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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become a fundamental pillar of successful and ethical business practices; by embracing CSR, businesses can positively impact society and the environment, while fostering innovation and enhancing brand reputation. How can you take your CSR efforts to a higher level as an IT company? AI and analytics leader SAS shares its tips.

Put CSR at the core of your strategy

To remain steadfast in the commitment to social responsibility and innovation, companies should prioritize corporate citizenship to guide their business and climate strategy. The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) should be taken in consideration, to see where they fit in with the company’s business and policies.

Part of SAS’ vision as a company is improving the world through the power of trustworthy technology, and through innovative solutions for its customers. In addition to helping customers with their green business initiatives and sustainability needs, SAS supports clean energy and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) while also using its software to address economic, social, and environmental issues.

Strive for environmental excellence

An environmentally friendly workplace incorporates a sustainable business model that supports the Paris Climate Accord and fosters employee curiosity and creativity. In order to achieve this a company has to works closely with employees, suppliers, and customers to reduce its environmental footprint with programs focused on energy conservation, emissions management, pollution mitigation, water conservation, green building, and other initiatives.

SAS brings both its renowned analytic expertise and powerful software solutions to develop smarter and more efficient operations while passing those insights and tools to its customer for their business strategies. In 2022, SAS reported several environmental achievements, that can be taken as examples of goals that a company can set for itself: 

  • Earned ISO 14064-3 limited assurance for 2018 base year recalculation and 2022 calendar year GHG emission inventories.
  • Awarded LEED Platinum existing building recertification for SAS Building Q. This is the third SAS building to earn the US Green Building Council’s highest performance award.
  • Expanded baseline GHG inventory to include emissions across all scope 3 categories material to the way SAS conducts business.
  • Increased 2030 target from 50% to 52.6% as part of SBTi target revalidation.
  • Received Science Based Targets initiative validation for SAS’ 2050 net-zero emission reduction target.
  • While post-pandemic operations increased emissions across all scopes in 2022, emissions are still down 41.7% from the 2018 base year.
  • Despite expected post-pandemic increases in business travel, emissions are down 79.8% compared to the 2018 base year.
  • Achieved 60% carbon use intensity from base year – down 19% the past year.
  • Diverted 68.3% of operational and an astounding 99.9% of construction waste from landfills globally.
  • Generated 3.4 million kWh of clean, renewable energy from rooftop and ground-mounted solar systems.

Improve society through positive contributions

Depending on the specific field the company is an expert on, several projects can be undertaken to improve society. How can your company’s product make the world a better, saver or more social place? What can the company do in terms of education, for example by fighting data illiteracy?

SAS’ social innovation initiative works to find creative ways to accelerate global progress and move the world toward a more sustainable future. By supporting the Data for Good movement, SAS encourages using data in meaningful ways to solve humanitarian issues around poverty, health, human rights, education and the environment. In addition, the SAS Data Ethics Practice (DEP) continues to expand, increasing efforts to bring trustworthy AI to customers and pursuing new Data for Good initiatives.

SAS also seeks ways to invest in the larger global community through supporting data literacy and education initiatives for all, for example by committing to developing relevant resources for data literacy. In 2022, more than 273,000 educators and learners took advantage of free SAS® software offerings. Also, 45,000 educators and students attended live global academic events and accessed free learning resources such as SAS Skill Builder for Students, an online portal for students to launch their analytics careers. For higher education and adult learners, SAS established more than 50 new partnerships with college and university programs around the world. Another example is the Batting Lab which used artificial intelligence and baseball to help kids improve their swing while boosting their data literacy through the Batting Lab.

Strive to be a sustainability leader

By weaving CSR into your business strategy, working on reducing your negative environmental impact and thinking on how your company can contribute in a positive way, you are becoming a sustainable leader. As SAS CEO Jim Goodnight summarizes: “As a leader in social responsibility, SAS strives to help our communities and customers with their environmental, social and governance initiatives. “SAS has seen firsthand the impact our technology can have on protecting the environment, improving health outcomes, addressing bias and tackling other global priorities.” 

Also read: Trustworthy AI starts before the first line of code