Visma Connect Quarterly CSR Update: Q4 2020 In Review

Last year, we announced that we successfully completed a CSR Performance Ladder audit. Our work to build a more equitable and sustainable society didn’t stop there. To keep you apprised of our latest efforts in this area, we will start publishing a quarterly update. Here’s what we achieved in the last few months.

October 2020: Learning about diversity and inclusion

In October last year, we held an online session with a guest speaker, the Inclusion and Diversity Lead for Accenture in Norway. Accenture has been working on this for a long time and inclusion has really shaped their company culture. We started driving this effort with a dedicated committee recently, so we’re eager to learn about best practices. Over 140 people from our team participated in the call. The speaker spoke about her own personal experiences and invited us to challenge our own beliefs on this subject. An important discussion topic was the fact that diversity should not just be about ethnicity. It should also encompass inclusion for people from different economic backgrounds, for instance. The focus, we learned, should not be on labels. Everyone should feel included.

November 2020: Materiality analysis

In November, we took big steps in maturing our CSR efforts. We carried out an analysis into our material topics for the first time. We did this by consulting with several stakeholders (customers, employees, partners, industry associations, shareholders and our local community). In particular, we asked them to help us rate 20 topics to identify the most important or “material” ones. We also did our own research about consumer concerns to pinpoint material topics for society as a whole. The input from this analysis will help us define CSR focus areas for the coming years.

As part of this project, we also looked into how we can proactively implement the Dutch Climate Agreement in our operations. We did a formal impact analysis and formulated an action plan for the near future. For example, calculating our carbon footprint for transportation, setting new energy savings requirements, and helping employees commit to behavioral changes that will enable us to reach these goals.

December 2020: Hybrid working policy

With the ongoing pandemic, we all had to shift to remote work last year. Contrary to what we expected, our productivity and results did not suffer because of this change. Instead, we noticed that many of our employees rather enjoyed the change. This gave us the momentum to implement a new, hybrid working policy that came into effect on January 1, 2021. Although we are still working from home due to restrictions, we will allow employees to split their work days between home and the office as of this year. Besides driving employee satisfaction, we believe this change will help us lower carbon emissions from commuting to office locations. To assess the impact, we defined a baseline calculation for our carbon footprint using transportation data from January 2020. We are curious to see how this policy impacts our energy/fuel consumption.

January 2021: Visma Sustynex launch

With the launch of Visma Sustynex last month, we’re walking the talk towards meeting our sustainability objectives. Visma Sustynex is the world’s first cloud native platform for ESG Disclosure based on a GRI taxonomy. Besides developing this product for qualified sustainability reporting, we are becoming stewards for sustainability ourselves by developing a concrete action plan with measurable results. Something we want to encourage other organisations to do.

Interested in learning more? Contact us.