Lorella Gessa, Chief Communications Officer of Havas Group, explains the importance of our CSR Report and why the annual process is a vital tool to achieve Havas Impact+’s sky high ambitions.
Why is our CSR Report so important?
Corporate social responsibility is entwined in everything we do at Havas Group and it has been since 2009, when we began making concrete commitments in this area long before others. In 2020, we celebrated the launch of Havas Impact+, our own unique CSR brand, which brings structure to our commitments beneath three pillars: the environment, meaningful communication and people. Our annual CSR Report is vital because it allows us to track the progress within each pillar, identify exactly where we want to go and focus on the areas where we could improve. Assessing our performance generates excitement and motivation and it helps build momentum towards achieving the goals we set.
I believe that there are at least five benefits, if not more, of setting measurable goals: a clear destination, greater direction and focus, greater clarity and transparency, increased motivation, and a framework to break down ambitions into daily actions. The success of our CSR performance comes from the fact that we’ve been measuring our actions for the past 10 years and communicated real and audited facts and figures. Our CSR Report will continue to be a key tool for reflection and will help us shape Havas Impact+’s strategy for the future.
What’s involved in its creation?
Firstly, the report’s contents are reflective of the incredible creativity and action across our global network when it comes to facing the greatest threats to our planet and society. As you can imagine, producing this report is a huge project for the Havas Impact+ team, led by our Global CSR Project Manager Maria Escobar Granet, and I am so grateful for the dedication, passion and expertise of all the contributors around the world.
Their efforts in this area are a guiding light for the rest of Havas to achieve our ambition to be the most meaningful Group in our industry. This report is based on the data collected through the 2020 CSR reporting campaign, where 202 contributors completed over 350 indicators (social, societal and environmental) for more than 290 entities in our network. The data was analysed and audited by the CSR department, as well as a third-party auditor for specific indicators.
Is this report something that our clients seek when choosing to work with us?
As our Meaningful Brands® research reflects, commercial success and doing right by the planet and society go hand in hand. As they should, people expect brands to take responsibility and use their force for good to build a safer, more sustainable and more prosperous future for the planet and its inhabitants. People expect this of our clients, and in turn, our clients expect this of Havas. Beyond creating work that inspires and communicates change, our clients want to work with Havas because of what we stand for and because we are the leader in this space. Therefore, the CSR Report is something that is expected and analysed by our clients because it provides clarity and transparency on our CSR performance.
What are some of 2020’s most important milestones?
Earlier this year, Yannick Bolloré expressed the Group’s ambitious commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025. Fulfilling this achievement calls for dramatic action.
One of the key areas of progress this year was our implementation of an ISO 14001-certified Environmental Management System (EMS) in France, which followed implementation in the UK, Spain and the Netherlands. 28% of our global headcount is now operating underneath this system, with a goal to achieve 100% in the near future. We take great pride in our agencies in London and Amsterdam having achieved B Corp certifications this year and are excited for many more B Corp journeys in 2021.
Thanks to the Havas Group Global talent team, we have made great strides beneath Havas Impact+’s people pillar. We accelerated our mission to bolster our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) programmes and established and developed All In, a programme which ensures a culture full of diverse points of view, equitable opportunities and a safe space to learn, self-reflect and have courageous conversations.
In 2020, there were over 160 diversity initiatives that covered 56% of our collaborators. This programme includes our existing Femmes Forward and HavaSay initiatives, as well as Commit to Change NA, an initiative focused on supporting, investing in and growing Black, Indigenous, People of Colour (BIPOC) representation within our business. With All In, we are making great progress in celebrating the richness of our talent and we are seeing enormous impact around the world.
Finally, our bread and butter, our creativity and talent, were the catalysts for award-winning work on behalf of our global clients, which truly impacted the world for the better, more of which you can read about within the report and in Dare!’s Behind the Work section!