Lauding Sutherland for its efforts in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), preeminent global standard, assessment, consulting, and certification firm Verego recently awarded the process transformation company with its prestigious Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) certification.
Launched in 2014, Verego began a social responsibility standard (SRS) assessment at seven Sutherland offices. Sutherland won CSR certification at all sites in four SRS areas: leadership, ethics, people and environment.“Over the last few years, Verego has witnessed distinct improvements in Sutherland's approach to corporate responsibility (CR),” Verego Senior Certification Assessor Carole Kerrey said. “The organization has improved how it monitors the health and safety of its employees, strengthened human rights standards for suppliers, and improved the tracking of its environmental impact for both pollution and habitat.”
Moreover, Kerrey adds, is the impact Sutherland’s commitment to its corporate responsibility has had on its own employees: “In the last two years, our survey tools have noted an increase in employee satisfaction related to Sutherland's approach to corporate responsibility, which may be due to improved policies and programs or increased transparency."
Sutherland's Head of Communication, Engagement & Corporate Responsibility, Melanie Wheeler, echoed Kerrey’s sentiment: "The Verego certification exemplifies Sutherland's commitment to leading the way in corporate responsibility. As a company, we are dedicated to setting an example in the areas of leadership, ethics, people, and environment.”
After working through Verego’s multi-pronged compliant management system, the certification firm praised Sutherland’s marked improvement in five sub-areas: Promotion of social responsibility in the supply chain – Tracking supplier attestation to the Sutherland supplier code of conduct. Employee health and safety – Monitoring health and safety metrics at the identified sites.
Supply chain human rights – Improvement of the structured approach for suppliers toward the elimination of child labor.
Pollution monitoring and continuous improvement – Tracking asset waste disposal at the assessed sites with a commitment to the habitat sustainability policy to reduce or eliminate waste.
Habitat monitoring and continuous improvement – Tracking conservation activities at the assessed sites with a pledge to the habitat sustainability policy to improve local impact.
The CSR designation is important because, among other things, it shows partners and potential partners Sutherland has already been vetted and recognized as a socially responsible global organization. That cultivates confidence and trust from other global companies, such as Microsoft Corp. “In order to verify our suppliers operate using best practices in CR, Microsoft has implemented a Responsible Sourcing program,” Microsoft Chief Procurement Officer Mike Simms said. “For the past number of years, Microsoft has been working to systematically and continuously improve our strategic contact center suppliers’ sustainability, recognizing a number of certification schemes such as ISO 14001, SA 8000, and Verego SRS. The Verego SRS Certification process adds another useful new tool to our procurement team’s risk mitigation toolbox, reducing our auditing costs while at the same time enabling our suppliers to improve.” And as Forbes reported, CSR is vital to innovation, cost savings, brand differentiation, long-term thinking, customer engagement and employee engagement.
While there are several CSR rating systems, rankings, and documentation guidelines for organizations to adopt, many only focus on a portion of the full scope of CSR. Verego’s SRS certification provides a full-scope perspective for Sutherland and ensures adoption of best practices for all aspects of corporate responsibility.
Created in 2012, Verego developed its SRS standard in accord with other prominent world standards such as the Global Reporting Initiative and the UN Global Compact. The Verego SRS brings together standards setting experts, experienced procurement specialists, and corporate responsibility practitioners to become the world’s only, full-scope certifiable corporate social responsibility CSR standard that can be applied to nearly any organization or supply chain.