Sustainability strategy of DNS Belgium

In 2016 we launched a project in DNS Belgium to develop our sustainability strategy to the full. We have naturally always been an organisation with extensive social involvement and our sustainability story goes far further back:  

  • we have had a partnership with Close the Gap since 2008 
  • we help starters via Unizo and KBC  
  • we support further training and education projects for the underprivileged

We have also taken steps to improve our sustainability on other fronts: we sort waste, deliberately print less, avail ourselves of various opportunities to strike a better balance between work and private life, and are migrating to green data centres, are recycling our e-waste via  Wordloop, etc.  

But despite our social commitment and the many initiatives, there was still no overall strategy or clear priorities, and sustainability was not explicitly mentioned in the mission statement of DNS Belgium.   

Development of the sustainability strategy  

Certain clear objectives were consequently set for the sustainability project, namely to:   

  • look into what corporate social responsibility can mean for a company such as DNS Belgium
  • determine who the CSR stakeholders are
  • determine the sustainability strategy with related actions and KPIs

References and inspiration  

During the investigation phase, we first looked into the sustainability performance of a selection of organisations from the domain name sector. Their best practices on the sustainability front were both a point of reference and a source of inspiration for the development of the sustainability strategy of DNS Belgium.  

We then subjected our entire value chain to a critical analysis based on the 8 areas of the ISO 26000 sustainability core subjects: 

  • organisational governance   
  • environment  
  • labour practices  
  • human rights (we did not include them further, because they do not apply to our activities and sector)  
  • customer issues  
  • sustainable purchasing and supply chain management  
  • social involvement and development  
  • communication 

The analysis shows that both the staff and the board of directors consider operational reliability, compliance with policy, privacy and security of information to be very important. We scored less well in terms of organisational governance, environment, sustainable supply chain management and communication on sustainability. The workgroup used this information to define a sustainability vision, strategy and objectives.  

Kinderhanden die plantje vasthouden.

Vision, strategy and objectives

In a digitised society where everyone is aware of the options of and has access to the benefits of domain names, DNS Belgium wants to be a centre of excellence in a sustainable way for everything to do with domain names.  

As a neutral manager of and leader in Belgian domain names, DNS Belgium is a preferred partner for the many stakeholders who have an interest in a state-of-the-art secure internet for a digitally aware society. To achieve this, DNS Belgium will continue to attract and retain top talent.  

Our sustainability policy is based on four pillars:  

  1. inspiring workplace  
  2. leader in security  
  3. digital awareness  
  4. sustainability chain management   

We have defined the strategic objectives to be achieved for each of these pillars by 2020:  

Inspiring workplace  

  • a workplace where the right people can perform the right work in a sound manner
  • a place where employees can bring their talents fully to bear and are given room to do good things
  • an employer whom people choose consciously.
  • an employer of choice, who finds new people for the right jobs faster and easier and who can retain good employees

Leader in security 

  • The aim is to be recognised as an innovator in the world of domain names with zero incidents that have consequences for the uptime of our infrastructure and a reduction in the number of cases of inappropriate use. 
  • An action plan must also be devised to become an expert in the Belgian security landscape so that we can give relevant input points to security institutions and the press.  

Digital awareness

The aim is:

  • to enhance awareness about the use and misuse of the internet among certain target groups.
  • to make children internet wise with tailor-made programmes, familiarise parents, computer illiterates and SMEs with the internet.
  • to devise an action plan to reach target groups directly and indirectly.   

Sustainable chain management  

  • we must set an example in our sphere of influence by encouraging our partners (suppliers and sales channel) to develop their business in a sustainable manner
  • we must also devise an action plan for social and green initiatives together with our partners

Follow-up  

The effort does not stop with the definition of a vision and strategy. A workgroup was set up per pillar in 2017 to develop the strategy further and to define and implement actions and projects according to the defined KPIs. These workgroups are composed of  staff representatives and will be responsible for the further development and follow-up of the sustainability project in the coming years. One concrete action is the participation in the VOKA Sustainable Entrepreneurship Charter. 

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