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.
UNGC and SDGs
RWS became a participant of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) in 2020. The UNGC initiative, is 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 17 United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We submitted our second Communication on Progress Report in June 2022 as part of the Early Adopter Programme.
Initiating and maintaining dialogue with our stakeholders enables the Group to align our sustainability initiatives and business models to their concerns. This feedback is important during our decision-making processes and enables us to better develop the four pillars of our sustainability strategy.
We recognise three distinct levels of RWS stakeholders in our framework, with our clients, colleagues and investors being the central stakeholders for the Group.
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.
RWS identifies and prioritises material issues using Datamaran software that enables a data-driven and dynamic process for ESG risk identification and monitoring.
The review enforced our corporate sustainability strategy and identified emerging issues, such as geopolitical risks and human rights. These insights have shaped conversations across RWS as well as the Group’s principal risks and uncertainties.
Engagement included a materiality survey which went to over 80% of our shareholders, over 25% of our key clients and over 85% of our suppliers, and meetings with stakeholders, i.e. investors, clients, colleagues and suppliers. We also ran a Group-wide colleague engagement survey and we were delighted to achieve an 85% global response rate. 82% of respondents believe RWS is committed to its responsibilities surrounding ESG.
The results received from ongoing stakeholder feedback, and the insights from the analysis, showed us that client privacy and data security; public health risks; climate change and GHG emissions; employee diversity and inclusion; employee health and safety; and ethical corporate behaviour have become increasingly important to our stakeholders. The matrix ranks the materiality of issues raised.
Sustainability Accounting Standards Board Disclosure (SASB)
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. In August 2022, the IFRS Foundation assumed responsibility for SASB Standards when it merged with the Value Reporting Foundation, which previously maintained these standards.
The IFRS Foundation’s International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) has committed to building on the industry based SASB Standards and adopting SASB’s industry-based approach to standards development.
RWS is supportive of the SASB framework as it allows companies to provide comparable and consistent ESG-related data. We have modified some metrics to reflect our domicile in the UK. In addition, we have provided additional metrics where we believe they will provide further information regarding a specific sustainability topic.
We have chosen to report in conformance 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 our 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.