Citizenship, Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development
Sustainability is no longer a niche issue or simply a matter of fashion. Sustainability is here to stay, as a priority for individuals, governments and corporations. Organizations that embed sustainability at the core of their strategy and operations, “future-proof” their organization.
“Corporate social responsibility is the responsibility of enterprises for their impacts on society”; “Addressing corporate social responsibility is in the interests of enterprises and in the interests of society as a whole” (European Commission definition of CSR).
The European Commission sees CSR as a key commitment for stimulating growth in Europe. A business can only succeed sustainably as part of a society that succeeds itself. The definition proposed by the European Commission is consistent with the leading principles of responsibility already recognized internationally, which were recently reinforced by the OECD’s Guidelines and the ISO 26000 standard.
In concrete terms, CSR initiatives are increasingly factored into business strategies. Environmental, social and governance criteria, in the form of CSR indicators, allow us to look beyond the income statement and to see a company in all its facets, including its intangible assets.
For shareholders and investors, companies that apply dynamic CSR policies bolster their overall performance and reinforce their long-term robustness: their image and reputation are competitive advantages; confidence is a growth factor; the mobilization of staff is a pledge of superior adaptability; eco-efficiency helps control energy dependency; environmental innovation enhances the value of commercial offers; progress is passed on to customers.
Between the origin of mankind and 2003, five exabytes of information were created. In 2012, an equivalent amount of information was produced in just two days. In the very near future, 1,000 billion devices will be connected to the Internet, and its already considerable traffic will be multiplied nine fold.
Beyond these figures, the digital revolution is affecting key infrastructure. Invisible but essential, this infrastructure has to wield tremendous power to handle such massive data volumes. It also has to demonstrate prodigious reliability and offer optimal energy efficiency. Systems are becoming increasingly critical, and economic and ecological issues taking on increasing importance.
The implementation of Green IT best practice and the pooling of resources contribute to the goal of allowing organizations to control their costs and limit their energy consumption. Moreover, digital simulation and the spread of new, intelligent solutions are powerful levers for businesses as they seek to modernize, reduce their environmental footprint and accelerate the transition to tomorrow’s “low-carbon” economy.
These approaches have the additional merit of stimulating the economic vitality of innovative sectors that create value and jobs, and of helping countries and organizations achieve energy and technological independence. Thus, by promoting and optimizing the use of new technologies, public and private organizations have the means to contribute swiftly, significantly and jointly to achieving their economic and environmental objectives.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is both a commitment to the future and a lever for overall performance. Bull’s CSR approach is part of the Group’s three major commitments to its customers: technological excellence, development of human capital and trust.
Philippe Vannier, Chairman and CEO of the Bull Group: “Through the way in which it does business and the solutions it provides to its customers, the Bull Group is committed to facilitating sustainable growth, respectful of the major social, environmental and societal balances. [...] While the coming years will be those of the digital era, they will also be marked by major societal and environmental challenges that we will have to face collectively. Technology represents an immense hope in this regard. Through the development of the Open Source movement, Green IT and a sustained recruitment policy, Bull aims to play its part in this effort in favor of sustainable and responsible development”.
Marie-Pierre de Bailliencourt, Deputy CEO: "Not only does Bull provide technical and business expertise, but also an alternative vision of IT: one that is open and accessible, giving people choices and making a virtue out of rich diversity. This ethical stance is an integral part of our corporate strategy"…"As new technologies reshape our companies; Bull has put ethical issues right at the heart of its corporate strategy. In real terms, this is expressed by a well thought-out and structured Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy on two levels: the first concerns the Group’s environmental, social and corporate governance responsibilities; and the other is focused on business responsibility, the benefits gained from using Bull solutions, such as Green IT and HPC. In 2012, EcoVadis ranked Bull among the top 10% of IT companies when it comes to CSR." (Source: Bull today - April 2013.)
Bull’s aim, as an information technology company, is to become the preferred partner of its customers, businesses and governments, by optimizing the architecture of their information systems, as well as by running and achieving a financial return on them, in support of their activity and the critical processes related to their business.
The key CSR challenges facing Bull relate to its activities and information technology. For IT companies, the most immediate consequence of CSR is a growing call for eco-efficient computing: energy efficient, using little in the way of raw materials, and easily recyclable. Computing must also be capable of helping other industries rise to their own challenges in respect of innovation, business transformation and the search for sustainable prosperity.
Our approach is both pragmatic and genuine, focusing on real issues, highlighting tangible achievements within businesses, and adding value in areas where the company is legitimate. Since 2010, in line with the Group’s strategy and the major challenges facing the IT sector, Bull’s CSR approach has focused on two major priorities: Corporate Responsibilities and Business Responsibilities.
Since 2010, in line with the Group’s strategy and the major challenges facing the IT sector, Bull’s CSR approach has focused on two major priorities: the Corporate responsibilities and the Business Responsibilities.
