SoftwareONE’s seven core values ‒ Humble, Customer Focus, Employee Satisfaction, Speed, Passion, Integrity and Discipline ‒ and desire to promote sustainability remain at the heart of the company’s business, as shown by its current and historical focus on corporate responsibility. SoftwareONE recognizes that its actions and intentions have the power to drive more sustainable outcomes for its customers by providing innovative solutions that can significantly reduce emissions and environmental impact.
With the launch of a global Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Program in 2021, SoftwareONE aims to play an even greater part in positively impacting society, both by reimagining SoftwareONE’s own internal approach and by helping customers become more sustainable.
Launch of ESG Program
The over-arching goal of the ESG Program is to expand SoftwareONE’s existing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) measures into a global ESG ambition. This involves defining a number of initiatives with the aim of truly maximizing their global reach, while embracing the enthusiasm of local communities and teams.
To this end, the Board of Directors assembled an ad hoc ESG Committee in 2021 to embed the ESG Program into SoftwareONE’s business strategy. The Committee is chaired by Isabelle Romy and includes Daniel von Stockar and René Gilli, both founding shareholders of SoftwareONE. Driving the agenda and setting the pace of the ESG Committee is the ESG Steering Committee, chaired by the CEO with feedback and support from various internal working groups. To help form the ESG ambition, SoftwareONE hired an ESG consultancy (AdvantiKA) and reached out to various stakeholders to understand their views and aspirations for a more sustainable future for SoftwareONE. This dialogue included leadership interviews, employee and investor surveys, customer interviews, analysis of ESG expectations in customer tenders and ESG workshops with employees.
To date, SoftwareONE has identified numerous sustainability areas that are relevant and of interest to its stakeholders and is defining its overall ambition, including specific metrics and targets. In parallel to this journey, SoftwareONE continues to invest resources and efforts into various initiatives that promote a more sustainable future and give back to local communities worldwide.
In 2021, SoftwareONE saw success stories from several areas within the company and took steps to enhance and develop global sustainability-related programs.
Through its engagement with MTWO, SoftwareONE provides a solution tailored to the construction industry which helps customers track CO2 emissions and efficiently organize and source work and materials to minimize the impact on the environment.
In 2021, the CO2 emissions from the AEC (Architecture, Engineering and Construction) industry is expected to represent 38% of global energy-related CO2 emissions, according to Global ABC, 2019: Buildings Global Status Report 2020. In addition, 75% of the infrastructure needed by 2050 to house the expected nine billion people on the planet does not exist today. With these statistics in mind, SoftwareONE is passionate about its partnership with Schneider Electric, RIB Software and Microsoft, which involves scaling the world-leading RIB MTWO cloud solution worldwide.
The SoftwareONE Academy was launched across six countries in 2021, with ten more planned for 2022. The goals of the Academy include:
- Offering a global curriculum and training around industry-standard technical competencies and SoftwareONE services;
- Identifying and nurturing grassroot-level talent globally and providing both education and career opportunities for employees;
- Improving the outlook for young people, career changers and those from non-traditional educational backgrounds, while encouraging more female representation in the IT sector;
- Giving back to communities in the form of digital skills and technical education in partnership with local governments and institutions.
Through its network of NGOs, universities, community colleges, educational charities, professional and government bodies, SoftwareONE is able to reach communities that otherwise offer few opportunities to young talent and, in doing so, can make a positive and lasting impact. SoftwareONE continues to build on these partnerships to source and develop grassroots and diverse talent from local communities. So far, the Academy is active in six countries and is a new member of the European Union’s Pact for Skills consortium. The company’s ambitions do not end here, with many more countries and students in the pipeline for 2022 and beyond.
One Tree Planted
By the end of 2021, a tree planted for every new Academy student and new employee at SoftwareONE resulted in over 2,000 trees planted, supporting biodiversity and reforestation projects across all five continents. The project took place in the Chippewa National Forest (North America), Atlantic Forest (Brazil), Amhara region (Ethiopia), Harghita Forest (Romania), Fruit Trees Haryana and Rajasthan (India) and also includes part of the Australian Bushfire Recovery Project.
The SoftwareONE ONEImpact program offers digitalization and transformation solutions to enable its ~5,000 non-profit customers to adapt to an increasingly digital world.
With SoftwareONE’s expertise in building and managing a modern IT strategy, the company can help create the technological infrastructure required to enable organizations to drive their missions forward. The right planning can help non-profits reach more people, achieve increased funding with access to more potential donors and generate innovative ideas by embracing the digital community.
