Corporate Social Responsibility - CSR
Against the background of the Act to amend the Danish Financial Statements Act, passed by the Danish Parliament on 16 December 2008, below we would like to present our understanding of corporate social responsibility, our policies and procedures and our accomplishments in 2009.
The ethical guidelines (’Code of Conduct’) of the Danish Technological Institute contain provisions regulating our way of doing business in a responsible manner with respect for human dignity and in compliance with our vision and values. We have a philosophy of acting with full responsibility and commitment on the basis of our fundamental view of respect for all human rights. Our ambition is to foster and encourage principles of responsible business conduct, locally as well as globally. Our code of ethics is integrated into our way of thinking and acting, both internally in the organisation and externally in relation to our customers and stakeholders.
As an approved technological service institute, we find it is our duty to contribute to strengthening the dissemination of principles of responsible business conduct, particularly in small and medium-sized enterprises, but also among our other customers and business partners. In so doing, the Danish Technological Institute intends to support and further the principles laid down in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Our ethical guidelines
The Danish Technological Institute has a set of principles that provide us with ethical guidelines for how to ensure maximum dignity in society through our activities:
1. We support and respect international human rights
2. We will ensure that we are not involved in any violation of human rights
3. We are committed to upholding employees’ freedom of association and
recognise their collective bargaining rights
4. Employees must not be punished physically or mentally or subjected to any
other degrading treatment
5. We do not accept corruption, including blackmail and bribery
6. We do not accept forced labour
7. We do not accept child labour
8. We do not accept discrimination in the workplace
9. We give priority to health and safety at work with proper facilities
for the employees
10. Working hours and salaries must comply with national legislation
11. The Danish Technological Institute aims to recruit the best qualified
employees regardless of sex, age, race, marital status, language,
sexual orientation and political conviction
12. We strive for an open, professional and solution-oriented dialogue in our
internal and external communication. At all levels we communicate
on the basis of our professionalism and desire to safeguard the interests
of the Danish Technological Institute in the best possible manner
13. We support preventive measures in relation to the environmental challenges
we are facing. We take initiatives to improve environmental awareness and
support the development and dissemination of eco-friendly technologies
in compliance with our environmental policy
Fields of application
The Danish Technological Institute strives to ensure proper business conduct by all partners working with the Institute. All purchases through the Danish Technological Institute are made in accordance with the ethical guidelines formulated by the management of the Technological Institute. To do business with the Danish Technological Institute, suppliers need to follow our ethical guidelines and observe all international conventions and national legislation applicable in the country where the work is performed. Moreover, our suppliers must take steps to ensure that their sub-suppliers conduct business in a responsible manner.
The Institute often works in countries where corruption and violation of human rights are far more widespread than in Denmark. The focus is therefore constantly on an effort to maintain a high ethical standard in these countries, as well.
The Danish Technological Institute will not tolerate corruption or bribery.
The employees are not allowed to participate in any form of corruption or bribery. Failure to observe this rule will have implications for the employment relationship.
Checks and evaluations
Our suppliers are responsible for taking relevant and necessary initiatives and measures to ensure that they comply with the ethical guidelines of the Danish Technological Institute. Similarly, it is the suppliers’ responsibility, at our request, to be able to present all relevant information and documentation to the Institute. For example, the suppliers are required at our request to participate actively through dialogue, questionnaires, systematic reporting, visits to suppliers’ premises or any other initiatives the Danish Technological Institute would like to implement for the purpose of checking conditions.
The Danish Technological Institute reserves the right at any time to request an assessment verifying that suppliers comply with our ethical guidelines. If the requirements are not met, the Danish Technological Institute will engage in a constructive dialogue with the supplier concerned to improve conditions. We will demand a plan of action and follow up conditions to ensure improvement.
The Danish Technological Institute is entitled to terminate its cooperation with a supplier if rules are violated or if critical issues are not remedied within a reasonable period of time.
No incidents of non-compliance with the ethical guidelines were reported in 2009.
