From hygiene factor to core business
Thus far, many companies have viewed sustainability and social responsibility only as a risk-mitigating hygiene factor. Responsible companies are now on the way to embedding it into their core businesses.
Social responsibility has often been about reducing the risk of “bad things” which could damage a company’s reputation. For example, child labour used by subcontractors. People have been most concerned about their legitimacy and how they look to others.
Companies in transformation
Right now, we can see many companies that have a more focused approach in relation to social responsibility. They do not want to just “behave properly”, they want to lead the way and take a more active role in creating positive changes. These pioneering companies are in the process of a paradigm shift to more sustainable operation.
We can see the same thing within the waste industry. Many of our customers are currently considering how the sustainability agenda can be better incorporated in their businesses. Here, many people find that sustainability is a complex issue that can be difficult to measure and relate to. We see it as one of our most vital tasks to help solve this challenge. We do this together with our customers by understanding their specific needs in relation to sustainability and by helping them to find the best solutions. In this way, we fulfil our mission to help our customers to turn a circular economy and sustainability into good business.
Embedding sustainability in the core business
Our core service of cleaning and recycling soil, water and construction materials inherently contributes to sustainability. It should not stand alone. Many of our customers are responsible companies that want to make their contribution to sustainable development. We are therefore in close dialogue with these customers, so that we can understand their approach to sustainability and identify how we can support their work with customised services which give them value.
In our dialogue with customers about what factors they believe are essential to their businesses being both economical and environmentally sustainable, we base our conversations on the “Pentagon of Sustainability”. We discuss with our customers the importance of key issues in relation to the sustainability of their business. We consider whether climate impacts, environmental impacts, resource impacts, compliance and business values are essential for the coupling of sustainability with their business.
Trade-offs must often be made in our search for sustainable solutions. Activities that reduce the drain on natural resources and remove environmentally hazardous substances from circulation often result in the consumption of energy and the emission of CO2. These are examples of factors which we include in our dialogue with customers, so that they can decide on the sustainability of their businesses on a well-informed basis.
“OKQ8 operates petrol stations in asafe and environmentally friendlymanner. Through long-standing, professional collaboration with RGS Nordic we protect the environment against pollution from our stations", Project Manager, Engineering, Johan Haglund, OKQ8.
Read more about this topic in our Sustainability Report here
Ebbe Tubæk Naamansen
Head of Group Sustainability
Marketing & Communications Manager