Communicating sustainability: The 10th report on corporate responsibility has been released
In issuing its "Corporate Responsibility Report 2013" today, Deutsche Post DHL is celebrating a little anniversary. The latest edition is the 10th report in which the Group informs its stakeholders and the general public about the initiatives, guidelines, projects and measures it has developed and introduced as part of its corporate and social responsibility. This year also marks the first time that the Corporate Responsibility Report is being issued alongside the company's Annual Report.
The new report covers a wide range of topics, including environmental protection, human resources, procurement, international disaster relief and employee community involvement. Here, the Group doesn't operate in a vacuum: In order to understand the various stakeholders needs even better and to focus its efforts even stronger on those needs, last year the company conducted a comprehensive materiality analysis. In a substantial stakeholder survey, Deutsche Post DHL examined how important and relevant sustainable and responsible business practices are to various stakeholder groups. "Their responses confirmed that corporate responsibility is a significant market factor," says Christof Ehrhart, Director of Corporate Communications and Responsibility at Deutsche Post DHL. "Our corporate responsibility strategy is therefore also an important foundation of our value added and sustainable business success."
Audited key performance indicators
The continuous expansion of activities related to corporate responsibility is also reflected in the size and degree of detail found in the report: The Corporate Responsibility Report 2013 provides clear insights into the activities and background of corporate responsibility. It also contains key performance indicators related to employees, responsible business practices, environmental protection and corporate citizenship. These figures and the fundamental information found in the report were reviewed by the PricewaterhouseCoopers auditing firm. The work begun more than ten years ago was much less ambitious: The foundation was laid in 2003 with the first Environment Report and a separate Human Resources and Social Report. In 2006, the first Sustainability Report was issued and titled "Facing the challenges of global logistics". This report represented the first time that the Group provided a detailed look at activities related to its employees, the environment and society in a single document. This structure is still being used today. But readers of the new report will be able to enjoy a new format. Unlike its predecessors, the Corporate Responsibility Report 2013 has been developed as a microsite. "For this year's report, we decided to bundle all of the content related to corporate responsibility and to present it, together with interactive features, on a dedicated website. Visitors to the microsite will find themselves in a digital space where they can view the Corporate Responsibility Report as well as supplemental, explanatory material that is presented in a reader- friendly manner," explains Christof Ehrhart.
Milestones from a decade of corporate responsibility
In the previous ten Corporate Responsibility Reports, Deutsche Post DHL has introduced readers to a wide array of projects and initiatives conducted throughout the world. A large section of each report has been devoted to issues related to employees - the sphere Angela Titzrath is responsible for as Deutsche Post DHL's Board Member for Personnel. And the reason for this focus is obvious: The company's success in business is based on the commitment, creativity and knowledge of around 480,000 people who make up the Group's workforce around the world.
In 2013, about 36% of the Group's employees were women. And women make up 19.6% of managers around the world - in Germany, this figure is even higher at 19.8%. Since 2010, the number of women in management has risen considerably, by almost 3 percentage points. But this is not enough: The Group is committed to increasing this figure further. At Deutsche Post DHL, employees play a major role in shaping the company. In 2013, they submitted a total of 124,834 suggestions for improvement, and 85.1% were carried out. Deutsche Post DHL has been involved in idea management for many years. As far back as 2003, the company's internal idea-management system received the Thinker's Award from the German Business Institute. Broad acknowledgement also gained the health management of the company. In 2013, the Group received two important awards: the Corporate Health Award 2013 in the category of transport/retail/logistics presented by the German business newspaper Handelsblatt, the testing organization TÜV SÜD and EuPD Research Sustainable Management, and the German Business Award for Health awarded by the European Network for Workplace Health Promotion and the BKK Dachverband, a trade association that represents German health insurance companies. This latest recognition is part of a long list of awards the company has received. For instance, Deutsche Post DHL has received the German Business Award for Health several times in recognition of its model occupational health management programs. Another issue frequently addressed in the past ten years has been demographic change. Particularly in Germany, human resources must actively address the rising average age of employees. One solution is the "Generations Pact" reached in 2011. This pact has enabled company employees to take advantage of working-time accounts, partial retirement programs and a demographic fund. By the end of 2013, more than 16,700 employees had set up working-time accounts. At the beginning of the year the company was awarded with the "Innovation Award" of the German Economy for its unique human resources concept.
Responsible business practices
Another focal point of corporate responsibility is the recognition of standards and norms as well as the creation of a uniform set of rules covering the principles of responsible business. In 2006, Deutsche Post DHL joined the UN Global Compact. The ten principles contained in the Compact form the framework for the company's Code of Conduct, which also went into effect throughout the Group in 2006. The Code of Conduct also draws on the principles contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the ideas included in the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work issued by the International Labor Organization in 1998 and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. The Code of Conduct is the Group's most important set of guidelines. As part of the Code's last revision in 2012, a new chapter was added to include the Group's expression of its commitment to human rights and employees' right to organize.