The environmental policy of the Danish Technological Institute is characterised by the fact that one of our core competencies is energy and climate. Our competencies in the field of energy and climate encompass all energy sources and energy technologies, ranging from energy generation, storage and distribution to use in buildings, industry and transport. We also work to reduce emissions of human-induced greenhouse gases and to offer solutions to climate change. We have, in particular, accumulated knowledge and facilities that give the Institute a centre-stage position in the following areas:
- Renewable energy with special expertise in heating pumps, biomass procurement and biomass use as well as solar energy systems.
- Natural coolants with international expertise in ammonia, carbon dioxide, hydrocarbons and water.
- Energy-technical and industrial measurements with national reference laboratories for energy, flow and temperature.
- Energy efficiency with the Energy Test Centre and special expertise in energy-efficient process ventilation.
- EnergyFlexHouse with research and development in energy and climate-efficient integrated system solutions and user interfaces in the building and construction sector.
Looking ahead, we intend to build up knowledge and develop specific solutions and services for a broad range of purposes, including management, treatment and new uses of rainwater and climate adaptation of building processes and structures.
The overall environmental policy of the Danish Technological Institute is, at all times, to minimise the company’s environmental impact and energy and resource consumption and to integrate environmental considerations into our business processes in accordance with current environmental regulations. As a minimum, we meet the requirements, rules and expectations imposed by the superior authorities in the environmental area, but we will continually endeavour to achieve higher standards than those required by law.
Being an approved technological service institute, we have a special obligation to take the lead in environmental initiatives as managers of the technological development. One of our essential tasks is to support the development and dissemination of eco-friendly technologies and resource-optimising procedures, particularly in small and medium-sized enterprises.
New technology can contribute to alleviating the impact on the climate and the environment if utilised in the right way with respect for nature and man. We see it as an obligation to give the Danish business community an insight into how technologies can support sustainable development, meet market needs and, at the same time, benefit Danish business performance. It is also our task to provide information on the negative effects and risks of technology, for instance if technology is applied incorrectly.
We have an ambition to be a frontrunner in research and development of new technology in the environment and energy area. As a responsible company, we will continually, systematically and consistently work to develop and use cleaner sustainable technologies, products and processes and be among the most environment-conscious companies in the areas of technology where we operate.
We will continuously endeavour - through information and dialogue on our environmental policy and a persistent focus on environmental responsibility and sustainable technologies in our business processes - to signal and further a high degree of environmental awareness in the wider community.
Open dialogue - demands on suppliers
We maintain an open dialogue with our stakeholders to ensure that we are able, in close cooperation with them, to observe and optimise our environmental policy on an ongoing basis. We demand that our suppliers and sub-suppliers deliver environment-friendly materials, products and services. Another indication of our strong commitment and sense of responsibility is our practice of encouraging customers, business partners and suppliers to adhere to environmental guidelines similar to those adopted by the Danish Technological Institute.
The Danish Technological Institute has developed a series of procedures we follow to protect the environment:
- Water and energy consumption in the Danish Technological Institute’s buildings is continuously measured, managed and monitored.
- We have a sophisticated central energy control and management system, which enables us to follow and change our consumption pattern on a continuing basis.
- Waste is separated into different elements to ensure correct waste management and disposal in accordance with established procedures and current legislation. Waste sorting is performed to achieve maximum recycling and recovery of waste such as paper, toner cartridges, metal, electronic components, light bulbs, batteries, kitchen waste, etc. Non-hazardous waste that is not recyclable is either collected for incineration or taken to a recognised waste disposal site.
- Toxic and/or environmentally hazardous waste is separated at source and disposed of through Kommunekemi in Aarhus or VEGA in the Copenhagen suburb of Taastrup. We follow a specific set of rules for disposal of oil and chemical waste. These rules cover collection, management, packing, packaging, marking and transportation of waste that poses an environmental or health hazard.
- In addition, all printer paper used at the Danish Technological Institute carries the Swan Eco-label.
