Corporate Social Responsibility 2013

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Corporate Social Responsibility 2013

I. Statutory report on corporate social responsibility in accordance with section 99a of the Danish Financial Statements Act

For a number of years, the Danish Technological Institute has adhered to a code of corporate social responsibility (CSR) that corresponds with the organisation’s role as a national and international research-and-technology-based organisation.

The Danish Technological Institute’s field of responsibility encompasses not only our own employees, but also our customers and partners. In addition to this, we strive to ensure that the services we deliver and the research projects we participate in contribute to responsible development that benefits both the individual and the community at large. 

The Danish Technological Institute’s CSR strategy is detailed below and focusses on the initiatives that provide the community with financial, social or environmental benefits and also create an inspirational and healthy working environment for our employees. This overview details the following three points: 1) The Technological Institute’s CSR policies/guidelines 2) how the individual policies or guidelines are carried out in practice 3) specific achievements in the field of CRS in 2013. 

This report on the Danish Technological Institute’s CRS is included in the 2013 annual report and is therefore covered by the auditor’s statement.

II. Socio-economic guidelines

1. Ethical guidelines
The Danish Technological Institute is a Danish GTS (approved technological service provider) Institute. A key part of our operations involves working to increase the number of innovative and competitive Danish companies; consequently, promoting socio-economic business principles among our customers and other partners – particularly among Danish SMEs – is a top priority at the Danish Technological Institute. Through our CSR policies and guidelines we aim to support and promote the principles of the UN declaration of human rights.   

The work undertaken by the Danish Technological Institute’s is conducted in compliance with a set of ethical guidelines. These guidelines, or Code of Conduct, detail how we wish to conduct our business operations in a responsible way – ensuring respect for human dignity and in line with the organisation’s visions and values. The Danish Technological Institute’s values are founded upon the following four principles, upon which we at all times must act in accordance with: professionalism, commitment, impartiality and respect.
The Danish Technological Institute’s Code of Conduct is integrated into the way the organisation operates, both internally within the organisation and externally in our dealings with customers and other partners.

The Danish Technological Institute’s Code of Conduct:
1. We support and respect international human rights.
2.  We will ensure that we are in no way party to any violation of human rights
3.  We are committed to upholding an employee’s freedom of association and recognise his/her collective bargaining rights.
4.  We do not accept the physical or mental punishment of employees or their subjection to any other degrading treatment
5.  Corruption, including blackmail and bribery, will under no circumstances be accepted.
6.  Under no circumstances will we tolerate forced labour.
7.  Under no circumstances will we tolerate child labour.
8.  Under no circumstances will discrimination in the workplace be tolerated.
9.  We are committed to promoting health and safety at work, and to providing proper facilities for our employees.
10.  We will ensure that working hours and wages fully comply with local legislation.
11.  We strive to employ the best-qualified person, irrespective of gender, age, race, marital status, language, religious beliefs, sexual orientation or political affiliation.
12.  In our internal and external communication, we strive for an open, professional and solution-oriented dialogue. At all levels, we will communicate on the basis of our professionalism and desire to safeguard the interests of the Danish Technological Institute.
13.  We support preventive measures in relation to the environmental challenges that we face. We initiate measures to improve environmental awareness and to support the development and dissemination of eco-friendly technologies in line with our environmental policy.

2. In practice
All purchases made by the Danish Technological Institute will be undertaken in accordance with the our Code of Conduct. Suppliers wishing to deal with the Danish Technological Institute will be required to adhere to our Code of Conduct and comply with all international conventions and current national legislation in the country where the work is being carried out. Suppliers to the Danish Technological Institute must also ensure that their subcontractors also conduct their affairs in a responsible manner.

It is the responsibility of the supplier that relevant and necessary measures be taken to ensure that they comply with the Danish Technological Institute’s Code of Conduct. Similarly, on the request of the Danish Technological Institute, it is the responsibility of the supplier to provide relevant documentation pertaining to the above. We reserve the right to, at any time, initiate an evaluation to establish whether or not a supplier is acting in accordance with our Code of Conduct. If a supplier fails to comply with Danish Technological Institute’s Code of Conduct, we will initiate a constructive dialogue with the supplier in question in order to improve conditions; to this, the Danish Technological Institute will require an action plan and will continue to follow up the situation until such time as the supplier can complies with the Code of Conduct. The Danish Technological Institute retains the right to terminate any partnership with a supplier if the supplier breaks these rules or any critical state of affairs is not rectified within a reasonable timeframe. 

Occasionally, the Danish Technological Institute undertakes work in countries where corruption and human-rights violations are more commonplace than in Denmark. In such instances, we will maintain heightened focus on upholding the highest ethical standards in our operations.
At no time has the Danish Technological Institute recorded any instance where this Code of Conduct has been violated.

