A sound and sustainable economy is at the heart of Intrum Justitia’s CSR (Corporate and Social Responsibility) work. Joining the UN Global Compact initiative is the latest step in that effort.
On April 19 Intrum Justitia became a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact initiative. With its signature, Intrum Justitia pledges to align its operations with ten principles concerning human rights, labor rights, environment and anti-corruption and also file an annual Progress Report on how it adheres to these principles.
“CSR and sustainability has long been a focus for Intrum Justitia and joining Global Compact was a logical step in this effort. I also believe we are the first major company in our industry to do so,” says Annika Billberg, Director of Sales, Marketing and Communications at Intrum Justitia.
Given the nature of Intrum Justitia’s business, its main objective with CSR is contributing to a sound economy for individuals and companies alike. In addition, Intrum Justitia also has policies and guidelines in place to minimize the environmental impact from its own operations like encouraging video conferencing instead of travel and fuel-efficient vehicle fleets.
“Our services help people and companies to avoid debt they shouldn’t assume and companies to get paid on time. This, we believe, contributes to a sound and efficient economy and is where we can have the greatest impact. A sound economy is one important factor in creating a sustainable society as a whole,” says Annika Billberg.
An important aspect of Intrum Justitia’s CSR effort is education and training, especially among younger generations and this is manifested, among other things, in programs targeting schools.
“It is of particular importance to keep young people from taking on debt they can’t handle since it can cripple them for life. In Sweden we run a project were we visit schools to give talks and we also produce information material that can be used in the classroom,” says Annika Billberg.
The school project is so far limited to Sweden but there is interest from many other European countries and Annika Billberg says the project will likely be extended abroad. On-site visits to class-rooms are very resource intensive and in order to reach out as widely as possible Intrum Justitia has also designed online interactive lessons, smartphone applications and an educational game targeting younger people.
The UN Global Compact commitment includes an annual progress report and 2017 will be the first year that Intrum Justitia shall produce such a separate sustainability report. The report will be designed so it also meets all the criteria for the sustainability report that all European larger companies will be required to publish as from 2018, in accordance with new EU legislation.
Annika Billberg says Intrum Justitia already adheres largely to the ten principles laid out in UN Global Compact but that there is, nevertheless, room for improvement and development.
“One such area we will be looking at is, for example, how we screen and select suppliers and partners on the basis of CSR criteria,” says Annika Billberg.