A panel discussion on sustainability

A panel discussion on sustainability in business reminded governments and companies worldwide of their commitment on net-zero emissions targets as the world rebounds from the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The discussion, themed “Sustainability Talks”, was organized by ISS Indonesia and moderated by M. Sofyan, Commercial Director of ISS Indonesia, one of the key players in the facility management industry. The Feb. 7 event was attended by a representative from the Nordic Chamber of Commerce, ISS Group CEO Jacob Aarup-Andersen and top executives from large companies in Indonesia that are ISS clients in the banking, healthcare, manufacturing and industrial sector.

The discussion also involving professional speakers from consultants focused on sustainability issues.

ISS Indonesia CEO and president director Elisa Lumbantoruan said, “We see growing interest within the business community in Indonesia in terms of sustainability. Each of our customers came up with their own sustainability goals, which are all exciting and we believe that ISS can play role in supporting that. We’ve collaborated in a number of programs and campaign such as Keep Indonesia Clean, aiming at driving culture change.”

ISS Group CEO Jacob Aarup-Andersen explained how ISS, with more than 40,000 corporate customers globally, of which 600 were in Indonesia, managed to consistently put sustainability on its business agenda, which included the company’s journey of net-zero emissions ambitions, along with its partners.

ISS’ DNA was people and society, as in Indonesia it had close to 50,000 employees, which meant it had an impact on society, according to Jacob.

He explained that ISS was built around respect and integrity of people and society and that it constantly gained trust from its partners, which contributed to the company’s long lifespan.

 “Sustainability is such a big theme for our customers. We always believe that if we deliver to our people, we deliver to our society, to our customers and then we also deliver to our owners,” he said.

Having an impact on society led to ISS’ management feeling responsible for them, which meant taking sustainability initiatives was of paramount importance, according to Jacob.

Sustainability evolved so fast that it required companies to be open minded and keep curious about finding solutions to sustainability challenges, he said.

Building an ecosystem involving suppliers, customers and partners was an important part of how ISS was trying to achieve its net-zero emissions target by 2030.

“We can only achieve it by working together with all of them with the same ambition,” he said.

“I have spoken with a number of big Indonesian companies that ‘we are now in the same boat. That’s part of the biggest beauty around the sustainability agenda’,” he said.

He ensured that ISS also helped suppliers in achieving the net-zero emissions under a mutually beneficial partnership framework, which also included ESG components.

“We do it through friendly dialogue,” he pointed out.

The use of artificial intelligence in sustainability favored customers due to cost reduction. To solve sustainability crisis globally, “it is very much about innovation and technology. We cannot stop using human resources, and that’s why we need to innovate and create smart ways. Technology will be the key to solving the issue,” he said.

As part of efforts to measure sustainability, ISS prepares a data-driven sustainability report every year. The biggest challenge facing companies is how to create a data foundation.

Every company should make sure it has accurate data on such sustainability elements as water consumption, electricity use, chemical use and food waste to measure all the outcomes in terms of footprint.

Achieving the net-zero target was expected to create a green society.

“Our kids will grow up in the world that provides a better chance to live in a healthy environment,” he said.

With its years of experience in sustainability in business leveraged through collaboration, ISS is unquestionably the right and strategic partner in sustainability service management.