“Adapt, reduce and mitigate” is GAC’s strategic response to business challenges of the 21st century. We strive to minimise and repair any damage, as well as replenish resources that we consume in the course of our daily business operations in the markets we serve. This extends to the wider world around us - the environment and communities in which we live and work. The Group encourages its people to be aware of and support community projects, promote the wellbeing of our employees and their families, and engage in initiatives to help protect and preserve the planet.
GAC wants to do well, but we are also committed to doing good wherever we can to make the world better, safer, cleaner and greener. That philosophy is at the heart of our commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR), reflected in the GAC Spirit as well as our Group ethics, compliance and Health, Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE) policies.
Our companies around the world take CSR very seriously, and our people take pleasure in raising awareness and funds for worthy causes. Whether it is funding local projects, cleaning up waste, supporting children’s charities, tree planting, blood donations, helping the response to natural disasters, or raising money for maritime charities such as the Sailors’ Society, GAC is immersed in the communities in which we operate.
GAC Group President Bengt Ekstrand shares his view on Corporate Responsibility and the role it plays in charting a company’s growth in an evolving maritime industry.
Every year, GAC companies vie for the prestigious Chairman’s Award for HSSE Excellence which rewards tangible steps taken to promote health, safety and sustainability in all its forms. The prize takes the form of a donation made to the winners’ charities of choice.
In 2019, the Award’s fifth year, the top prize went to GAC UK for its Mental Health Matters campaign to raise awareness and take action when colleagues are struggling. Poor mental wellbeing, such as stress and depression, are among the top reasons workers take time off work sick, so it is important that such matters are covered by Health & Safety policies. The campaign created a corporate culture in which mental health issues are recognised and can be discussed openly and gave all staff access to information and support if they need it. Selected staff members also underwent formal Mental Health First Aid training.
The second prize was shared by two companies that have taken measures to reduce their energy consumption: GAC India for installing solar panels at its Cochin office to generate clean electricity; and GAC Nigeria for replacing classic Air Conditioning equipment with inverter type units which reduced carbon footprint by 50% in six months. GAC Thoresen Logistics Thailand received a special commendation for its programme to replace rubber tires on forklift trucks with polyurethane to reduce the amount of black carbon released.