Corporate Social Responsibility

   Ecovadis CSR logo         Energy efficiency award logo

Our approach to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) involves sharing ideas with colleagues and customers which result in activities that have a positive impact beyond our daily business activities.

We believe in delivering business results in a responsible way. We also believe in applying our technology and expertise to social and environmental issues. Continuously improving the energy efficiency of our data centres  is one way in which we deliver on our commitment to being a responsible and sustainable company. Encouraging our colleagues to  volunteer and support local communities means  we take responsibility for the impact our business has on the wider community.

Our CSR activity is focussed on 4 key areas: People; Customers and suppliers; Environment and Community

Gold rating from Ecovadis

We set targets and monitor how we do against these targets. CSR experts Ecovadis, who help companies monitor sustainability performance, gave Colt a ‘silver’ rating for our CSR programme. The benchmark methodology looks at 21 criteria for CSR at Colt, within four categories: Environment, Social, Ethics and Supply Chain. Our rating is above the industry average, positioning the business in the “under control” area of the scale.

Environment credentials

In the Environment” , Colt was rated 70/100 by Ecovadis, one of the highest scores delivered by the analysts in 2014. This success was due to Colt’s company policies and the endorsements of external CSR initiatives such as the Carbon Disclosure Project or the EU Code of Conduct for Data Centres.

Our CSR targets table (jpg)



We aim to create a great working environment for our employees. We believe that a diverse, motivated and values- driven workforce achieves more for themselves and those around them.

Safety first

  • OHSAS 18000: 2007 alignment: we aligned our safety management systems to the requirements of OHSAS 18001: 2007 certification and audited against this standard to demonstrate robust procedures are in place.

A great place to work

  • Compensation and flexible working: as well as a commitment to health and safety, all colleagues are eligible for our competitive benefits package and have computer device options through our innovative bring your own device (BYOD) to work scheme. We offer secondments and flexible working hours in specific countries. Other features of the Colt working environment include private healthcare and our Employee Assistance Programme; 
  • Volunteer opportunities: every Colt colleague has two volunteering days a year to do some meaningful charity based work for an organisation they care about.

Our employees have their say

  • Employee survey: We had the highest response rate to date and the feedback was largely positive with 81% of colleagues stating they are proud to work for Colt, 94% of people fully support our values and 93% are willing to work beyond what is normally required to help Colt succeed.
  • Responsibility in our behaviours: Our approach to human rights and the way we do business responsibly is outlined in our Code of Conduct, ensuring our conduct and responsibilities comply with all of the International Labour Organisation’s Fundamental Principles. 100% of our employees re-state their commitment to working in a responsible and ethical way by taking this Code of Conduct e-Learning training every year.

Powered by multi-cultural diversity

  • Working with colleagues from different nationalities every day: As part of Colt’s global presence, we are able to enjoy a diverse workforce represented by 74 different nationalities. Colt’s multi-cultural environment enables us to effectively work within the numerous communities in which we are based. When you work at Colt, you work every day with people from a different culture and we believe that makes us better.
  • Equal opportunities: Colt provides diversity and equal opportunities in employment regardless of age, gender; race, colour, ethnic origin, marital or civil partner status, sexual orientation, religion or beliefs, membership or non-membership of a trade union, disability or any other grounds of unlawful discrimination. Our Equal Opportunities Policy, applicable in all of our regions, forbids unlawful discrimination in all aspects of the employment relationship.


Customers and suppliers

We help our customers reduce their impact on the environment by creating/demanding more environmentally friendly, low emission alternatives.

