Our goal at OJ Electronics is contributing to sustainable development. Not only in our local area in Sønderborg, but also wherever we do business internationally. Customers, suppliers and employees around the world are increasingly expecting and demanding that companies take accountability and get involved in the green transition.
That’s why QHSE Manager, Margit Søndergaard, and her colleague delved into the 169 targets of the SDGs and examined how each one related to OJ. In other words, the goal was to determine the nature of our impact – both positive and negative – on the environment and the world in which we live, as well as to identify areas where it makes the most sense for us to focus our short- and long-term sustainability effort
“It’s safe to say that we can give ourselves a pat on the back. There are a lot of things we’re already doing really well,” says Margit.
At OJ, we are now underway with incorporating our approach in particular to three of the SDGs, into our corporate strategy. SDG 8 on decent work and economic growth as well as SDG 12 on responsible consumption and production are very much in line with the issues the company is already contributing to. We also see some great opportunities to ramp up our efforts and launch new projects in other areas.
However, it was a third SDG that really caught our QHSE Manager’s attention. Margit was surprised by the contents of SDG 7 on ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
“It was quite a ‘eureka’ moment to discover that our mission is directly related to one of the SDGs. Our goal is to improve the climate. Always. And our products provide ventilation and temperature control, which is precisely what improves the indoor climate of homes and workplaces in the most energy-efficient way possible. Our products and core business are a perfect fit for target 7.3 to double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency, and we hadn’t really made that connection before we conducted a thorough review of the SDGs. That’s not to say that we hadn’t paid much attention to the SDGs prior to this point, but it was pretty amazing to discover that the UN has already formulated our goal for us!” Margit continues.
Margit and her colleague’s thorough review of the SDGs and their positive findings have only increased our motivation at OJ to focus even more on the sustainability agenda, which management is fully supportive of.
“Reduction of energy consumption and optimisation of energy efficient solutions have always been key to us. As well as creating the best possible work atmosphere. We both want to do things right – and to do the right thing. I’m pleased that our efforts have provided OJ with a solid starting point for contributing to the important UN17 SDGs and for the opportunity to push for a greener agenda in the Sønderborg area. Technical solutions allow us to impact the future, solve energy challenges globally and bring us forward. Opportunities we both can and will seize in the coming years.”
Erik Damsgaard, CEO
Among other initiatives, OJ is planning to gain certificates relating to working environment and environmental impact, as well as inject more sustainability into the entire value-chain that our activities result in.
“Our products will become even more sustainable, and we’ll be setting even higher standards for our suppliers and subcontractors. We need to design products with a longer lifespan and fewer components,” concludes Margit.
Margit further explains that the company is focused on extending its sustainability efforts to cover the entire pathway from procurement to product disposal, both upstream and downstream. Of course, working upstream with OJ’s suppliers is easier, as the company has more influence there.
“We’re in dialogue with our suppliers and trying to influence them towards a more sustainable direction. Even now, our procurement policy is partly based on the notion that finding the cheapest product is of lesser importance than finding one that is responsibly made. That’s also why our ambition is to involve just a handful of suppliers that we can build long-term relationships with. It’s easier to influence and keep an eye on long-term suppliers, and it also leads to a more reliable and transparent partnership,” says Margit.
This growing focus on sustainability and the environment isn’t just about the future of our planet, however; it’s also about the company’s future prospects. The long-term survival of OJ depends on being a sustainability-oriented company in order to continue attracting the two things that are essential to any business: employees and customers.
“If we want to recruit qualified and committed employees, it’s really important that we take responsibility and do our part in contributing to the sustainable development agenda. Working for a sustainability-oriented employer is especially important to the younger generations. Every serious company out there ought to have this issue on their radar. We’ve also seen customers set increasingly higher standards for how we work on the global level, and the efforts we make can therefore also help our customers’ businesses become more sustainable,” explains Margit.
She expects that some of the company’s sustainability-oriented initiatives will be ready to launch within the coming year, while other processes – such as changing the material composition of OJ’s products – are more long-term in nature and may take several years.
OJ Electronics aim to focus on SDG 8 and SDG 12 in particular.