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Building a better future: Aligning to the mission of the UN Global Compact

9 minutes read
Aligning to the mission of the UN Global Compact

Global businesses, no matter their industry, need to take responsibility for their impact on the world. We are all global citizens and have an opportunity to lead in protecting one another and our planet, contributing to its sustainability, and ultimately ensuring the survival of future generations. In 2007, Axis signed the United Nations Global Compact, and has committed to aligning to the Global Compact’s Ten Principles, while also working towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Sustainability is an important and natural part of Axis’ operations. it’s also important to align with broader international initiatives. Therefore, signing the UN Global Compact in 2007 was a natural step for us and continues to be an initiative we support. 

The UN Global Compact is the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, and has a mission to encourage businesses to:

  1. Do business responsibly by aligning their strategies and operations with Ten Principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption
  2. Take strategic actions to advance broader societal goals, such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals, with an emphasis on collaboration and innovation.

“Since we signed the UN Global Compact, the principles have provided guidance for how we integrate sustainability in our operations. Sustainability is critical for our continued growth and successful development. We want to act as a role model and as a leading market player we have good opportunities to influence those around us, contributing to the UN’s Global Sustainable Development Goals and the UN 2030 Agenda.”, says Axis CEO Ray Mauritsson.

Aligning to the UN Global Compact’s Ten Principles

The principles within the UN Global Compact have become part of the fabric of everyday business life at Axis:

Protecting the environment: We are striving to minimize the environmental impacts from our own operations and products and solutions. Most of our environmental impacts occur indirectly and are related to manufacturing, transportation of goods and the products’ and solutions’ energy consumption. Over the years we have increasingly taken measures to reduce this impact, for example by reducing the amount of PVC plastic in our products and using recyclable packaging materials.

Humane labor conditions: It is our long-term responsibility to make a positive contribution to society and invest in social initiatives wherever we are doing business, either directly or through our partners. Social responsibility means fostering good working conditions, a safe and secure workplace characterized by equality and diversity, and human rights for employees. This is true in our company’s own operations, while we demand the same commitment from our global suppliers and partners. 

No tolerance for corruption: We work closely with our suppliers, distributors, and other partners to manage business relationships in a responsible, transparent, credible, and consistent way. Among the measures put in place, we have a zero-tolerance policy towards all types of bribery and other forms of corruption. We act preventively and systematically to fight this problem in our own operations and throughout our value chain.

Supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals

The second part of the mission of the UN Global Compact is to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Few organizations have the opportunity to support all 17 of the SDGs, but at Axis we feel that we have a clear role to play in supporting a significant number. 

Let’s look in more detail at some of the initiatives we’ve created or support that align to several of the SDGs.

Supporting SDGs focused on reducing inequality

A number of the UN SDGs focus on reducing inequality wherever it may exist, for instance between genders, ethnicity, or through access to education. 

We participate in many programs around the globe to help reduce discrimination and foster equal opportunities, and lead by example with policies such as ensuring that every Axis employee with the same level of competence and responsibility is paid the same salary, no matter their gender or ethnicity.

As a technology company, ensuring gender diversity in our company and the broader industry is a key focus. Unbiased recruiting is a high priority. In order to find the right people, we focus on competency-based recruitment. This ensures that we match the individual with the right competencies with the correct job-role, and that any unconscious bias does not enter the recruitment process. As a result, in 2022 we saw a significant increase of gender diversity among both managers (33 percent women) and employees in general.

Women in Security

Women in Security

We have established a long-term commitment to Women in Security, regularly hosting events at our offices around the world. In the USA, we cooperate with the Security Industry Association (SIA) and support its RISE initiative. The purpose is to attract new talent, develop and keep employees, and promote diversity and inclusion throughout the industry. 

“Because of our industry leading position, we have a unique opportunity to also drive diversity forward,” says Elaine Palome, Head of Human Resources, Americas, at Axis. “Many published studies show that including people of different ages, cultures, and thought perspectives can lead to innovation, but above all it’s simply the right thing to do.”

