Business Spotlights: Cpl

Business spotlight - Cpl

Where a commitment to sustainability catapults a company to new heights of success

Cpl was founded in 1989 and is a global provider of talent solutions, including specialist recruitment, managed services, business process outsourcing, and strategic talent advisory services. The company employs nearly 13,000 people who support their 4,500 clients globally. 

Headquartered in Dublin, Cpl has 45 office locations operating in 13 countries worldwide. These countries include Ireland, the UK, Germany, Belgium, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Tunisia, Australia, and the US.

Embarking on a sustainability journey and tackling Scope 3 

Speaking on the company’s sustainability journey, Lorna Conn, CEO at Cpl, says: “We began our sustainability journey in 2018, and we have seen great progress ever since. We are proud to have released our second Sustainability Strategy and Report earlier this year and look forward to driving our sustainability agenda further in 2024.” 

Touching on challenges they faced when becoming more sustainable, Lorna shares: “We faced some challenges in 2023 with data collection due to the dispersed nature of where our data is stored. Despite these challenges, Cpl are proud to have extended our carbon footprint collection to 10 of the 13 countries in which we operate.”

Moreover, during 2023, Cpl conducted a full Scope 3 assessment to identify the material scopes for Cpl. As part of this assessment, they have also updated their baseline year of 2019. To overcome these challenges, they are working on a project with their finance team to capture all the necessary data required for accurate carbon accounting.  While they do not yet have concise results from this piece of work, they are excited by this innovative approach to reporting and look forward to its scalability in the future.

Embedding sustainability into the organisation

Discussing the importance of sustainability to their business, Lorna explains: “We want to be proactive and positive in our sustainability approach. It is also becoming obvious that sustainability is becoming increasingly integral to our clients.” Lorna shares that sustainability is also becoming increasingly important to Cpl’s clients, and they have noticed an incline in sustainability queries coming through in recent tenders. 

This is what inspired the company to appoint a full-time Sustainability Consultant to lead its sustainability projects and ambitions. Lorna says: “This bold decision to dedicate a full-time person to the role rather than sustainability being an add-on to another role has transformed our approach, our engagement with the clients and our commitment to our people.” 

She adds: “As with most businesses, the ever-growing landscape of sustainability directives such as the CSRD is a challenge that we are all facing but equally one that we welcome.” 

Identifying impact hotspots and success along the way 

Cpl felt implementing a strong sustainability strategy was pivotal to keep the company focused on the areas where they could have the biggest impact. To assist with this, they conducted a double materiality analysis, which assessed how Cpl is impacted by global sustainability issues and how its business activities affect society and the environment around us. 

The results of this analysis gave them clear direction on which areas to focus on. These areas aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals, specifically the SDGs 3, 4, 8, 10, and 13. Lorna adds: “Within our SDG goals, we have implemented 33 priority targets and 41 KPIs, which we publicly report on alongside the impact and results of our sustainability initiatives in our annual Sustainability Strategy and Report.” 

Cpl noticed a huge uptake in their sustainability initiatives in 2023. Below are some of their achievements, which illustrate the organisation’s key success indicators. 

  • Each year, their employees can avail of 16 hours of paid volunteering time and in 2023, they recorded almost 1,000 hours of Volunteering Time Off across the business where time was spent litter picking, working with registered charities such as Vision Ireland, Business in the Community (BITC) and Southside Traveller Action Group (STAG). 
  • Their work in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion has earned the company a gold accreditation, and they were the first talent solutions provider to attain this mark. They also obtained the ‘Company of the Year’ accolade at the national D&I Awards. 
  • In 2023, they engaged with 100 percent of their landlords and 78 percent of their supply chain on ESG topics and have set a target to collaborate and educate their supply chain by 2025. 
  • In the same year, they expanded their GHG data collection to their most material countries and collected data on all material Scope 3 emissions for the first time. 
  • The company established the carbon footprint associated with its core business service of placing people into jobs. Each new placement provided by Cpl accounts for 0.35 tCO2e. Establishing this metric means they can support their clients with their carbon reduction plans and offer them service-based accounting rather than cost-based, which is much more accurate when reporting Scope 3 data. 
  • They successfully completed their first voluntary submission to the CDP having been part of their supplier programme in 2022. In their 2022 submission, they were awarded a ‘C’ level rating. Similarly, the company is a regular responder to the EcoVadia platform for both Cpl Resources (Group) and Cpl Solutions (Flexible Talent). Together, both the CDP and Ecovadis submissions and corrective actions directly inform their roadmap to achieve net zero. 

Next steps for Cpl on its sustainability journey

Speaking on Cpl’s next sustainability objectives, Lorna says: “Our sustainability goals set out in our action plan are to transition all our offices to renewable electricity and our Cpl fleet to a next-generation vehicle by 2025.”

“This year, we are working on educating our people on sustainability issues and are working with external consultants to prepare ahead of the upcoming CSRD. This year, we have also committed to measuring the satisfaction levels among our flexible talent working on client sites by conducting a wellbeing survey.” 

Lorna’s advice to other businesses looking to embark on their sustainability journeys is to understand the impact your business has on the environment. She says: “There are many tools and consultancies out there who can support you to understand your carbon footprint. Once you’ve gotten a better understanding of where you are now, it’s easier to see where you need to go to meet your goals. It’s important to build a strong network to stay informed of upcoming regulations, and there are many sustainability networking groups out there to join.” 


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Business spotlight - Cpl

Business Spotlights: Cpl

Explore how Cpl is advancing its sustainability journey, focusing on Scope 3 emissions and impactful strategies to foster a greener future.

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