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Corporate Social Responsibilty

4C GROUP is convinced that positively shaping social and environmental issues will play an even more central role in corporate management in the future. Since we take our social responsibility seriously, this topic is also very important to us - so important that we see it as part of our mission: We are the specialists in leadership, performance and transformation management and thereby contribute substantially to coping with the fundamental economic and social disruption in organizations.

Why CSR is important to us

Our corporate responsibility to society

By now, we can all personally perceive that the way we live and act as a society is causing lasting damage to the earth - climate change has long since become a tangible reality, even on our German doorstep. It has become clear that a "business as usual" is not an option and that we will probably experience a drastic change due to climatic changes in our own lifetime.

If we do not want to be accused of negligently putting our livelihood at risk, we must bring our corporate social responsibility into the focus of management and employees in the best sense of the word. This responsibility requires that we analyze and evaluate the issues for our situation and integrate meaningful measures into management decisions. It is up to us to no longer view CSR as just 'marketing gobbledygook' and a greenwashing option, but much more as a meaningful management element!

CSR, sustainability, ecological footprint - what is it all about?

Corporate Social Responsibility is defined as a concept that serves as a basis for companies to integrate social and environmental interests into their business activities and relationships with stakeholders on a voluntary basis - put in concrete terms: Corporate Social Responsibility is the commitment of companies to contribute to sustainable economic development in order to improve the quality of life of their employees, their families, the local community and society together.

The main CSR focus areas are:

  1. Business Model: success of the business model, measured by economic performance, local market presence, sustainability of the business model.
  2. Social responsibility: Training of employees, working conditions, human rights and living conditions, interaction between product/service and society, general social responsibility, especially at the sites
  3. Ecological responsibility: consumption and recycling of resources (raw materials, water, energy) through operating activities and products in the lifecycle, impact on the environment (through emissions, wastewater, waste, noise) through operating activities and products in the lifecycle, impact on or promotion of biodiversity

Within the CSR definition, the term sustainability plays a central role. We understand sustainable action as follows: Acting today in such a way that one's own basis for life and action will continue to exist 'tomorrow'.

Corporate sustainability describes the management of ecological, social and economic impacts in order to achieve sustainable corporate and business development and a positive contribution by the company to the sustainable development of society.

Road to Zero

Our aspiration

It goes without saying that we have defined clear CSR targets for ourselves. We want to reduce our CO2 footprint per employee every year. For the footprint that we cannot avoid, we purchase CO2 certificates in line with the system and take them off the market. Our aspirations for our actions extend further than our defined targets:

  • We have clarity about the degree of sustainability of our actions; we know what footprints we leave behind and have a defined path to avoid these footprints in the future.
  • We have recognizably embarked on the necessary path and committed ourselves to a set of measures - and we are feeling the positive effect!
  • We report transparently on our goals and ongoing goal achievement. And: We support third parties with our knowledge.

Our implemented measures

The 4C GROUP actively contributes to the reduction of energy consumption and CO2 emissions through projects at customers. For example, customer energy consumption or CO2 emissions have been significantly reduced through projects to optimize IT infrastructure and mobile work capabilities. We achieved our Road to Zero - CO2 neutrality of our company - for the fiscal years 20/21 and 20/22 via acquired certificates.

Why CSR has a business case

CSR is imperative to our actions not only because of corporate responsibility - we also see a clear business case that supports 4C's economic goals.

The starting point for classifying CSR measures as a RoI activity is the idea that economical processes and structures in a company that conserve resources and are designed for reusability not only reduce emissions, pollution, and waste, but also reduce costs for products and services or prevent costs from arising for the consequences of a company's own economic actions.

When can the required sustainability pay off? Here are some examples:

  1. Resource efficiency: avoided use of resources, avoided costs for rejects and waste, improved occupational safety with less downtime - there are many reasons to work sustainably and economically at the same time.
  2. Resource access: currently, we are literally experiencing a boom in sustainability funds, and banks are increasingly considering including CSR considerations in ratings, bringing the opportunity for new funding or denying access. Changing employee attitudes also fall into this category.
  3. Customer access: Probably the most effective factor is the customer himself, if he is willing to pay more for sustainable products and pays attention to sustainable aspects when buying. This also includes factors such as service life, repair costs and costs for disposal and recycling. It remains to be seen to what extent the younger generation will follow up these commitments with action.

Along these lines, it is no longer just about products and services that companies have in their own portfolios - sharing economy models impressively demonstrate that innovation and efficiency go hand in hand in cooperative ventures and that the shared use of resources is a win-win option for cooperating companies and customers.

Facts please - what we do specifically

Our CSR activities should be able to withstand scrutiny by interested members of the public at any time. For this reason, we disclose in detail and in a traceable manner what we are involved in and how.

We are proud of these four areas in particular:

4C FOOTSTEPS Foundation

We see our responsibility towards society and people. That is why we established our foundation, the 4C FOOTSTEPS, back in 2011 with the aim of identifying promising projects in early childhood education in socially disadvantaged areas and supporting them sustainably both financially and with the personal commitment of 4C employees.

4C Code of Conduct

The 4C Code of Conduct and its compliance is directed at all those who contribute to the success of the 4C GROUP - from our employees, suppliers and service providers to all our business partners.

With the 4C Code of Conduct, we create a clear and reliable guideline for our actions and our cooperation - this shapes our thinking and actions and our performance promise to our customers, against which we naturally want to be measured.

 

United Nations Global Compact

The UN Global Compact is the world's largest and most important initiative for sustainable and responsible corporate governance. The German Global Compact Network (DGCN) with participants from business, civil society and politics supports companies in strategically anchoring sustainability on the basis of 10 universal principles and contributing to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. The 4C GROUP has supported the United Nations Global Compact since 2014 through its membership and is committed to continuing to incorporate the basic principles as maxims for action in its operational activities. View the current reporting period here.

EcoVadis CSR Rating

EcoVadis' sustainability rating helps companies of all sizes and industries manage opportunities from sustainability challenges. 4C has again participated in the EcoVadis sustainability rating and has been awarded silver status.

How we support companies in the area of CSR

Taking responsibility is part of our mission

Because we are aware of our social obligation, we actively support companies in working out, operationalizing and sustainably achieving their own CSR goals.

Assuming responsibility in the implementation of our customer projects

The 4C GROUP actively contributes to the reduction of e.g. energy consumption and CO2 emissions through projects at customers. For example, customer energy consumption or CO2 emissions have been significantly reduced through projects to optimize IT infrastructure and mobile work capabilities. We pay explicit attention to the consequences that the actions of our customers and of us in the project have from a CSR point of view.

Taken together, this is certainly a step in the right direction. At the same time, a much greater lever for more sustainable business lies in advising our customers on sustainable business management.

Consulting services for our customers

The following three areas are particularly relevant for achieving CSR goals in companies: