Our corporate sustainability policy encompasses the way we do business and interact with our people, our clients, our suppliers, our communities and the environment around us. Our commitment to corporate sustainability which is underpinned by our values, aims to deliver continual improvement in our economic, social and environmental performance.
Read Corporate Sustainability Policy statement


In 2020 RWS joined the United Nations Global Compact initiative, a voluntary leadership platform for the development, implementation and disclosure of responsible business practices. Our commitment to sustainability is channelled through specific goals which underpin our actions, operations and reputation and are aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We submitted our first Communication on Progress report in June 2021.
Read Communication on Progress Report

Stakeholder engagement

We recognise three distinct levels of RWS stakeholders in our framework, with our clients, employees and investors being the central stakeholders for the Group. Feedback is important during our decision-making processes and enables us to better develop the four pillars of our sustainability strategy.
RWS's four pillars of sustainability

Four pillars of sustainability

RWS has mapped its sustainability goals and actions to four pillars. We have identified primary goals aligned to the SDGs, have established a set of policies and guidelines to underpin our activities, whilst looking to improve our actions and reporting in each of the areas.
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Materiality analysis

RWS discussed and reviewed areas of concern for key stakeholders before ranking and prioritising them in terms of materiality to the RWS Group. Engagement included an environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) Materiality survey which went to over 80% of our shareholders, over 20% of our key clients, and over 80% of our suppliers, as well as attending meetings throughout the year. We also, for the first time, ran a group-wide employee engagement survey and we were very encouraged with the results. 80% of respondents believe RWS is committed to its responsibilities surrounding ESG.

Our ESG materiality survey and discussions identified that client services, cyber security, human capital, and diversity and inclusion are particularly high priorities. We have also included intellectual capital management within our matrix as following the acquisition of SDL the Group now has a significantly enhanced product range. 

The matrix ranks the materiality of issues raised.


  1. Biodiversity impacts — practices to preserve species and ecosystems. 
  2. Climate change and natural resource management — commitment and practices for the reduction of energy consumption and GHG emissions.


  1. Health and safety — practices to guarantee our employees’ health and safety.
  2. Human capital practices — practices to attract, support and retain skilled employees.
  3. Equality, diversity and inclusion — fair opportunities, recognition, treatment and remuneration for all employees.


  1. Human rights — practices to promote and protect human rights in our operations, including suppliers. 
  2. Community impacts — impacts on and relations with local communities in which we operate.


  1. Risk management — risk assessment and management procedures. 
  2. Corporate governance — rules, practices and processes by which our company is run. 
  3. Intellectual capital management — strategy to protect our intellectual capital. 
  4. Data privacy, cyber security and protection — strategy to protect our data and infrastructure. 
  5. Innovation — innovation for developing our services. 
  6. Client satisfaction — overall performance of our services and client experience. 
  7. Economic performance — strategic objectives linked to growth and margin. 
  8. Financial transparency — timely, meaningful and reliable disclosures about our performance. 
  9. Reputation risk — strategy regarding our image and credibility. 
  10. Business ethics — integrity and responsibility by which we run our operations and make decisions. 
  11. Bribery and corruption — it is the policy of RWS to conduct its business in accordance with the highest professional and ethical standards. 
  12. Stakeholder engagement — dialogue and commitment with our stakeholders.

Sustainability Accounting Standards Board Disclosure

RWS has chosen to evolve its sustainability reporting by disclosing sustainability topics and certain accounting metrics in line with the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) Standards. SASB Standards are maintained under the auspices of the Value Reporting Foundation, a global non-profit organisation that offers a comprehensive suite of resources designed to help businesses and investors develop a shared understanding of enterprise value. 

Our choice of reports conform with the SASB Standard for the Professional & Commercial Services industry, which includes the following disclosure topics: 

Global Reporting Initative

In April 2022, RWS disclosed and reported its environmental and social impact using the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards. 

GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) is the independent, international organization that helps businesses take responsibility for their impact, by providing them with the global common language and reporting framework. It provides the world’s most widely used standards for sustainability reporting – the GRI Standards. 

The RWS report, based on FY21 data, discloses a range of global company information across several areas, including organizational profile, strategy, ethics and integrity, governance, stakeholder engagement, alongside RWS’s approach to corporate sustainability. 

The GRI is headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and has a network of seven regional offices to help ensure we can support organizations and stakeholders worldwide.