Transparency: The First Step Towards Sustainability

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Media.Monks

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“From the start, our focus has been, and will continue to be, on the well-being of our planet and its people,” says Victor Knaap, Co-Founder of Media.Monks and Executive Director of S4Capital. As we continue to grow in terms of employees and output, this becomes more and more important. This responsibility is cemented in our Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) vision, which is founded in the firm belief that technology and creativity are powerful tools in transitioning towards a more sustainable society. Our latest ESG report highlights our focus on using these forces for good in giving back to the Earth. In order to meet our sustainability and diversity objectives, the past year has revolved around acceleration and taking action.

“2021 has been about getting up to speed, as an organization and an industry. Unified with our clients by a shared goal to reduce climate change, it has been a fertile soil for more transparency, collaboration and innovation. We’re not nearly there, but we are all on the same journey to get there and become climate negative,” says Regina Romeijn, EVP Business Strategy & ESG. 

The sustainability journey doesn’t end here. We strive to be industry leaders, both producing the best in class experiences and delivering them in the most environmentally and socially responsible way we can. Every day is a new day to be the catalyst for change and inspire others within our industry and beyond to be and do good, keeping in mind our overarching goal to build a sustainable and inclusive company. At both the heart and start of this mission is our commitment to transparency—it’s key to good governance, and good governance in turn is key to becoming a successful industry leader. 

Getting on with Good Governance 

Governance matters, it’s as simple as that. Corporate governance not only relates to how companies are managed, but also to how management is supervised. At Media.Monks, we hold proper corporate governance in very high regard as we consider it to be a leading factor in the successful execution of our business strategy. For this reason, we have moved from conducting Corporate Social Responsibility reporting last year to Environmental, Social and Governance reporting this year. This “governance” piece is crucial, because it means that we go beyond recognizing our social and environmental responsibilities as a global company, and focus on our duty to hold ourselves accountable and be completely transparent—about our wins as well as our losses. 

The Green Future, a Joint Effort 

Next to good governance, we need good guidance in realizing our goal to build a sustainable and inclusive company. So, we have established three pillars to boost our sustainability efforts, which make up the foundation of our ESG strategy. First, “Zero Impact Workspaces” concentrates on creating a climate-neutral and environmentally-conscious household, while making tangible efforts in our daily operations. Second, “Sustainable Work” serves as a catalyst for change, leveraging our expertise to innovate with technology and creativity for good, thereby impacting our supply chain. Third, “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” highlights our goal to establish a workplace that fosters an inclusive culture that values people with different backgrounds, genders, sexual preferences, caregiving status and health. All in all, we focus on taking care of ourselves and each other, with a growing emphasis on the support that we offer to clients—because positive impact doesn’t have to stay within the confines of our company.  

Moreover, we strive to support the UN’s Sustainable Development agenda with our sustainability strategy and efforts. In the report, we elaborate on the SDG targets for each pillar and explain how we plan to contribute to those targets. To give you a sneak peek, in response to the World Economic Forum 2020 Davos Manifesto, S4Capital Executive Chairman Sir Martin Sorrell announced our commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2024. In 2021, we took the next step and became the first company in our industry to sign the Climate Pledge, a cross-sector community of companies and organizations working together to crack the climate crisis with a mission of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2040. 

Three years ahead of schedule, we reached carbon neutrality through the growth of our S4 Forest, where more than 265,000 trees have been planted (and counting), capturing 10,617.95 tonnes of CO2 emissions. While we achieved this status by offsetting our emissions, we still need to reduce our emissions to the maximum to reach Net Zero. As digital companies are big consumers of energy, especially electricity, we are highly aware of this challenge. The biggest obstacle that we will need to overcome is business travel. We aim to keep our digital presence where we can instead of flying in, but realistically we expect the number of business flights to increase again as the world reopens post-COVID. Nevertheless, ain’t no mountain high enough to keep us from getting to that goal.  

The Only Way Is Making Headway 

“Looking ahead to our ambitions for the coming years, it’s essential to the health of our company and our aim of being the best place to work, that we stay focused on our priorities—the well-being of the planet and people. Our commitment to care is not something only captured in process documents and playbooks. We will continue to deliver on the ESG initiatives we launched in 2021, deepening our relationships with the charities that we support and acting on our vision to use creativity and storytelling as a force for good,” says Knaap. 

On top of that, the coming years will revolve around leveraging our capabilities and experiences to help our clients with their sustainability efforts, making good on the promise to maximize our impact on not only the world, but also our sector. In the meantime, we’ll keep reporting on our ESG accomplishments and challenges—because transparency is the first and foremost step in becoming an industry leader. 

For more detailed information and insights, read the full report.

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