Capital: What are you doing in terms of sustainability at Koç Holding?
- Our founder, the late Vehbi Koç, had a saying which has become synonymous with us, namely “if it is for the country then count me in”. Ever since our foundation, Koç Holding has been aware that there is a link between corporate sustainability and social sustainability. It is this aspiration which drives the holding’s culture and ensures integration between our vision, strategies, values and operations in terms of sustainability, We reinforced our voluntary commitment to sustainability by signing the UN Global Compact agreement in 2006. The Koç Group’s performance on the ten principles, which are grouped together under the four main headings of labour, human rights, the environment and anti-corruption are monitored, reports prepared and there is a focus on continuous development. If we look at it in this regard, sustainability is implemented under two main roofs at the Koç Group. The first involves our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects and investments in social development. The second is the integration of sustainability issues into our operations and ways of doing business. I am happy to say that we see that all of these initiatives make as positive a contribution to the Koç brand and reputation as they do to the development of the country. Research on corporate prestige in Turkey shows that there is a significant difference between Koç Holding and other leading companies.
Capital: What kind of projects are you implementing in this regard?
- For fully 43 years, the Vehbi Koç Foundation has been undertaking important work in the fields of education, culture and health. The voluntary assistance provided by 20 Koç Group companies and over 550 of our employees has made our “Vocational High Schools and the Issues of the Country” a model for forming a bridge between education and the business world. In our “For My Country” project we have planted over one billion saplings. Then, together with the Turkish Red Crescent, we have touched the lives of thousands of people through facilitating blood donations of over 83,000 units.
Capital: How would you describe the relationship between sustainability and environmental management?
- Environmental management is another important area in relation to sustainability. Just a small mistake in companies’ production processes can result in damage on a major scale both to the economy and to the health of society. Moreover, the effects of this damage can last for a long time. For this reason, we have developed an environmental policy, an environmental vision and a climate change strategy for all of the group’s companies. In addition, we conduct environmental inspections at set intervals. Innovation is very important in this regard. The design and production of environmentally friendly products is critically important both to a company’s sustainable success and to the solution of many problems related to the environment. Its investments have also made the Koç Group the leader in this field.