3. Results in 2013
In 2013, no instances of violation of the Code of Conduct have been recorded.

III. Social and environmental guidelines

1. Sustainability and environmental considerations
The Danish Technological Institute wishes to contribute to the development of a sustainable society. In this respect, the term sustainability not only covers climate and environmental issues, but also includes ensuring that people and animals be treated in the best way possible and in accordance with existing rules. Our primary focus area covers both of the following: a) supporting sustainable development in Danish and non-Danish organisations, b) ensuring that the Danish Technological Institute is run in an as environmentally friendly manner as is possible.   

1a. Sustainable corporate research and development
As a GTS institute, the Danish Technological Institute has a particular obligation to support research and development and promote the dissemination of sustainable technologies and resource-optimised procedure among Danish and international companies – in particular, among Danish SMEs.

If used correctly and with respect for nature and humans, new technologies can contribute to reducing climate and environmental impact. One of our primary objectives at the Danish Technological Institute is to inform and educate companies how technology can not only support sustainable development but also meet market requirements benefit corporate activities. In this respect, we are charged with the duty of informing our corporate partners and customers of any negative risks that a technology could pose, for example if used indiscriminately.

The Danish Technological Institute aims to be a market leader in the research and development of new technologies in the fields of environment and energy. As a socially responsible organisation, we will continually, systematically and determinedly work to develop and use cleaner sustainable technologies and processes, aiming to become the most environmentally conscious organisation within the technological fields in which we operate. 

1b. The Danish Technological Institute’s environmental policy
The primary objective of the Danish Technological Institute’s environmental policy is to limit the organisation’s environmental impact and energy/resource consumption at all times by incorporating best-practice environmental considerations into all business processes. As a minimum, the Danish Technological Institute will adhere to all valid statutory requirements; however, we at all times will strive to exceed the environmental criteria set by legislation.   

Furthermore, as a GTS company, the Danish Technological Institute aims to signal and promote a high level of environmental awareness to the outside world. We aim to achieve this through information and dialogue regarding the organisation’s environmental policy and through an ongoing focus on environmental responsibility and sustainable technologies in our business processes.
Environmental guidelines
The Danish Technological Institute has established a set of procedures and initiatives to ensure environmentally friendly and sustainable practices: 

  • Water and energy consumption in the Danish Technological Institute’s buildings is continuously measured, managed and monitored.
  • Our advanced centralised energy control and management system enables us to monitor and modify the organisation’s levels of consumption on an ongoing basis.
  • Waste is separated to ensure correct waste management and disposal in accordance with established procedures and current legislation. Waste sorting is performed to achieve a maximum level of recycling and recovery of waste, including paper, toner cartridges, metal, electronic components, light bulbs, batteries, kitchen waste, etc. Non-recyclable non-hazardous is either collected for incineration or taken to a accredited waste disposal site
  • Toxic and/or environmentally hazardous waste is source-separated and disposed of at Kommunekemi in Aarhus or VEGA in Taastrup. We follow a specific set of guidelines for the disposal of oil and chemical waste; these guidelines cover collection,
    management, packing, packaging, labelling and transportation of waste that poses an environmental or health hazard.
  • We are constantly working to reduce the consumption of paper, stationery supplies, graphic material, and cleaning agents.
  • Herbicides are never used for weed control.
  • Employees are encouraged to use phone- and video-conferencing options where possible in order to minimise the negative environmental impact of transportation. 2. In practice

2a. Sustainable corporate research and development
In relation to supporting sustainable corporate research and development, the Danish Technological Institute is continually developing competencies in the areas of energy and climate. In particular, these areas include all forms of energy and energy technology from energy production, storage and distribution, to energy use in buildings, industrial applications and transport. Additionally, we work with reducing human-made climate gasses and producing climate-change solutions. At the Danish
Technological Institute, we have amassed such a wealth of knowledge and built up so many specialised facilities within the fields listed below that we are considered to be a leader within these areas.   

  • Renewable energy, with particular expertise in heat pumps, biomass procurement and use, as well as solar energy systems.
  • Natural refrigerants, with international expertise in ammonia, CO2, hydrocarbons and water.
  • Energy-technological and industrial measurements, with national reference laboratories for energy, flow and temperature.
  • Energy efficiency, with our Energy Test Centre and particular expertise in energy-efficient process ventilation.
  • EnergyFlexHouse, with research and development in energy- and climate-efficient integrated solutions and user interfaces within the construction industry.

In the near future, the Danish Technological Institute will collate knowledge on and develop specific solutions/services within the following fields: rainwater management, cleansing and use, and environment-proofing building processes and constructions. Additionally, we will focus on environmentally friendly construction materials, green production (the bio-based society), and improved and more environmentally friendly waste management.

2b. The Technological Institute’s environmental policy
In line with our environmental policy, the daily running and operation of the Danish Technological Institute is undertaken in accordance with the guidelines and rules stated above.

