Success Story: bremenports

All processes supported, all processes always in view

„With ID-Report, we can carry out the entire process of sustainability reporting: from data collection and aggregation to the preparation and publication of our sustainability report, which has been published as an interactive website. A process support from start to finish that saves us a lot of time."

Alexandra Groth-von Wahl and Meike Döscher-Mehrtens
Sustainability controlling – bremenports GmbH & Co. KG

About the company

bremenport has been operating the infrastructure of Bremen's ports since January 2002 on behalf of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen. With 390 employees bremenports is represented in Bremen and Bremerhaven. The port management company is responsible for port development, port planning, port construction, port maintenance and location marketing of the port and logistics location. In addition, project and consulting services are provided worldwide in private third-party business.

locations in DE

CSR managers

ca. 29,7 Mio. EUR
annual sales 2018

more than 30
users of ID-Report

50 to 100 questions are asked per data collection

The challenge

With the greenports strategy published in 2009, the concept of sustainability is anchored in the corporate strategy of bremenports. The management company does its part to bring economic interests together with social and ecological demands. Always firmly convinced that sustainable management is an essential prerequisite for maintaining Bremen's ports efficiency and competitively in the coming decades.

ince 2012, bremenports has been reporting on the status of its sustainability performance in annual sustainability reports, taking into account the GRI standards, and has the reports independently audited. First, the reporting process was carried out manually with email queries and Excel tables. This turned out to be not only time-consuming and laborious in administration but also error-prone in transmission.

We were looking for a CSR software that would support us throughout the entire process up to the publication of our sustainability report. At the same time, it was time to present the report as a website in addition to a PDF and print version.  With almost no programming skills, we were looking for a software that would also allow us to set up and maintain an interactive microsite.

The user-friendliness of the software was very important to us because we wanted to put as little strain on our colleagues as possible when querying data. Personalized access should be designed in such a way that data entry is intuitive and straightforward - without having to acquire detailed IT knowledge. In addition, it should be possible to view the previous year's data in order to make it easier for data suppliers to enter the data and at the same time to carry out an automated plausibility check.

A big gain for us is the report editor, which enables us to compile a report from the data entered or the GRI indicators collected using drag & drop, and to independently enter pages, tables, diagrams, texts and graphics. We are now no longer dependent on external agencies for this.

Our process and the support by ID-Report

Alexandra Groth-von Wahl and Meike Döscher-Mehrtens, Sustainability controlling

We have started to incorporate the GRI indicators that we identified as essential in the stakeholder dialogue into the software. Here we received support from the abat consultants. We have adopted some indicators and independently adapted others to our characteristics as a port management company. Even afterwards, we repeatedly made changes or maintain updates in the indicators. Because over time, the stakeholders' information needs also change. Here, the ID-Report is highly flexible.

The next step for us was to create the data suppliers we need the information from in the system. This is another step that we could comfortably do ourselves. After these two steps, we were able to start collecting data. We have linked data suppliers with indicators in ID-Report. From this link ID-Report then automatically derives an online survey on a starting date determined by us.

At the start of data collection, ID-Report automatically invites all participants via e-mail. Every data supplier receives an online questionnaire adapted to his needs. Since we don’t  have to worry about bringing the information together, we save a lot of time. Using the management dashboard, we were able to see at any time how far the data collection had progressed. Here we are also shown the questions and feedback that the data suppliers can ask about the individual indicators queried. We can answer the questions directly and optionally also decide for each submitted indicator whether we should already accept or reject it, because the data supplier, for example, still forgot to upload the requested proof of source. The process is so intuitive that after a short time a smooth working method is established.

In addition to the pure data or textual information, ID -Report also queries some other information. E.g. for quantitative information (in tabular form), how the data was collected, whether there are uncertainties regarding data quality, and so on. Based on this information we can then quickly see   how reliable the collected data are and what we are going to do with the responses from the data suppliers.

Parallel to the data collection, we have started to prepare the report. ID-Report supports this process with an integrated report editor. With individual modules new pages, texts, graphics, etc. can be added in a comfortable way. Indicators are also provided as building blocks. We add an indicator, decide on the form of presentation and in this way we can display data, for example, as a diagram or even in tabular form.

After completing the reporting process, we have the information checked externally. It has been an important matter for us to report credibly and transparently since the beginning of the GRI reporting. We give the auditing firms   their own access with their own views and authorizations in the ID- Report. For the auditors, this resulted in a comprehensible and task-oriented working method directly in the system.

At the end of March 2020,   we published our current sustainability report. For this step, the report created by us via the report editor is exported as a microsite at the push of a button and made available on a remote server as a website, in German and in English.

In the coming reporting period, we can now reuse many things. We can simply clone the data collection with all indicators and participants and carry it out again. The report can also be simply cloned as a template. This results in a further, very large time and cost saving.

We also use ID-Report to collect the information for our separate environmental reports. We use indicators from the Port Environmental Report System (PERS), an environmental management system specially developed for ports. The possibility to create independent and unlimited indicators in ID-Report enables us to collect all relevant information in one system, so that we have a platform for all information relevant to sustainability and the environment.

The results

We have noticed a great time saving in administration. Collected data and source references are assigned to the respective data collection and don’t have to be selected from email mailboxes and various folders of different colleagues.

By using ID-Report we can get in touch with our colleagues who are responsible for data entry. The software helps us to define the structure of the indicators so that they can be captured at a glance and completed with data.

We demonstrably collect higher quality data because we don’t enter it manually, but automatically transfer it to the report. In addition, a plausibility check can be carried out with ID- Report, which notifies us when individual values exceed a previously defined deviation value.

We received very good support from ID-Impuls. This was of great help, especially during the creation of the microsite. In 2020, our sustainability report was put online for the first time. This required timely and individual help with the content design.

We are currently evaluating the suitability of ID-Report for other areas. We believe that the basic process of defining information needs, requesting information and displaying information (whether as a report or a view) can be extended to other areas of the organization.

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