Pink Programming

For the past four years we have been among the supporters of the Pink Programming initiative, sponsoring the non-profit organization located in a number of major cities in Sweden and Norway. Pink Programming aims to encourage more women into technology through coding events, which are usually held twice a year and are organized by Axis.

“Getting more women into the IT sector is not just an important question for Axis but for society in general” says Louise Dolck Strömberg, Director HR Operations. “A more uniform gender distribution benefits individuals, companies and society, as well as bringing much needed additional skilled employees into the workplace.”

Reducing environmental impact

Reducing the carbon footprint left by humans is a crucial step in the race to reverse climate change and preserve the planet, and a number of the UN SDGs are focused on addressing climate change and creating a sustainable future. In line with these, we are taking steps to design devices that are as energy efficient as possible, as well as improving other areas of our products´ environmental impact and our overall business operations.

In 2022, we also committed to setting science-based emissions reduction targets in line with the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi). Science-based targets provide a clearly defined pathway for companies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, thus helping prevent the worst impacts of climate change, and also future-proofing business growth. 

While efforts continue in making our own products and business more sustainable, we also look at how our solutions can be used to help lower the carbon footprints of our customers. For instance, technologies such as Axis Lightfinder – which allows cameras to produce high quality, colored images even in extreme low light conditions – can help reduce a building’s energy consumption by keeping the lights off during the night, without compromising on security. 

Promoting good public health and reducing pollution

AXIS M4327-P mounted by a hotel elevator

There’s no debate that public health is affected by the levels of pollution in the atmosphere. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over four million people die each year as result of exposure to air pollution alone. In the same length of time, eight million new metric tons of plastic are thrown into the ocean, killing wildlife, destroying ecosystems, and entering human bodies through the fish we eat.

We’re supporting the fight against pollution through various initiatives. We have set a goal to ensure that all Axis-designed products launched by 2025 are free from brominated and chlorinated flame retardants (BFR and CFR). We are also phasing out PVC (polyvinyl chloride). PVC is a substance that can emit toxic substances, is harmful to both human health and the environment, and is difficult to recycle. 90% of the cameras we launched in 2022 were PVC free.

Product design has been evolving to meet sustainability demands, with a greater number of sustainable materials to choose from than ever before. Bio-based plastics for example, which are those made either fully or partly from biological resources, provide security companies opportunities to adjust their product pipeline for the better. Today, several Axis cameras contain more than 50% recycled plastic, and we have a goal that 20% of all plastics in our products should be renewable carbon-based plastic by 2024.

We are committed to supporting circularity in product design. This means to reduce the number of unique components, such as screws, while also increasing the lifetime of products. It should be possible to repair products that break, and long-term software support should be provided in order to support a long and cyber-secure use life. Repair, reuse, and recycling are central tenants of future product development.

Finally, our devices run on an open platform, which means that older products are still compatible with new Axis technologies. This allows users to install new software and accessories while maintaining the same device, instead of needing to buy a new model.

Doing business the right way

Goal 16 of the SDGs is about standing up for human rights, and the institutions that support them. We put a lot of effort into fostering a strong code of ethics, not only with our own employees, but with our partners as well. Our Code of Conduct establishes the values and guidelines on which we conduct our business and how our associates should act in business-related situations, internally and externally.

Every employee, supplier, distributor and partner is expected to follow the Code of Conduct in order to continue its business relation with Axis.

To further foster ethical business practices we have an anti-corruption policy in place, with zero tolerance against all types of bribery and other forms of corruption. All employees, including the company board, are required to sign an undertaking that they will comply with the anti-corruption policy and participate in training in these issues every second year.

A continual journey and ongoing commitment

“Axis takes long-term responsibility for how our operations impact our stakeholders and we act according to our values, in an ethical, responsible, and transparent way in our business relationships. Our agenda is long-term and ambitious and there is a genuine commitment to drive the operations in a sustainable way in all parts of our organization,” says Ray Mauritsson, Axis President and CEO.

“The road of sustainability requires commitment and daily efforts. There is still a long way to go, but we are confident that with the help of the whole Axis family – our employees, partners, suppliers, and our end users – we’ll be able to build a smart and safer world for the next generations to live in.”

You can find more detail about our approach to sustainability here
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