- We are also constantly working to limit consumption of water, paper, office supplies, graphic material and cleaning agents.
- We do not use pesticides for weed control.
- To minimise the impact of transport on the environment, the employees are encouraged to use phone and video conferencing options as alternatives to travelling.
Environmental initiatives in 2009
While following our general procedures and policies, we took a wide range of initiatives in 2009.
The following projects kicked off in 2009, scheduled for completion in 2010:
- Virtualisation of 1340 servers for 26. The target is an 80% reduction in electricity consumption.
- Minimisation of air-conditioning in server rooms. The target is a 66% reduction in electricity consumption.
- Replacement of equipment in cross fields. The target is a 90% reduction in electricity consumption.
- Switch from stationary desktop computers to laptop computers. The target is an 83% reduction in electricity consumption.
- Establishment of facilities for video conferencing in all Danish locations to minimise travelling.
- Automatic shutdown of computers on the network outside working hours. The effect of this is still unknown.
Energy consumption 2009
A statement of consumption of electricity, water and heat in 2009 in the largest Danish locations is shown below. Roskilde is not yet represented in the energy audit as this location has only been part of the Group since 1 October 2009.
To be able to work with energy economies as consistently and effectively as possible, in 2009 we initiated a project during which the possibilities of optimised energy consumption in all buildings will systematically be mapped out. We finished our work on the first two areas in 2009 and continue the process in 2010.
In 2009 a large number of old circulating pumps were replaced by new and energy-optimal ones. It is still too soon to identify and thus measure the expected savings effect.
In addition, in connection with the establishment of a motor laboratory in the city of Aarhus, a dynamometer was installed to produce electricity for the Institute.
Furthermore, in 2010 a service station for electric vehicles will be established adjacent to the Institute in Aarhus.
Terms of employment
Employment at the Danish Technological Institute is regulated within the framework of the employee handbook of the Institute and, for selected groups of employees, within a framework of flexible agreements as well, and the interaction between the Institute and the employees’ union representatives takes place within the Institute’s works council.
Our ethical guidelines apply to all our employees and to the employees of our business partners and suppliers; these guidelines deal with a wide range of issues, including the right of employees to unionise and our ban on forced labour and child labour. Our ethical guidelines are described elsewhere.
The Danish Technological Institute aims to ensure healthy physical and psychosocial working conditions; an HR Policy and a Policy on Health and Safety at Work have been drawn up to support this aim.
Health and safety
We monitor the health and safety of our employees and the psychosocial work climate by means of an employee satisfaction survey conducted anonymously every two years and a workplace assessment survey conducted every three years. The most recent surveys are the Workplace Assessment of 2008 and the Employee Satisfaction Survey of 2008.
The Workplace Assessment of 2008 indicated a very high level of satisfaction with the psychosocial work climate and revealed some areas open to improvement as well. Action plans concerning these matters have been drawn up and implemented. The very few critical concerns indicated by the Workplace Assessment 2008 related to the use of safety equipment and protection against slip, trip and fall accidents when our employees work on customers’ premises as well as a few inadequate instructions regarding equipment and chemicals. In these areas as well, action plans have been drawn up and implemented.
The Employee Satisfaction Survey of 2008 generally indicated that employee satisfaction is extremely high indeed. To the question: ”How satisfied are you generally as an employee of the Danish Technological Institute?", 88% of our employees responded that they were satisfied. The Employee Satisfaction Survey of 2008 set a new participation record as we achieved a response rate of 88%.
A new employee satisfaction survey will be conducted in the autumn of 2010.
One of the key indicators of health and safety at work is sickness absence. In 2009, once again, the Danish Technological Institute was pleased to report a sickness absence rate of 1.8% exclusive of long-term absence. Including long-term absence, sickness absence was 2.7%.
For many years, the Danish Technological Institute has experienced a low frequency of industrial injuries. A total of 23 industrial injuries occurred in 2009. In most cases, the injuries necessitated only a few, if any, sickness days, and only a single injury involved the risk of permanent disability.