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  • Key business operations figures
  • 2020 KPI

Objective 3: Sustainable business operations

Witteveen+Bos also creates value through sustainable business operations. We strive to reduce our environmental impact and promote CO2 reduction throughout the chain. Improvements in business processes and ways of working contribute to sustainable business operations too. In 2020 almost all of our business processes occurred digitally.

ICT and information security

In 2020 many efforts were made to ensure that Witteveen+Bos was maximally capable of working from home, digitally. To this end, platforms including Teams and OneDrive were rolled out at an accelerated pace, allowing optimal collaboration and contact both among colleagues and with customers. Summer saw the go-live of our new global intranet, ‘W+B Connect’ – a communication and knowledge platform with many opportunities for professional and social interaction. This platform helps create greater connectivity within the organisation. An important point of attention for 2020 was the further improvement of ICT security, in line with our certification for ISO27001 (Information Security). We are committed to pursuing this over the coming years as we strive for company-wide ISO27001 certification.

2020 Focal point: Data-driven work

Last year we did everything possible to get Witteveen+Bos employees working in a data-driven way. Our employees’ domain knowledge is central to this, as that is how we give data our added value. In 2020 we focused on three key areas: digital talent, an organisation that affords data-driven work, and projects in which we provide data-driven services. Within the organisation, we traded experiences with methods and techniques used in data-driven work, employing various forms for this purpose. Work has also been done on company-wide data architecture and various work forms, including Tech Meetups.

Company premises

Our PLUS-working office concept is based on the assumption that most of our work is done at the office. It is there that you find colleagues and good facilities and you feel ‘at home’. Corona forced us to work in a very different way, interacting for the most part digitally and almost never attending an office. Last year we experienced both the positive and negative sides of working from home. We plan to investigate how working from home can fit in with our way of working and determine which office concept suits that best. We will adjust our policy in line with the results.

In 2020 improvements were made to our Jakarta office to increase security. The planned move to a larger office in Ghent was postponed due to corona. We reserved a small office space in Panama in connection with the official start at the beginning of 2021.

In June, our odour lab was moved to another location in Deventer. The new premises offer more space, allowing the laboratory to be set up in a smarter, more efficient and logical way, as well as providing the opportunity to grow. In September, our former head office on Van Twickelostraat in Deventer was sold. At the end of 2020, our office in Heerenveen was renovated and modernised.  

CO2 Performance Ladder

We are proud that in 2020 we have once again renewed our CO2-Aware certificate at level 5 on the CO2 Performance Ladder. All measures taken in 2020 to reduce CO2 emissions are described in a separately published ‘footprint’, available at our CO2 Performance Ladder page.

Carbon footprint

In order to provide insight into how much CO2 we produce as a company, we calculate our carbon footprint every year. Just as in 2019, the 2020 footprint was calculated using conversion factors in line with the values on co2emissiefactoren.nl. The footprint per FTE employee relates to Witteveen+Bos employees worldwide. It consists of three elements: premises, (car) mobility and air travel. We are striving for reduction in all three areas.

In 2019 a new CO2-reduction target was set for 2030: by that time, Witteveen+Bos’s CO2 emissions per FTE employee had to be at least 60 % lower than in the base year 2007. We achieved this objective ten years ahead of schedule in 2020 – of course, owing to exceptional circumstances. Reduced energy consumption in offices and far less travel were particularly responsible for a significant decrease in CO2 emissions. The challenge will be to retain as much of these savings as possible when we are again permitted to travel.

In 2020 we achieved a 78 % reduction relative to 2007. Total CO2 emissions fell by 2,424 tonnes while staff size increased by 510 FTE employees.

We want to transition to new forms of sustainable mobility and increase employees’ awareness of their own professional carbon footprint as well as the opportunities they have to reduce it. For this reason, a mobility study was started in 2020.

2020 KPI

  • Our own CO2 reduction is in line with the ambition of 60 % reduction by 2030 relative to base year 2007.
  • Renew the CO2-Aware certificate at level 5 on the CO2 performance ladder and receive certification in line with SKAO's Quality Manual 3.1.


  • In 2020 a 78 % reduction per FTE employee was achieved relative to base year 2007.
  • In 2020 our CO2-Aware certificate was successfully renewed at level 5 on the CO2 performance ladder.