In 2021, SoftwareONE announced a collaboration with Microsoft Tech for Social Impact to make it easier for non-profits to access Microsoft enterprise-grade technology at low or no-entry costs, while offering a wide variety of services, advice and support to non-profit IT teams who are typically understaffed and overstretched.
DACH carbon ambition
SoftwareONE’s largest region, DACH, aims to become carbon neutral by the end of 2022. The team has taken steps towards this goal by using software from Planetly to track and reduce the CO2 footprint both at home and in the workplace. Even though SoftwareONE is not classified as a top CO2 emitter, SoftwareONE contributes to climate change in many ways, via commuting, business travel, heating or air conditioning in offices, catering or marketing. In 2021, the team focused on data gathering and tracking of their emissions. SoftwareONE is also looking to expand this initiative to the global level.
Global Green Quarter
Launched in 2019, the environmentally-driven initiative Green Week continues to promote themes and activities to lower employees’ impact on the environment and raise awareness of how to live more sustainably. During 2021, this successful initiative resulted in significant changes in the way in which the UK and Nordic teams manage their office recycling programs. It also included a global employee recognition campaign for SoftwareONE employees to make a donation to Ocean Cleanup and Conservation International programs.
SoftwareONE maintains its commitment to tightening policies with the aim of operating its business ethically and responsibly. In addition to observing all laws, regulations and standards in all of the countries in which the group operates, SoftwareONE is guided by its Code of Conduct for Board Members and Employees and demands that its partners respect the Code of Conduct for Business Partners. Both the Code of Conduct for Board Members and Employees, as well as the Code of Conduct for Business Partners were refreshed in 2021.
Code of Conduct
Apart from ensuring a tighter alignment with the seven core values, the new version of the Code of Conduct was given a style refresh and a lighter tone in 2021, making it more reader-friendly, including a message from the CEO to reinforce the tone from the top. (link). The revised Code seeks to be an interactive document and a useful resource by embedding hyperlinks and references to online documents posted on the internet/intranet.
Among other topics, the Code addresses the company’s position on labor standards, discrimination and harassment and corruption. In light of the ESG Program, the Code has been expanded to provide context to the company’s care for the environment. It also provides details on the protection of intellectual property and the ban on trading on inside information.
SoftwareONE employees are required to complete mandatory online training on the Code of Conduct on a regular basis, which is deployed in different formats and includes metrics tracking completion.
Code of Conduct for SoftwareONE business partners
SoftwareONE requires its business partners, including suppliers, distributors, contractors and others entering into a contractual relationship with SoftwareONE, to adhere to applicable laws and regulations, as well as to SoftwareONE’s values and standards. The revised Code of Conduct for Partners provides more stringent requirements on partners, reflecting the new demands imposed by supply chain laws in various jurisdictions worldwide that focus on child labor, modern slavery and the environment. SoftwareONE requires its partners to commit to sustainable ambitions, to add control mechanisms, to maintain accurate record keeping, to ban making false statements and to provide grievance mechanisms that allow their own employees to report violations. The revised Code of Conduct for Partners was also rebranded to make it more visually appealing and was rolled out at the beginning of 2022.
SoftwareONE supports and respects the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights and ensures that it is not complicit in any human rights abuses. SoftwareONE will only hire people of above the minimum legal age for employment and demands that its partners be equally committed to this standard. The company provides all employees with a safe work environment that respects their health and wellbeing. As far as any relevant laws allow, all employees are free to form and to join or not join trade unions or similar external representative organizations and to bargain collectively. SoftwareONE is subject to collective bargaining agreements or similar labor contracts in Brazil and Mexico. In certain other jurisdictions, including Spain, Austria, Italy and the Netherlands, a workers’ council is in place. Forced, bonded or compulsory labor is not tolerated and employees are free to leave their employment after reasonable notice as required by national law or contract.
Discrimination and harassment
SoftwareONE is an equal opportunities employer and is committed to complying with all applicable laws and regulations relating to equal employment opportunity, non-discrimination and similar employee-related matters. Using iCIMS (Internet Collaborative Information Management Systems) as the recruitment software provider, SoftwareONE ensures that resumes are made anonymous before they are screened by hiring managers in order to delete data that could evoke unconscious bias. This process is aimed at generating a more diverse pool of candidates as SoftwareONE seeks to become a more inclusive employer. The company employs this technology to empower people to achieve more and to make the workplace more inclusive.
In partnership with PowerToFly, SoftwareONE was able to generate interest in open positions through virtual career fairs, targeted events and dedicated sourcing and branding in 2021. PowerToFly is a leading technology sector portal for female talent and worked with SoftwareONE to introduce a dedicated landing page to advertise job openings and proactively source female talent. Its blog posts showcase female talent and promote virtual career fairs throughout the year. These measures aim to attract a wider range of female candidates with different skill sets.
