Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations
Sustainable Development Goals
The United Nations General Assembly created the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015. These goals define the world that the United Nations wants to create. They are intended to apply throughout the world and the intention is to ensure that no country is left behind. The 17 SDGs represent the 2030 Agenda and specifically the more positive map of the world that the United Nations seeks. From the 17 global goals, a total of 169 targets were defined by the United Nations.
Adoption of SDGs
The SDGs have received considerable backing from the international business community. With regard to sustainability reporting, 95% of reporting reviewed by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) in 2019 acknowledged SDGs while 86% of reporting gave priority to specific SDGs. This is a clear recognition of the intent of businesses across the globe to realizing the SDGs.
We chose to publish the SDGs that we are focusing on in our CSR report and on our website; they act as a compass for our strategy, our employees, and also for our stakeholders.
We started by identifying what we aspire to achieve and following this, we worked on completing and finalizing our materiality on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) or CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) topics. This involved identifying and assessing the various potential topics that are most important from the perspective of our business and our stakeholders.
Our aim here is to create a clear and effective tool to indicate the directions we must take in terms of the deployment of our CSR strategy. We want to make our contribution to the bigger goals authentic through our materiality assessment.
We focused on adopting the SDGs of the United Nations that are easily recognizable and to which all of our employees and relevant stakeholders can relate.
We selected the goals in line with the materiality study that we carried out in 2020. From there, we focused on linking the material topics with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). Following this, we work at both the measurement and monitoring of targets by using Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). This shows us areas where there is potential room to make a difference. The KPIs and targets are also linked to the policies and management approaches.
Ultimately, Tessenderlo Group selected the following ten SDGs out of the 17 Goals:
ZERO HUNGER – Achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. This is realized via our activities in Agro, Bio-valorization, and Industrial Solutions, with a focus on water. Our contribution to target 2.1 is to reduce hunger and increase access to safe, nutritious, and sufficient food all year round.
GOOD HEALTH AND WELL-BEING – Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. Tessenderlo Group takes health and safety very seriously and this is rated with the highest score in our materiality matrix. We want to make sure that our people leave our factories and offices in the same health condition as when they arrived. We have already tracked and monitored relevant data related to this topic for a long time. We also steer on health and safety through our KPIs linked to remuneration. Our Safety and Health policy clearly expresses the importance we as a group place on this subject.
QUALITY EDUCATION – Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. In order to boost employee motivation, this is also referenced in our materiality matrix and training sessions are very important. We are now building in LMS (our learning management system) several programs that are also related to training sessions and are linked with curricula according to each function, as well as being aligned with our Learning & Development policy.
CLEAN WATER AND SANITATION – Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. Through our DYKA Group activities, which are linked to water management systems and the work of Kuhlmann Europe, we are active in water treatment, and this can be linked to targets 6.1 and 6.2: achieving universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water and increase water-use efficiency and ensure sustainable withdrawals and the supply of freshwater to address water scarcity.
DECENT WORK AND ECONOMIC GROWTH – Promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. Tessenderlo Group is focusing on the following targets, which are also expressed via the policies we have in this context: Labor & Human rights, Diversity & Inclusion, our Code of Conduct, and the Supplier Code of Conduct.
INDUSTRY, INNOVATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE – Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization. DYKA Group’s activities in piping for buildings and infrastructure, and also irrigation and sustainable water management, which are driven by innovation, support target 9.1. This is realized by developing quality, reliable, sustainable, and resilient infrastructure, including regional and transborder infrastructure, to support economic development and human well-being, with a focus on affordable and equitable access. They also support 9.4 by upgrading infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them more sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and the greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes.
REDUCED INEQUALITIES – Reduced inequality within and among countries. Tessenderlo Group contributes by empowering and promoting the social, economic, and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, gender, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status (10.2). Our approach is also supported by our Code of Conduct and our Diversity & Inclusion policy.
SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND COMMUNITIES – Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. In particular, at Kuhlmann Europe, with its wastewater treatment products, and DYKA Group with its water management systems, contributions can be made to reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, which also includes paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management (11.6).
RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION – Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns. Our Bio-valorization segment, which includes Akiolis as well as PB Leiner, contributes to target 12.3 by reducing food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reducing food losses along production and supply chains by valorizing by-products of the meat industry and upcycling residues of restaurants into highly valuable products. In line with the “Every Molecule Counts” philosophy, Tessenderlo Group focuses on target 12.3 by substantially reducing “waste” generation through prevention, reduction, recycling, and reuse. We prefer to focus on upcycling as we turn these side streams into valuable products. Our contribution to target 12.6 is translated in our sustainability reporting and in our Supplier Code of Conduct: “Encourage companies, especially large and transnational companies, to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle.”
CLIMATE ACTION – Target urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. Strengthening the resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters as mentioned in target 13.1 is incorporated in our risk prevention systems in general, specifically our own ERM (Enterprise Risk Management) system and the AXA Climate Risk assessment.