Sustainable technology services that reduce our customers’ emissions

  • Energy efficient services: with increasing customer focus on energy and carbon emissions, we are well positioned to help customers reduce their impact on the environment. Many of our services support lower emissions for our customers, such as unified communications services enabling business air travel reduction. Our flagship sustainable solution is the Colt ftec data centre which is more efficient than a conventional data centre;
  • Green energy: we buy energy on green tariffs (i.e. from renewable sources of national grids) whenever it makes economic sense (currently, 50% of our entire 20 data centres estate, including 100% in Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Italy);
  • Green Quadrant entrant: in 2011 already, the sustainability of Colt’s services positioned the organisation as a “Specialist”  ranked  6th amongst 18 other industry players for its first time in the “Green Quadrant” benchmark. Colt scored the highest (2.6) in the category “Sustainable hosting solutions”.

Carbon Tag vision

  • Pioneering product footprinting vision: Colt is one of the first European ICT services providers that has delivered a “Carbon Tag” prototype for our services in recentt years. With the right methodology, we will be in a position to implement a Carbon Tag for our services to help understand with accuracy how much carbon emissions your Colt-based IT infrastructure is delivering to your organisation.
  • What analysts say: “Colt has offerings across many of the sustainable telecoms capabilities we looked at, and standout sustainable hosting services. Colt has one of the best understandings of network sustainability, and of the needs of the industry for Carbon Tags of ICT services" (Phil Sayer, 2011 Verdantix Green Quadrant for Telecoms Sustainable solutions).

We listen to our customers

  • Transparent customer satisfaction programme: at Colt, our customers are at the heart of everything we do and this is reflected in the increase in their satisfaction. In 2013 we re-focused our customer satisfaction programme around a Net Promoter Score (which is a measurement of how likely our customers are to recommend us) and a clear target customer experience per channel. Our Net Promoter Score improved from 14% to 22% year on year, and in 2014 we saw an increase to 23%.
  • Continuous improvement: We continue to develop and deliver our ongoing customer satisfaction improvement plan to understand more about how our customers feel about their experience with us and why. We will channel customer feedback into our operations and act on it. The initiatives will aim to deliver further improvement in our Net Promoter Score.

Sustainable supply chain

  • We are fully aware of the importance of ethical sourcing of raw materials and the carbon footprint of our supply chain. We have implemented a sustainable procurement policy and a supplier Code of Conduct.
  • Auditing: Within our supply chain we have recognised that security of supply and the ethical sourcing of raw materials are increasingly important issues for Colt. This resulted in a deep dive audit of five strategic suppliers in 2011 and 2012 has seen this audit roll out to our remaining strategic suppliers. We are now looking at ethical and environmental measures of our suppliers through a suppliers risk assessment programme.


We work hard to ensure our activities are sustainable and help to make Colt a low carbon company. We have saved over 17,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent between 2010 and 2014 through a best-in-class energy efficiency programme.

Environmental impact strategy since 2009

  • Long-lasting transparency in our environmental impact: managing and declaring publicly our global carbon footprint to the Carbon Disclosure Project without any mandatory requirement (2013: 127,004 tonnes of CO2 equivalent, 4% reduction YOY)
  • Key certification: Colt’s Environmental Management System (EMS) that conforms to the international standard ISO 14001. Colt was certified in 2010, re-certified in 2013 for a period of 3 years. ISO 14001 is an internationally accepted standard that sets out a framework of essential elements for putting an EMS in place. The standard is designed to address the delicate balance between maintaining profitability and reducing environmental impact.

Focusing where it matters: our data centre emissions

  • ICT services are an opportunity for climate change: We regularly monitor market trends and CSR best practices to improve our CSR agenda. The European Commission’s Digital Agenda states that ICT services and products represent up to 4% of the EU’s carbon emissions;
  • But more data centres means more emissions: big data trends suggest information volumes will grow exponentially along with their associated data centre needs. In addition, energy prices continue to rise and we know our data centre estate represents the highest proportion (over 60%) of our own carbon emissions from purchased electricity.

