Corporate Social Responsibility 2016

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Corporate Social Responsibility 2016

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

The Danish Technological Institute has for a number of years adhered to a code of corporate social responsibility (CSR) that alligns 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 society at large. 

The Danish Technological Institute’s CSR strategy is detailed below and focusses on the initiatives that provide society with financial, social or environmental benefits and which 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 CSR in 2016. 

This report is a part of the management review of the 2016 annual report and is therefore covered by the auditor’s statement.

  1. Socio-economic guidelines

1. Ethical guidelines
The Danish Technological Institute is a Danish GTS (approved technological service provider) Institute whose objectives include 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 primary objective of 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 is conducted in compliance with a set of ethical guidelines. These guidelines, termed as our 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 cornerstones, 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 modus operandi of the Institute, 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. The physical or mental punishment of employees or their subjection to any other degrading treatment will not be tolerated.

5. Corruption, including blackmail and bribery, will under no circumstances be tolerated.

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 in the workplace and dedicated 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.

2. In practice
Procurement undertaken by the Danish Technological Institute will be carried out in accordance with 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 to ensure that relevant and necessary measures be taken to safeguard their ongoing compliance with the Danish Technological Institute’s Code of Conduct. Similarly, upon request from the Danish Technological Institute, it is the responsibility of the supplier to provide relevant documentation pertaining to the above. The Danish Technological Institute reserves the right at any time to instigate an investigation 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 comply with the Code of Conduct. The Danish Technological Institute retains the right to terminate any partnership with a supplier in the event that the supplier contravenes 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 for 2016

During 2016, no cases of failure to uphold the ethical Code of Conduct were recorded.

III. Social and environmental guidelines

1. Sustainability and environmental considerations and guidelines

The Danish Technological Institute wishes to contribute towards 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 areas cover 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 procedures among Danish and international companies – in particular, among Danish SMEs.

New technologies can contribute to reducing climate and environmental impact if used correctly and with respect for nature and humans. One of our primary objectives at the Danish Technological Institute is to inform and educate companies in how technology can not only support sustainable development but also meet market requirements and 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 implemented arbitrarily.

The Danish Technological Institute strives to be a frontrunner 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 resolutely 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 statutory minimum criteria.   

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 patterns/levels of consumption at all times.
  • Waste is fraction-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, etc. Non-recyclable non-hazardous material is either collected for incineration or taken to an accredited waste-disposal site.
  • Toxic and/or environmentally hazardous waste is source-separated and disposed of by Ekokem A/S in both Aarhus and Taastrup. The Danish Technological Institute follows 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.
  • The organisation is working continually to limit the amount of water, paper, office supplies, graphic materials and cleaning products used.
  • 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 excessive 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 greenhouse gasses and we strive to develop effective 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.
  • EnergyFlexOffice with research and development in office-environment energy efficiency and office user interfaces.

In 2016, the Danish Technological Institute furthermore completed construction of a new climate-adaption laboratory aimed at amassing knowledge and develop concrete solutions and services in the field of managing, cleaning and reusing rainwater, as well as climate-adaption of processes and constructions within the construction sector. Additionally, we have a sustained 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 order for us to comply 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 and optimise 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 the guidelines adhered to by the Danish Technological Institute itself. 

3. Results in 2016

3a. Sustainable corporate research and development

Throughout 2016 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 which aims to accumulate knowledge and develop practical solutions and services for environment proofing and the management, cleansing and re-utilisation of rainwater.
  • The Danish National Test Centre for Water Technology, which promotes the development and testing of new products aimed at climate-proofing buildings against intense rainfall.
  • The development of a new CO2-neutral – and furthermore SO2-free and particle-free – fuel for shipping. Additionally, we have worked on the development of similar new emission-reducing technologies for the transport sector.
  • The Danish Technological Institute has participated in several conferences dealing with co-operation between research institutes and companies in both Africa and South America. Numerous meetings have been held with African embassies and consulates in Denmark with the aim of spreading the knowledge of the Danish Technological Institute’s work internationally regarding our work in the fields of energy efficiency, innovation and food security.
  • Furthermore, in 2016 the Danish Technological Institute held the position of Reginal Focal Point for Europe in the World Association of Industrial and Technological Research Organisations (WAITRO), and has as a result co-operated and networked with organisations across the globe.
  • The Danish Technological Institute has worked in several EU projects focussing on battery life and battery range for electric cars in the Nordic climate.

In order to support this last-mentioned project and to promote the use of electrically powered vehicles in general, the Danish Technological Institute installed two electric vehicle chargers on our premised in both Taastrup and Aarhus during 2016.

3b. The Danish Technological Institute’s environmental policy

In 2016 the following initiatives were undertaken by the Danish Technological Institute:

  • Approximately 500 metres of underground heating pipes at our Taastrup site have been replaced by smaller-dimension and better-insulated heating pipes in order to reduce heat loss.
  • A new district heating centre has been established at Taastrup to ensure improved utilisation and management of the Danish Technological Institute’s district heating system.
  • Three ventilation systems at Taastrup have been replaced by more energy efficient systems.
  • Many light fittings in Aarhus have been upgraded to more energy efficient LED lighting. 
  • A centralised monitoring and management systems (CTS monitoring) has been established 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 (PIR) switches have been introduced throughout several of the buildings owned by the Danish Technological Institute.

IV. The Danish Technological Institute as a workplace

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 and safety policy. These ensure a well-functioning workplace in which there is a high level of focus on maintaining a good physical an psychological working environment, allowing our employees to develop professionally as best possible and on treating 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 and safety 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:

  • Option to take time off 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 staff canteen initiative.

In order to ensure a healthy workplace and low levels of absenteeism due to sickness, the Danish Technological Institute has established a work-environment organisation which monitors the working environment at the institute. Furthermore, the Danish Technological Institute conducts a biannual anonymous employee-satisfaction survey, and every three years we carry out a workplace-evaluation survey (APV). The most recent employee-satisfaction survey was carried out in 2016, and the most recent APV was carried out in the latter half of 2014. The questions in the 2016 employee-satisfaction survey related to satisfaction and well-being, loyalty and commitment, image, as well as the daily working conditions and general terms of employment.

The results of the 2016 employee-satisfaction survey showed particularly high levels of satisfaction with the Danish Technological Institute as a workplace. To the question “I look forward to going to work”, 93% of employees responded positively, and 90% agreed with the statement “In the majority of aspects, the Danish Technological Institute is the ideal workplace for me”. The overall response rate in the 2016 employee-satisfaction survey was 91%.

Similarly, the 2014 workplace-evaluation (APV) survey showed equally high levels of satisfaction among employees towards the physical and psychological working environment. The survey also pointed out areas where employees felt there could be further improvements, and action plans are currently being drawn up to deal with these highlighted issues.

Again in 2016, the Danish Technological Institute recorded an extremely low level of absenteeism due to sickness at 2.1%.

Correspondingly, the number of work-related injuries in 2016 was extremely few at just 7 registered cases.

A final noteworthy point is the fact that in 2016 the Danish Technological Institute opened its doors to an unusually high number of trainees and students (approx. 180), who for varying lengths of time enjoyed the opportunity to look around and experience the organisation and become inspired by the many activities taking pace here.