Furthermore, the Danish Technological Institute maintains an ongoing dialogue with all of our partners in order to ensure that we, in close collaboration with these, can adhere to and continually improve our environmental policy. In addition to this, we require that the materials, products and services used by our suppliers and subcontractors be environmentally friendly. Our commitment and responsibility also manifests itself through the fact that we encourage customers, partners and suppliers to adhere to environmental guidelines similar in nature to our guidelines at the Danish Technological Institute. 

3. Results in 2013

3a. Sustainable corporate research and development
Throughout 2013, the Danish Technological Institute participated in various projects aimed at promoting sustainable corporate research and development. Notable examples include:

  • The innovation network Vand i Byer and the innovation consortium Byer I Vandbalance both of which aim to collate knowledge and develop practical solutions and services for environment-proofing and the management, cleansing and re-utilisation of rainwater.
  • Publication of two new directives in 2013 from the Danish Technological Institute’s Rørcenter advising how to climate-proof buildings from torrential downpours.
  • The development of a new CO2-neutral, SO2-free and particle-free fuel for marine transportation, including the development of new emission-reducing technologies for the transport sector.
  • Work in several EU projects focussing on battery life and battery range for electric cars in the Nordic climate.

2b. The Danish Technological Institute’s environmental policy
The following initiatives were undertaken by the Danish Technological Institute in 2013:

  • The establishment of centralised monitoring and management systems (CTS overvågning) at a number of compressed-air plants in several of the Danish Technological Institute’s buildings. The aim of these monitoring systems is to assist in locating leaks and charting operational patterns, thereby reducing overall operation time and saving electricity.
  • A similar centralised monitoring and management system has been introduced to manage building heating, and a number of windows have been replaced and thermally upgraded.
  • Passive infrared sensor lighting switches have been introduced throughout several of the buildings owned by the Danish Technological Institute.
  • A new research and lecture hall has been established at the institute’s Rørcenter. Built as a low-energy hall, heating expenditure has been reduced by approx. 75%.

IV. The Danish Technological Institute as a place to Work

1. HR policy
The Danish Technological Institute strives to remain a highly attractive workplace where employees can thrive both professionally and on a personal level – benefitting not only the organisation but also the individual and society at large. To achieve this, we prioritise creating a healthy, safe and flexible working environment for our employees. 

In addition to the aforementioned ethical guidelines (which also cover to our employees), the Danish Technological Institute has drawn up both an HR policy and an occupational health policy. These ensure a well-functioning workplace where there is focus on a good physical an psychological working environment, allowing our employees to develop professionally as best possible and treat each other and our partners with respect. These policies can be read in full by clicking on the Policy link.

2. In practice
At the Danish Technological Institute, we expect our employees – in every aspect of their work – to adhere to our Code of Conduct and to our HR and occupational health policies.
To ensure that employees at the Danish Technological Institute are afforded the best possibilities for maintaining a good work/life balance (thereby providing them the best conditions for personal professional development) we have instigated a number of initiatives open to employees. These include:

  • Choice of leave on a child’s first sick day
  • Annual personal development interviews with managers and employees
  • Health-oriented fringe benefits, including access to gym facilities, fruit in the workplace, and a healthy and varied canteen scheme.

In order to ensure a healthy workplace and low levels of absenteeism due to sickness, the Danish Technological Institute has set up a work-environment organisation which monitors the working environment at the institute. Additionally, we conduct an anonymous employee-satisfaction survey once a year, and every three years we carry out a workplace-evaluation survey (APV). The most recent of these have been the 2010 employee-satisfaction survey and the 2011 workplace-evaluation survey.

The questions in the employee-satisfaction survey relate to satisfaction and well-being, loyalty and commitment, image, as well as the daily working conditions and general terms of employment. The latest survey from 2012 showed overall high levels of satisfaction with the Danish Technological Institute as a workplace. To the question “All in all, I am satisfied and motivated as an employee at the Danish Technological Institute”, 91% of employees answered that they indeed were satisfied. To the question “In the majority of aspects, the Danish Technological Institute is the ideal workplace for me”, 90% responded that they agreed with the statement. The response level of the 2012 employee-satisfaction survey was 92%.

Similarly, the 2011 workplace-evaluation survey showed equally high levels of satisfaction among employees, but also pointing out areas where there could be room for improvement. To deal with these areas, a number of action plans have ben drawn up and initiated.
A new employee-satisfaction survey will be held in the autumn of 2014 and a workplace-evaluation survey will be held mid 2014.

3. Results in 2013
Again in 2013, the Danish Technological Institute recorded an extremely low level of absenteeism due to sickness at 2.1%.

Correspondingly, the number of work-related injuries registered in 2013 was extremely few at just 8 cases.