Quarterly CSR Update: Q1 2021
We’re happy to bring you another quarterly CSR update. Here’s what we achieved in the first three months of the year.
January 2021: Successful re-certification audit for CSR-Performance Ladder
At the end of January, we successfully completed a 3-day audit for CSR-Performance Ladder, our corporate responsibility certification. With a great deal of help from our team, we got re-certified for the next three years. The auditor was impressed with some of the changes we made to mature our CSR management system. He highlighted these initiatives in particular:
- We did an extensive materiality and stakeholder analysis to get clarity on our most important focus areas for CSR.
- These focus areas are now clearly visible in our CSR policy.
- There is more transparency in our external communication regarding CSR compared to the previous audit year (2019).
February 2021: First Steps Towards Implementing the Dutch Climate Agreement
In February, we completed an important project plan with initiatives to implement the Dutch Climate Agreement in our organisation. We defined two starting points:
- Calculating our carbon footprint based on data from 2019 and 2020. We are taking data from both years to account for the unprecedented changes we made due to the coronavirus pandemic. Getting insight into our carbon footprint will help us set emission reduction targets.
- We are increasing awareness among employees regarding climate-related topics. We are also sharing information about small changes our team can make to support the goals in the climate agreement.
With this, we don’t only want to build a more sustainable company. We want to have a positive impact on clients and partners.
March 2021: Focus on Diversity and Inclusion
March was a special month at Visma Connect. We gave special attention to gender inequality and empowerment by commemorating International Women’s Day. On March 8, we held an awareness session about bias in the workplace. A lot of people showed up, contributed with their experiences, and provided crucial input to help us improve. We also organised a campaign to encourage team members to stand up against inequality by sharing their picture and making a positive statement. It was inspiring to see many of us taking up the call!
At the end of the month, we had a poet as guest speaker during our company (all-hands) meeting. She shared a moving poem about racial differences in the Netherlands, where she talks about loneliness and not belonging. Her experiences as a person of colour shed light on the racial divide in our country. The poem resonated with a lot of our colleagues, and also made us realise we still have a lot of work to do in the Netherlands to combat racism.
Eyes set on the future
Alongside these initiatives, Visma Group is working on a general sustainability policy. We expect to formalise our sustainability goals once that is finalised. We have been committed to CSR and sustainability for a long time, but adopting this policy and reporting on a group level will help us broaden our impact. In the next update, we expect to share more details about this and publish our first carbon footprint calculations. Stay tuned!