SoftwareONE operates a zero-tolerance policy on harassment and discrimination of any kind. This includes, but is not limited to, physical or verbal abuse, physical or sexual harassment (in any form, including the distribution of sexual material), any other unlawful harassment or any threats or other forms of intimidation. All kinds of discrimination based on partiality or prejudice are prohibited, including discrimination based on race, sex, color, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, parental status, pregnancy, religion, political opinion, nationality, social status and any other characteristic protected by local law as applicable.
Integrity / Whistleblowing Line by EQS
SoftwareONE continues to operate an externally managed alternative channel to disclose improper or unlawful misconduct as called out in SoftwareONE’s Code of Conduct. Since 2020, the SoftwareONE Integrity Line, run by EQS, is available 24/7 for all employees under the following link.
Conflicts of interest
Employees and other representatives of SoftwareONE must avoid conflicts of interest, along with legal and ethical considerations. Any conflict of interest with the company must first be disclosed internally, to allow for appropriate action to be taken in order to avoid challenging situations or allegations of impropriety. To this end, SoftwareONE is digitizing its approach with a central globalized disclosure database.
Anti-corruption, ethical business conduct
SoftwareONE tolerates no form of extortion or bribery, including improper offers for payments or entertainment to or from employees or organizations. It forbids bribery of office holders, clients, business partners, suppliers or any other person, accepting improper payments from such persons or inciting these persons to such behavior in order to achieve unfair advantages.
SoftwareONE stipulates that any payment, benefit, gift or contribution received by its employees from any current or prospective customer, supplier, business partner or a related third party must not only comply with the applicable laws but must also be consistent with ethical business and local cultural practices and must not be intended to improperly influence business decisions. Equally, any payment in kind, benefit, gift or contribution made by SoftwareONE personnel to any current or prospective customer, supplier, business partner or a related third party must comply with the applicable laws, be consistent with ethical business and local cultural practices and must not be intended to improperly influence business decisions. SoftwareONE will fully support all employees who may face losing a deal or an opportunity in order to avoid paying a bribe.
SoftwareONE is committed to complying with all applicable competition and antitrust laws and regulations. It also strives to comply with all applicable export control regulations to prevent the proliferation of software and/or technology that can be used for military purposes. Furthermore, the group is committed to being a responsible corporate citizen and a good neighbor. This means it is aware of and respects the traditions, business customs, social norms and expectations of host countries and makes every effort to pursue the right course of action.
SoftwareONE is certified to international standards on systems management, including ISO 9001:2015 on quality management systems, ISO 14001:2015 on environmental management systems, ISO 27001:2013 on information security management and ISO/IEC 27017:2015 on information security controls for cloud services. SoftwareONE Brazil is ISO 37001:2016 certified.
A SOC2 Type II report examining the design and operating effectiveness of SoftwareONE’s Cyber Security Practice was completed in 2021.
SoftwareONE is also pleased to announce that for a seventh year in a row we have been honored by an EcoVadis award. SoftwareONE has been recognized with the Bronze EcoVadis award, with an overall score within the top 28% of companies in the Computer programming, consultancy and related activities industry and with a sustainability procurement score in the top 20%. With this SoftwareONE’s Corporate Social Responsibility program is recognized as a supplier of choice for its customers to feel safe in the knowledge that SoftwareONE is committed to its long term environmental and social goals.
Privacy and data protection
SoftwareONE employees must comply with all applicable data protection and privacy laws. As the business transitions towards a services and solutions-driven portfolio, the laws and regulations governing the protection of personally identifiable information are increasingly impacting the business. To ensure that personal data is obtained properly, kept securely and only used for those business purposes for which it was obtained in the first place, SoftwareONE's IT policies, namely the IT end-user policy and Data Protection Policies, guide the company in compliance at all times. The main data protection regulation which govern the group’s operations is the European Union’s Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR). However, other data privacy regulations of different countries/regions also need to be observed, for example the legislation of California/USA (California Consumer Privacy Act – CCPA), Brazil (Lei Geral de Proteção de Dados – LGPD), UK (UK-GDPR) or Switzerland (Datenschutzgesetz – DSG). All these regulations provide frameworks containing the principles for legitimate data processing in the respective country/area. SoftwareONE continues to incur costs of implementing various measures throughout its operations (including training employees, documentation and monitoring duties and adjustments of processes ) as a result of applying these laws.