Our CSR strategy 2025

In 2016, DNS Belgium started thinking about a sustainability strategy. We had of course already made efforts to operate in a socially responsible manner and to reduce our ecological footprint, but those efforts were not backed up by a sustainability strategy and were not linked to concrete objectives.

This changed in 2016. We developed a sustainability strategy in which we defined various objectives, determined KPIs and developed actions to achieve them. We based this on the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations and the ISO26000 sustainability guidelines. A thorough analysis determined the priority topics, objectives and action plans. We paid attention to the interests of the members of our organization and to consumer and social interests. In close cooperation with our stakeholders, we integrated ethical and environmental issues into our activities and our core strategy.

To arrive at our strategy, we took the following steps together:

  1. Analysis of the social context
  2. Benchmarking
  3. Identification of main stakeholders
  4. Analysis of sustainability challenges
  5. Stakeholder consultation
  6. Development of the final strategy

We thereby define the following stakeholder groups

  • The employees of DNS Belgium.
  • The members of the Policy Council because they represent the members of our organisation.
  • The members of the registrar forum as representatives of the registrars .
  • The members of the strategic committee for .be. They represent the stakeholders from the government and other official bodies.

In analysing the sustainability challenges, we looked at what sustainability means in practice for DNS Belgium. We analysed our core activities using the ISO 2600 standard to define the important sustainability themes. We tested these during a number of in-depth interviews with members of the management team. The upshot was nineteen sustainability themes that touched on all the core activities of our organisation:

  • Inspiring Workplace
    • Business ethics
    • Talent development
    • Diversity & equal opportunities
    • Attractive working environment
    • Employee engagement
    • Transparent communication
  • Leader in Security
    • Policy compliance
    • Technology and process innovation
    • Operational reliability
    • Privacy and information security
  • Digital Awareness
    • Cost efficiency
    • Community involvement
  • Sustainable Chain
    • Sustainable mobility
    • Waste management & recycling
    • Responsible procurement
    • CO2 footprint
    • Partnerships
    • Stakeholder engagement
    • Customer satisfaction

We then presented these 19 themes to our stakeholders. Based on the responses, we drew up a materiality matrix. This helped us determine the themes that are necessary to our sustainability strategy. The 19 themes were grouped into four pillars with 3 topics. The themes of business ethics, talent development, Diversity & equal opportunities, Attractive working environment, Employee engagement and transparent communication were merged into the Inspiring workplace pillar.

The themes of Policy compliance, Innovation of technology and processes, Operational reliability, Privacy and information security were merged into the Leader in security pillar.

The themes of cost efficiency and community engagement were merged into digital awareness.

The Sustainable Chain Management pillar was formed by the themes sustainable mobility, waste management & recycling, responsible procurement, carbon footprint, Partnerships, Stakeholder management and customer satisfaction. Since then, we have raised the bar a little higher every year and continue to take new initiatives to do business even more sustainably.

The sustainability strategy was approved by the board of directors. They also set the ambition level at five out of five. The general manager and the CSR manager were charged with implementing the strategy. To ensure the progress of the sustainability initiatives, a budget and annual plan are prepared annually and submitted to the board for approval. On a monthly basis, they receive detailed reports through which they monitor and evaluate progress. In this way, the board of directors remains actively involved in sustainable supply chain management within DNS Belgium.

After five years, we thought it was time to review and update our CSR policy. In 2021, we revised our sustainability strategy thoroughly and set new targets to be achieved by 2025. Our renewed sustainability strategy sets out our CSR policy for the next four years.

Vision and aim of the CSR strategy

In a digitalised society where everyone is aware of the possibilities and has access to the benefits of domain names, we want to be a centre of excellence for domain name related matters in a sustainable way.

We are aware of the impact that our business activities have on society and the environment. We identify the negative effects of our operations and seek to prevent, reduce or offset them. We enhance the positive effects of our business operations as much as possible. We do not do this alone. We enter into partnerships with external stakeholders to that end.

We pay attention to human rights, consumer interests, social, ethical and environmental issues in everything we do. And we try to create shared value for our stakeholders, the internet community and society as a whole.

Our CSR policy is based on four pillars:

  1. Inspiring workplace
  2. Leader in security
  3. Digital awareness
  4. Sustainable supply chain management

Inspiring workplace

DNS Belgium is a company that deals with its staff in a sustainable manner. Creating shared value for all stakeholders and society enables our employees to find meaning and recognition in their work.

