Charting a greener future: Wedia develops CSR charter to help reduce digital carbon footprint and drive positive change

12 Mar


Written by

Louise McNutt




Charting a greener future: Wedia develops CSR charter to help reduce digital carbon footprint and drive positive change
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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an important part of any company’s overall strategy. This is both on a business level with 76% of companies believing CSR reduces brand reputation risk and for employees where 83% state that they would consider leaving their jobs if CSR practices aren’t upheld. 

Wedia has been working for some time to support clients in reducing their digital carbon footprint through our Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution but has now released its own CSR charter, demonstrating the commitments made internally and externally. 

In this interview, Wedia’s Vice President of Sales and CSR Officer, Pierre-Olivier Lescure explains how the CSR charter was constructed and the main objectives behind it. 

Why has Wedia decided that now is the time to release its CSR charter? 

Wedia’s Vice President of Sales and CSR Officer, Pierre-Olivier Lescure

Wedia has decided to publish its CSR charter in order to keep up to date with the changes that are happening in society. Like any company, we have economic objectives which mean that we must continually work to grow and be profitable. But beyond that, we want to give meaning to what we as a software company are doing, which means committing to certain CSR engagements in order to reduce our own emissions and taking on an approach to our product that favors digital sobriety. 

We have decided to create this charter to better integrate this kind of thinking into our company. This is for many reasons; for ourselves, for our clients, for people looking to work at Wedia who want to know they would be working for a socially responsible company, for our employees and for potential investors. 

In a current climate of over consumption, brands are producing more content than ever before, which is of course increasing the related emissions. It is here that Wedia and our product can really step in to help brands make significant, digital carbon reductions by helping to reduce duplication and employing a Single Source of Truth approach to their communication tools and channels. 

For us as a software provider, we of course consume carbon emissions. These come from data, the servers we use and the infrastructure which supports digital processes. 

We have as such implemented certain changes which work to make our processes more sustainable. For our product we endeavor to think in an eco-design way. This means before creating any new part of our product, that we carefully consider how we can limit carbon emissions, whether that be streamlining processes or reducing the use of servers or the reliance on storage. It can even be as simple as supporting our customers in removing unused, duplicate or expired assets within their DAM solution.

What are the main axes within the charter? 

For our social engagements we have objectives around inclusion, equal treatment and gender equality. Of course, what we can’t guarantee is always having a complete 50/50 split between men and women in our workforce, but we have set goals and implemented a balanced recruitment process in order to improve representation of both sexes in our workforce. In a 2023 Gender Equality Index, Wedia received a score of 91/100 which demonstrates our ongoing commitment to this.  

For our employees, we strive as much as possible to make their working experience as comfortable as possible, by promoting a work/life balance that people are proud of. To monitor this, we send out a Happy at Work survey where employees can share their opinions. Wedia has a Happiness team in place which also works to offer events to bring employees together for social occasions in order to help promote a sense of unity within the organization. We also aim to ensure that we are being as open and transparent as possible, which applies to salary raises and company changes for example. 

For the societal aspect, we support various charitable initiatives, this could be Wedia as a whole financially supporting various charities, or it could be our staff volunteering time during their working hours to their chosen charity. One example of this is our financial backing for the French culinary school, La Source, which trains young people looking to change careers and become chefs, whilst committing to a more responsible approach to food preparation. 

As well as working on an eco-design-based approach to our product, meaning taking environmental issues into account right from the design phase, at Wedia we have chosen to support the Reforest’Action initiative. Here, we support the restoring of forests by offering each of our customers the opportunity to plant a number of trees in relation to the storage volume used in their Wedia solution.

We were also proud to have achieved the 2023 Ecovadis Sustainability Rating in Bronze which recognizes an ongoing commitment by Wedia to reduce our environmental footprint through our activities, both internally and externally as well as through the inclusion and diversity that we promote throughout our company.

The first objective of our charter is to establish a carbon emissions report to understand our direct and indirect emissions. Once this has taken place, we can truly understand our position and apply the next set of objectives. Of course, we have already put certain measures in place such as opting fo more eco-friendly modes of transport (a train over a plane). Such initiatives will continue as we learn more about our carbon footprint, including such factors as how each individual staff member travels to the office. 

How to integrate digital sobriety into the heart of your digital strategy

How will this benefit Wedia’s clients?

For our clients, during calls for tenders there are often questions asked about our CSR engagements. They want to know that the suppliers that they choose to work with are also committed to sustainable objectives. We are of course impacted by the strategic decisions of our clients as they develop their sustainability strategies. At the same time, we are committed to developing products and taking measures that not only help us drive a positive impact on the planet, but also help our customers do the same. 

We want to educate our clients about their use of their DAM platform and the related emissions. This means being able to provide them with real-time information about their DAM use (stockage, number of assets, duplicates etc.) so that they can understand the climate-related impact. We have already carried this out for some of our clients and we hope for this to be a more regular occurrence. This would mean being able to understand the carbon footprint of their DAM use, where improvement could be made and tracking how they have decreased their emissions. 

The DAM can also be used to enhance a company’s own CSR strategy and as such we have built in certain features that allow our clients to be more aware of their digital emissions. For example, promoting image compression, scoring measures or reducing the need to send heavy files by having everything stored centrally in the DAM. As part of our eco-design approach to building our products, we can also carry out measures such as decommissioning servers that are not being used or only relying on them when needed, instead of having them permanently turned on. 

How will this affect Wedia’s employees?

We recently carried out a survey to see how Wedia Group employees viewed CSR and how important it was to them within their company. We found that of those who replied, 90% said it was very important or important for them. 

As a company, we will work to integrate sustainably led thinking into our actions; for example if we decide to move offices we would look for a sustainable workspace, for seminars traveling by train and choosing locations which favor a climate-friendly approach would be important. We want to make as much effort as we can to educate our employees on the measures they can take at work (recycling, reducing plastic, favoring low-emission ways to come to the office etc.). 

This will also impact their work, as Wedia strives to change working habits to reduce the impact of our digital actions. 

How do you see this charter evolving in the future? 

We are going to be closely monitoring how we are meeting the objectives we have set, by having the CSR committee meeting every three months. We will be measuring and delivering a final report at the end of the year where we know that they’ll be objectives that are met, others perhaps not. This means we will have to think about how we can change to meet them and of course set new ones depending on what has happened - within our company, economically and on a social level. 

This charter is a start, but we know it is going to continue to evolve and once we have met certain objectives, we need to take them further and establish clear methodology for our actions. 

What we do know however is that CSR is now an intrinsic part of our business, both for us internally and in order to help our clients reduce their own digital carbon footprints. As we continue to build on our current foundations, I would like to think that our future is only going to get greener. 

Discover Wedia’s CSR commitments. 

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