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Interview: Edith Magyarics (Victor Buck Services): For ESG, think global

According to Edith Magyarics, CEO of Victor Buck Services, environmental, social and governance criteria can only be considered in a global approach, otherwise, without a holistic perspective, they may be reduced to greenwashing.

What is VBS’s ESG agenda?

From an environmental, waste and pollution point of view, we have taken multiple initiatives. Our "zero plastic single use" plan, with the distribution of meal boxes and cutlery to our employees. We sort our waste and materials carefully for recycling. We use 100% green electricity. To control CO2 emissions we will work with an external service provider to calculate our output. This is the first step towards reduction. When we order material we favour local suppliers. Regarding the threat of deforestation, we hold the FSC certification, which ensures that our paper consumption, for example, is from environmental friendly sources. In social matters, we offer training and we adapt our working hours for staff. We are a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact, we are committed against forced labour and the use of child labour. We support local projects and organisations, make material and financial donations, and participate in local initiatives such as working groups on renewable energy. In terms of governance, we have an anti-corruption policy and we promote diversity. Our board of directors is composed of two men and one woman from POST, our 100% shareholder. Our management committee consists of one woman and one man.

“In terms of governance, we have an anti-corruption policy and we promote diversity. ”

How do you meet increasing demands for ESG standards from your clients?

We serve the financial sector, and particularly the funds industry from which 80% of our clients come. Their requests don’t focus on the ESG thematic yet, but we can imagine it will become more critical at a later stage. We are engaged in the building of a printed electronics process we are for which we are taking a green approach. This integrates power consumption, materials selection, transport use and more. We position ourselves with differentiated products, using paper and not plastic, all part of a sincere eco-responsible approach.

What ESG challenges do you foresee for the next few years?

We are currently investigating in switching our car fleet into electric. This is in response to a government desire, but it requires holistic thinking that goes beyond the country's borders. It may make sense to use electric vehicles in Luxembourg where pollution will be reduced, but what happens to the batteries afterwards? If they have to be shipped to other parts of the world, this has environmental consequences with a global impact. The impact of cobalt mining and processing, the exploitation of people and pollution must be taken into account. We need to create a local ecosystem to limit CO2 emissions with a global mindset and thinking global. Companies are increasingly outsourcing to distant countries. Which guarantees do we have for the respect of human rights there?


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