"Doing business in a responsible, fair, and sustainable way is central to our corporate philosophy. The merging of the annual report and the Communication on Progress reflects our belief that operating activities and responsible corporate governance are inextricably linked," explains Dr. Walter Schlebusch, Chairman of the G&D Management Board. "We have therefore not only been a participating company of the UN Global Compact since 2010. In September 2014, G&D also received a Gold Standard rating in the annual CSR assessment by EcoVadis, the global initiative set up by the information and telecommunications industry. We have also been an accredited full member of the Banknote Ethics Initiative (BnEI) since November 2014," added the G&D CEO.
Three key action areas form the focus of the CSR strategy at G&D: Ressource efficient and safe site, future oriented employment policy and fair and safe business practices. At the same time, Dr. Schlebusch believes that CSR at the company is also gaining increasing commercial significance: "Responsible and sustainable corporate governance is also becoming increasingly important among our customers. It can even be a deciding factor in whether or not an order is placed." He adds that the company may be asked whether it meets specific sustainability standards as part of invitations to tender and this information is taken into account both in the awarding of contracts and in supplier evaluation.
As a family-owned company with over 160 years of tradition, it also goes without saying for G&D that the company should assume responsibility in wider society too. Dr. Schlebusch explains that the not-for-profit Giesecke & Devrient Foundation was established in 2010 to provide assistance for projects involving education, culture, and international exchange, and supports the Museum of the Printing Arts in Leipzig.
But this is only one aspect of the CSR activities: "A responsible attitude towards the environment is a key factor for the long-term success of our company. One of our primary objectives is therefore to help conserve natural resources for future generations. Customers and consumers in all our markets are also increasingly aware of environmental aspects. We plan and implement our sustainability activities with the aid of a sustainability management system that combines Group-wide standards with decentralized, local responsibility." Examples include cutting total energy consumption at the Munich site by around eight percent in 2014. The Louisenthal subsidiary in Gmund/Tegernsee uses hydroelectric power plus a combined heat and power system in the production of banknote paper, saving 5,000 metric tons of CO2 per year.
Dr. Schlebusch sees it as particularly important that G&D also offers customers environmentally friendly products and in doing so tries to encourage others to think about sustainability: "Our portfolio includes banknotes made from cotton comber noil as the raw material – a by-product of the textile industry that can also be derived from organically grown cotton if desired. For electronic payments, G&D can supply card bodies made of renewable materials." The company can also provide SIM cards in various form factors that use less material, as well as offering more environmentally friendly alternatives to the standard materials used. "Sometimes they are just minor steps, but every little helps," says the G&D boss confidently.