Sustainability is becoming an increasingly integral part of our operations. It goes without saying that the 'people' component is the cornerstone. The aim of our sustainability mission is to be a leader in identifying, deploying and developing talent, as well as in getting them to commit to our organisation. In other words, maximising human talent is our core business. As such, sustainability is embedded in our organisation’s
strategy. We want to play a prominent role in deploying all available talent in a sustainable way. Looking at talent and the job market this way leads to a circular, sustainable, mutually beneficial and inclusive job market. A job market in which the value creation of all talents is maximised and in which people can grow to be sustainably employable, both now and in the future. USG People’s sustainability strategy is aimed at creating value for all our stakeholders – employees, clients, shareholders, investors, society as a whole and all other stakeholders – in an innovative, transparent and lasting way. Our focus is on what we can do for society and on benefitting in the broad sense of the word.
The sustainability policy of USG People is based on ISO 26 000. The seven core topics this international standard deals with are summarised in five USG People spearheads: being a good employer, sound business practice, diversity, corporate citizenship and environmental impact.
We have selected these five spearheads using the input gained from our dialogue with stakeholders. These spearheads cover the full range of topics within the People, Planet and Profit train of thought, with four of the five focusing on the People aspect. The culmination of these elements results in the lasting impact we have on society, our employees and our other stakeholders.
BEING A GOOD EMPLOYER
USG People defines ‘being a good employer’ in a broad way. We want to be an innovative, accessible and attractive employer for all our talents – both our own staff and flex workers; an employer that provides a platform to
maximise their unique talent. We do so by providing both our own employees and flex workers with the facilities, conditions and support they need to excel and to be and remain versatile. We want to offer them a nice and safe place to work. We monitor this in various ways including through our annual participation in the independent Great Place To Work® survey and by ensuring a safe and healthy working environment. These reviews can then serve as input for any changes to our policy, which in turn is measured again. This process enables us to constantly focus on
improving our actions as an employer. The following areas have been defined under ‘being a good employer’:
training and development, vitality and health.
SOUND BUSINESS PRACTICE
We define ‘sound business practice’ as the creation of value with a sustainable balance for all stakeholders. This is based on a thorough corporate governance structure in which mutual control mechanisms and a team of independent auditors operate, and which is founded on transparent reporting. We encourage all our indirect employees and
expect them to apply the USG People business principles in their daily work. Our aim for investors is to achieve an attractive return on their investment and we provide added value for our business partners through our services. We also want to operate in a responsible and sustainable way in society and the environment in which we live. Not only do we communicate clearly with stakeholders about our activities, we also value and act upon their feedback. Sound business practice encompasses the following topics: integrity and transparency, leadership, honest and sustainable procurement, and customer satisfaction.
USG People views ‘diversity’ as every aspect in which people differ from one another. This is a broad definition because we believe that people cannot be defined based on simply one feature. For USG People it is particularly important to see every different aspect of a person. These can be both visible aspects, for example gender or ethnicity, and less visible features such as working style or character traits. Our aim is to achieve a diverse composition of employees within every level of the organisation, focusing on aspects such as gender and age, as well as on people with an (occupational) limitation or people who are otherwise further removed from the job market. Our first and foremost objective is to not focus on people’s limitations but rather on their personal talents. In addition to the composition of our workforce, another important aspect of diversity is combatting discrimination, whereby we aim to eliminate discrimination, misconduct and inappropriate behaviour.
Social commitment is a key area of attention for USG People and is focused on the way in which we give back to the community and society as a whole. USG People wants to contribute to a fair society, for example by volunteering the services of our employees, facilities and resources. We do this mainly by focusing on those areas in which we make a difference: sharing our job market knowledge, making more widespread use of our network and encouraging inclusivity and diversity in the workplace. Everyone has to be able to participate. We encourage our employees to volunteer for good causes in society and to promote the development of others, for example through our collaboration with Stichting Lezen en Schrijven (a foundation focused on improving literacy in the Dutch society) and Fier (a foundation that helps victims of violence within dependent relationships). USG People provides language courses and helps victims of domestic violence enter or re-enter
the job market.
In addition to our obvious focus on people we also focus on the environment, our natural surroundings. Our branches use office space and we often travel by road. This causes CO2 emissions. We believe it is our responsibility to take measures to minimise these emissions. We have set up a CO2-reduction plan for this purpose. In the past few years we have progressively lowered our CO2 emissions. Our CO2-reduction plan drew to a conclusion at the end of 2015 and we are drafting a new plan for the 2016-2020 period.