CSR Communication on Progress 2013/2014

Our CSR strategy
Our six strategic focus areas

The six strategic focus areas support us to put strategy into practice and align our global organisation to achieve common goals in a tangible and measurable way.


CSR needs to reflect our business values, while addressing social, environmental and economic challenges. On this basis, we have defined the following six strategic focus areas with the greatest value and impact for our company and society in the current labour market environment.

Team, Training & Development: Currently, around 7 million jobs don’t get filled in the US and the EU due to skills or geographical mismatch despite high unemployment rates especially in European countries such as Greece, Spain, Italy, France but also in the US, Australia and Japan [1]. Young people are most affected. Too often, their education and training does not match the requirements of the business world. Adecco and its industry can contribute to solving this issue by retraining and upgrading workers’ skills. HR services companies help people enhance their employability through career counselling, education and continuous training.

Integration: Every company’s workforce needs people with diverse skill sets and from all backgrounds in terms of disabil-ities, age, ethnicity, gender, religious background or sexual orientation. Integrating people into the workforce through agency work is a central part of our business. Jobs offer people work experience and an income. Consecutive assignments provide people with diverse work experiences and enhance their adaptability to different roles and teams. In many cases, they are a stepping stone to a permanent position for individuals who otherwise could become marginalised. The Adecco Group and its Foundations – often in partnership with various organisations – are involved in a range of international, national and local programmes to help these groups at risk of exclusion. More employers are recognising the need to create and promote an inclusive workplace in order to maximise productivity, attract new talent and increase employee commitment.

Diversity and equal opportunities: Employee engagement is one of six strategic priorities for the Adecco Group. Our employees and associates are the most important reason for our success. As a company, operating in over 60 countries, we see that diverse teams are able to come up with a wider range of solutions to business problems. Our approach to diversity and equal opportunities and our open company culture help the Adecco Group to attract, motivate and retain talented employees and associates. An example of what our diverse teams can accomplish was, in our role as recruitment partner of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Adecco UK & Ireland recruited 8,300 people as permanent and temporary employees for the Games. Adecco was given the task and succeeded in recruiting the most diverse workforce for Olympic Games ever. Adecco shared LOCOG’s [2] vision for a highly talented, committed, and diverse workforce, developing a unique tracking software that would measure the six streams of diversity (age, ethnicity, faith, gender, disability and sexual orientation) in every department.

Health & Safety: Our employees and associates are our most valued asset. We are committed to the Health & Safety of our employees and the associates working with our clients. Our industry is unique. We do not directly control the workplace of our associates. Therefore, we must properly select, train, and equip our associates before assigning them to a job. It is of utmost importance to ensure that our clients adhere to the highest safety standards so that our associates have a safe and healthy workplace with adequate supervision. In order to ensure a fair basis for comparison of our safety performance towards our associates among our country organisations, we look at the development of accident frequency rates (AFR), rather than comparing absolute AFR values. This is due to the fact that our involvement in the various business sectors – and thus various risk potentials – varies significantly from country to country.

Business & Human Rights: In recent years, Human Rights have become an increasingly important aspect to businesses and within corporate social responsibility. On 16 June 2011, the UN Human Rights Council endorsed the “Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: Implementing the United Nations ʻProtect, Respect and Remedyʼ Framework” proposed by UN Special Representative John Ruggie which rest on three pillars:

  1. The state duty to protect against human rights abuses by third parties, including business
  2. The corporate responsibility to respect Human Rights
  3. Greater access by victims to effective remedy, both judicial and non-judicial.

The Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights define what companies and governments should do to avoid and address possible negative human rights impacts by business. In October 2011, the European Commission published a new policy on CSR for the period 2011–2014 in order to create conditions favourable to sustainable growth, responsible business behaviour and durable employment generation in the medium and long term. As a result, in June 2013, the European Commission issued Sector Guides on Implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights for three business sectors including a guide for the Employment and Recruitment Agencies’ sector. Thanks to a the multi-stakeholder consultation, including Ciett and its members, the content of the guide is balanced and reflects the real issues faced by our industry. Adecco has published guidelines on Human & Labour Rights which reflect the size and maturity of our company. They were released in August 2013 to provide guidance and raise awareness.

Environmental responsibility: As the world’s leading provider of HR solutions and a Fortune Global 500 company, we are conscious of the impact of our operations on the environment and of the difference we can make by acting responsibly. Therefore, in 2010 we started to collect the data on our CO2 emissions in our 11 largest markets including the global headquarters, stepping the reporting up to 12 countries in 2011 and to 13 countries in 2013. This will help us to assess and reduce emissions and makes us an environmental-conscious partner for clients. In 2012, by benchmarking with similar industries, we defined a company-wide emission reduction target of 12% within the next ten years. Environmental-conscious management and subsequent monitoring and reduction are specifically carried out in the following main areas of our operations:

  1. Electricity: electrical energy consumption
  2. Mobility: company car and air mileage
  3. Office supply: mainly paper and toner consumption/recycling
  4. Office equipment: computers and monitors bought and replaced.

By improving our environmental performance, we will save costs due to the lower consumption of resources which will benefit the company’s overall performance as well as our clients’ performance through the services they receive from us.


[1]Source: OECD StatsExtract.

[2]London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games.