Origo's Policy on Social Responsibility emphasises links with young people, education and innovation, which have been the key elements in projects supported by the Company for some time. Origo's Social Responsibility Policy will continue to build on these points of emphasis, but also goes further to address four key pillars, which are: Human resources, the environment, good corporate governance and support for good causes. Human resources and equality were discussed in the Human Resources section.
Origo has set an Environmental Policy that covers all Origo operations as well as all employees of the Company. Origo's employees and managers are required to familiarise themselves with and implement the Policy, as well as look for ways to improve the environment. All legal requirements in the field of environmental issues are to be observed in the Company's operations. With the Environmental Policy, the Company undertakes to work systemically to minimise the negative environmental impact of its operations.
Origo has started work on a review of the Company's Environmental Policy and plans to introduce a revised Environmental Policy in 2020 which will include clearer quantitative long-term targets.
Origo is one of the companies that is a member of the Climate Declaration of the City of Reykjavik and Festa from 2015, with the Company committing to work on measures that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce waste generation. The Company uses software to measure its ecological footprint and set environmental goals. Origo encourages its employees to travel in an eco-friendly way, including by providing transport grants to those who practice eco-friendly transportation and the Company has set a special transport policy in this regard. All waste that is generated, including at the Company's offices, retail stores, workshops and warehouses, is classified into appropriate sorting bins. The Company has taken great strides in eliminating disposable packaging that was previously in frequent use. The Company uses its own solution, RentaPrent, which focuses on reducing waste of paper.
Origo hf. is now, for the first time, conducting comprehensive environmental accounting in collaboration with Klappir Grænar Lausnir for 2019. The environmental accounting is conducted in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol) and the NASDAQ ESG guidelines, and Origo has carbon offset its operations for 2019 in collaboration with Kolviður (the Iceland Carbon Fund).
Kolviður will bind carbon in vegetation and soil through soil reclamation and forestry to offset carbon emissions in Origo's operations in 2019. These are emissions generated by the Company's vehicles, buildings, waste and air travel.
Origo hf.'s environmental accounts for 2019
Total greenhouse gas emissions in own operations, i.e. from cars and buildings, increased by 13.5% from 2018 (scope 1 and 2). This includes a 22% rise in emissions from vehicles offset by a 11% decline in emissions from buildings. The main reason for the vehicle-related increase is a rise in the number of total vehicles in 2019 due to acquisitions of businesses. In recent months, efforts have been made to reduce the number of vehicles. The Company's best option to reduce emissions is to cull the number of vehicles and to cease purchasing fuel for vehicles. The Company has decided not to purchase new vehicles unless they run on 100% renewable energy. However, Origo's policy is to utilise the Company's current fleet and not to replace existing vehicles with vehicles that run on renewable energy until it becomes economical to replace them. This will minimise Origo's ecological footprint even if total fuel emissions will be higher than they otherwise would be in the next few years.
Increased collection of data has allowed us to have better information on purchased services (scope 3). Total emissions for scope 3 decreased slightly between years. Considerable progress has been achieved in reducing emissions from waste, which are down by about 29%, but unfortunately, emissions due to air travel have increased between years. Higher emissions due to air travel are partly explained by the increase in the number of employees and contractors that Origo works with abroad. Origo's policy is to reduce air travel and make greater use of teleconferencing in its operations.
The environmental assessment shows that the percentage of recycled waste was 67% of the total waste generated in the operations in 2019, down from 60% in 2018.
In recent years, Origo has worked to reduce printout of paper in its operations through the use of its own solution, RentaPrent. Since 2015, the Company's printing has decreased by over 50% and by 4.2% from 2018. Efforts will continue to make Origo fully paperless and the hope is that more and more customers will be able to receive electronic documents in the near future.
Corporate social responsibility is very important to Origo and the Company has worked to increase its social responsibility in a variety of ways. One element of this is the Company's continued support, through grants, of causes and projects concerned with young people, education and innovation. In addition, the focus has been on supporting Origo's equality goals, including the goal to increase the number of women in IT.
Supported projects include: A programming competition for engineer students, a project undertaken in collaboration with the Federation of Icelandic Industries to educate primary school students about career opportunities in IT, and Reboot Hack, a university-driven hackathon. Origo has also been one of the backers of VERTOnet, an interest group for women who work in IT. We also support a number of other causes in a variety of ways. For instance, last year, instead of sending out Christmas gifts to customers, we decided to support Pieta, a non-profit organisation for suicide prevention, which our customers thought was a good decision.
Origo has established a Code of Ethics that applies to all employees, contractors and directors of the Company. This Code of Ethics is intended to guide the Company's employees and Board of Directors in their day-to-day activities. Emphasis is placed on honest communication and respect for customers, suppliers, co-workers and competitors. It is also important to prioritise good business practices and observe confidentiality vis-à-vis customers, suppliers and others who do business with Origo. Compliance with laws and regulations that govern the Company's operations is important to Origo and also that the internal procedures that the Company has adopted are adhered to. Employees shall not accept gifts, services or other personal benefits that may affect business decisions and complimentary trips should have a clear business purpose.
The Company respects human rights, everyone's right to freedom of association and collective bargaining agreements. To that end, the Company has adopted a policy on equality and equal pay, see further under Human Resources.
Origo places a strong emphasis on data protection and privacy, see further under Information Security
The Board of Directors of Origo hf. is committed to maintaining good corporate governance and adhering to the “Guidelines on Corporate Governance” issued by the Iceland Chamber of Commerce, Nasdaq OMX Iceland and the Confederation of Icelandic Employers. The Board of Directors has adopted detailed rules of procedure defining its powers and the division of tasks between it and the CEO. Origo is an "Exemplar of Good Corporate Governance" according to the Centre of Corporate Governance at the Institute for Business Research, University of Iceland, which based its assessment on a detailed survey conducted by Capacent in the fall of 2014. See further under Board of Directors and Corporate Governance.
In March 2017, the Nasdaq exchanges in the Nordic countries issued guidelines designed to assist companies with social responsibility disclosure. The guidelines are divided into three parts: Environmental, Social and Governance. Origo hf. now publishes its ESG metrics for the second time.
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