Building a sustainable future together!
On 24 May 2019, millions of young and not-so-young people in 1,600 cities and 125 countries took to the streets in support of the climate. With their protests, they drew attention to the urgency of environmental action and demanded that governments comply with the Paris climate agreement. And they asked for the support of businesses, because climate change is affecting the entire economic world. BDO is already setting the example. Our brand-new multidisciplinary sustainability team has published the first CSR Report.
Tessy Martens, Senior Manager BDO Digital and CSR Ambassador,
Michaël Van Cutsem, Partner BDO Public Sector and CSR Coordinator,
Fabrice Grognard, Partner BDO Tax and CSR Coordinator
For more than a year, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a stranglehold on our planet. But that does not diminish the weight and relevance of the climate message. Our transition to a new and more sustainable development model is a structural challenge that we, as a responsible company, take on for ourselves and for our customers who we accompany in the transition with our knowledge and know-how. A dedicated Sustainability team of employees, drawn from all areas of expertise at all levels, monitors the goals and gives direction to the initiatives.
“BDO Belgium actively contributes to 10 of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals.”
A step further: BDO’s CSR policy
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) obviously does not stop with our pursuit of climate neutrality. In 2020, BDO invested heavily in formalising its social responsibility in a so-called CSR Report. In concrete terms, this ‘formalisation’ meant that we, based on a thorough analysis, combined all the efforts made by the company, our offices and our individual employees in the field of corporate social responsibility into a clear report.
Our first CSR Report is supported by 4 pillars, inspired by a variety of certification sources and especially by the GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) guidelines that are the standard today. The 4 pillars focus on the following themes:
Our policy to benefit the employees. This part covers topics such as inclusion, work-life balance, and our policy to sharpen the competencies and commitment of our employees through mobilising goals, such as setting aside 6 days for training each year.
Our approach to benefit society at large. With our support and voluntary actions, BDO supports initiatives around climate transition and, at the same time, ensures that education is the guiding thread of our social actions. After all, awareness and education are essential for the development of a more responsible society. This second part of the report also covers the initiatives BDO is taking to share know-how and ensure responsible leadership. We’re proud of how many qualitative initiatives have already been taken in this area.
Our environmental policy. This focuses mainly on our ‘CO2-neutral’ label and also includes goals around sustainable mobility and environmental education.
BDO’s first response to the call of the climate movement was the decision to become climate neutral. After an initial certification in 2019 (also read the article ‘BDO is Belgium’s first climate-neutral consultancy firm’ in To The Point 03/2019), BDO had its emissions recalculated in 2020. We are on the right track. After the integration of two new companies (Crossroad and Ideas at Work), our group quickly achieved remarkable progress: BDO’s CO2 emissions fell by an average of 25% per employee. BDO’s ‘CO2-neutral’ label symbolises our commitment to the future of the planet. On the one hand, it gives us the tools we need to reduce the company’s emissions in a sustainable way. On the other hand, we offset our unavoidable emissions by supporting projects with a positive climate impact elsewhere in the world, which are labelled by a certified partner.
Our average CO2 emissions per BDO employee decreased by 25%.
Our economic policy and, in particular, BDO’s efforts in terms of transparency, independence, data protection and the fight against fraud and cybercrime. It’s no coincidence that our customers trust us to help them with such problems. Of course, you can only provide meaningful guidance if you yourself set a good example. For instance, BDO checks the independence criteria for all of its contracts, and we always follow a ‘Know Your Client’ procedure.
Doing even better in 2021
BDO is very proud of its first CSR Report. We actively and directly contribute to 10 of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (the so-called SDGs). We support others through loyal partnerships and financial and humanitarian aid. Finally, we offset the CO2 emissions we generate with goals that are less directly related to our core business. “No greenwashing but fact-checking”: our approach is explained in a dashboard with 120 indicators.
Our CSR Report was published in February and is the result of the work of a multidisciplinary team that managed to arouse BDO’s interest and enthusiasm for the sustainability goals. The report is the ultimate proof that our company is committed to giving meaning to its climate projects and delivering value to its customers, its employees and society.
The Sustainability team will continue its work – and expand its activities – in 2021. For example, it will update the CSR indicators, formalise new goals, consult with stakeholders and develop the range of services even further. From now on, BDO can also support your company or organisation in developing a CSR strategy and policy. To be continued. We promise!