For DNS Belgium, sustainability is far more than merely a matter of climate action. It is our fundamental value that gives direction to our organisation. In 2016, we charted our sustainability policy on the basis of the ISO 26000 standard. We took a critical look at our management from the perspective of 7 core subjects (organisational governance, human rights, labour practices, the environment, fair operating practices, consumer issues and community involvement and development).
We then discussed the results with our most important stakeholders: all staff members, our policy council, the strategic committee and the registrar forum. This led to the 4 pillars of our sustainability policy: inspiring workplace, leader in safety, digital awareness and sustainable chain.
Last year, we submitted an action plan for the VOKA Sustainable Business Charter for the first time. We devised 14 actions that contributed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We brought 2017 to a close with a positive audit on the outcome of our actions and emerged as "Laureate for 2017." If we succeed on this front three years in a row, we will earn the title of sustainable company.
Our charter for 2018 is ambitious. We have devised a total of 32 actions for this year, distributed over all 17 SDGs. On the environmental front, we are focusing primarily on reducing and offsetting our CO2 footprint. We have already organised an eco-driving course for all staff and concluded an agreement with the not-for-profit association planteenbos.be vzw to plant a forest in Flanders to draw CO2 from the air in a sustainable manner.
We took a number of CO2 saving measures last year, such as switching to green electricity for our office. Our organisation grew by a number of people, however, which in turn increased our CO2 emissions. We are calculating our CO2 footprint again to gauge the full impact thereof.
4 workgroups - one for each pillar - shape our sustainability programme and oversee its implementation. About half of our staff take part in one of these workgroups. Many of the actions from our charter are devised by them.
- We organise a fit@work programme because we attach great importance to the physical and mental health of our colleagues. In addition, we are the co-organizer of the "Move to close the gap" event this year. We want to close the ICT gap with the 3rd and 4th world by running and cycling.
- ICT education is important for us. That is why we try to develop an episode on how the internet works for Ava & Trix, a study package for the final two years of primary school. We also place our office at the disposal of the Leuven-based CoderDojo, an organisation of volunteers who want to teach young people how to program.
- DNS Belgium works together with other registries in CENTR , the advocacy organisation for ccTLDs in Europe. Our Information security officer has developed a "Security Maturity Model" together with his European colleagues. We also sponsor an online tool to enable more people to take part in the different meetings of the CENTR workgroups. At the end of February, we received a delegation from our Estonian colleagues for a workshop on the migration to the cloud.
- Transparency is an important component of our sustainability strategy. We therefore want to publish an initial sustainability report, and will keep you regularly up to date on our advancements through articles on our website. A new corporate website is being planned this year with due account of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 to make it accessible for people with disabilities.