Corporate Responsibility strategy moves ahead
JL’s board of directors approves a plan to help meet external guidelines and internal goals.
Just a year ago, Lauritzen News reported the formation of a committee to help JL coordinate and align Corporate Responsibility (CR) policies and activities on a Group level (see page 16 in the September 2011 issue).
Since then, both a CR strategy and a CR communication plan have been approved by JL’s board of directors during their yearly strategy seminar in June 2012.
“Our approach to CR is based on the company’s core values, vision, heritage, and internationally recognised principles,” says Kathrine Geisler, JL’s CR manager. She stresses this last point, as CR has increasingly become a compliance issue.
“We have worked to ensure that our CR strategy is aligned with the UN Global Compact’s principles on human and labour rights, protection of the environment, and anti-corruption, which we have committed to. But we have also tried to include evolving new external guidelines, such as the UN’s Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights and relevant parts of the OECD guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.”
Supporting the business units
“Complying with external guidelines and humanitarian goals such as those spelled out in the UN’s Global Compact and Millennium Development Goals is a natural extension of JL’s values,” says Jens Søndergaard, senior vice president of JL and head of the CR initiatives. “Accountability and respect are basic components of our corporate DNA – as is the long heritage of humanitarian work done by the Lauritzen Foundation."
The past year’s development of JL’s CR strategy has been based on the outcome of a gap analysis report and dialogue with and feedback from a range of internal stakeholders.
The aim of this process has been to ensure that all CR activities support JL’s overall business goals, such as moving closer to customers, and to determine how CR can help increase the company’s competitive advantages in areas such as safety, environmental awareness, and know-how.
The ambition is to provide a shared language throughout the business units which can facilitate their dialogue with their stakeholders.
“The challenge,” says Kathrine Geisler, “is to be agile enough to react and also to communicate about how we are responding in order to meet external regulations as well as employee and customer expectations. It is our ambition that our CR strategy and communication plan provide an on-going way to prioritise, be proactive, and create awareness about our initiatives.”