CSR policy in IT: Positive contributions made by the IT Department to the company’s CSR policy

7 février 2023 | ACTUALITÉS, Cigref in english, Communiqués

Cigref has published a report on the results of its working group on « CSR policy in IT », led by Annie STEINMETZ, Head of Environmental Performance, AG2R LA MONDIALE and Bernard DUVERNEUIL, CIO of ELIOR Group.

In line with Cigref’s work on ethics and digital responsibility, the “CSR policy within IT” working group has been studying the positive contributions made by the IT department to the company’s CSR policy by examining the positioning and actions of the IT department with regard to social and environmental issues, in its internal practices, for the benefit of other departments, and for its end customers.

What is a CSR (corporate social responsibility) policy in the IT sector? What actions can be taken in support of sustainable development[1] at the IT department level? Given that in a company, the CSR policy is most often implemented by the department of the same name, what should the IT department’s own role be? That is indeed the heart of the matter! Digital transformation is a key issue at all levels in the company. Any CSR initiative should therefore involve the IT department, even if this is not shared, or is not obvious to everyone.

[1] “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”

Quote from Gro Harlem Brundtland, Prime Minister of Norway (1987)

Annie STEINMETZ – Environmental Performance Manager, leader of the CSR Policy working group within IT

The aim of this report is to define the CSR decision criteria to be built into the commitments and decisions of the IT departments and into their support for the business units, based on indicators relating to the various CSR themes (environment, accessibility, gender, etc.).

To define a CSR policy within IT, it is necessary to:

  • Clarify the position of the IT Department with regard to CSR and numérique responsable (“responsible digital technology”) issues;
  • Establish a “responsible digital technology” governance system in partnership with different business units and supported by top management;
  • Make the IT Department’s commitment a concrete one by opening up to the “responsible digital technology” ecosystem, signing a charter, implementing a labelling process or complying with recognised norms and standards;
  • Define the priority CSR criteria for the IT department and develop an action plan: environmental footprint, accessibility, gender diversity and ethics are the most common themes in a digital CSR approach.

Through its expertise and strategic positioning, the IT department can thus actively participate in its organisation’s CSR policy.

A good practice guide is provided at the end of this deliverable. It gathers together the key areas specified by the working group, in terms of governance, environmental, social and ethical impact of IT department activities.

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