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Sustainability

Vopak has been facilitating global trade flows for 400 years. To continue fulfilling that role, it is essential that we keep our company healthy and fit for the future. Our long-term success depends on our ability to innovate and respond to changing demands from both the market and society.

Today, we store energy and chemical products that are crucial to people’s lives, but can endanger their health and the environment if stored or handled inappropriately. As a service provider, we do not determine what type of products are in use. Our role and responsibility is to provide safe, efficient and clean liquid bulk storage and handling services. We abide by existing rules and regulations as a minimum and adopt best practices whenever possible. And we explore ways to facilitate the introduction of more sustainable technologies, processes and products. Our ambition is to be a strong link in our customers’ global value chains and a leader in our industry. We aim to achieve this by maximizing operational safety and minimizing our environmental footprint; by training our people, developing talent and sharing best practices and by encouraging and maintaining an open dialogue with our stakeholders, as a responsible member of the communities in which we operate.

This is how we are working towards becoming the partner of choice for all our stakeholders, from customers, business partners and shareholders, to employees, local communities and society at large. This is how we will continue to fulfill our role in society, enabling trade flows in a sustainable manner for future generations.

How we arrived at our vision on sustainability

To us, first and foremost, sustainability means that our choices today must contribute to our long-term relevance in society. It boils down to a simple question: if we continue to do the things that we do today, will we still be a leader tomorrow? Our choices today must contribute to our long-term relevance in society. So sustainability means keeping our company relevant, healthy and fit for the future. 

Secondly, as a service provider, we store and handle products that the market demands. These products are critical to people's daily lives but must be stored and handled appropriately in order to ensure there is no harm to people's health and the environment. Our role and responsibility is to provide efficient, safe and clean storage and services. Vopak aims to be a strong link in each global product chain by performing amongst the best of the chain, within the limits set by our stakeholders in respect of price, supply chain specifics and customer demands. We want to be the partner of choice for all stakeholders in each product chain in which we operate.

Thirdly, we realize that sustainability is a dynamic concept. Sustainability is not defined in isolation. It is borne out of a continuous dialog with both external and internal stakeholders. A best practice today, may not be tomorrow. Our license to operate and license to grow depend on our ability to respond to changing demands from the market and society. This includes exploring how we can facilitate the introduction of new technologies, new operational processes and more sustainable products, such as LNG as a transportation fuel, which can make a positive contribution to the quality of life, safety, health and the environment. 

What are our current key areas?

Together with our stakeholders, we have identified the following sustainability topics as being material* to our business:

* as defined in the materiality matrix within the GRI-4 framework.

Which stakeholders are involved in setting sustainability priorities?

The following stakeholders participated in the surveys on sustainability: customers, employees, port authorities, governments, NGOs, suppliers, neighbors and investors. 

What is Vopak doing on safety and health?

Safety is our first priority. This concerns both personal and process safety. It is our responsibility to deliver services in a safe manner, to provide a safe and healthy workplace for Vopak employees and for our contractors and to minimize any negative impact on our neighbours. Continuously improving working conditions and monitoring the effectiveness of safety related controls are fundamental to our Safety, Health and Environmental policy. 

What is Vopak doing on environmental care?

Our objectives on environmental care are to be energy and water efficient and to reduce emissions and waste. In pursuing these objectives, we consistently comply with guidelines as set out in operating licenses, legislation and our own global standards. The care for our environment is an integrated part of our ‘License to Operate’, which means that Vopak aims to minimize its impact on its surroundings and areas of biodiversity. This includes energy consumption, emissions, treatment of contaminated water, use of the surface area, and care for areas of high biodiversity.

What is Vopak doing to be a responsible partner?

Vopak wants to be a responsible partner for all its stakeholders, from customers, business partners and shareholders, to employees, local communities and society at large. Our ambition is to be a strong link in our customers’ global value chains and a leader in our industry. We recognize our responsibility for the social, environmental and economic consequences of our activities. Vopak works with customers and suppliers to maintain long-term partnerships and ensure continuous improvement in our approach to sustainability. The Vopak supplier Code defines the minimum standards that we require from our suppliers, contractors and their sub-tier suppliers and contractors, to adhere to and to continuously improve when doing business with Vopak. We aim to be the supplier of choice based on our service quality and sustainability approach. Likewise, we aim to choose suppliers whose commitment to sustainability matches our own. 

What is Vopak's policy on Human rights?

Vopak respects human rights as described in the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, and accepts the responsibility to ensure that all our entities respect human rights when conducting business. Vopak screens all major investment proposals for human rights issues. Our screening is based on the country in which the project is being carried out and the characteristics of the investment proposal. The screening includes an assessment of the areas where the risks of human rights issues are high. For these projects, specific agreements are to be made between all the stakeholders in the project which detail the manner in which parties will uphold human rights.All partners, contractors and suppliers are required to adhere explicitly to the Vopak Code of Conduct, which also covers human rights.

What is Vopak's policy on Labor rights?

In line with the aforementioned UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, we base our labor rights commitments on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, on the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and on the fundamental rights set out in the International Labor Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. We seek to uphold these rights in our operations and in our relationships with our suppliers, our business partners, works councils and unions within the boundaries of local laws and regulations.

What is Vopak doing to attract and retain talent? 

Our ambitions and the high-quality service we aim for start with our people. Vopak aims to attract and retain the best people and create an agile and solution-driven culture. Vopak invests in long-term relationships with its employees, by creating a work environment that nurtures their talents and skills. We devote attention to job satisfaction, personal development, competitive terms of employment and a good work-life balance. We foster the Vopak spirit, loyalty and enthusiasm in our employees of both genders and of many different nationalities by being inclusive, setting clear targets and managing performance.  Fair treatment of employees: Vopak endorses the principles of the United Nations’ International Labor Organization and the OECD guidelines. We are committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for our employees. This commitment is deeply rooted in our daily activities, policies and governance structures

Does Vopak participate in community programs?

Vopak aims to support activities that improve the lives of people in the communities in which we operate. These activities may include education, health care, community building, infrastructure or nature development. At every terminal, our employees are encouraged to actively participate in community programs and to propose social projects to their site management. Nearly every terminal participates in one or more local community programs. Vopak gives its employees the opportunity to play an active role in society, for example through community or educational programs, unless participation in these activities creates a conflict of interest.Vopak is committed to being a good neighbor and engages with communities living close to our operations. We behave as a responsible citizen and work to have a positive impact on the communities where we operate. 

Does Vopak make choices not to store certain products?

As a service provider, we store and handle energy and chemical products that the market demands. Products that are critical to people’s daily lives, yet can endanger their health or the environment if handled and stored inappropriately. Our role and responsibility is to provide efficient, safe and clean storage and services. We abide by existing rules and regulations as a minimum and adopt best practices whenever possible. And we explore ways to facilitate the introduction of more sustainable technologies, processes and products.

Does Vopak's sustainability approach also apply to joint ventures?

Our ambition level on sustainability is the same within joint venture companies as in 100% Vopak companies. Where our standards are not met, we will use our influence within the joint venture and work with our partners to achieve Vopak standards.

How does Vopak report on sustainability?

Vopak started publishing a sustainability report in 2009. Starting with the Annual Report 2014, the sustainability report is included in the Annual Report. Vopak follows the G4 Sustainability reporting guidelines.

Annual Report

Safety fundamentals

Code of Conduct

Supplier Code

GRI G4 reporting

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