Data Respons have signed the guide against green washing

Data Respons signed the Norwegian guide against green washing in early 2020. Now we have signed international guide and will integrate it in all our subsidiaries.

Illustration of green tech

We truly believe that technology and the digital revolution will enable solutions that will solve the big problems and challenges of our time.

In times of increasingly divided societies and fake news, remaining a clear sight on the challenges we face becomes even more essential. This sets high standards to communicate clearly, transparently and honestly on our emissions and efforts to reduce them.

In order to avoid greenwashing and praising our business to be greener as it is, we need to fully understand the real impact of our products and services to address our common cause: fighting climate change. This is why we take CO2-mapping and Sustainability Reporting seriously and commit to using internationally approved standards (GRI). We believe that only if we manage to build trust within our audiences by keeping our promises, we can actually contribute to the green shift.

Data Respons signed the guide to avoid green washing in Norway in early 2020 and has followed the instructions both in Norway and in our subsidiaries in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, France and Taiwan. Now, as the guide launches internationally, we want to take a stand and promise that we will do our outmost to not promote something to be greener than it actually is. In all our communication we will strive to report honestly about the efforts being made, as well as being open and transparent about our biggest challenges regarding reducing emissions.

“Taking real responsibility to fight the biggest challenge of our time is an important value at Data Respons. As a responsible business, we address some of the challenges the world is facing related to inequality, climate change, health and poor access to quality education.
Making false promises on these commitments would be fatal for our trustworthiness and credibility. As we continue to grow internationally, we aim to build a valuable, strong and international brand. Effective environmental communication will report how our business in technology development impacts nature and humans.” Kenneth Ragnvaldsen, CEO.

 

What is greenwashing?

Greenwashing is a form of misleading marketing or communication, where a product, service or company is presented as “better” in respect to climate change, the environment or human rights issues, without proper documentation to back this claim.” (source: skift)

The Guide against Green Washing suggests ten principles to make it easier and more measurable to follow.

Our take on these guidelines

1. Be honest and accountable

We commit to being honest, accountable and transparent in our CO2-reduction efforts and everything else.
We commit to report on openly on all our emissions through a yearly ESG report that follows the GR standard (GRI). Data Respons has also been a member of the UN Global Compact initiative since 2018, and thus adopting its reporting requirements.

 

2. Make sure sustainability efforts are not limited to your communications and marketing departments

Sustainability efforts are not limited to marketing and communication departments but integrated throughout in the company structure. We map our carbon emissions every year, and every daughter company in the group is involved in that process. There is also monthly and yearly reporting on a number of ESG factors in the group that measures the effects of all relevant actions and ambitions.

 

3. Avoid talking about the importance of sustainability, if your company has not made serious efforts on these issues

We have set ambitions and concise targets for our sustainability ambitions. In 2019 we counted more than 70 customer projects that had a positive and direct impact on the UN SDG’s. Among a long list of projects, we have helped windmills produce more energy through better software. We have enabled the possibility to both share a car, and car chargers. In addition to that we have reduced the fuel needed in both trains and trucks, and we have developed first aid technology that saves lives on a regular basis.

 

4. Do not under-communicate your company’s own emissions and negative impacts.

We are fully transparent on our emissions in our yearly ESG report.

 

5. Be careful using a big share of the marketing budget on small measures that do not affect your company’s footprint significantly.

Sustainability is a continuous process, and we believe in the importance of integrating it in every aspect of our business.

 

6. Avoid buying a clean conscience (i.e. through climate quotas.

We only buy carbon offsets for emissions that can’t be avoided. But we strongly believe that buying carbon offsets are an important tool for the world to reduce its emissions.

 

7. Use established labelling

We have used a comprehensive ESG reporting format for our yearly integrated reports and a strict use of the UN SDGs.

 

8. Be careful using terms such as “better for the climate, nature, and the environment”.

We have a dedicated focus on not using these terms in our external and internal communication to make our efforts look better than they are. Instead, we seek to report honestly about our projects and draw the connection to the FN sustainability goals where it is appropriate.

 

9. “Cherry Picking” from the UN sustainable development goals can lead you astray

We always strive to have a holistic point of view on the impacts of our work, both negatively and positively. We use the UN sustainable development goals as continuous guidelines and refer to them when appropriate.

 

10. Donations and sponsorships are great, but not a proof that you are working on sustainability-issues

Donations and sponsorships are used strategically to support the UN goals. Among others, we support homeless children in Nepal to educate the next generation and avoid human trafficking in the long term.

Want to Know More?

Sebastian Eidem
Chief Communication Officer
Data Respons

Photo of Isabelle Sarah Borchsenius

Isabelle Sarah Borchsenius
Marketing, Communication and Sustainability Manager
Data Respons