, I’ve joined the Ecovadis Assessment Forum in Paris. EcoVadis is one of the providers of such tools. I learned a lot and, unexpectedly, have become a big fan. So, I will share my thoughts with you on how my mindset was turned around.
EcoVadis has an online platform where suppliers and services providers can fill in a CSR questionnaire. Customers can access the CSR data and verify if their suppliers are in line with all the European laws and standards.
The questionnaire contains the following pillars:
- Labor and Human Rights
- Sustainable Procurement
Every question needs to be provided with evidence, such as written policies or reports. After completing the forms, you will see your scorecard in the dashboard. So, in a glance, you will be able to look at your CSR performance. Based on your scorecard you will also get an overview of the improvement areas, which enables you to find improvements and how to achieve them. All this, with the option of in-depth guidance.
Ok, I admit, the first time you do this, it takes a lot of time. But as soon as you have filled it out once, you can then refer all your customers to EcoVadis. They just have to log in and connect with your company and you are done. No more extra questionnaires!!
An additional advantage is that your “evidence” provided, will need approval by an external party. So, it is not possible to give “socially desirable” answers. That is the best possible confirmation that CSR is not another showpiece program!
For Contraload and most of the companies around us, CSR is so obvious and part of our DNA, that we do not stop to think about this type of policies. When looking at the global picture however, we need to set the standard and now I have learned what I need to do and I will get it done with a super score!
For those who are not convinced yet why you should take your responsibility… we are responsible for the future of our children. And now you know that with a little bit of effort you can make a difference! Be part of it!
Lorenza De Spirt
“The art of communication: changing walls into doors”
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