Responsible by nature
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has always been central to the values upheld by Akuo. Since the very beginning, Akuo has been guided by the principles of recognized NGOs which have now become best practices:
- The principles of the AA 1000 standard developed in 2003 by the British NGO Accountability, which defines and measures a systematic stakeholder commitment process; and
- The Equator Principles for sound management of the social and environmental risks inherent in financing projects.
This commitment is reflected in our governance, our core business, and our human resources.
Our contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals
In 2021, our renewable energy power plants avoided the emission of over 800,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.
Akuo’s action is in line with the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations in September 2015, in particular with
Our continuous improvement: Carbon Footprint
As a proactive initiative and ahead of legislative requirements, Akuo measured its Scope 3 Carbon Footprint in 2018. This ambitious step reflects the company’s commitment to understanding and taking concrete measures to reduce its carbon emissions. Our results are very satisfactory as our actual emissions do not exceed one third of the emissions avoided. However, we strive for continuous improvement by regularly updating our Carbon Footprint and by working with our partners and employees to foster dialogue and sharing of best practices, with the aim of making responsibility the norm. At Akuo, we focus on improving our impact rather than trying to offset carbon emissions from our operations, and on consistently enhancing our know-how.
CSR every day
Playing an active part in sustainable and socially responsible development would not be possible without the efforts and involvement of Akuo’s employees throughout their careers, on topics that matter to them.
This concern has been integrated into the tools available to employees by including CSR in the on-boarding program introduced in 2016.
To gain insight into our employees’ aspirations, particularly regarding changes in the company, they frequently respond to surveys to identify areas for improvement. A leadership program has been in place since 2021 to train managers, particularly in CSR and mental health issues, and over 120 employees have already received training. At Akuo, CSR is a guiding principle that points the way forward for our teams and our activities on a daily basis.
We also implement CSR every day in our offices: our employees regularly exchange during the Climate Fresk workshop, and take part in permaculture gardening sessions out on our terraces, or workshops on eco-anxiety and eco-friendly living. Various recycling challenges are frequently organized, and to support our actions outside the office, employees can buy organic food baskets at negotiated rates, and receive competitive incentives to systematically choose the lowest-emission forms of transport for their private and business travel.
Fostering engagement: CSR Committee and skills-based sponsorship
All of Akuo’s teams take responsibility for CSR. A CSR Committee was therefore created to give employees with different profiles an opportunity to share their common concern. All the key businesses are represented and 80% of the CSR Committee members are non-executives. The committee is organized in voluntary task forces working on 23 strategic environmental, social and governance themes, which make sense to the Akuo Group.
Akuo has also implemented a skills-based sponsorship program: in practical terms and on a rotating basis, employees can devote up to seven days of work per year to projects supported by the Foundation. This strong initiative allows the talent and expertise found at Akuo to reach out to as many people as possible.
Applying CSR in our projects
Several aspects of CSR can be put into practice in our projects.
CSR is the foundation for positive, high-impact influence
We are committed and active, but aware that we represent only a drop in an ocean of decisions, and we fully assume our role as an activist company. Activism is a commitment to a cause to advance it on a large scale, and over the long term. We therefore take action in defending our convictions alongside non-governmental or governmental actors who share the same beliefs.
Our involvement in SolarPower Europe undoubtedly asserts our ambition to take our concerns about improving the value chain to the highest level: product sourcing, recycling, impact on biodiversity, and the role of local entities are all topics that we truly take to heart.
A website developed according to eco-design principles
You are browsing an eco-designed website. Aware that we also leave a digital footprint here, our website has been developed according to the main principles of eco-design.
All user paths and the structure of each page have been designed according to UX principles so that the internet user finds useful information as quickly as possible while consuming as little as possible. We pool the storage of our data with our host OVH and our videos on Youtube in order to significantly save the weight of our website. All of our displayed files are compressed. Each image is thus resized according to the browser and we use tools to save loading time and bandwidth. Finally, we have chosen a lighter tracking system, the number of which is limited to five, allowing less consumption of resources, as well as greater respect for user data.
This new eco-designed version of our website significantly reduces its environmental impact of 18%, compared to the previous version.