Our Corporate Social Responsibility
The core business of Advance Consulting is the provision of advisory services and sourcing of funding for companies investing in the emerging economies of Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. In addition to economic and financial viability, we also check that our clients’ investments are sustainable and contribute to environmental and socially responsible development in the countries in which they operate. The investment projects that we help to design and implement will have to generate economic value for our clients and their business partners and at the same will also contribute to social progress and environmental sustainability. In investment projects where these aspects are not yet fully integrated, we will work with our clients to modify their business strategy so that all of the following principles are addressed:
a) Business ethics and transparency, which comprises a compliance with the corporate, labour and tax laws of the country concerned;
b) Environment, including issues such as energy use and carbon footprint, waste management, use of water and scarce resources and possible losses of biodiversity;
c) Employees, including issues such as workers’ health and safety, skill development, equal rights for workers irrespective of gender, race or age, rights for collective bargaining, etc.;
d) Community, which could include a variety of issues, such as increased sourcing from local suppliers or assisting with the development of local infrastructure and community services, noting that a business venture is always part of a wider community and should add value also to that community;
e) Products, which relates to the quality and safety of the products and the production processes; through sourcing strategies, technology choices and product standards the quality, relevance and integrity of the products and production processes can be enhanced to certified standards;
f) Supply chain responsibility, which goes beyond the company’s own operations by considering, and where possible addressing, social and environmental impacts both upstream (suppliers) and downstream (buyers).
In case our clients do not intend to comply with these principles and where their investment projects are detrimental in terms of sustainable development, we will discontinue working with them as will be stipulated in the contractual arrangements with our clients.
Through engaging with our clients on the issues listed above we think we can have the most impact on sustainable and equitable development in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America. We are here to make a positive difference – where this is not possible, we decline the assignment; where we fail to deliver the cure, we forego our fee.
Our work inevitably requires long-distance travelling and we wish to minimise our own carbon footprint. We keep track of the carbon dioxide emissions from our business travel, office heating, etc. and offset these emissions through the procurement of Gold Standard carbon credits, so that effectively our operations are carbon neutral. The Climate Neutral Group facilitates our carbonneutrality as evidenced by our certificates for 2013, 2014 and 2015. For domestic travelling we make use of public transport whenever reasonably possible.
We sponsor community projects, both in the Netherlands and overseas. Our employees are also entitled to spend some of their working time on proposal writing for non-profit organisations with little or no remuneration if their projects have a substantial social impact.
As an employer, we feel it is our responsibility to provide all our employees the opportunity to do interesting and relevant work. Employees are encouraged to explore new directions within the context of the business and continue developing their knowledge and skills. We are a learning organisation and we will stimulate innovation and professional development at personal and team level. This will enhance the competitiveness of the company and contribute towards the quality of services for our clients whilst at the same time improving the employability of our employees. Work and private life should be in balance and all employees have great flexibility in organising their own working times and place of work.
We are a partner of MVO Nederland.