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Corporate social responsibility: what does it mean? And in what way is krafton®, as an FRP Bridge Deck manufacturer, a true CSR company? To answer that question, we need to understand and crystallise, first of all, the concept of corporate social responsibility.

Corporate social responsibility, often abbreviated as CSR or used in sustainable entrepreneurship, is a way of doing business that consciously focuses on caring for people, the environment and society in company policies. CSR companies work on minimising their negative impact on the climate and future generations. Moreover, CSR companies are often increasingly focusing on ethical business practices and supporting charities and (local) initiatives that are a good fit with their strategy.

In recent years, companies that pursue corporate social responsibility have actively and seriously been addressing their responsibilities regarding climate neutrality, circularity, environmentally friendly business processes and sustainable chains. They invest in cleaner processes, for example, and recycle depreciated materials. In addition to the contribution these companies make to the sustainability of their sector through corporate social responsibility, the level of emissions is also increasingly constrained by regulations and international agreements. Through subsidies and financial encouragement, governments facilitate the necessary tools to make business processes more sustainable, within and across national borders. An example: early in 2022, the European Commission released a proposal regarding a commitment to International Corporate Social Responsibility (ICSR) in order to accelerate the sustainability efforts of large and small internationally operating companies.

The commitment to corporate social responsibility works as a broad-based business philosophy within all levels of CSR companies. This process is about more than minimising direct emissions: installing solar panels to power offices, separating waste in cafeterias and an all-electric transport fleet are also part of corporate social responsibility.

A healthy workforce has also become increasingly important in recent years, particularly for CSR companies. After all, Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability (CSR), as we mentioned, goes beyond minimising environmental impact. Based on their CSR policy, these companies are also increasingly contributing, consciously, to their employees’ physical and mental health. For example, they encourage exercise and stimulate employees mentally by offering courses and workshops.

Examples of corporate social responsibility

In addition to consuming minimal energy during the production of our FRP Bridge Decks, an FRP Bridge Deck is also a sustainable solution as a finished product. For example, they have a long service life, but can also effortlessly be installed as a flexible, temporary solution. It is precisely these characteristics that make it possible for our clients to realise a temporary CSR project in a short timeframe. One example is the following CSR project in Amsterdam.

For this CSR project, krafton® produced an FRP Bridge Deck that served as a temporary subway platform on the North/South Line. Not only did the properties of our FRP Bridge Deck make it possible for the temporary platform to be built sustainably and quickly, krafton®’s guaranteed return policy also yielded optimum sustainable benefits. In fact, krafton® offers the option to take back all used FRP Bridge Decks, including for this temporary project. Unlike wood and concrete, which must always be recycled, FRP Bridge Decks can start a second or even third life, regardless of how long they have been used, without (major) repair works within the foreseeable future.

With the combination of the sustainable properties, options for temporary placement and krafton®’s guaranteed return policy, this is a CSR project to be proud of.

krafton – krafton® – Social entrepreneur

In addition to being a producer of sustainable solutions, as a social entrepreneur, krafton® is also very progressive when it comes to sustainability. For example, our production, as well as the office’s indoor operations, are self-sufficient during the day thanks to solar panels. What’s more, we are working hard on setting up adequate energy storage for night time energy requirements.

krafton®’s social entrepreneurship is also demonstrated by the fact that we commission LCA studies for our products. These studies provide insight into the total life-cycle environmental impact of our FRP Bridge Decks. Through these life-cycle analyses, we aim to explore elements of business processes where we can work even more sustainably. In addition to commissioning these life-cycle analyses, we are also training ourselves to perform these LCA studies in-house, in order to continually test and optimise our production and business processes. As a social entrepreneur, krafton® has been working on sustainability for many years with a view to complying with the 2050 emissions-free requirement.

In addition to this ecological and economic manner of doing social business, krafton® also contributes to the health of its workforce. For example, we are sympathetic to our employees’ needs and are very flexible regarding shift work. We are considerate regarding events in our employees’ private sphere and, guided by a progressive HR policy, support them wherever possible. Based on our policy to do good internally, we do the same outside our walls. For example, we support the development of future generations by sponsoring the Student Project of the Arnhem Nijmegen University of Applied Sciences with FRP profiles for the HAN Solar Boat. In 2010, we also sponsored Project Aid Haiti Foundation in the construction of emergency housing.

Benefits of CSR?

The benefits of CSR vary widely. Corporate social responsibility promotes, among other things:

  • Innovation for efficiency purposes
  • Cost savings on energy during production
  • Making business processes more sustainable

Besides innovating, saving costs and minimising the environmental footprint, CSR is also very beneficial from a commercial point of view. For example, corporate social responsibility improves brand image and reinforces business relationships. Moreover, companies and governments, large and small, demand a high degree of sustainability when calling for tenders. Looking to the future, organisations are also working hard to make their assets more sustainable. For example, if a company does not meet minimum requirements according to LCA studies, or the CO2 Performance Ladder, it is guaranteed to miss out. As such, CSR is a powerful tool to strengthen competitiveness, also for krafton®. 

Employees are also increasingly critical when it comes to their employers’ CSR policies. They often require their current or future employers to have an active policy on sustainability. krafton® fosters a pleasant working environment with motivated colleagues by meeting these requirements.

MCSR and Sustainability

Although CSR and sustainable business are often used interchangeably, they are not equivalent synonyms. Indeed, CSR focuses on raising awareness of the impact of business operations on the environment, people and society, and reducing it. In contrast, sustainable entrepreneurship refers only to preserving the environment and natural resources for present and future generations. Sustainable entrepreneurship often considers the impact of one’s own company before turning one’s attention to the external social side. Sustainability is part of corporate social responsibility, but this is not necessarily the case vice versa. For example, a CSR company might focus more on the social aspects, such as ethical business practices, and a little less on sustainability.

As a sustainable end product, FRP Bridge Deck by krafton® is a unique CSR project in itself. FRP Bridge Decks are sustainably produced in an active CSR company, are easy to transport and assemble, and will last about 100 years. What’s more, if the bridge deck needs to be replaced after that time, the FRP Bridge Decks will be completely recycled and reprocessed into new bridge decks. As such, we can proudly characterise our FRP Bridge Decks as a sustainable bridge and a CSR project . Tailor-made sustainable bridges can also be produced for unique projects.

More about FRP Bridge Decking Planks and FRP Bridge Decking Elements

Each of our FRP Bridge Decking Planks features a TÜV-tested non-slip wear layer. We guarantee that our FRP Bridge Decking Planks can be safely taken into use immediately. In addition to the R12 and R13 evaluation groups of slip resistance, FRP planks also meet Class E of fire resistance (according to EN13501-1:2007+A1:2009 and ISO11925-2:2010).

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