Kordsa’s Sustainability Road Map 2020
Kordsa produces innovative tire reinforcement, composites and construction reinforcement technologies. It touches every corner of life, making lives both safer and more sustainable.
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What makes Kordsa remarkable in terms of sustainability management is the vision and strategy that have become part of the company’s genes over the last 45 years. My journey with Kordsa started when I was asked to prepare a sustainability report, but Kordsa’s own sustainability journey began the very day the company was established. This became clear to me as soon as I joined the Kordsa team.
It was no coincidence that I had met the former Safety, Health and Environ- ment (SHE) Manager of Kordsa several times at small conferences, especially at the meetings of the Turkish Business Council of Sustainable Development, of which Kordsa is a member. This was many years ago, when I was one of the fewer than 50 business people from various compa- nies who would meet together to brainstorm on what we could do for a sustainable world.
I was very happy when I received my first call from the Kordsa SHE manager. After we prepared our first sustainability report, which took about 6 months, we had a clear picture of Kordsa’s sustainability performance.
While working on this report, we followed the Global Reporting Initiative’s reporting guidelines, backed up with its content and quality principles.
First Moves Towards Sustainability
One of our first moves towards reporting was to set up a Sustainability Task Force (STF), the members of which were referred by the Executive Leader- ship Team (ELT). We organized a sustainability training and workshop to raise awareness about the global trends in sustainability and to discuss Kordsa’s impacts in more detail with the STF members.
The next step was to prepare a sustainability strategy survey, with the participation of ELT and STF Members. Later we had private meetings with all the ELT members to discuss the results of the survey and to elicit their feedback with respect to our key stakeholders and their relationship to Kordsa’s most important material sustainability topics. Finally we met with the CEO to get his approval on the material topics.
Engaging stakeholders was also a crucial way of investigating these material issues. So, we decided to talk to the employees and a number of elected customers. The more than 300 employees who replied to our sustainability survey and the Brisa Supply Chain Manager and the Michelin Global Textile Category Manager who answered our questions enabled us to get a better idea of employee and customer priorities regarding Kordsa’s sustainability impacts.
Although the first report was a learning process for the company, collecting the data and formulating best practices regarding the impact areas were not hard at all. Kordsa was already a sustainable company. It just needed an opportunity to tell its story. And now it had this opportunity!
Indeed, the report’s brief and concise style, its meaningful content and reader-friendly design were such that the report won Kordsa its first sustainability award from the LACP (League of American Communication Professionals).
The New Era in Sustainability Management at Kordsa
Having laid this strong foundation, the next year (towards the end of 2016) the SHE Manager and I easily mustered the courage to propose to the ELT to move with a five-year plan. My indispensable collaborator, Dr. Yoga Mardiyansyah, invested a significant amount of his time into helping me design the content of the road map. Together we decided on the actions for the 5 years up to 2020 that would help us to improve Kordsa’s sustainability performance.
All the management systems and data we required were in place, at the mother factory at Izmit. We just needed to systemize the data collection for reporting and to disseminate this among Kordsa’s global sites. The new roadmap included actions like management systems certification, integra- tion of sustainability topics into employee idea platforms and setting up a system for environmental and social impact assessment of our suppliers.
Prompted by our engagement with two of our key customers, we added this last topic to our material issues list. In addition, we determined smart targets, aiming to improve our performance by reducing our probable impacts on people and the environment. We are proud and happy to have met our targets on the roadmap up until today.
As you can see from this part of the story, the visionary ELT of Kordsa approved our well-prepared plan without any hesitation. We have always felt the support of the CEO, starting with Mr. Cenk Alper and continuing with Mr. Ali Çalışkan.
In 2017, our third report collected first-place awards on three continents:
1- Asia-Pacific Excellence Awards - Annual and CR Report Category Winner
2- Sustainable Business Awards - Sustainability Report Category Winner (Turkey)
3- LACP Inspire Awards - Annual Report for Customer Category Winner (USA)
Currently we are working on Kordsa’s 5th sustainability report. Today we are talking about some additional inspiring topics, like Kordsa’s own sustainable products. Kordsa’s incredible R&D Department and Laboratory play an important role in creating and refining these products in close collaboration with our customers.
Kordsa produces innovative tire reinforcement, composites and construc- tion reinforcement technologies. It touches every corner of life, making lives both safer and more sustainable. This is through its environmental- ly-friendly products that reduce fuel consumption in tire reinforcement technologies, though composite technologies that make vehicles lighter
and thus enable them to perform with less fuel and lower carbon emissions, and by enabling the building of durable concrete structures using construc- tion reinforcement technologies.
All I need to do in the coming report is to keep on sharing my enthusiasm about these great products and performances. I am privileged to have served the giant global reinforcer for the last five years, and I would like to thank the esteemed ELT members, Kordsa SHE and former Sustainability Manager Dr. Yoga Mardiyansyah, and all the members of the Kordsa Sustainability Task Force for giving me the chance to be a part of this great journey.