8. April 2022
Tackling climate change is by far the greatest challenge of the 21st century and the European Union (EU) has set itself an ambitious target to counter climate change. With the help of the so-called Green Deal, which is based on the Paris Climate Agreement, the EU aims to reduce its emissions by 55% by 2030 in order to become the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050. Yet, to achieve this ambitious goal, all sectors must cooperate in its implementation, such as the economic sector and the corporate world.
Therefore in 2022 a lot will happen in regards to the topic of sustainability. So we’re glad at VAST FORWARD to have integrated sustainability in our core business in 2022, and have been working on it collectively since then.
We do so, because we want to contribute to the 1.5 degree target out of conviction, not because we have to.
But let’s take a look at the new regulations and legislation which will become relevant for companies as of 2022.
This year, 2022, sustainability reporting in particular, i.e. the disclosure of sustainability-related information, will become increasingly important, because from 2022 onwards, a large share of companies (250 employees or more ) will have to deal with the upcoming reporting obligation. Why? From 2024 on, the new EU-wide Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), will apply, obliging larger companies to report on the previous financial year, i.e. 2023. Since climate-relevant information from suppliers, customers and service providers are required in order to do so, every larger company should prepare for the new directive by now.
With VAST GREEN we have already started to collect relevant data by addressing our stakeholders – specifically, surveying our network and service providers, as part of our supply chain analysis. We are curious to find out in which ways sustainability is already anchored within our immediate environment – which is in particular the communication and digital industry.
Of course we don’t (yet) have 250 employees at VAST FORWARD (headcount of our wonderful project management team is currently 8, plus approximately 25 FTE of digital experts). But we have already developed an impact report for 2021, as part of our sustainability initiative VAST GREEN, where we address issues of environmental, economic and social sustainability at VAST FORWARD.
When conducting a sustainability report, it is particularly important to pay attention to certain core standards, such as the six environmental goals of the EU taxonomy, existing ESG standards such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the Federal Act on Entrepreneurial Due Diligence Obligations in Supply Chains (LkSG) or the Responsible Business Guidelines (OECD). These standards primarily have an assisting role – in order to prioritize the particularly relevant topics for the company, e.g. with the help of a materiality analysis.
After all, the most important goal of the CSRD is to make climate and sustainability reporting transparent and comparable. The new standard on sustainability reporting is intended to lead to a future-oriented change in business relationships: Investors, customers and business partners will be enabled to recognize environmental and social impacts of companies and their actual measures to improve these impacts.
Overall, the reporting should be “reliable, transparent and verifiable” – to ensure that companies are not engaging in greenwashing.
At VAST FORWARD we believe we are on a good way – not only have we made our sustainability initiative VAST GREEN transparent and share our journey on our VAST GREEN blog, we are also trying to achieve a holistic development across the VAST FORWARD team and document our progress on our VAST IMPACT website. We are convinced that we can shape a livable future for all generations to come if we act collaboratively.
As a digital service provider and 100% remote organisation, we work with different hardware and software on a daily basis - they are our most important tools in everyday project work.
We've seen this year, hard work pays off, because we've received a number of certifications in 2022 that reflect our efforts at VAST FORWARD. In the following article, we will go into more detail about these certifications and explain what's behind them.