DNS Belgium conducts a progressive, sustainable and values-driven staff policy so that our staff are proud of the company for which they work.

From this vision, we have defined three impact areas with objectives that we want to achieve by 2025.

1. Learning and development

In our rapidly changing society, only organisations that invest in learning for employees can grow sustainably. That is why we continue to invest in our people. Our goal is to provide 12 training days per employee per year.

To achieve this goa, we will emphasise the importance of certain development paths and lower the threshold for them. We will promote a learning culture through knowledge sharing. Employees who have attended a certain training course will share the knowledge they have gained with their teammates afterwards.

2. Well-being at work

DNS Belgium puts the mental and physical well-being of its employees first. We therefore gauge the well-being and commitment of our staff regularly and take various actions to promote their general and personal well-being.

We have a targeted communication policy to remove any barriers to seeking help internally or externally. To this end, we have 1 prevention advisor and 2 persons of trust on our staff at all times. HR communicates at least monthly about the well-being resources.

Our employees can avail themselves of the services of Pulso, a centre of expertise for psychosocial well-being at work. They do not have to give us a reason for doing so and there is no feedback from Pulso to DNS Belgium.

Moreover, we organise a wellbeing campaign that focuses on prevention, awareness raising, connecting and involvement at least six times a year. This ranges from sporting events to keynotes.

3. Diversity

By November 2022, we will draw up a diversity plan that we will implement as of 1 January 2023. We are doing this because we value diversity in our organisation. We are not talking only about differences in gender and culture, but also about age and knowledge, for instance.

Leader in security

DNS Belgium aims to provide a high-quality, secure internet experience for everyone. We carry out research and development to improve our efforts continuously on that front and thus reduce abuse in our domain name zones.

1. Security of our domain name zones

By 2025, we aim to verify all new domain names in our domain name zones in the most customer-friendly way possible before they enter the zone. We continue to invest in developing our crawler so we can find and take down fraudulent websites faster.

The human factor is crucial in cybersecurity. We therefore run one awareness campaign a year through our own communication channels.

2. Internal cybersecurity

DNS Belgium invests continuously in its own cyber security through the triennial renewal of its ISO27001 certification. We carry out four internal and two external audits every year.

We also continue to develop the competencies of our staff in the area of cyber security. By 2025, we will have included the basic competencies in all job profiles and all our employees will have attended the relevant training courses.

3. Pioneering role

We take a pioneering role at home and abroad when it comes to cybersecurity. In international cooperation bodies, we take a leading role in workgroups that are relevant to cyber security. We participate in such workgroups at least six times a year.

Digital awareness

For DNS Belgium, digitalisation is one of the drivers of a more sustainable future. We therefore attach great importance to investing in the skills, knowledge, and insights of internet users, so that they can continue to participate in a critical way in a world that is becoming increasingly digital.

DNS Belgium deems it unacceptable that not everyone has access to that digital world or has insufficient knowledge and skills to perform basic actions. We are taking numerous initiatives to combat this. For example, we have signed the digital inclusion charter and are actively working to achieve its objectives.

Through DigitalForyouth.be - which, with our support, will be able to achieve its objectives independently by 2025 - we are also honing the digital skills of young people.

And by making our own services and applications easily accessible, we hope to make the internet and its knowledge accessible to everyone.

Sustainable supply chain management

We take social and green initiatives together with our stakeholders and partners. DNS Belgium subscribes to the importance of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and aims to be certified as an SDG Ambassador by 2025. To this end, we participate annually in the VCDO, the VOKA Charter for Sustainable Entrepreneurship.

We are transparent about our environmental impact and account for our objectives on an annual basis. We calculate our CO2 footprint every year and achieve a 3% linear reduction of our CO2 emissions compared with our emissions in 2016. By offsetting the CO2 actually produced, DNS Belgium has been climate-neutral for years in a row.

We try to involve others in our sustainability strategy as much as possible, for example by actively communicating actively about sustainability and corporate social responsibility. We are also developing a plan, to be finalized by the end of 2022, to involve our registrars in our sustainability strategy. We opt for local and sustainable initiatives and align our procurement policy accordingly. We will develop a global sustainable procurement policy by 2025.

If you feel your rights have been violated or have questions about ethical issues related to our business or partnerships, please contact us at legal@dnsbelgium.be. Our team is ready to answer your questions and offer advice. We respect your privacy and will treat your information confidentially.

SDG icons have been featured at the bottom of articles and some pages on the website since 2019. With these icons we indicate our support for the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations.

Read all about the SDG icons

Want to read more?