ARN itself also Certified Sustainable
“From capable but unaware to capable and aware”; with these brief words, Arie de Jong, CEO at ARN concisely described the effect of the Certified Sustainable scan within his organisation. Two and a half years ago, the Institute for Sustainable Mobility (IvDM), the body responsible for carrying out the Certified Sustainable programme and the accompanying scans, combined its activities with those of ARN. In that time, the IvDM has issued more than 1,100 Certified Sustainable certificates. “Based on the principle ‘practise what you preach’, the obvious next step was to have our own internal organisation scanned.
It is always a good idea anyway to occasionally look at your own activities through a critical magnifying glass. It is a perfect learning opportunity. The Certified Sustainable report makes us aware of things that are going right and identifies areas in which there is still room for improvement in terms of sustainability and CSR.” The Certified Sustainable basic scan was carried out at the offices of ARN in Amsterdam and the PST plant in Tiel, during the last quarter of 2014. At both locations, ARN was awarded its Certified Sustainable certificate, with an overall score of 86%. Although this means much is right within the organisation, it still leaves room for certain improvements.
“For many of our customers, for example, it is not standard practice to focus attention on their corporate social responsibility, in their communication, and precisely that is the ideal opportunity to strengthen image and improve name awareness. The report from Certified Sustainable revealed that we too are somewhat reticent in that respect. For example, no one knows that for years we have been contributing to a number of good causes including Joy for Children, an education programme for children in India, Oxfam Novib and more recently also Amsterdam Cares. This is a message we can put out more clearly,” suggested De Jong. “On the other hand, our annual Sustainability Report scores well. We are justifiably proud of this annual publication. Each year it serves as our calling card. For me personally, employee health is a very important item. For that reason, we offer a full medical examination by a sports physician, while we also encourage our staff to be actively involved in sport by offering discounted subscriptions on sports club memberships. That too is part of Corporate Social Responsibility.”
The Certified Sustainable certificate is valid for one year for both the office and the PST plant. De Jong continued, “It is of course relatively more difficult to achieve a good score in a production environment, like that in Tiel, but that fact makes the results achieved even more impressive. For example, over the past few years we have succeeded in reducing the energy costs at our plant, while at the same time boosting production considerably.” For De Jong, obtaining the certificate is not the end of the road. “For the reports we issue on sustainability and corporate social responsibility, we are also looking at the guidelines from the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). A number of elements from the GRI are also contained in the Certified Sustainable Premium Scan. The eventual outcome is greater transparency for all parties, both internal and external. Precisely that transparency is in turn needed with a view to increasing awareness for sustainability and CSR throughout the sector.”
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