Sabancı Holding discusses sustainable innovation and inclusion at the WBCSD annual meeting


The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) held its 2022 Delegation Meeting in Montreux, Switzerland, on April 5-7. The meeting brought sustainability leaders from some of the world's most innovative companies to seek joint solutions to three major issues: the climate emergency, the loss of natural biodiversity, and growing inequalities.

Sabancı Holding participated in the meetings with high-level representation over the course of three days, discussing ways in which Sabancı Group and other private sector representatives can find viable solutions to these problems through their products, services, and investments. The significance of the social dimension regarding sustainability was also emphasized in light of the impact of the energy and food crisis. Sabancı Group is also collaborating with WBCSD to develop a program to more closely follow the sustainability agenda at the executive board and general manager level.

At the main session panel, Sabancı Holding's President of Human Resources and Sustainability, Hakan Timur, spoke about the steps Sabancı Group has taken regarding sustainability, diversity, and inclusion while participating in the panel titled 'Accelerating Action: Tackling Inequality.' Mr. Timur, who is also the Chief DE&I Officer (Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion Officer) at Sabancı Holding, emphasized three main points in his speech.

Equal opportunity is a priority in our AI applications

At Sabancı Holding, we are deeply committed to promoting equality in all the sectors we operate as well as in our sphere of influence. As a member of the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index, our female executive ratio is 37%, which is above the EU average. However, we are always looking for ways to improve and will constantly strive to increase this ratio to 50% by 2030 at the latest. To achieve this goal, we set performance targets to increase the number of women in top management candidate pools and ensure that men and women are equally represented in our group's talent development programs. Our leadership programs even support employees who are required to bring their children to out-of-town training seminars. Ensuring equal pay for equal work is also a top priority for us. We train our employees to increase their awareness regarding issues such as prejudices, sexual harassment, violence, and sexist language. We even invite our employees' families to participate in some of these training sessions. We also hold our suppliers to high standards regarding employee and human rights. In our new talent management program, Talent-In, which is based on artificial intelligence, we follow our diversity and inclusion principles by not including age or gender in the analyses we conduct to avoid prejudices when it comes to human processes.

Young people need more representation in decision-making processes

"Ensuring the participation of young people in strategic decision-making processes is another priority for us. While we make decisions that impact their future, young people are often underrepresented in business world decision-making processes. Recently, 29 employees under the age of 27 were involved in the Group review of our 5-year strategic business plan, and they made 84 different suggestions. As a result, we included 14 of these recommendations in our business plan. We call these employees "X-Challengers" because they challenge our strategy and help us take our vision to the next level." 

Top management performance targets include diversifying sustainable products and services

Sabancı Holding's Sustainability Director, Derya Özet Yalgı, also spoke at the panel titled "How to Ensure a Reduction in Emissions from our Products and Services" as part of the World Sustainable Development Business Council (WBCSD) 2022 Delegation Meeting. In her speech, Yalgı discussed the connection between this area and the Group's strategy: "We approach the relationship between our products, services, and investments and the transition to a low carbon economy from two different perspectives. The first perspective concerns diversifying our products and services that contribute to our Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or preventing emissions by transforming our existing businesses. To strengthen this focus, we have added an increase in the number of sustainable products and services to top management performance targets. Additionally, we work with all our Group companies through our thematic task force on sustainable business models to reinforce this understanding in key teams such as R&D, product development, and sales. The second dimension is that we have made this a part of our growth strategy. We have defined our growth platforms in areas such as advanced materials technologies, new electricity sources, sustainable building materials, electrification, distributed renewable generation, and new energy vehicles. Our strategy teams are looking at minimizing the impact of new investments on nature and society plus emphasizing how these investments can accelerate change in the ecosystem.”