2021
Feb.

55

SUSTAINABILITY

Keep up with sustainability trends
A comprehensive ESG roadma

Text by: Corp. Comm

To meet the demands of its business divisions, Delta’s Sustainability Office especially hosted professional ESG (see Note 1) training sessions within the company. The team originally planned three courses for the employees in Taiwan and it was estimated that there would be around 100 participants. Surprisingly, the number of people signing up for the courses exceeded expectations. Within one week, the number reached almost 1,000. In response to such enthusiasm, the team added another three courses and invited speakers specializing in procurement, HR, finance, legal affairs, information, and factory affairs. These speakers took turns speaking at each factory and generously shared their ideas about ESG trends and practices. Judging from everyone’s active participation, it was clear that nobody could stay out of the ESG wave.

CSO Jesse Chou talks about global ESG trends and practices in an internal ESG training course.

Worsening climate crisis has made ESG performance an important indicator for investors 
Simply put, ESG criteria review a company’s responsibilities in terms of social development and human sustainability from three aspects— environmental, social, and corporate governance which also constitute the concrete framework for implementing the already well-known corporate social responsibility. When a corporation is analyzed and assessed by the outside world.

The world population explosion and rise of emerging economies have bringing destruction and impacts to nature and climate. The UN sustainable development goals report has clearly stated sustainability is an important mutual goal for everyone in the future. Ito keep the major trend, mainstream media has made ESG issues into cover stories. Many major investing entities see ESG ratings as an important indicator. Clients, investing entities, rating agencies, and news media are all significant stakeholders of Delta, indicating that ESG has attracted attention.

The United Nations Climate Change Conference gained much traction as cities and corporations participated in reducing carbon emissions
At the end of 2015, an important proposal was raised during the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris—one of the biggest gatherings of human history. The proposal placed more responsibility on local governments and companies for reducing carbon emissions and adapting to climate change, which used to be considered the responsibility of the national government. In particular, multinational corporations with sufficient resources were urged to agree on reducing carbon emissions to make more powerful contributions to combating climate change. 

As a corporate citizen, Delta joined the conference with enthusiasm. Every member of the management participated in the peripheral forums and hosted an exhibition to connect with the international community. In the same year, Delta agreed to join the ”We Mean Business (see Note 2)” coalition and promised to “voluntarily reduce carbon emissions,” “disclose climate change information,” and “engage in climate change policies.”

Delta management attended the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, taking action to support the ESG.

Under the influence of the conference in Paris, Delta continued to meet with local governments from around the world and new clients, and eventually found feasible solutions and core businesses to satisfy client needs and gain profit.

Self evaluation through external parties and internal work allocation to improve ESG 
In recent years, many companies have worked with international rating agencies or joined global initiatives to keep up with global trends. Companies can find the basis for setting goals and regulate their own supply chain. Delta has participated in international ratings to acquire reports on its ESG performance. This effort focuses on the positive aspects of what has been done well and areas of improvement. 

Among all the important international indexes, DJSI (see Note 3) updates its methodology every year in line with the trends and requests companies to publicize supporting evidence; its scope of assessment is wider, making it an important international ESG index. Delta’s DJSI ratings have ranked high in its industry worldwide for three consecutive years. In 2020, Delta’s overall score was 81 with a percentile rank of 100. Furthermore, it gained a score of 93 for environment issues—its specialization, while scoring 84 for social issues; the percentile ranks of both factors were top 1, showing Delta’s exceptional work in climate change, social participation, and employee training. For corporate governance, Delta scored 70, ranking approximately third in the industry. 

As to other indices and initiatives, Delta participated in the two categories in CDP ratings (see Note 4): “climate change” and “water management.” Delta was also the first Taiwanese company to receive two A ratings in 2020. 

Delta incorporates its ESG strategies with operational goals. The photo shows Delta Akaho Energy Park in Japan.

Delta actually found several weak points and emerging issues from external ratings, including chemicals management, conflict minerals (see Note 5) management, information security, client privacy, etc. The management has paid extra attention to these problems and through the CSR committee (see Note 6), Delta has established nine ESG programs managed by different departments to implement improvements. Under the leadership of the CSR committee, the Sustainability Office acts as the general PM of all ESG programs as well as the think tank that promotes ESG within the company, responsible for educational training, recruiting external consultants, and setting up SOPs and methodologies. 

In 2019, Delta created the position of Chief Sustainability Office (CSO) to keep up with global trends. This role is now undertaken by Jesse Chou, who takes charge of strengthening the formulation of ESG strategies, designing solutions, and implementation. In November of the same year, COO Simon Chang instructed to establish a RBA (see Note 7) head office in response to the increasingly important client needs related to ESG. The office provides support for Delta’s business divisions/groups around the world when communicating with clients about ESG issues. Through a comprehensive sustainability management system and joint effort by all employees, Delta hopes to implement ESG strategies in its global operations. 

Notes:
1. Environmental, Social, Governance are defined by The United Nations Global Compact in measuring the sustainability/CSR of a company.
2.  We Mean Business is a global non-profit coalition aiming at working with the most influential companies to advocate action on climate change.
3. Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes was the first global benchmark to track the sustainability performance of companies for investors; it evaluates ESG performance of global corporations every year.
4. CDP stands for Carbon Exposure Project. As one of the most important sustainability indexes, it assesses climate-related risks and opportunities using questionnaires every year.
5. Conflict minerals include tin, gold, tantalum, tungsten, and cobalt extracted in countries of armed conflict and human rights violations.
6. Founded in 2007, Delta CSR committee is the highest sustainability management organization within Delta. 
7.  RBA stands for Responsible Business Alliance.