Corporate Social Responsibility
Our ambition is to be the most trustworthy consultancy in our markets, with the most satisfied employees and clients. This also calls for a credible relationship with society as a whole. How we follow up our corporate social responsibility (CSR) is described here.
The way we fulfil our CSR affects our reputation. We depend on our good name to win contracts and to recruit competent personnel. So behaving as a responsible member of society will also be commercially beneficial for us. By communicating positive spin-offs from our activities and contributing to progress for our specialist fields in society, we can attract new clients and staff.
Stakeholders and target groups
Our employees, owners and clients are the groups most affected by the way we fulfil our CSR. We are also concerned to ensure that the customers and users of our clients, as well as the national professional communities in our business areas, perceive that we deliver quality, behave in a trustworthy manner and comply with legal requirements. Our clients, suppliers and owners expect our business behaviour to be correct and responsible. And the customers and users of our clients have an interest in obtaining good user experiences from the solutions we contribute to.
1. Contributing to society through our work for clients
Our clients include a number of important social players. Through the work we do for them, we make a positive contribution to society and the population as a whole. Examples of areas where we have contributed include:
- We have assisted Norway's State Agency for the Recovery of Fines, Damages and Costs in making it easier for those who owe money to the government to service their debt. That includes helping to analyse the best way to establish dialogue with these debtors and to let them pay what they owe as simply as possible. On that basis, we have developed new digital services for the agency's users.
- Safety on road and rail is important. We have made contributions here through assignments for the Norwegian Public Roads Administration and the Norwegian National Rail Administration. These include developing a new solution which the roads administration will use to achieve better vehicle control on Norwegian highways. And we have developed a solution for safe and efficient distribution of train information to personnel involved in managing rail traffic.
- The Norwegian Trekking Association wants people to get out into the countryside, while public transport providers in the counties are keen to have them take buses and trains. We contribute by giving users the necessary mobile phone apps.
- Norwegian Sea Rescue helps people in trouble on the waves, while the Norwegian Cancer Society collects money to fund research. We help them both to communicate better with their target groups. That includes, for example, developing the cancer society's Christmas campaign in 2014, which raised NOK 23 million for cancer research.
- The Norwegian Environment Agency and the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency play important roles in protecting species diversity in nature. We contribute to this work by delivering good tools.
- Sweden's Skåne region is concerned with openness and transparency in the form of open data. We help the local authorities with systems for making such information accessible.
We have designed and developed the Norwegian Sea Rescue website.
Ergonomics and universal design
Solutions we have developed form part of the working environment for employees at many of our clients. We give emphasis to ensuring that the solutions we deliver have high user quality and a universal design.
2. CSR in our specialist fields
Digital solutions are acquiring a more and more important place in society. Using IT and digital communication to achieve simplification and greater efficiency, promote innovation and value creation in the economy and ensure sustainable and inclusive social development is a political goal in Norway. To achieve this, more expertise must be developed in these areas. We contribute to that process in a number of ways.
- We urge our staff to play a active role in national professional communities and fora. This means that we contribute to everything from local specialist networks to the organising committees for big national conferences. That helps to create meeting places where expertise is exchanged and developed.
- We as a company and our employees have made significant contributions to the Lær kidsa koding (Teach Kids Coding) organisation, which aims to strengthen IT competence among Norwegian children. Simen Sommerfeldt, one of our staff, took the initiative on launching this movement.
- We contribute our expertise to consultation processes when official standards and guidelines are to be devised in our specialist fields.
Children learn programming in our offices through the Learn Kids Coding organisation.
3. Labour rights, social conditions and human rights
Our employees are our most important resource. Great emphasis is accordingly given to job satisfaction and professional development. We seek to create a working environment with open communication, which encourages commitment and allows employees to develop. In our view, the key to wellbeing at work is a combination of challenging jobs and a good social and professional environment. Another goal is that the working day will be short enough to allow employees to make good use of their leisure time.
