How to create a sustainable business
Axis’ commitment to sustainable business values, by Jens Strinsjö, Business Development Manager Architecture & Engineering Program, Nordics
Short term thinking equals long term loss. That’s the lesson our Western business culture must understand to effectively operate in our modern world. It is still the view of many, especially within mid-sized and large enterprise, that values come second to pragmatism. High-minded goals regarding sustainability shouldn’t interfere with profit-making activities. However, in a rapidly changing market driven by innovative technologies that are disrupting every industry, there are only two truly long-term markers of competitive advantage: competence and values.
Competence, of course, ensures that products stay relevant and are trusted by customers; a commitment to excellence in a market that rapidly matures and becomes commoditised will always be a key differentiator for Axis. This is only possible, however, with a commitment to values. Developing a cohesive company culture that always looks to long-term sustainability over short-term gain is what underpins the decision-making process, which is important in a market that is constantly providing us with new challenges. That is why, underpinning Axis’ sustainability strategy, is a commitment to the UN Global Compact and its 10 principles on human rights, anti-corruption, the environment and labour.
Developing technology with integrity
Sustainability is about more than just environmental concerns and today, as awareness grows of poorly implemented cybersecurity practices in light of GDPR, the IoT world in which we operate is at risk of being caught up in a public backlash. Operating with integrity, of which sustainability is a crucial part, is the key to retaining a customer’s trust.
Regarding security, we work closely with our partners to help them understand the nuances of video surveillance technology and how it is utilised. This includes maintaining regular dialogue around the correct use of cameras and recording equipment, and the storage of data generated. To that end, there has only been one vulnerability that could affect privacy detected in Axis products last year, which was swiftly remedied, according to the vulnerability management processes that Axis has implemented as part of its cybersecurity focus. In both 2015 and 2016 there were none.
In terms of the environment, we work hard to reduce the impact of our operations, both those generated as a direct result of our business and the indirect impact related to manufacturing and energy use. We aim to reduce CO2 per unit sold by 20% between 2016 and 2021. Progress towards this goal is being achieved through initiatives such as moving manufacturing closer to our largest market, and a reduction in the amount of materials used in packaging.
In our manufacturing process, we aim to reduce the use of virgin and toxic materials. New product designs are scored using a Green Design Evaluations Form, which makes clear and encourages progress towards our overall goals. The result is that 95% of materials used in Axis products can be recycled or combusted at their end of life; 93% of Axis network cameras that were sold during 2017 were PVC-free.
Satisfied employees and customers
A crucial part of achieving a sustainable advantage is retaining customer trust and creating a healthy working environment. Our values must be cascaded down to and shared by our team, helping ensure we address our customers’ requirement of working with a business that utilises sustainable business values to create market leading technology. That is why we are pleased to have achieved a very high customer satisfaction rate of 80.8% within Northern Europe. This wouldn’t have been possible without our employees, of which 91% believe Axis is a very good workplace.
For all our efforts, we, and other companies who are on the same journey towards a more compassionate and sustainable way of doing business, are still at the beginning of the process. It is important for us not to just pursue a sustainable business model, but to be seen to do so. Only once we can measure and show the value that is added through well executed sustainability programmes will they become common to all business.
Do you want to learn more about how Axis works with sustainability, creating long term sustainable advantage and how the strategy is implemented through the ‘Axis pillars of sustainability’?