“Our sustainability ambitions are greater than ever today”

“Our sustainability ambitions are greater than ever today”

“It’s not about having a sustainability strategy, it’s about having a sustainable strategy.” A clear message from our CEO Gert Bervoets. More to the point than ever in these times of crisis. That is why we are firmly convinced that we can make a meaningful difference: for our people, our customers and society in general.

“Our sustainability ambitions are more topical and greater than ever before,” according to Bob Van Steenweghen. “Without healthy growth, there is no job security, and without healthy employees, healthy growth is unthinkable. And no matter how great the impact of this health crisis is, it is not going to make the climate crisis go away.”

Our ambitions under the microscope

Our customers, suppliers and employees will certainly agree that our corporate values are not haphazard words. Reliability, Care, Entrepreneurship, Positivism and Simplicity: these keywords are intertwined with everything we do. That is why they also form the core of the large-scale sustainability plan that we have drawn up, based on the seventeen United Nations Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs. “Specifically, we set our priorities and linked our values to those SDGs in which we, alone or together with our customers, can make the most meaningful changes:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For each of these five SDGs we defined themes and set out ambitions with specific initiatives. “It involves a variety of projects, ranging from small to cross-company.” We would like to briefly explain our ambitions here and substantiate them with one example chosen among many initiatives.

3 Good Health & Well-being

Our ambition: We take care of our people, our customers and our environment. Safety in the workplace and physical and mental well-being receive our utmost attention.

One of the initiatives: Our large-scale Fit2Grow program for employees remains an important link in our welfare policy. The health program encourages our employees to exercise and eat more healthily, but also focuses on mental well-being, ergonomics, good night rest, coping with stress, etc.

4 Quality Education

Our ambition: We believe in people’s self-reliance and growth potential. That is why we invest heavily in lifelong learning. This is how we create growth opportunities for our people and how we cope with the scarcity on the labour market. We also facilitate knowledge sharing between employees, experts and customers to keep a finger on the pulse.

One of our initiatives: We exchange knowledge with the academic world. In the future, we want to focus even more on this with guest lectures, substantive contributions to educational programmes, and the international expansion of our internship programmes to offer students even more inspiring internship opportunities.

8 Decent Work & Economic Growth

Our ambition: We opt for a sustainable growth strategy which creates employment while supporting the growth of our customers. With our entrepreneurial spirit, which is in our company’s DNA as well as in that of our 6560 employees, we are always proactively looking for solutions.

One of our initiatives: The logistics sector is digitising at a rapid pace. This requires accurate data monitoring, watertight data security and visibility across the entire chain. Not only to be able to respond quickly to disruptions, the corona crisis has made that clear, but also to optimise our customers’ logistic flows. With the development of our own control tower we now have the perfect in-house systems and processes.

9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Our ambition: We believe in innovation to simplify our services in order to provide our customers with maximum peace of mind. Innovation must be truly applicable.

One of our initiatives: We are strongly committed to Customer Intimacy to make a real difference for our customers. In this period of crisis, this customer focus becomes more visible than ever before. During the lockdown period, for example, we helped them to shift their road transport to a customised rail solution in order to reach their final destination more easily.

13 Climate Action

Our ambition: We are constantly looking for sustainable solutions to reduce our ecological footprint. Both in our daily operations, as well as in new investments, eco-friendliness is one of the most important parameters. We are a solid and reliable long-term partner for all stakeholders.

One of our initiatives: Together with our customers, we calculate the CO2 emissions of their logistic processes in a standardised manner. For this we base ourselves on the methodology developed by GLEC (Global Logistics Emissions Council). On the basis of these results, we work together on solutions to reduce these emissions.

You can see for yourself: our responsibility to become more sustainable is taken to heart. Sustainability is not part of our strategy, it is how we deal with the strategy. And we translate it within all our projects and initiatives. Each piece of the puzzle contributes to the whole. And we want to complete that puzzle more than ever.

In the next newsletters we would like to elaborate on these ambitions. Do you have any queries in the meantime? Do not hesitate to contact Bob Van Steenweghen: bob.vansteenweghen@essers.com.