Sustainable success as an organisation is contingent on behaving responsibly. What we do is only good for us if it is also good for our stakeholders, the economy and society at large. At the Adecco Group, we are thus committed to maintaining the highest standards of responsible business conduct and are working toward a culture that consistently integrates environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations across our full value chain.
Our philosophy of doing what is right is grounded in our purpose as a company, our code of conduct, our core values, and our commitment to the ten important principles of the UN Global Compact.
Leading with integrity and compliance
To be trusted by our stakeholders, we seek to conduct ourselves ethically in everything that we do, in line with both the spirit and letter of applicable laws and accepted norms for corporate behaviour. The ambition of our Integrity and Compliance Programme is to help create such a value-based culture: a culture that enables and encourages decision-making and business practice that considers not just what is legal, but what is conduct with integrity, and which demonstrates that our profitability and growth are achieved both in a sustainable way and in accordance with our values.
Find out more here.
Respecting human and labour rights
Every day, we provide work for hundreds of thousands of individuals and directly and indirectly impact the lives of many more. Ensuring respect for human and particularly labour rights within our sphere of influence, across our value chain and wherever we do business therefore is - and must be – a fundamental part of how we operate. It is a key contribution we can make to help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In our work, we embrace some of the most authoritative international norms in this field, such as the International Bill of Human Rights and the core labour conventions of the International Labour Organisation. We are also committed to international general and sector-specific standards, such as the UN Global Compact and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and the World Employment Confederation Code of Conduct and ILO Convention 181 on Private Employment Agencies. Several global and local policies, guidelines and programmes translate these standards into our daily business.
As a talent advisory and solutions company, we particularly focus on the right to work, just and favourable conditions of work and associated rights, equality and non-discrimination, physical and mental health, and the right to privacy. We have a zero-tolerance approach to prohibited child labour, forced and bonded labour, modern slavery and human trafficking, across all our operations, business dealings and relationships. A key element of our commitment as a recruiter is also adherence to the principle to never charge recruitment fees and costs to job seekers. We continuously work to strengthen our human rights due diligence practices across our operations to ensure we are not part of or party to activities, wherever they take place, that may expose us and/or our stakeholders to unnecessary risks and impacts and that limit our ability to positively impact human rights.
We are passionate advocates for labour market cooperation between all stakeholders and a strong voice calling for holistic social protection for all workers. And we respect the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining. Social dialogue is not only a labour right in and of itself, but also an effective way to safeguard human and labour rights per se. This is why we remain fully committed to engage in social dialogue: we engage in sectoral social dialogue for agency workers in numerous countries and are a partner in the European Sectoral Social Dialogue for Agency Work. One of the ways we engage with our colleagues is through the Adecco Group European Works Council (AEWC), which enables meaningful social dialogue between the Adecco Group management and European employees through elected employee representatives.
We are committed to continuously strengthening our practises and engaging with stakeholders on relevant topics to ensure continued progress.
Workforce wellbeing (including health and safety)
Our success begins and ends with our people. We are fully committed to their health, safety and wellbeing, and will not compromise our standards. As a people-centric organisation, ‘People First’ was, and continues to be, the number one priority at the Adecco Group. This has never been more important than during uncertain and trying times like these. Our aim is to prevent accidents, injuries and illnesses, and to promote wellbeing at work for everyone in our business.
Our industry is unique, as we do not directly control the work environments we place our associates in. This is acknowledged by applicable legislation, often placing primary responsibility for a healthy and safe working environment at the client company. For us, however, it is of utmost importance to ensure they are properly trained and equipped for the respective role ahead. Where relevant, we also conduct workplace health and safety due diligence on client premises, may provide for periodic health checks, and work with our partners to check they adhere to excellent safety standards and adequately supervise associates.
We endeavour to provide all our colleagues with workplaces and a work environment that enable them to be healthy and resilient, that help them thrive – as employees and individuals – and reach their full potential.
We remain committed to taking every necessary step and precaution to ensure that our people are healthy, safe and in work. Our purpose has always been to make the future work for everyone, and we want to do this safely.
Learn more about how companies can address the holistic wellbeing of their employees here.
