The Special Awards celebrate the Best Workplaces™, who went the extra mile last year on the following three topics: “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion”, “Corporate Sustainability”, and “Employee Empowerment”. Even during these difficult times, these organisations managed to be great employers! To get insights into how these organisations overcome obstacles and, as a result, received these awards, Great Place to Work® organised the “Learn from The Special Awards” Inspiration Session.
Learn from the Special Awards Winners: Schoenen Torfs- Corporate Sustainability
Following the Special Award Schoenen Torfs received for “Corporate Sustainability”, Toon Torfs -responsible for Innovation, Business Development & Sustainability- explained their approach this past year. The mission statement of SCHOENEN TORFS explains their focus on corporate sustainability perfectly, namely 360° care results in 360° profit. “If we want to be a future-proof company, we should also take care of our ecosystem”, Toon said. Schoenen Torf’s mission can be divided into four categories: (1) care for our customers and employees, (2) care for our society, (3) care for our environment, and (4) care for our product. Toon’s story was mainly focused on how they engage their employees for the long-term in taking care of society and the environment.
Taking care of society
Schoenen Torfs actively engages in adding to our society. Each year, the company donates at least 1,5% of their profit to a good cause, from which half is donated to their social partners and the other half is awarded to the Schoenen Torfs Fund. In their cooperation with social partners, the employees of Schoenen Torfs are actively engaged and work on the projects during working hours. This year, € 125.000 was awarded to their social partners! When it comes to the Schoenen Torfs Fund, the company stimulates both employees and customers every year to pitch their local projects. The initiatives with the most votes will be donated to the winner. Last year, more than 30K votes were registered! This year, € 100.000 is available for the Fund, though € 50.000 was already donated to the Red Cross this summer to help the families struck by water shortages. The other € 50.000 files can still be submitted!
Taking care of the environment
Since the environment is under pressure, Schoenen Torfs attempts to keep its ecological footprint as small as possible. For instance, with Natuurpunt (a social partner), Schoenen Torfs planted 5000 m² of trees behind their headquarters, creating a forest. More than 50 employees were there to help plant the trees. Moreover, the company includes customers who visit the physical shops to restrain their waste. Customers are namely asked not to take a (fully recycled) bag. In return, Schoenen Torfs puts 5 cents into a piggy bank that goes to the good cause Cunina (a structural social partner). “This way, we engage both our employees and customers into thinking about their impact”, Toon explained. Lastly, Schoenen Torfs set the goal of only using electric cars by 2025. Now, they have more than 100 company cars that need to be replaced, but Toon is sure they will reach their goal!
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