We make SMEs fit for the future, also on the sustainability front.
In our corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities, we focus on those areas of action in which our business model is particularly effective and efficient in creating additional ecological and social benefits. As an IT service provider, we support our customers in meeting their objectives not only for digitalisation, but also with regard to sustainability.
Our solutions provide a contemporary response to current economic, ecological and social challenges.
Digital technologies have fundamentally changed customer behaviour and the world of work. Accelerating the digitalisation of business models and business processes is one key challenge faced by companies in all sectors. We accompany our customers on this course.
Climate change and growing scarcity of resources:
Digitalisation is a lever that enables companies to make more sparing and effective use of resources in production, reduce consumption and cut CO2 emissions. Together with our customers, we are working towards digitalised, resource-efficient and CO2-neutral production or avoiding waste in the retail sector by digitally monitoring best before dates. These digital technologies are also used on an ecologically sustainable basis. At our energy-intensive high-performance data centres, we are virtualising infrastructures and applications, using efficient climate control technology and procuring all the electricity we use from renewable energies.
As a digitaliser, we have a particularly great responsibility to ensure data protection. Reliably protecting data with our extensive cybersecurity services and securing the infrastructures and systems we deploy are among our core competencies. These actions form the foundation for building customer relationships based on trust.
“For us, business activity that is economically, ecologically and socially responsible is an investment in our own future operating capacity and one way to secure our business resilience. Our sustainability strategy is therefore an integral component of our corporate strategy.”Thies Rixen, CEO of q.beyond
Sustainability makes key contributions to our business resilience. We see “business resilience” as the ability to withstand external crises and disruptions in social, economic, environmental or political conditions (resistance), adapt to new conditions (adaptability) and thus maintain our stability despite external impacts.
Here, the following topics are at the forefront: Sustainable growth, robust core processes, satisfied and innovative employees, consistent customer focus and a portfolio that reacts rapidly enough to economic, ecological and social developments.
Our sustainability objectives
- Climate neutrality by 2025 - Based on our 2019 CO2 balance sheet, we aim to reduce our emissions from electricity, fuels and business travel by a total of at least 40%, offset the remaining emissions and also offset all material emissions sources along the value chain through to delivery to the customer. By the end of 2026, we aim to reduce our emissions from electricity, fuels and business travel by at least 60% overall compared with 2019.
- Increase customers’ willingness to recommend us - We aim to further boost the loyalty of our customers in the years ahead. - By 2024, customer satisfaction as measured in the net promoter score (NPS) should rise to +20%.
- Increase employees‘ willingness to recommend us - We had set ourselves the goal of implementing a control process in 2021 to determine how willing our employees are to recommend q.beyond as an employer, and that just as systematically as we monitor the loyalty of our customers. We have now established this control process, with monthly measurement of the employee net promoter score (NPS), and have since referred to this as a performance indicator for the measures we take to increase employee satisfaction.
- Expanding our sustainability-promoting portfolio - We aimed to include at least two new or additional digital sustainability solutions in our portfolio in 2022 and to test their application at customers. By including the new portfolio elements of “endpoint detection and response” and “security information and event management (SIEM)” in the field of cybercrime prevention, we met this objective. In future, we aim to consistently further increase the share of digital sustainability solutions in our portfolio.
- Compliance with the European Code of Conduct on Data Centre Energy Efficiency - We aim to support the sustainable transformation in the overall economy and, by also operating our data centres in accordance with the official criteria of the EU Taxonomy, aim to make a substantial contribution to the EU objective of “climate change mitigation”. That is why we are already working closely to implement all relevant practices of the European Code of Conduct on Data Centre Energy Efficiency. By the end of 2026, we aim to comply in full with the requirements of the Code.
- The share of women in management positions is to be increased in the coming years - We intend to raise the share of women managers in the years ahead. Based on the overall Group (q.beyond AG and its majority-owned subsidiaries), a 20% share of women is to be achieved in the first two management levels below the Management Board and among other management staff by the end of 2026.
- Designing a key figure system to measure efficiency of core processes - Changes in customer requirements and new regulatory challenges make it necessary to address business processes, and here especially all processes at customer interfaces, on an ongoing basis. Efficient core processes (which involve value-adding business processes performed for customers, such as sales, operations, service management, billing etc.) impact on profitability at q.beyond AG. Business processes are efficient when contractually agreed services for customers can be provided using the lowest possible volume of resources. This can be achieved, for example, by ensuring a high degree of automation which cuts process throughput times and reduces personnel resource costs. Suitable key figures are required to determine the efficiency of core processes and enable enhancements in these processes to be assessed objectively in future. In the 2023 financial year, the company plans to define key figures of this nature, determine the underlying measurement methodology and aggregate the figures into a key figure system.
- Implementing the due diligence and reporting obligations resulting from the German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act (LkSG) - Starting in the 2024 financial year, q.beyond will be subject to the reporting obligations of the German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act (LkSG). We are currently preparing to comply with the due diligence obligations set out in this legislation. In this context, we are extending our analysis of human rights-related and environmental risks in our own business activities and our supply chain. We will also refer to these when selecting new suppliers. At present, we are evaluating supporting software solutions able to supply past and real-time information in respect of ESG risks in the supply chain for our principal suppliers and sub-suppliers. These new processes should be fully implemented from 2024.