Shaping the future of sustainable business

Takeaways from the CSR panel at Enterprise World Europe

Since beginning our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) journey at OpenText™, I’ve had the opportunity to speak with customers, partners and employees about how best to meet the diverse needs of our stakeholders and their supply chains. These conversations have turned into a CSR movement that reinforces our cultural values of corporate sustainability and using information for the good.

Photo of Ole Lund Hansen presenting at OpenText Enterprise World Europe CSR Luncheon
Ole Lund Hansen

OpenText hosted an inspiring CSR panel at OpenText Enterprise World Europe on March 14. The event brought together experts and industry thinkers from around the globe to discuss the sustainable supply chain, the role of technology in increasing sustainability, and why CSR is important for all organizations – no matter the industry.

Our CEO & CTO Mark Barrenechea opened the event and emphasized that technology companies can have a significant impact on sustainability by building ethical and sustainable supply chains through technological innovations, and by using information for the good.

The event was kicked-off with a keynote from Ole Lund Hansen, Chief Global Operations and Executive Management team with the UN Global Compact.

Here are the top takeaways from Ole’s keynote:

  1. When you combine the power of technology with sustainability challenges, magic happens. Business and technology can be a positive force for sustainable development and, together, can provide the solutions we need to face the biggest global challenges.
  2. If you want to be part of the solution, you have to start by making sure you’re not part of the problem. Adopting a principle-based approach to CSR, companies need to start by understanding the impact their organization has through their value chain. Don’t just look at the areas where you’re already doing well but commit to identifying and working on areas where you may have a negative impact on the world.
  3. Start by building a strategic plan for your CSR program. Once you’ve identified areas to work on, start by adopting industry best practices such as the 10 Principles of the UN Global Compact and exploring successful strategies shared by other companies. This will help you build a strategic plan for turning principles into procedures, policies and practices that govern how your company and employees operate every single day.
  4. Adopt an opportunity mindset to CSR. Think about the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals as the biggest piece of market research ever conducted. Your organization can take these sustainable development goals and use them to develop technology or other solutions to the problems we’re facing on a global scale. We often think about how technologies disrupt workforces, but we should also consider how innovative technologies can be used to disrupt climate change.

Following Ole’s keynote, he was joined on stage by panelists Patty Nagle (CMO, OpenText), Werner Koessler (Sr. Sustainability Manager, Swarovski Crystal Business), Dag Stuhler (Sourcing Specialist, Supply Risk, Swiss Re) and Stefan Kratzsch (Industrial Development Officer, UNIDO). The panelists shared insights into how to get started with CSR at your organization, tips for developing a sustainability or corporate responsibility roadmap, and the importance of setting ambitious CSR targets.

The message is simple: whether you’re a technology decision maker or a technology user, we all have an opportunity and a responsibility to make a difference.

We’ll be continuing the conversation during a CSR Keynote and lunch at OpenText™ Enterprise World 2019 in Toronto from July 9-11. Join us at Enterprise World as we bring together CSR experts for a discussion on how companies can do good, while doing well – stay tuned for more information.

Julie Millard

Julie is the Senior Director of CSR and Communications at OpenText. She has over 20 years experience driving engagement in impactful programs through CSR, corporate communications, and D&I initiatives.

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