Guidelines and implementation
Employment contracts and the personnel handbook describe the rights of our staff and our policy guidelines on human resources. Emphasis is placed on good information and on creating a sound understanding of these rules. The regulations are available to all personnel on the intranet. An HSE handbook describes goals, roles and routines for health, safety and environmental work.
Annual workforce surveys, safety walks and job reviews are conducted as part of our internal control process. Sickness absence and the use of overtime are followed up on a day-to-day basis, and quarterly by our working environment committee.
Continuous expertise development is important for our competitiveness. Job reviews are conducted annually with all employees to determine targets and activities for developing their expertise. Examples of such measures include courses, conferences, certification and mentor schemes.
Discrimination: All our employees are duty-bound to contribute to a positive and professional working environment. This means that they will treat each other with respect, and that all forms of discrimination are unacceptable. That includes discrimination on the basis of religion, skin colour, gender, sexual orientation, age, nationality, race or disability.
Equal opportunities: We are making long-term efforts to increase the percentage of women in our workforce. The female proportion is 27 per cent in 2015.
Norwegian business journal Økonomisk Rapport reports that Bouvet offer an attractive workplace for women.
Human rights: Our operations are confined to Scandinavia, where respect for human rights is strong. We do not collaborate with governments in countries which breach these rights.
Results and ambitions
An employee survey was conducted in 2015 by Great Place to Work. One of its findings was that 90 per cent of personnel agreed with the statement "All things considered, I believe this is a great place to work". The results of the survey place Bouvet among the 5 best companies in its class in Great Place to Work's ranking in 2016.
Total sickness absence for 2015 was 4.1 per cent, down from 4.2 per cent the year before. Reducing such absence even further is a goal. No serious occupational accidents or injuries occurred during 2015. Wellbeing is important in itself for good occupational health, but we have also joined forces with several health-service partners to ensure that our staff can receive quick and correct treatment when required.
4. Impact on the natural environment
Goal and measures
We aim to be as environment-friendly as possible. Our core business and production does not affect the natural environment. Nevertheless, we have put a number of measures in place to prevent our activities having unfortunate environmental side-effects.
- Electronic communication in place of physical travel. Our employees must communicate as far as possible electronically through videoconferencing and the internet instead of making physical journeys. We have installed equipment and software which facilitates this.
- Making provision for electric cars. Our employees have the opportunity at several of our offices to borrow electric cars for travel to clients. Several offices also have charging points for such vehicles belonging to employees.
- Waste sorting. We sort waste paper and cardboard and do not use disposable cups, plates or the like.
- Reducing paper consumption. We encourage our employees to minimise printing. Our printers are set up to print on both sides of the paper.
- Reduced electricity consumption. All lights in our offices are fitted with timers. In practice, this means that they turn off automatically at a set time in the afternoon or evening. We have also converted to virtual servers in our server rooms, which greatly reduces electricity consumption compared with physical machines.
Bouvet's electric cars
Results and ambitions
Several of our offices are Eco-Lighthouse certified, and the whole business in Norway is due to be certified.
Our Kristiansand office secured Eco-Lighthouse certification in December 2013.
5. Combating corruption
Our policy is that all forms of corruption are unacceptable. We have an expressed ambition to be the most trustworthy consultancy in our markets, with the most satisfied employees and clients. We are therefore concerned to ensure fair competition in the market by observing all legal requirements in our business activities.
We do not move profits to other countries in order to reduce our tax bill.
We do not give gifts to clients which exceed normal marks of attention. No gifts made to people associated with existing or potential clients can represent an economic benefit for the recipient.
The personnel handbook, which all employees must be familiar with, has the following to say about receiving gifts:
"Employees must display caution in accepting gifts or invitations from clients, partners or suppliers which exceed normal marks of attention. If they are in doubt about whether a gift or invitation falls within this definition, they must consult their personnel manager."
Routines related to procurement
Our authority structure and financial routines ensure that several people are always involved in substantial purchases. This helps to reduce the risk that procurement processes will breach legal requirements or good business practice.
Status and ambitions
No undesirable practices related to corruption were identified in 2015.