Top Responsible company: Skanska number 2 and Velux number 3
Companies that reached the methaphorical finish line of the competition (TOP Responsible companies of 2021) have minimal differences in ratings. The quality of strategies and projects has increased, with significantly more businesses achieving above 90 % of the overall score this year. Businesses work together to minimize waste, address the protection of water resources and ecosystems, support local raw material growers, cultivate responsible behaviour in both their employees and consumers, or establish research and education centres. We are pursuing ambitious goals and visions for a sustainable future for companies, and what was new last year is becoming a cross-sectoral standard this year. The projects submitted in the spring are already overshadowed by other positive changes taking place in the companies during this autumn.
We believe that sustainability issues will soon become crucial for the new political representation and public authorities, without whose active role, support and cooperation with society and, actually, all of us, cannot live without.
Skanska is one of the main construction and development companies with a wide portfolio of construction production. While providing services and products, it also emphasizes its stance on sustainable development, environmental protection, ethical business, diversity and occupational health and safety. Skanska is a market leader not only in green building, but it is also focused on innovations focused on sustainable construction. Skanska aligns with and implements the Sustainable Development Goals as a framework for measuring performance and the contributions of its own work in sustainable development.
The company has set up seven closely interlinked goals that mirror their core values. Their goal is to operate in all home markets at a high moral level and reduce carbon emissions.
"Skanska is well-known for its values and a responsible approach toward business, which applies to more than just the construction market. At Skanska, we feel challenged by promoting sustainable solutions in a joint collaboration with other industry sectors. Workplace safety, managing climate change and managing price of bulding materials - all of these motivate us greatly to adopt new, sustainable approaches. As a market leader, we want to inspire, develop our projects with elements of the circular economy, develop technologies in our market that contribute to reduce the carbon footprint but also increase efficiency. But most importantly, we intend to continue to motivate our employees to implement sustainable solutions that are not only environmentally friendly but also economically viable," says Petr Špaček, Director of Safety and Sustainable Development at Skanska.
The company strives to become a leader in diversity as well. The company realizes that employees of different ethnicities, ages, genders and backgrounds positively support their value with the motto: Let's be better, together.
In 2020, Velux introduced a new corporate CRS strategy, which addresses the biggest challenge the company faces. Their communication is closely linked to following the responsible business conduct to emphasize its importance.
Velux uses life cycle analysis to evaluate and document product impacts. They have developed Velux Environmental Product Assessments for their own purposes and at the same time, they prepare independently verified ecological product declarations for new products.
Environmental aspects of operation are among the main parameters from development and design of products, to packaging and waste. They have adopted very ambitious goals in the company and aspire to be a model company in terms of relations with customers and suppliers. By 2020, the company managed to meet the targets and, for example, in the case of reducing the carbon footprint, they achieved a reduction of 59 percent, with the target being set at 50 percent.
"For me, personally, the approach of our highest political representation to sustainability issues is disappointing, especially in the area of environmental challenges. This is not a major problem for us, but it is very important for the general public to see that top officials and representatives have adopted a responsible approach to the environment as one of their priorities. The Slovakian president Zuzana Čaputová serves as a great inspiration. I am very much looking forward to the time when the barriers to the implementation of environmental rights measures will be removed. Sustainability is one of the main pillars of our strategy and is implemented in all aspects of our business - from product development through production and distribution to finding potential uses once the product is disposed of. Practical areas include single-use and plastic-free packaging, increasing acceptable payback periods for investment projects contributing to sustainability, etc., "comments Ondřej Boreš, Public Affairs Manager of Velux.