Driving responsible digital transformation
Digitisation for us is an opportunity to grow employment, enhance matching and reduce frictions that prevent people from entering the labour force. We are committed to driving this in an ethical manner to deliver the most value for companies and individuals.
For the Adecco Group, process automation and the integration of artificial intelligence into our service offering, alongside the human touch, offers enormous potential to improve efficiency and create more flexible, tailored solutions. Our consultants are equipped with the most advanced tools, which are reducing administrative tasks, improving candidate acquisition, and increasing speed and quality of service. Likewise, digitalisation also significantly impacts our customers. Through a combination of internal ventures, partnerships and targeted M&A, we can drive productivity and create innovative new tools that allow us to upgrade existing solutions, expand our addressable market and create more value for both companies and individuals. At the same time, digital tools can enable more inclusion by helping people join the workforce who previously had limited or no access.
We are conscious of the opportunities as well as questions presented by the increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI) in recruitment. While AI technologies hold great promise, it also needs to be ensured that e.g. algorithms do not replicate biases. If done right, AI could even help remove bias and ensure there is a more ethical process than without. That is why we are committed to considering material ethical aspects, from design to deployment, and with a strong emphasis on fairness. Find out more here.
The ubiquitous digitalisation of every aspect of life also poses challenges to data privacy. As we interact with thousands of employees, candidates, associates and clients across the world, every day, the security and privacy of data is a top priority for us. We continually invest in cybersecurity-related processes and systems ad have launched a Cyber Security Awareness Programme to protect our assets and the assets of our clients, associates, candidates and colleagues from cyber risks. Our global data protection programme helps embed privacy in our day-to-day business operations, fully aligned with the changing global legal privacy environment, including the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Our ultimate goal is to honour the trust of our customers and other individuals and organisations we serve.
Responsible supply chain management
One aspect of our approach to sustainability is supply chain responsibility. This means we not only take responsibility for the social and environmental impact of our own activities, but also take a critical look at the impact of our business partners' activities. We do so to ensure that the Adecco Group is not part of or party to activities, wherever they take place, that do not adhere to certain standards of environmental, social and ethical conduct. Our suppliers can help us achieve this aim. "Our suppliers" include all companies or persons delivering products or services to the Adecco Group worldwide. We acknowledge that every supplier operates independently, but we expect that all our suppliers agree and adhere to the Adecco Group's ethical standards for doing business.
We are continually working to improve policies, processes, and guidelines for managing ESG-related issues in the supply chain, in line with evolving regulation, legislation, best practices and stakeholder expectations.
Find our current Supplier Code of Conduct here.
Helping advance meaningful public policy
We impact the lives of millions of people every year. On the other hand, as a global company, we are impacted by a range of local, national and global rules and regulations. As the world’s leading talent solutions and advisory company and the largest private employer in several of our key markets such as France and Italy, we are thus an important stakeholder and partner of policy and policymakers, governments, labour ministries, international institutions and governmental organisations, such as employment offices.
We are committed to contributing our labour market expertise and detailed insights to policy discussions and public opinion-forming on the world of work and the effective implementation of key regulations and frameworks. Our advocacy is focused on creating open, dynamic and efficient labour markets that lead to optimal outcomes for all stakeholders. Understanding the challenges and needs of governments and social partners means to be in constant dialogue. How we do that? Find our principles for Public Affairs engagement here.
The Adecco Group takes a leading role in our industry, as well as in the wider business community. We do this via our close involvement in the World Employment Confederation (WEC) and its member federations on a national level. We are a partner of the International Organisation of Employers (IOE) and a member of BusinessEurope, and many of their national member federations. We contribute to several dedicated business communities such as Business at OECD, and the G20/B20 process. These relationships support our outreach to regional and national policymakers, and regional and global bodies, including institutions of the European Union, the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the G20 and the G7.
Learn more about our Public Affairs activities and positions here.
