SAS Group and Sustainable Development

  • 2004/06/14
Time period
  • July 2003  –  July 2004
  • SAS Group undertook the following actions to address GC issues.

    The SAS Group joined UN Global Compact in June 2003 displaying its commitment and acceptance of a corporate responsibility. The decision was launched internally in a letter to all heads of business areas and on intranet to all employees. To the public it was launched on the group'' website. The Annual Report on website and in hardcopy provides many details on activities and initiatives in line with the principles of the Global Compact.

    From the CEO it''s expressed that ?"continued globalization must involve sustainable development. Since commercial aviation is a prime enabler for globalization, airlines have a special responsibility. For the SAS Group this also applies to our hotel business in Rezidor SAS, which is a natural complement to our airline operations. That explains why the SAS Group has joined the Global Compact ?and?agree to adopt and promote a set of core values in terms of human rights, working standards and environmental responsibility. These values include prohibiting and encouraging green technology, and actively defending human rights. Naturally, each member of the Global Compact has to fulfill them within the context of its specific industry", Jørgen Lindegaard, President and CEO, Scanorama, June 2004.

    SAS AB is the Nordic region''s largest listed airline and travel group and the fourth-largest aviation group in Europe, in terms of number of passengers and operating revenue. The Group includes Scandinavian Airlines in Denmark, Sweden, Intercontinental and SAS Braathens in Norway. The Group also includes the airlines Spanair, Blue 1, Widerøe and the partly owned airlines airBaltic and Estonian Air. Scandinavian Airlines is a founding member of the world''s largest global airline alliance, Star Alliance TM. The SAS Group also includes Airline Support Business, Airline Related Business and hotel operations with Rezidor SAS Hospitality. The number of employees in the Group is approximately 32.000

    Consideration for customers and employees and general social responsibility is among others stated in the SAS Group''s values. Sustainable development for the SAS Group will be attained through a simultaneous focus on financial growth, environmental improvements and social responsibility.

    The SAS Group also has numerous overarching policies that govern efforts to reduce the Group''s environmental impact, sustain and improve employee skills and foster social development, e.g. policies about sustainability, environment, diversity, purchasing, working environment, safety etc.

    Dialogue with stakeholders

    The SAS Group is engaged in a regular dialogue with customers, competitors and independent organizations, such as World Wildlife Fund, to listen and benefit from the experiences of others as well as provide the Group''s views on key issues.

    After joining the Global Compact in June 2003, the SAS Group also participates in the Global Compact Nordic Network.

    The SAS Group?s longstanding collaboration with aircraft engine manufacturers, airports and governments on the development of cleaner technology is well known. These include the UN?s civil aviation body, ICAO, the airline organizations, IATA and AEA and the Nordic working group for civil aviation?s environmental issues N-ALM. In 2003 N-ALM discussed and drafted a common Nordic line in advance of CAEP 6, which will discuss issues involving nitrogen oxides and civil aviation and emission trading.

    The Group collaborates with insurance and working environment authorities on the rehabilitation of people with long-term illnesses and prevention of alcoholism. The business world?s assessment of the Group?s activities in environmental and social responsibility have been noted in the form of the SAS Group?s approval in August 2003 as an investment by Robur?s Nordic environmental and ethical investment funds. The Group was also ranked high in CoreRatings? Corporate Responsibility ranking and by Ethical Investment Research Service, EIRIS.

    Business relations

    Social responsibility also means acting ethically and responsible toward customers and business partners. In the airline industry, with its tradition of forming alliances, the focus is on antitrust issues. The SAS Group has therefore developed a legal policy with a special section on competition law and adopted a program to ensure compliance, the ?SAS Competition Law Compliance Program.? The legal policy also contains strict prohibitions against giving or accepting bribes or improper perquisites.


    Examples on activities in line with GC

    -The SAS Group supports and participates in the research and development of alternative fuel for aircrafts and in the development of more fuel-efficient engines.

    -SAS Flight Academy and SAS Maintenance Training are sharing expertise with airlines in developing countries.

    -When the SAS Group moves operations from Scandinavia to India or the Far East, it does so for business reasons. At the same time, it fosters social progress and a better working environment by requiring that the new service providers live up to the SAS Group?s quality and social responsibility standards.

    -SAS works together with Swedish Aviation Administration to fit out a completely unique ambulance aircraft with medical flight deck and cabin staff. Discussions on extending the project in collaboration with UNDP, are in progress.

    -SAS Group is one of the main sponsors of Save the Children and more than 80 hotels in the Group participated in 2003 in a money collection campaign with Save the Children.

    -Rezidor SAS supports UNESCO cultural heritage restoration projects, e.g. the Altar of the Qasr El Bint Temple in Jordan, the reception of the Bahla Fort in Oman and the old prison on Robben Island in South Africa.

    SAS Cargo included social and ethical issues into the ongoing development of the ISO 14001-certification process.

    Links to relevant reports:

Principles covered
  • Principle 1 - Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights
  • Principle 2 - Make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses
  • Principle 3 - Businesses should uphold freedom of association & effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining
  • Principle 4 - The elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour
  • Principle 5 - The effective abolition of child labour
  • Principle 6 - Eliminate discrimination in respect of employment and occupation
  • Principle 7 - Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges
  • Principle 8 - Undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility
  • Principle 9 - Encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies
  • Principle 10 - Businesses should work against all forms of corruption, including extortion and bribery
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