Delivering energy efficiency

  • Environmental and cost saving results: our energy efficiency programme resulted in a reduction of reduction of 17,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent, as well as €4.6m in power costs per annum for the period 2010-2014. To achieve those environmental and cost benefits, we are constantly reducing the Power Usage Effectiveness of our data centre and nodes estate, by completing a number of projects, including capacity upgrades as well as chiller and room cooling units replacements.
  • Sustainability awards: these results helped Colt win the Energy Efficiency and Environmental Sustainability Award at the 2013 International Data Centre and Cloud Awards from Broadgroup.

Looking at all environmental impact aspects

  • Air travel reduction: to reduce business air travel under our scope 3 emissions, we invested more than €1.0m in video conferencing equipment at the end of 2010. We increased the use of this technology, supporting a record video conferencing usage of over 100,000 hours in 2013. This helped reduce the number of business flights by 7%, generating savings of over 133 tonnes of CO2 equivalent. In 2014 we achieved a further 10,5% video conferencing usage increase and reduced business flights by 19%, resulting in a further 343 tonnes of CO2 equivalent saving.
  • Paper reduction: reduced paper consumption in our offices by 35% in 2 years; continuing our efforts ever since with e-invoicing usage increase every year (2013 increase: 66%; one customer out of five is now signed up)



From access to education to donations and volunteering, we merge people, skills and ideas to provide genuine help and support to those projects which fall under our theme of “Children and Education”. Every Colt employee is encouraged to take up their two paid volunteering days per year. Posts and pictures from our people during our latest volunteering and fundraising activities are available on

We have one focus

  • One cause: We support the cause “children and education”, focusing on having a measurable, positive impact on the lives of disadvantaged children in cities where we operate.
  • A company commitment: Colt is committed to CSR, having dedicated to date the equivalent €900,000 in employee time to community causes.

We volunteer

  • We volunteer increasingly: Over 25,000 hours volunteered since the start of our CSR programme, enhancing the lives of thousands of children in need; including a record 8,200 hours volunteered in 2014, up 99% on 2013!
  • We give time to our employees: Every Colt employee is entitled to two days a year to devote to volunteering activities, either with our charity partner or for an organisation of their choice.

We raise funds

  • Record funds raised in 2014: Across Colt, we raised over €157,094 for charitable causes in 2014 (2013: €155,020), making it the highest value raised from a combination of annual employee fundraising (over €107,074) and Company donations (€53,020) since the start of the CSR programme.

The Colt Charity Bike Ride

  • The Colt Charity Bike Ride has been running for a few years now, bringing together a large number of colleagues from across the organisation to raise money for a good cause, and this year’s event was bigger and better than ever. It involved 65 riders from across Europe cycling from Amsterdam to Frankfurt, covering 550km in four days. Job titles were cast aside as colleagues worked together to organise the event and cycle the route. They raised €105,334 for our local charity partners who all support the vulnerable young people in our local communities. The bike ride was a great example of teamwork and commitment leading to a fun, rewarding experience and was an excellent  demonstration of the positive spirit that exists within the Company. The initiative led Colt to be recognised as a finalist at the Capacity Magazine Awards in the category “Special Recognition for CSR”.

We have charity partners for 2014-2015

  • Local charities for local social impact: As we aim to have a local impact for disadvantaged children of the urban areas where we live and work, we have appointed preferred charity partners in most of our cities for 2014-2015:


Colt city Charity partner
Amsterdam Leekfkringhuis
Bangalore YouthForSeva
Barcelona Aldeas Infantiles SOS Cataluna
Copenhagen Borns Vilkar
Diegem SASPE
Dublin Aware
Frankfurt Caritas
Geneva OVA
Gurgaon Goonj
Lisbon APOIO
London Coram
Madrid ATZ
Milan SOS Villaggi dei Bambini
Paris Association 18eme Zone
Rome Casa Famiglia del divino amore
Sibiu Steps of Hope
Stockholm Stadmissionen
Turin Fondazione Paideia
Vienna Villa Mia
Zurich Sternschnuppe

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