The future in mind – corporate social responsibility
Corporate social responsibility is about much more than compliance, guidelines and industry standards. It’s becoming more and more important to commit to sustainability in social, environmental and economic undertakings. BDO believes that economic success is only possible in a high-performing and sustainable society. That’s why we’ve embedded corporate social responsibility firmly in our corporate culture.
Corporate activity has an impact on society and the environment. Technological advances, globalisation and climate change have long been triggering new (ethical) conflicts that companies cannot ignore. They are increasingly choosing to commit voluntarily to corporate social responsibility principles – an approach that helps them strike a balance between economic success, sustainability and social responsibility.
Sustainable at all levels
BDO’s corporate culture is aligned to sustainable approaches, both in our client relationships and our interaction with employees and business partners. We have our own Dedicated Client Partner Principle that governs the way we serve clients: Each client has their own contact who supports them long term, delivering and coordinating any service requests. This closeness to clients and the personal contact that we offer is all the more important in our increasingly digitalised world.
Corporate responsibility also needs to be considered in internal structures. BDO’s people work in an environment rich in challenges, individual development opportunities and a culture of mutual respect and collegiality. Consistent high performance relies on an appropriate work-life balance – BDO gives employees a high degree of freedom to define their own working day.
Sustainability in terms of natural resources is less of a concern for a service company like ours than in manufacturing. In a first step, we wanted to find out where and how we use most resources. At BDO, most CO2 emissions are produced from commuter travel, followed by energy to heat our offices, then electricity. We then worked with the foundation myclimate (www.myclimate.org) to develop and implement measures to reduce BDO’s environmental footprint.
BDO's Partners have been actively supporting the project “Aiducation” and “Schweizer Berghilfe”. Aiducation is a Swiss organisation that offers performance-related scholarships to talented and motivated pupils from poorer backgrounds in developing and emerging economies. Every two years, Aiducation holds a one-week workshop together with BDO Switzerland and BDO East Africa on the topic of “Young entrepreneurs”. To maximise learning and value, the workshop is tailored to local conditions and needs.
Schweizer Berghilfe is an organisation funded entirely by donations that pursues the goal of supporting a minimum existence and improving living conditions in Swiss mountain communities. BDO has realised several projects together with Schweizer Berghilfe over the past five years in areas such as IT, organisation and governance. Particularly high impact was the catalogue we developed together to facilitate rapid and efficient assessment of the feasibility and sustainability of district heating project applications.
Competitive edge for tomorrow's generation
BDO places great emphasis on efforts that make a positive contribution to careful use of resources. After all, striking a balance between economic, social and ecological commitments will secure us a clear competitive edge. Companies that truly embrace corporate social responsibility accumulate value over time. After all, for people committed to a better world, aspects like client loyalty, low employee turnover and reduced use of natural resources are not just “nice to haves”. They're concrete components in a strategy to increase financial results.
The path we’re on positions BDO as a sustainable company and contributes to a world in which future generations will enjoy a flourishing economy and intact environment.