Sustainability Through Leadership

At Kuoni we have been striving for over ten years now to enhance the positive impact of tourism on people and the environment and simultaneously minimise its negative ramifications. We believe that the company can make a major contribution to ensuring sustainable tourism development within its scope and the resources at its disposal. 

Kuoni has extensively integrated its Corporate Responsibility activities into its overall business strategy over the last ten years. On the basis of the overall Group CR strategy for 2012-2014, the CR risk assessment and the subsequent definition of the materiality matrix, the focus issues for corporate responsibility within the Kuoni Group are: 

1. its employees;
2. sustainable supply chain management;
3. sustainable products;
4. human and labour rights;
5. natural resources and climate change and
6. governance and compliance.

Last year, our efforts to become a sustainable company of choice for investors have been recognised by Oekom Research, one of the world's leading rating agencies in the field of sustainable investments, which awarded Kuoni with "Prime" status. Only three of the 39 analysed companies in the leisure sector belong to the "Prime" category. Kuoni has performed particularly well in the areas of "Corporate Governance and Business Ethics", "Staff and Suppliers" and "Society and Product Responsibility".

This achievement acknowledges our effort and encourages us to further improve  on making sustainability a part of our daily business.

As the first major tour operator to join the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest and most widely embraced corporate citizenship initiative, we have integrated our Communication on Progress towards the ten UN Global Compact Principles on human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption in the 2013 Kuoni Group Annual Report. As participants in the UN Global Compact, we are committed to incorporating the initiative and its principles into our strategy and culture, communicating them to our stakeholders and engaging in projects which advance the broader development goals of the United Nations.

Of special note for the 2013 reporting year is the publication of Kuoni’s Statement of Commitment on the Environment based on extensive stakeholder consultation with key environmental NGOs and experts. A key achievement has been the certification of VFS Global according to ISO 14001, the world's most recognised environmental management standard.

Further, we have completed a second human rights impacts assessment, this time in India in collaboration with our destination management subsidiary SITA. The assessment, which analysed not only SITA but also the company’s entire value chain in the country, has resulted in 15 commitments and follow-up actions by Kuoni on labour issues, economic exclusion, women and children’s rights and community impacts.

A further focus in 2013 was the integration of our activities in Group Travel Services division in our sustainable supply chain management. The division’s engagement which has over 50 000 suppliers – is crucial and we are proud that corporate sustainability topics are being integrated in business process such as supplier assessments and contracting.  

Finally, we have launched corporate volunteering in several business units including in China, India, the Netherlands, UK, UAE, South Africa, Switzerland and the US, allowing employees to spend one working day volunteering their time helping at local NGOs and charities.

This is not to say that all endeavors have been without their obstacles. A particular challenge has been achieving our goal of integrating sustainability training in employees’ inductions across Kuoni. Reaching out to over 11 000 employees worldwide is a demanding task, but we are confident we will make further progress in 2014 to achieve this.

Through the commitments we have made in our six material CR areas, we prove that sustainability is a core pillar in our corporate strategy. We look forward to further developing in this field to ensure that every customer can benefit from our wide range of travel-related services in full confidence.