Get inspiration to talk about sustainability


Phoenix Design Aid continuously supports activities that create visibility and set a sustainable agenda. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dennis Lundø Nielsen (the man in red) was one of 34 climbers in “The Big Climb”, a seven-day trip to climb Kilimanjaro for the benefit of low-income countries. Press photo.

How do you document your climate footprint? How do you communicate preciously about your corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities? How do you communicate credibly about your support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? There is experience and help to get from Phoenix Design Aid A/S in Randers when you seek answers to these questions.

This article is originally written in Danish by Trine Wiese, a journalist at Erhvervsliv Randers. Phoenix Design Aid has afterwards translated the article to English. Read the original article here.

SDGs: Many wondered when Phoenix Design Aid A/S started in 1998 and from day one began communicating accurately about everything from sustainability to climate goals on its website.

Wasn’t it just hot air? Perhaps the customers just wanted a nice layout and print at a really good price?

But slowly, the outside world began to follow, and today hardly any self-respecting companies fail to communicate about everything from the SDGs to CSR.

The challenge is simply to make it so credible and sincere that it does not appear as a calculated marketing gimmick.

We stood out clearly, especially in the early years, because the sustainable agenda was and is printed so deep in our DNA, says CEO Dennis Lundø Nielsen, adding:

When we started, it was long before the current focus on sustainability and social responsibility, and that was also before the SDGs were formulated and marked such a significant agenda.

We may have seen the light faster than others because our customers are organisations such as the United Nations, the European Union and NGOs all over the world, all of which have been early to highlight how the world will be a better place to be.

28 employees
Phoenix Design Aid has its base in Randers and currently employs 28 employees globally and continues to work persistently to create a better world through its work of offering graphic solutions and strategic communication within both digital and print media.

Design, layout, editing, printing and translation in all United Nations languages are part of the company’s services.

About two years ago, the company became the first graphics agency to get certified according to the SDGs, and the company’s sustainability report Communication on Progress has just seen the light of day. It contains an annual status of the company’s developments within human rights, labour rights, the environment and anti-corruption.

As a responsible company, we have of course taken our own medicine, stresses Dennis Lundø Nielsen.

Our sustainability report serves as a management system for social responsibility, focusing on how we manage to include responsibility for the outside world and sustainability in our day-to-day operations, says the CEO who hopes that many will be inspired by the report.

Dennis Lundø Nielsen states that awareness of climate, sustainability and social responsibility is generally increasing in the global community.

These concepts are extremely important parameters in our dialogue with our surroundings, especially our customers.

We are increasingly getting inquiries about our work on climate and sustainability, says Dennis Lundø Nielsen, who here shares how he managerially and in practice ensures that climate and sustainability are always a high priority

1. Strategic certifications

Phoenix Design Aid is both certified in Quality Management (ISO 9001), Environmental Management (ISO 14001), Occupational Safety and Health Management (ISO 45001) and the SDGs (11 targets within goal 4, 12, 13 and 17).

All projects are thus carried out in accordance with internationally recognised principles of social responsibility as well as United Nations requirements.

Just as active work is being done on climate and sustainability, and the SDGs are involved in the company’s operations and daily lives.

Dennis Lundø Nielsen explains:

For instance, our ISO 14001 certificate which helps ensure that we work towards better environmental performance and comply with the law. It also ensures an increased awareness of sustainability.


2. Spot on suppliers

As part of the ISO 14001 certification, a risk assessment of the company’s environmental conditions is carried out.

Phoenix Design Aid thus considers both its direct (own) and indirect (suppliers and partners) environmental impacts.

Among other things, an annual assessment is made of the company’s suppliers which includes, among others, efforts within sustainability and social responsibility.


3. Climate accounting

Phoenix Design Aid prepares a carbon accounting report that provides insight into and an overview of the company’s greenhouse gas emissions, including emissions within electricity, district heating, waste and business travel.

The report is made through, a cloud service and tool for obtaining, storing, analyzing and reporting on CSR.

In the system, data on the different greenhouse gases are entered and then a report is prepared.

We use the report to monitor our emissions and to see if we reach the goals we have set, says Dennis Lundø Nielsen, adding that this data is also included in the company’s sustainability report.


4. The SDGs are the framework

The overall framework for all activities is the SDGs.

The company is, for example, certified in targets 13.1 and 13.3 and has thus set a goal of minimizing its CO2 emissions.

At present, Phoenix Design Aid purchases a number of UN-issued CO2 emission credits and this way neutralizes its emissions.

At the time of writing, the company works on a project that takes the step further by planting trees in Kenya.

The purpose of the project is to neutralize the company’s CO2 emissions and combine climate action with the development of local areas in Kenya – for example by creating workplaces and establishing an outdoor learning center.

As it stands right now, Phoenix Design Aid will be able to neutralize up to 40 tons of CO2 via the tree planting project.


5. The inspiring narrative

Sometimes it takes more than one report to draw attention to a good cause, and Phoenix Design Aid regularly supports initiatives that create visibility and set a sustainable agenda.

CEO Dennis Lundø Nielsen has, for example, climbed the 5895-metre high Kilimanjaro mountain, located on the Tanzania-Kenya border, four times.

The most recent time was when Phoenix Design Aid actively engaged in the fight for a equitable distribution of efforts to combat COVID-19.

Dennis Lundø Nielsen was one of 34 climbers in “The Big Climb”, a seven-day trip to climb Kilimanjaro for the benefit of low-income countries.