The beginning: focus on an environmental approach with constant progress
The first milestone to build above described Green Vision was to know the CO2 emissions emitted by the company, in order to better manage them and reduce them. DFGE carried out Avnet’s first Corporate Carbon Footprint calculation in 2009, based on already available data. Throughout the years, DFGE could hone the process by focusing on main sources of CO2 emissions to find better data for them, which significantly improved the accuracy of the calculations. This is known as DFGE’ TopDown approach: a way to quickly obtain results by focusing on key information. This approach is very adapted to large companies in this sense, as activity factors can be scaled up with accurate and easily collectable data.
With its Sustainability Intelligence model, DFGE also tries to leverage existing documents to address other requests. The challenge faced by Avnet to answer various requests can be addressed by the use of one document/one practice for several requests. For example, carrying out the Corporate Carbon Footprint made it easier to answer the CDP questionnaire. Avnet has been participating to the CDP since 2013 in order to increase transparency over stakeholders. The score has evolved to 92 in 2015.
DFGE adopted a progressive approach to make sure that quick results were achieved while at the same time ensuring constant progression over the years. In this sense and due to the growing stakeholder interest, sustainability increasingly gained momentum in the company.
A shift from CO2 emissions to overall CSR management
CSR was also increasing at worldwide level. In this context, Avnet was required by customers to improve its performance on EcoVadis, a platform for sustainability in the supply chain. This platform covers topics that were already addressed by Avnet: Carbon Footprint, CDP Participation, energy management, health and safety requirements, employee management, ethical code of conduct etc. Again, the challenge for Avnet was to find out the right data showing the company’s practices, while trying to cover the full scope of application.
DFGE helped Avnet in identifying the right documents to provide, and also completed the questionnaire itself. Since DFGE has known Avnet for several years, it was easy to match EcoVadis requirements with Avnet’s current practices. DFGE’s insight into the company’s strategy and management was key to ensure quick results – as a consequence, the EcoVadis score increased by 20%.
In return, EcoVadis provides a scorecard, which is an analysis of the company’s sustainability management system, in other words a way to identify gaps and good practices. The main outcome was a confirmed CSR performance, but a lacking homogeneous approach at group level.