News / 11 Feb 2024

New stride taken on the journey to sustainability

GAC Norway achieves Gold EcoVadis rating

The world’s most trusted provider of business sustainability ratings, EcoVadis, has awarded GAC Norway its Gold standard, taking it another step along its continuing journey to sustainability.

To qualify, the company was assessed to evaluate 21 sustainability criteria across four core themes: Environment, Ethics, Labour & Human Rights and Sustainable Procurement.

Starting pistol
It started – as so many things do – with a request from a customer, according to Head of People & Process, Alysha Pedersen.

“We were already considering working towards EcoVadis rating, when one of our top customers pulled the trigger to fire the starting pistol to go through the process,” she says.

“As a company, we had already put environmental, social and financial sustainability at the core of all our operations based on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, with ISO 45001 and Eco-Lighthouse certifications covering our work environment and health and safety for employees.”

Alysha Pedersen photo

Another impetus came in the form of the new Norwegian Transparency Act 2022 which requires companies to evaluate, report and make improvements related to human rights and working conditions in their supply chains. And according to national law, GAC Norway includes its work on gender diversity in the annual Board report.

GAC Norway electic company car
One of GAC Norway’s six electric cars used by operational staff. The company has a policy of only leasing electric vehicles when they enter a new lease, unless there is a specific reason not to.

“EcoVadis shows our customers, candidates and other stakeholders how far we have come in our work on the topics of environment, ethics, labour & human rights and sustainable procurement,” adds Alysha.

The rating helps give customers peace of mind that GAC Norway documents and demonstrates the real steps it is taking.

Questions, questions, questions
Being awarded the Gold medal by EcoVadis is an extensive challenge, with 47 questions to be answered across the four key topics, most requiring documentation.

Sustainability team effort cropped
The drive for sustainability is a team effort at GAC Norway. Ole Fredrik Gullstein Torpe (left) guided the company through the Eco-Lighthouse process, while Terje Stenerud (right) is responsible for environmental services, in addition to logistics and customs support.

“We are very proud of our rating. We worked hard for it,” says Alysha.

“Our score put us in the 97th percentile of rated companies, and now we have our eye on further improvement to achieve Platinum level when we are reassessed at the end of this year.”

Group commitment
GAC Norway is the second Group company to be awarded Gold standard, following GAC Bunker Fuels’ Dubai operation in October 2023.

GAC’s Group Group QHSSE Manager, Constantin Draghici, says: “The Gold Standard certification from EcoVadis serves as a beacon, guiding companies towards a future where sustainability, ethical business practices and corporate responsibility are not mere ideals but integral components of success.”

Silver status has also been granted to GAC Finland and Bronze to GAC Denmark, GAC Greece, GAC India, GAC Philippines, GAC Sweden and GAC UK.

More than 85,000 companies globally have been rated by EcoVadis. Its business sustainability ratings are based on international sustainability standards such as the Ten Principles of UN Global Compact, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards and the ISO 26000 standard. The ratings provide an evidenced-based analysis on performance and an actionable roadmap for continuous improvement.

The entire GAC Group is committed to those values, as evidenced in its Roadmap to Sustainability.

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