New Damco sustainability strategy focuses on helping customers to bring logistics onto their sustainability agendas

by From the Top on 2015-04-16 03:50:24


Anders Holbech As the result of a thorough process that started already in 2014, Damco has recently announced a review of its sustainability strategy. The new strategy will ensure that we can meet the current and future demands from customers and regulators around the world in a wide range of areas, from carbon footprint reduction to anti-corruption policy. Furthermore, the strategy aims to help us attract the best local talent wherever we operate. It focuses on four sustainability priorities and defines specific sustainability targets for the coming years.

Four priorities

Damco’s Global Leadership Team has been actively involved in developing the new strategy  indicating  the importance Damco attaches to sustainability. The leadership identified four areas as Sustainability Priorities for 2015/2016:

- Sustainable Logistics
- Anti-Corruption
- Local Community Engagement & Diversity
- Health, Safety, Security & Environment (HSSE)

Within those, Damco aims to stand out from its industry rivals in the fields of reducing carbon emissions, anti-corruption and community engagement & diversity. Another six – chemicals, security, health and safety, environmental compliance, employment conditions and responsible procurement – were identified as areas to be managed professionally, meeting industry standards and regulations. The responsibility for improving Damco’s performance in each of these areas has been assigned to members of the leadership team.

Sustainable logistics
The first of the four strategic priorities, ‘Sustainable Logistics’, is about supporting our customers to make greener choices by making the carbon impact of their end-to-end logistics operations visible. Damco has been a pioneer in this field by providing Carbon Dashboards; a next step is offering support for reducing other pollutants besides CO2. We have been actively involved in major industry initiatives such as the Clean Cargo Working Group, IATA and the Smart Freight Centre. The target here is to be recognised as a leader in sustainable logistics.

Anti-corruption
Corruption is a threat to every sustainability initiative and Damco enforces zero tolerance for bribery. We will continue to strive to reduce and eliminate facilitation payments, in close cooperation with our customers. Over the past year Damco has put considerable effort into raising internal awareness of the issue and improving reporting: 2799 employees completed our anti-corruption training during 2014. The target is a 25% reduction of facilitation payments annually.

Local community engagement and diversity
The third priority, engaging with communities around the world and building a more diverse workforce, is another key part of Damco’s strategy. Damco needs to recruit, nurture and retain the best people locally because they will help the company to create new business, since local people have the best understanding of their own communities and culture. The target for this priority is a measured employee engagement of more than 90%.

Health, safety, security and environment (HSSE)
The fourth and final priority concerns the professional and systematic management of HSSE aspects: decisions that affect the working conditions of Damco’s employees as well as those of our suppliers, for example trucking companies, and the environmental effects of our operations. Our ambition in this field is to comply with industry and regulatory standards. The target is to have externally certifiable HSSE management systems up and running by 2016.

Good for the world and necessary for business
At Damco we believe that focusing on sustainability is not at odds with being successful as a business. Quite the contrary: while making our business more sustainable will definitely benefit the planet and its people, it is also essential for the future success of the company. For example, a large part of Damco’s business consists of shipping clothing from producers in Asia to consumers in Europe. Our customers, which include large multinational brands, set increasingly higher employment, health and safety standards on their manufacturers. Damco intends to add logistics to their sustainability agendas, whether that is reducing carbon emissions or tackling corruption. By offering our clients the tools to monitor and improve their performance, we help them reach their goals – which is an excellent way to improve our market position.

The new strategy will deliver an essential contribution to the way Damco moves forward. In the words of Hanne B. Sorensen, Damco’s CEO: “We want to position Damco in a place where we can build partnerships with our customers – helping them to bring logistics onto their sustainability agendas.” If you are interested to learn more about the Damco approach to sustainability, please download our folder Our Sustainability Priorities 2015-2016 here.

Anders Holbech is Damco's Global Head of Sustainability. Prior to his current role, Anders was a senior manager at PWC Sustainable Business Solutions. He has been working in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America on projects related to organisational development, business strategy, sustainability and climate change. Anders is a Danish national and holds a Master Degree in Economics from the University of Copenhagen.