Sustainability Success Series: An Interview with IWB’s Public Relations and Sustainability Project Manager

Learn how IWB is driving sustainability success by leveraging sustainability software

To help you wherever you are in your sustainability journey, we’re sitting down with a number of sustainability leaders to find out how they view sustainability, what they see on the horizon, and to learn some of their secrets to sustainability success.

This week we’re talking to Jasmin Gianferrari, Public Relations and Sustainability Project Manager at IWB. Read on to learn more about her role and how IWB is leveraging sustainability software to drive success.

Jasmin Gianferrari, IWB

How did you become involved in sustainability?

I work at IWB in the communication and marketing department. We are the Basler company for energy, drinking-water and telecommunications. The topic of sustainability is coordinated and managed centrally by the communication and marketing department. 

What are your core responsibilities at IWB?

Since we are a medium-sized company with approximately 820 employees, there are two people in charge of sustainability. We each invest approximately 50 percent of our working hours in sustainability management. Consequently, I occupy myself with many different sustainability fields which IWB has prioritized in cooperation with its stakeholders in a relevance analysis. Our prioritized fields of action are the reduction of CO2 emissions, 100% renewable power from our own production, innovation and product development, energy efficiency, nature conservation and species protection, and a certification of our systems. 

What do you find particularly interesting about your role and what drives you?

IWB is a multipurpose utility company, which means that we as a municipal utility cover different fields such as power, district heat, bio and natural gas, drinking water, telecommunications and services. In many fields we are in charge of the whole supply chain – from the production via distribution (the nets) to the calculations. This diversity makes sustainability in the company so interesting. We as an energy supplying company can make a great contribution to sustainable development. Sustainability for me means looking ahead. Making small contributions with my work for future generations motivates me. 

Why do you think the work of CSR and sustainability managers is so important?

This is very well demonstrated by the example of IWB. For many years this company has operated sustainably but single engagements were not coordinated and binding sustainability aims were lacking. With the development of a central sustainability management system, which we started approximately 1.5 years ago, we were able to coordinate engagements, formulate objectives and take up new topics. 

Related: An Interview with WMF Group’s Head of Corporate Social Responsibility

What hurdles and challenges do you face in your day-to-day work?

First I’d like to recognize the positive: we have encountered open ears for our concerns by our management and the employees. The challenge is about pushing different topics at the same time, maintaining an overview and above all collecting and reporting data and developments.

What changes would you like to see happen in the future?

Since sustainability management is a relatively new task for us, it is in our hands to improve our processes and the data collection. With Cority, we have a partner who supports us doing this.

How does Cority’s sustainability solution support your work specifically?

Before implementing Cority’s Sustainability solution we were collecting data with Excel. We had to send these as single table sheets to the responsible departments and reclaim them. With Cority, we now have a clear overview and better control options because data is verified by at least two people and we can see who is at which release step concerning the data collection. In addition, Cority’s sustainability solution enables us to create different reports and to monitor the state of our goal attainment. 

What benefits does sustainability software offer in the context of working in a team? 

Several people can access to the platform at the same time and data is stored centrally at one place. Due to the chat function questions can be directly answered and seen by all team members. This facilitates the communication tremendously. 

To what extent can sustainability software help to build greater acceptance for your field of work and how has it helped your organization? 

The implementation of the Cority platform signaled our commitment to professional sustainability management and improving our processes to our employees. The reporting of data is done centrally in order to be able to track progress towards our goals more easily.

Overcome your challenges and achieve sustainability success

If you’re struggling to identify the right action plans, communicate transparently to stakeholders, and report accurate data in a number of formats – you’re not alone. Join sustainability experts from Cority and Arcadis for a live webinar where they’ll walk through some of the most pressing sustainability challenges impacting organizations today and how to solve them – from determining materiality to creating meaningful reports aligned with standards like GRI and CDP.

Learn strategies for solving your most pressing sustainability challenges