Trilliant’s Vision for a Sustainable Future, Guided by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

By Prem Ranganath
Trilliant VP, Risk, Audit & Compliance 

Achieving a sustainable future requires significant shifts in many areas ranging from energy systems and energy usage, to protecting natural resources.

We are committed to ensuring our paths to progress and success are designed to deliver a valuable experience to all our stakeholders, including the communities where we operate. We operationalize this commitment through the development, implementation, and disclosure of responsible policies and practices. Sustainability is fully integrated in our mission, strategy, decision making and enterprise risk management.

Our mission is to design and deliver innovative solutions that consistently make a net positive contribution towards a sustainable future. We recognize that goals are not synonymous with our mission. While goals are task-oriented, they are only effective when they are fully aligned to our mission. This approach ensures that we provide direction and motivation to our employees to consistently understand our mission, and how Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) enable us to be successful. (More on this below.)

We use multiple channels to ensure our entire company is rallying behind our goals, in turn enabling us to realize our mission. For example, we believe in sharing stories and experiences at managers’ forums, all-hands meetings, and lunch and learn events so every employee has visibility into our successes and how we are working to resolve challenges. This level of transparency in our communication and storytelling can inspire everyone to be informed, engaged, and contribute towards realizing our mission.

Sustainability = Design and deliver outcomes that create value and differentiated experience for all our stakeholders.

Stakeholder Experience = f (Experience delivered to employees, customers, partners, and community).

On the path to a sustainable future
To realize our mission, we have implemented an approach for identifying and prioritizing core sustainability aspects that impact our business operations, as well as aspects that are impacted by our operations. We apply a risk and impact approach to assess each aspect so we can determine a materiality rating for prioritization. We then implement initiatives to address the impacts so we’re able to consistently realize a positive return on the experiences we deliver.

We determine the material aspects that have an impact on our business operations followed by assessing the impacts we are having on the environment and communities where we operate.

The outcome of this exercise:

  • Helps us prioritize the actions we need to implement for effectively managing risks and initiate timely responses, addressing opportunities that are presented by each material aspect.
  • Flows into our Risk, Audit & Compliance Program, integrating sustainability initiatives across our business operations and specifically into our product design and full-lifecycle delivery value stream.

Global participation, global impact
Another key component of our dedication to our mission is that we’re proud to be a participating member of the UN Global Compact (UNGC). This is a call to companies around the world to align their strategies and operations with 10 universal principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption, and to take action in support of broader UN SDGs. This partnership energizes us every day to make the right investments in resources and people, taking timely actions for SDGs that we are committed to and to build momentum within the company to do our part towards a net-zero future.

At the core of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, are 17 SDGs, which the UN believes to be an urgent call for action by all developed and developing countries as part of a global partnership.

In 2020, we completed an initial materiality assessment. At that time we determined four UN SDGs would have the most impact across all our stakeholder groups and were closely aligned to our mission. These four goals continue to guide our strategy, while we explore additional SDGs to guide our aspiration to improve the experiences that we deliver:

  • SDG-7: AFFORDABLE AND CLEAN ENERGY: We invest in improving the energy efficiency of our facilities and products. We share ideas and solutions with our customers and partners so that we can collaboratively reduce our environmental impact and grow a sustainable future for all.
  • SDG-11: SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND COMMUNITIES: We are committed to reducing material waste and pollution to do our part in growing sustainable communities. We partner with organizations that are focused on building resilient communities through volunteering initiatives. We provide thought leadership and technology solutions to government agencies and energy companies on initiatives that are focused on transforming cities to be more environmentally sustainable.
  • SDG-12: RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION: We are focused on embedding sustainability principles and methods across all our departments. Integrating circular design methods at every stage of our product design and development.
  • SDG-13: CLIMATE ACTION: Our sustainability strategy is focused on setting science-based targets to enable transition to net-zero emissions by 2030 across design, development, and delivery.

Tracking success
While setting goals based on the UN SDGs is a great first step, it is important to consistently track progress, identify gaps or areas to improve, and initiate timely actions. We use the SDG Action Manager to track progress on our SDGs and determine priorities, improvements, and changes that we must address.

We also use information and reports from the SDG Action Manager to complete EcoVadis questionnaires and submit evidence so we can be provided with an independent assessment of our sustainability performance and areas to improve. The EcoVadis scorecard measures our sustainability outcomes and impact across four themed pillars and compares our overall score to a wider industry score. The data from SDG Action Manager, EcoVadis scorecard and other internal sources enable us to complete a comprehensive annual reporting to the UN Global Compact.

Another facet of tracking our sustainability progress and performance is managing risks to sustainable and resilient operations. We use the outcomes from SDG Action Manager and EcoVadis to identify risks to our sustainability goals and manage those risks on our enterprise risk management (ERM) tool.

Looking ahead together
As mentioned in the opening sections of this post, an important driver and measure of our sustainability strategy is the experience that we can deliver for all our stakeholders. Therefore, we place considerable value on the Return on Experience from our sustainability initiatives and its impact on financial and non-financial outcomes (enhanced brand value, culture etc.).

As an ISO 14001 certified company with a Silver EcoVadis rating, we are excited about how the UNGC Principles and UN SDGs have made a marked difference in guiding our sustainability strategy and initiatives. We are optimistic of achieving our company’s vision for net-zero in 2030 and making our contribution towards the UN’s vision for 2050.