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Grundfos demonstrates a serious approach to environmental issues by ensuring that its impact on the environment is tracked via several key indicators. It influences policymakers and promotes sustainability. Self-assessment is conducted via surveys that are distributed to other players in the industry; annual self-assessment indicates whether the company is capable of controlling the trends in each area.
External awards are not approached the same way as other areas and do not have any associated targets. Tax-efficient charity methods are overlooked. Employees’ mental health is not addressed, as well as performance indicators for environmental legislation. Involvement of independent evaluators is necessary to investigate the promotion of environmental issues, ways of maintaining a positive brand image, leadership data, etc.
- Stakeholder mapping exercise. The stakeholder mapping exercise was designed to improve the company’s self-assessment. With it, Grundfos was able to develop communication with key stakeholders and maintain it effectively.
- Self-assessment via surveys. In 2010, Grundfos provided surveys to the industry and trade associations to gather feedback (Case study Grundfos Pumps Ltd. n.d.). Due to the lack of benchmark data, Grundfos relied on feedback from interviewees; it achieved the goal “taking corporate responsibility seriously” (the target was 80%) in 2012.
- Policy influence. In 2011, the set target (80%) in the area of positive influence on policymakers was met by Grundfos. It raised awareness of promoting high efficiency, low consumption pumps among policymakers/wholesalers.
- Industry leader. In 2010, 2011 and 2012, Grundfos met its 80% target of being seen as an industry leader by survey participants. The survey was a part of the 2010 “Pump Industry CSR Survey”, which provided the company with new data, absent due to nonexistent benchmarks.
- Support for brand image. The company monitors the impact of press releases and other PR activities on the so-called “pump mentions”. From 2010 to 2012, the company either met or exceeded its target (65%) in the share of “pump mentions” in the national press/trade magazines (Case study Grundfos Pumps Ltd. n.d.).
- External awards. The company was nominated for four external awards in 2011, for three awards in 2010 and 2012, and for one in 2009, which indicates that its efforts are acknowledged by independent evaluators. In 2011, it won in the category of Achieving Balanced Results (Grundfos 2011).
- Key environmental indicators. From 2009 to 2013, Grundfos successfully met its targets in three areas: waste to landfill, hazardous waste, and energy consumption. The current aim is to reduce their environmental impact by 20% by 2020 (Case study Grundfos Pumps Ltd. n.d.). The provided data shows that it is highly likely the company will meet this target by 2020. Although its energy and water consumption increased in 2010 (and water consumption even exceeded the set target), the trends were brought back in 2011, which indicates organisational interest in preserving its success in addressing environmental issues and decreasing its negative influence on the environment.
- Employees’ participation. The company encourages employees to participate in activities that focus on environmental change. “Walk to Work” programme encourages employees to cycle or walk to work (participation rates: from 15 in 2009 to almost 30 in 2012). Besides the noticeable environmental impact, this programme has a positive influence on employees’ health (e.g., reducing obesity or cardiovascular disease risks).
- Charity. The company encourages employee donations; both staff and the company participate in it. In 2012, staff donated approximately £2.500, and the company donated almost £5.000. The reduction in donations occurred due to the removal of the “tax-free” status of the scheme the company was using.
- Annual self-assessment. As can be seen, the company uses yearly self-assessment to track changes (both positive and negative) in the trends and areas and address them with interventions.
Grundfos: Areas of Improvement
- Policy. Positive influence on policymakers meets the target but can be improved by dividing the measurement into specific parts and providing more data, e.g., what policies were influenced, what impacts there were, how did this policy influence affect the environment, etc.
- No target set for external awards. Although it is possible to understand that awarding is a factor challenging to forecast, set targets would likely result in a more structured approach to the process of pursuing external awards.
- Charity. Tax-efficient mechanisms used by other companies provide various options (e.g., gift aid, legacies, payroll giving, etc.) that Grundfos could use (but did not) after the removal of the tax-free status (Institute of Fundraising, n.d.).
- Set targets are broad. As can be seen from the chart depicting waste to landfill, set targets are broad and might not correspond with an actual necessary reduction in this area. Change in targets will result in even more considerable positive influence on the environment.
- Employees. Employee mental health is not addressed. The company does not indicate what measures are taken to prevent the development of mental illnesses among staff.
Grundfos: Areas for Investigation
- Environment. It is unclear how the company promotes environmental issues and what exact measures are used by other companies participating in the survey to evaluate their promotion.
- Data gathered from associations. A more independent view of the company is necessary, whereas the survey results from associations might be biased or influenced by business relationships.
- Ways to maintain a positive brand image. It is unclear how exactly the company translates its brand image to press. The only indicators showing it are press mentions which might be both positive and negative.
- Data about leadership. The company does not provide survey results for readers to see whether it is actually perceived as an industry leader.
- Policy influence. What measures, approaches, and evaluations are used to measure organisational influence on policymaking?
Case study Grundfos Pumps Ltd n.d., Web.
Grundfos 2011, EFQM Prize for Grundfos in Germany, Web.
Institute of Fundraising n.d., Tax-effective giving, Web.