At the Adecco Group, we are committed to playing our part in safeguarding the planet for future generations. We understand environmental stewardship to be an integral part of our purpose to make the future work for everyone. We focus our efforts on two pillars:
Supporting the transition to a low-carbon economy through our core business: Climate change is indisputably among the defining challenges of our time. A transition towards greener, more circular ways of living, working and doing business is therefore a vital – and ever more urgent - necessity if we are to still mitigate the worst outcomes for people and the planet. At the Adecco Group, we are convinced that robust labour markets and the skills these offer will be decisive components enabling this transformation. Whether it is about phasing out fossil fuels, delivering climate-friendly business practises, accelerating digitisation and automation, or new work models – we need skilful individuals to design innovative and responsible solutions and corresponding, for-ward-looking skilling approaches across the larger workforce. We need to ensure that our economies and societies have the skills needed to deliver the Green Transition, while safeguarding that those whose livelihoods currently depend on non-sustainable business practises and whose jobs are in sectors under-going fundamental changes are not left behind. As the world’s leading talent advisory and solutions company, we believe we can play a key role in facilitating this.
Learn more about how skills can boost the transition to a more sustainable economy and some of our activities in this area.
Managing our own environmental footprint – Target Zero: We are conscious of the environmental impact our operations can have and the difference we are able to make by acting responsibly. In 2019 we committed to becoming carbon neutral as an organisation by 2030, and in 2020 substantiated this by announcing a new carbon emissions reduction target of 50% by 2030 (with 2018 as base year), both in terms of absolute emissions and intensity (per revenue and FTE, for Scopes 1 and 2). This ambitious reduction target was set in line with the methodology of the Science-Based Targets Initiative, consistent with the level of decarbonisation required to keep global temperature increase to 1.5° C com-pared with pre-industrial levels.
Our efforts are guided by our Environmental Guideline. We focus our efforts particularly on those areas where we see the biggest reduction potential: providing sustainable offices and taking a responsible approach to business travel. We are continuously seeking to increase data transparency, quality and coverage of our environmental performance reporting, including to as yet unexplored areas such as employee and associate commuting, as well as up- and downstream emissions.
Our environmental performance
The Adecco Group reports in line with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. Where data is not available, we model and extrapolate this to account for 100% of our operations.
For a comprehensive overview of our approach to climate change risk and opportunity management, governance, and detailed environmental data, read our latest submission to the CDP– the leading global climate disclosure system driven by investors and purchasers.
As a global organisation, we strive to have a positive impact on society, well beyond the boundary of our day-to-day work - across our corporate activities, the work of our global and national foundations, flagship programmes and local initiatives, we seek to ensure that social considerations and value creation are consistently reflected in our decision-making, operations, partnerships and culture. Working together with stakeholders worldwide committed to adding social value, we seek to find new innovate ways of tackling challenges affecting the world of work, seeking to improve labour market integration and employability for groups at risk of exclusion and help to ensure the resilience of workers.
The Innovation Foundation (empowered by the Adecco Group)
The Innovation Foundation is a Social Innovation Lab which supports sustainable livelihoods by creating practical solutions to increase the employability and access to labour markets for underserved populations. It identifies people who are falling out of the workforce and their unmet needs (Scan). It then develop solutions to meet those needs, working with experts and end-users (Build). The prototypes are then taken out into the world with the right partners on the ground (Scale). Find out more.
CEO for One Month
Through this programme, we offer young people the unique opportunity to increase their employability and work-readiness through highly effective work-based learning opportunities. At national level, the programme selects one successful candidate from the applicant pool to shadow the Adecco Group’s country-level CEO for one full month, gaining a unique insight into the business and the challenges faced by top executives. Each year, ten outstanding national participants are then selected for a global bootcamp and one is chosen to work as Global CEO for One Month alongside the Adecco Group CEO, Alain Dehaze, for one month. The programme is designed to increase the employability of all who apply, not only those who make it to the final rounds. All applicants benefit from an array of advice and information through our Career Centre. Find out more.
Win4Youth is the Adecco Group’s flagship health and wellbeing engagement programme and looks back at over a decade of promoting sports to drive positive impact on the lives of young people around the world. The programme is simple: participants do any kind of sports, log their kilometres or time spent doing this activity, and this translates into a donation to our global NGO partner, Plan International. Find out more.