Bull’s CSR approach is part of the Group’s three major commitments to its customers: technological excellence, development of human capital and trust.
CSR is gradually being integrated into the Group’s business processes. Its internal audit function now factors in key CSR risks, and the Group has commissioned an independent auditor to conduct audits of selected CSR indicators.
Progress stems from technological innovations in servers and data centers, and the implementation of innovative practices at the heart of our businesses. Progress, notably in the optimization of the energy consumption of our goods, has a strong impact that extends to its customers.
In 2011, Bull was awarded the first prize in Europe for its energy practices in data centers, and the latest innovations in liquid cooling for servers bring us closer to today’s best achievements in terms of energy efficiency. The bullion server, Bull’s newest server, offers energy efficiency 30% to 70% greater than its main competitors' products, thanks in particular to a patented technology, the Bull Coherent Switch.
In the 2012 “Grand Prix de la Transparence” (Prize for Transparency), Bull was ranked second among “service companies” for the quality of its Registration Document. In a context of a tightening of rating criteria, Bull moved up to eleventh place in the overall ranking of the 230 companies assessed by the GAIA Index for their commitment to CSR. It ranked third among service companies. Also in 2012, EcoVadis ranked Bull among the top 10% of IT companies on CSR issues.
CSR is a commitment to the future and a lever for overall performance. It reinforces the Group’s strategy and helps public and private organizations alike reap the full rewards of the digital revolution.
To find more information about Bull's CSR approach, see the dedicated chapter in the Group Registration Document >
In 2012, the CSR Department also took into account issues relating to ethics. The director of CSR was appointed Group ethics officer. A new “Code of Conduct/Code of Ethics” was drafted. It formalizes essential shared rules, and provides benchmarks setting out the conduct the Group expects of all its employees, executives and partners. It lays down rules in respect of organizational, human, environmental and economic issues, and describes the management system to be used for its implementation. The Group’s principles dovetail with the framework of the basic principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the OECD Guidelines and the UN Global Compact.
The new “Code of Conduct/Code of Ethics” states that “Bull will not directly or indirectly receive or give, promise or demand a bribe or other undue advantage with a view to granting, obtaining or keeping a contract or other advantage. The payment of any commission or other consideration to sales agents or introducers must be the object of a written agreement in compliance with internal procedures and signed by the authorized persons. The consideration provided must not exceed reasonable compensation for actual and necessary commercial services rendered”.
A specific briefing note covering export control was sent to the senior managers of the Group’s various entities in late 2012. It sets out the rules and procedures to be followed for Group products potentially subject to export controls or restrictions.
Since 2008, the optional inclusion of a section devoted to CSR in Bull’s Registration Document has demonstrated our commitment. In 2011, Bull mandated Deloitte & Associates – one of its statutory auditors – to conduct an audit of a selection of the CSR indicators it reports. In 2012, the audit covered all disclosures made in compliance with Article R. 225-105-1 of the French Commercial Code.
In 2012, the “CSR reporting scope” covered 18 entities (compared with 13 in 2011) representing 80% of the Group’s revenue and 78% of its total workforce (compared with 72% and 75% respectively in 2011). Aside from exceptions listed in Section 2.4 “Methodological note” on page 54, the indicators presented in this chapter cover the “2012 CSR reporting scope.”
In 2013, it is planned to add two large countries, Brazil and Poland, to the “CSR reporting scope.” In both countries, collection of data and preparatory work necessary for their inclusion were carried out in 2012. Based on 2012 data, the integration of these two countries into the “CSR reporting scope” will allow the Group to cover approximately 85% of its revenue and workforce.
To find more information about Bull's CSR approach, see the dedicated chapter in the Group Registration Document. At the end of the CSR section, a summary table containing a methodological note sets out the main CSR indicators for 2012. The table also provides linkage to the relevant Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) indicators.
Following an initial assessment of greenhouse gas emissions in 2011, a further assessment was conducted in 2012 on the 2011 CSR reporting scope, i.e. 13 entities representing 72% of Group revenue and 75% of the workforce. The second assessment was performed with the methodological support of Bureau Veritas.
On the scope in question, overall greenhouse gas emissions corresponding to Scopes 1 and 2 using the carbon audit methodology were 29,137 t. eq. CO2 (metric tons of CO2 equivalent). The two biggest entities in terms of emissions were the United Kingdom and France, due to the weight of data centers.
In Germany, the use of electricity from renewable sources had a positive impact on the carbon footprint. In 2012, associated emission reductions totaled 328 t. eq. CO2.
In France, pursuant to Decree No. 2011-829 of July 11, 2011, a review of greenhouse gas emissions was performed, filed with the prefecture by December 31, 2012 and posted on the Bull website in accordance with the law.
Learn more about Bull's CSR policy by reading the CSR chapter in the "Registration Document" >
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31/07/2014: 2014 half-year results
30/10/2014: 3rd quarter 2014 revenue