Sustainability is deeply embedded in our daily operations, and there is a strong and increasing need for a fact-based approach to monitor our performance and follow up on our progress. Several years ago, we already started collecting a wide range of data to accurately map our environmental impact in domains such as energy, water, packaging and waste. This was usually done on a yearly basis, coinciding with the publication of our Sustainability Report.
Earlier this year, we introduced a dedicated, group-wide sustainability reporting tool which allows us to collect data in a consistent manner from every division, entity and site on a monthly basis. Most of the data is entered into the system by our local sustainability ambassadors, who keep track of a wide range of parameters – consumption of electricity and fuel, recuperation of water, energy produced by our solar panels, packaging materials and their recyclability, volumes for different waste streams, etc.
The monthly reporting schedule runs parallel with our financial reporting at Group level and enables management to analyse our performance, quickly detect trends and deviations and steer our operations in the right direction. The data is presented in a highly visual manner, with dashboards that provide an immediate overview of the most important evolutions.
But our work is not finished. As we move on, we will be adding and finetuning Key Performance Indicators for different parameters, while the number of parameters and the level of detail will be increasing. We will also be collecting more data from other domains, including Health & Safety. We are also looking into integrated systems that will allow to update information automatically, increasing the accuracy of the information while saving time for everyone involved.
The importance of this project cannot be overstated. The reporting tool is the result of close cooperation between different departments, including Business Intelligence, IT and Finance. The data we collect is crucial to comply with existing and future regulations and are verified and audited in a similar fashion to our financial numbers. In fact, in time they will be equally important as indicators of how well we are doing as a company.