Shared Value: added value for the environment and customers
Twenty-three percent of global energy-related greenhouse gas emissions are created by the transport industry, which also includes logistics. As the world's leading logistics provider, Deutsche Post DHL has a special responsibility to reduce the negative impact of its business activities on the environment. Some measures, including Sweden's "Grøna Ton" logistics service that employs cars powered by biofuel, were discussed in the very first environmental report in 2003. Since then, much has changed in terms of public perception and logistics practices. In 2005, Deutsche Post DHL created the "Green Parcel," an option that enables customers to offset all carbon emissions created by the transport of their parcels by supporting climate protection projects around the world. In 2007, a similar option was introduced for letters. Since 2011, DHL Paket has been transporting all parcels for private customers within Germany in a carbon-neutral manner at no extra charge.
These efforts are part of a strategic goal. In 2008, Deutsche Post DHL became the first logistics company to set a climate-protection goal. A global climate-protection program aims to improve carbon efficiency through the year 2020 by 30% compared with the base year of 2007. Deutsche Post DHL completed the first stage of this effort - increasing efficiency by 10% - in 2010, two years ahead of schedule. By 2012, the Group had improved its carbon efficiency by 16% compared with 2007 levels, an achievement that brought the company halfway to meeting its goal. In 2013, carbon efficiency had improved by 18% compared with 2007. During the same year, Deutsche Post DHL launched a pilot project supported by the German Ministry of the Environment involving carbon-free letter and parcel delivery in Bonn. In the first step of this effort, the fleet of electric vehicles in Bonn and surrounding areas was expanded to 79 during the year, including 20 StreetScooter. The StreetScooter is a joint development of Deutsche Post DHL and StreetScooter GmbH, a spin-off of the RWTH Aachen University. Bonn is now one of the world's largest cohesive fleets of electric commercial vehicles. If the vehicles and their charging technology live up to expectations, all remaining diesel-powered vehicles in the test area will be taken out of service in 2015. In the final expansion phase, 141 electric vehicles are to be put into service. If the trial run in Bonn succeeds, electric-powered deliveries will take a major step toward becoming a reality in other cities and regions.
It is not just technologies that change. The strategic direction of our environmental protection program "GoGreen" has evolved as well. This is increasingly focusing on the Shared Value concept. In this way of thinking, companies increase their business success through their contributions to society as a whole and the preservation of the environment.
Corporate citizenship: responsibility for people and the environment
To Deutsche Post DHL, "Living Responsibility" means playing an active role in society and applying its strengths and core skills as part of the business activities it conducts as a postal and logistics group to tackle social challenges.
One focus of these activities is a program called "GoHelp", through which the Group offers aid following natural disasters. In 2005, Deutsche Post DHL and the United Nations signed a partnership agreement on disaster management. In the years since, the Group has set up a network that currently includes more than 400 trained employees who voluntarily serve on Disaster Response Teams (DRT). After receiving a call from the United Nations, the DRT are on the ground and provide logistic support at the airport no more than 72 hours later. In 2013, DRTs were deployed after the forest fires in Chile and the devastating Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. In 2009, Deutsche Post DHL also launched a program known as GARD (Get Airports Ready for Disaster). In 2013, DHL experts organized workshops at six airports attended by more than 140 people at airports in El Salvador, the Philippines, Armenia and Panama.
With its "GoTeach" program, Deutsche Post DHL has committed itself to improving educational opportunity and the employability of young people, particularly those who are underprivileged. As part of this commitment, the Group set up a partnership with the educational initiative "Teach First Deutschland" in 2009. It joined the global umbrella organization "Teach For All" the following year. The partner organizations of this network recruit top college graduates and professionals to commit two years to teach in high-need areas and become life-long advocates for education in 32 countries. The partnership with SOS Children's Villages was also launched in 2010. The objective is to support young people between the ages of 15 and 25 as they make the transition into the working world.
The Group encourages its employees to get involved in projects that help the communities in which they live. The largest coordinated volunteer program at Deutsche Post DHL is Global Volunteer Day. The idea originated in the Asia Pacific region, where the first volunteer day was held in 2008. Since 2011, employees around the world have been called on to volunteer in local social or environmental protection projects. In 2012, 62,000 employees of Deutsche Post DHL and nearly 1,000 employees of customers and business partners took part in more than 1,000 local projects around the world. During the Global Volunteer Day held last year, around 100,000 employees of Deutsche Post DHL and more than 3,000 employees of customers and business partners pitched in and supported 1,578 projects in 127 countries.
Social responsibility is an important part of Deutsche Post DHL's company perception and a major part of its economic development. Both are in no way a simple "either/or" proposition. Rather, they are connected with an "and" inseparably. With these key targets of its "Strategy 2015", Deutsche Post DHL aims to become the Employer, Provider and Investment of Choice.