Venlo, The Netherlands - Stakeholders tell Océ, an international leader in digital document management and delivery, they believe the company is "highly sustainable". During its annual Stakeholder Dialogue, Océ asked a representative sample of customers, suppliers, employees, investors, academics and NGOs to comment on its sustainability policy and performance.
Océ Stakeholders Dialogue 2010
Feedback on focal areas
The findings of a survey completed prior to the event were discussed at a well attended meeting of minds last week, where Océ received feedback on its sustainability focal areas: paper, energy, reuse, product responsibility and employer of choice. "Reuse and product responsibility offer scope to add great value," said one survey respondent. "To increase the return on investment, Océ should apply its sustainability efforts to sales and marketing," said another. Some 75% of respondents said they believed the five Océ focal areas are relevant, meaningful and comprehensive. A similar percentage of respondents said they felt their sustainability issues were addressed in the company's annual sustainability report, other publications and on www.sustainability.oce.com.
Valuable stakeholder recommendations
During the Stakeholder Dialogue, a large number of recommendations were made aimed at enhancing the company's well appreciated sustainability policy and performance. They included the following:
Supply Chain Management
Océ should encourage suppliers to participate in the Carbon Disclosure Project, an independent not-for-profit organization holding the largest database of corporate climate change information in the world. Océ has participated in the Carbon Disclosure Project since 2008.
Product and company carbon footprint
The company should optimize the return flow of used equipment and prepare it for a second life. In addition, Océ should not only focus on sustainable technologies but also more on sustainable materials.
Océ should drive for a more diverse workforce. Attracting and engaging young, qualified and multi-cultural professionals, both male and female. Creating mentorship programs for the employees over 40 to transfer knowledge. Facilitate job rotation, work/life balance interaction and more flexible working conditions.
Communication and transparency
The company should communicate more frequently and intensively the meaning of sustainability to customers and how Océ helps stakeholders work in a more sustainable way. Better communicate the progress made on reuse and recyclability of Océ products. Also, Océ should better disclose its hidden value by detailing energy cost savings on products and services.
Furthermore, stakeholders recommended that Océ further develop its sustainability policy in close alignment with Canon, with whom Océ joined forces in March 2010.
License to operate requires favorable rating
"At Océ we acknowledge that our license to operate requires that our sustainability performance has to be rated positively by stakeholders from all walks of life", said Océ CEO Rokus van Iperen in a video address to participants. "Even more, we recognize that sustainability is not only a license to operate or a hygiene factor, but we are convinced that sustainability is a positive business driver, a driver that can make the difference with regard to the value we add to our customers, end-users and stakeholders."
Implementation of last year's findings
One of the key recommendations of the 2009 Stakeholder Dialogue was that Océ should make more use of knowledge from outside the industry. During this third Stakeholder Dialogue ? entitled Explore, Engage, Empower ? the 35 attendees from various European countries heard presentations by TNT (post and express delivery), BAM (construction group), Van Gansewinkel ("waste no more") and the UN Global Compact.
"Sustainability is in our genes"
"Back in the mid-19th century, our founding fathers were concerned about the environment and committed to working in a way we would today call 'sustainable,' said Harry Loozen, Senior Vice President Corporate Public Affairs and Sustainability, in his address to the Stakeholder Dialogue. "Indeed, sustainability is in our genes, a guiding principle of our company long before the word became fashionable. Today, we have listened to and learned from your words of wisdom," he concluded, thanking stakeholders for their valuable insights.
Follow up to this year's findings
Evaluation by participants at the 2010 Stakeholder Dialogue suggests that the information exchange was relevant and useful and that they felt they had the opportunity to provide input on Océ's sustainability policy and performance. Once the impressive range of recommendations has been carefully analyzed, stakeholders will be requested to vote on those deemed to have highest priority. Océ will strive to implement these priorities in the coming months and report progress during the 2011 Stakeholder Dialogue.