By Jean-François Coutanceau, SVP, Procurement, S4M
At S4M we are always looking for ways to be socially responsible. We have always been concerned about embedding sustainability in every aspect of our organization and operations It has been at the heart of our organization from the beginning to create a product that respects the communities we work for and with. After doing an internal survey to understand which social issues our employees cared about most, we decided to invest in environmental organizations, as that’s what our internal teams care about the most.
The digital industry will represent 14% of the global footprint. The advertising industry needs to be conscious of it. We rely on big data centers to analyze, store and deliver ads to customers having the latest devices. We are driving consumers to stores and we are a large global team that (until 2020) would travel regularly. All of these elements have an environmental impact.
Our goal is to counterbalance that as far as possible.
Our industry needs to measure, manage, and reduce its impact. Advertising pollution can only be tackled if everyone is committed to making the necessary changes. At S4M, we have started to calculate our carbon footprint and put in place our first measures.
In 2019, we developed a partnership with EcoTree, an organization that plants trees to create forests that help with biodiversity, sustainability. Our initial goal was to offset the carbon footprint caused by running campaigns, simply on the operational side. Secondly, we are addressing the company as a whole. It’s been found that 65% of the carbon footprint from S4M was attributed to our employee travel. We are making a conscious effort to reduce the amount of travel of each of our employees so that we can cut back on carbon emissions, even after the pandemic. The product team has also been working on an efficient product code, which will drain less energy in the data centers.
We have put many resources into our office recycling program, ensuring that people can easily and environmentally recycle their materials by providing the appropriate bins and working with the city to properly manage it. We have also participated in a program where we recycle our outdated or unused tech and electronics so that they can be refurbished for reuse.
Through our partnership with Givsly, we’ve been able to work with a great number of nonprofit organizations that are geared towards helping children through the arts, which was another area our team felt strongly about supporting. Being able to be part of experiences that have significant impacts on our local communities not only helps us build stronger internal relationships but helps build more meaningful connections with clients and partners, all while positively giving back.
For us, it’s really important that our employees are invested in the causes that we are putting our time and resources towards. We want to ensure that what we are doing externally speaks to the values that we hold internally.
With these initiatives, we are hoping to make our business more sustainable, while giving back to the local communities around our different locations and really make an impact. We are in the process of building out a robust CSR strategy that we can accurately measure and that we can scale globally so that all of our employees can share the same sense of involvement and investment.