The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were endorsed by 193 state and government leaders in 2015 and must be achieved by 2030. These goals provide a universal framework for Voka, the Flemish employers’ association, in guiding organizations to develop future-oriented business strategies and business models. At delaware, we want to go beyond merely ‘checking the boxes’ when complying with the Voka Sustainable Business Charter. Through different initiatives and efforts, we believe we can have a broader positive impact on our environment, enabling our people, our company and our customers to reach their full potential.
Just like we emphasize strategic planning at all levels within our organization, we also strive to enhance performance and optimize the operational outcome in everything we undertake.
We are strongly committed to achieve the SDGs in whichever way we can. For example, we help reduce global poverty and increase sustainable development by making sure that our corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects focus on economic, social and ecological aspects that correspond with our company values.
We want to reduce our company’s ecological footprint. Our core business involves a considerable amount of travelling by car and sometimes even by plane, but we believe this is no excuse to sit back and do nothing. That’s why we invest in sustainable mobility and launch initiatives to reduce our CO2 emissions.
Three years ago, for example, we introduced an incentive scheme to encourage all employees to decrease their average fuel consumption. Furthermore, delaware has invested in video conference equipment and launched a new lease policy encompassing the use of alternative means of transport and improving the electric vehicle offering. Besides that, we promote carpooling and encourage (and reward) cycling to work. So far we have ordered 115 lease bikes and our employees have cycled more than 179,660 km since the kick-off in April 2018.
We wouldn’t be delaware if we didn’t come up with a sports-related challenge. In May 2019, nine of our Belgian partners set out by bike from home to the office – in Antwerp, Ghent, Kortrijk or Wavre.
Their challenge was to gather as many colleagues as possible to accompany them on their journey. Ultimately, 85 participants arrived safely at the various offices where they enjoyed a delicious and well-deserved breakfast. Together, they cycled the equivalent of an impressive 1,705 km on that day.
These and all our other efforts contribute to minimizing our environmental impact, because we believe in creating a company that lasts for future generations.
Together with WeForest, we’ve planted over 70,000 trees in Brazil and Zambia. However, this project is about much more than just planting trees for a greener future. Based on corporate and scientific partnerships with young entrepreneurs, local scientists and local communities, the project helps to reduce poverty by generating income for local people through activities like beekeeping or setting up irrigation systems.
We are also extremely proud of our partnership with Agoria Solar Team. This extraordinary team of students won the World Solar Challenge in their own vehicle, engineered and built to push the limits of technological innovation powered by solar energy. The race showcases the remarkable possibilities of advanced alternative automotive technology. The innovations used by the teams are applied in electric cars, which makes the race significant for the promotion of vehicles powered by alternative fuels.
The fantastic ‘SuperKrachtig Lekker’: “Energy Suppliers for Super Heroes” project is a story of strong entrepreneurial mothers who soften the harsh reality for children (and their families) who are fighting cancer or a life-threatening illness. These women work to ease the burden on families who have more than enough to cope with. The #peopleofdelaware raised money for the construction of a kitchen at the Children’s Hematology, Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation Department (pediatric cancer department) at Ghent University Hospital.
We are working hard to succeed in meeting the SDGs for the third consecutive year in 2020 in order to receive the Cifal Flanders/UNITAR certificate, an international certificate of the UN. This will give us an even firmer foundation to continue on our sustainable journey. As a company, we consider it our responsibility to help future generations to thrive on the investments of today.