Sustainable development, CSR; those are terms that we hear more and more, without sometimes knowing what is really behind them. Definitions, objectives and action plan, this is an opportunity to take stock of the subject within the Group.
What is it ?
Sustainable development, a concept that appeared at the end of the 1980s, is defined by INSEE as “economically efficient, socially equitable and ecologically sustainable development”, i.e. economic development which takes into account the social and environmental dimension.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is the contribution of companies to the challenges of sustainable development, by voluntarily integrating social and environmental concerns into their commercial activities and their relations with stakeholders.
At Astek, what does it look like?
Although social and environmental issues have long been part of our concerns, the big change comes with the progressive globalization of our practices and the structuring of these practices with rating organizations. Indeed, with the strong growth of the Group at the international level and the ambition to act as an integrated company, there is a real will to harmonize our approach and our practices throughout the world.
Progressive creation of international working groups, appointment of a new Director in charge of CSR, regular steering point during executive committees, the subject has gained momentum and found its place within the Group’s governance.
The first collaborative group to emerge, dedicated to the environment topic, exchanged for several months in order to collect data by country and take into account each person’s situation. This global inventory allowed the Group to carry out its 2nd carbon assessment over a wider scope, covering 96% of its workforce; enough to have a precise basis for an international action plan. Other discussions followed, particularly on HR and ethical themes.
To centralize the subject of CSR, the Group welcomed Matthieu Lourme a few months ago: Careers and CSR Director, he intends to lead complete the various projects implemented and consolidate the Group’s overall approach. « We are at a corner stone moment for Astek, between structuring and globalization of our practices and new directions, such as responsible digital technology. »
Responsible digital and Green IT, the new spearhead of the Group?
As a major player in digital transformation, our sustainable development policy can hardly fail to integrate the notion of responsible digital technology, i.e. to take into account the ecological and social footprint of digital technology, in a logic of continuous improvement.
These criteria are already an integral part of our environmental action plan to reduce our internal carbon emissions, but also act on climate change in the broad sense.
The objective is to work on both sides of digital responsibility:
- The IT and development business side, by training our teams. On this subject, the Group is in the process of developing training around green IT, to be gradually rolled out to all of its employees.
- The company process side, with several actions carried out jointly with Purchasing and the IT department on the choice of IT equipment (for example returning to TCO labeled PCs), the choice of network equipment (Data Center ISO 14001), the choice of paper usage, etc.
Astek about to initiate its SBTI approach
Since Covid, Astek has significantly accelerated its environmental approach. Although the action plans already existed, the Group is now committed to internationally recognized rating organizations.
After 2 carbon assessments, the Group has been a member of the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) for 2 years….
The next logical step is therefore to engage in an SBTI (Science Based Targets Initiative) approach to define and implement a reliable and achievable action plan aiming at carbon neutrality in 2030.
Projects also on social and societal levels.
There are many topics both internally and externally, within which the Group has chosen two spearheads for 2023-2024:
1. Promoting the inclusion of young people by making Astek a real career springboard
The Group gets involved in college education to prepare students for their first job: school partnership, chair, workshops and forums, internship and work-study programs. The objective is to be involved at all levels.
Once they are on board, we focus on local support with the development of a People & Culture team and tripartite monitoring (manager/HR/Happiness Officer), as well as the development of one’s skills according to one’s needs and inspiration. The Group wishes to encourage each employee to continue training as much as possible by promoting access to its training offer via a single training portal, Astek Academy; currently in development.
2. Supporting local development and the associative sector through a massive skills sponsorship program
Aware of the importance of making its contribution to local development, the Group has notably accelerated its sponsorship program launched in 2017. In 2022, sponsorship at Astek involved more than 300 employees, the equivalent of 1.6M € of donations to associations, more than 6700 days of work and 35 partner associations.
Helping the associative environment, the sponsorship program often also constitutes a rich experience for the employee who gets involved; an experience that the Group wishes to further promote internally, as well as externally towards its customers.
CSR is a vast subject that is transevrsal to the whole company. The appointment of Matthieu Lourme as CSR Director will make it possible to further structure our commitments and the action plans to implement in each department of the company.