Our Operations department (Human Resources, IT and Facilities) ensures that the Foundation has the appropriate structures, human resources as well as technical and office facilities to function professionally and to be able to achieve our goals. In 2021, the focus was on carefully balancing continuity and flexibility in the context of the ongoing pandemic.
In 2021, we benchmarked and renewed our salary system based on the average salaries of the charitable sector in the Netherlands (Goede Doelen Nederland). Related to that, we developed new generic role descriptions comprising of the following three categories: Supporting specialists, Knowledge workers and Management, and formulated organisation-wide as well as function-specific values and competences. This system is operational as of 1 January 2022.
At year-end 2021, we had 26 employees with a full-time equivalent staff of 22.74. The turnover was 18% with four leavers throughout the year. We were happy to welcome two new colleagues, three interns and one writing fellow throughout the year. The sickness absence rate at ECF was 5.37%, with an increase reflecting the national trend. We monitored and addressed our staff health through individual and collective measures facilitated by our company doctor as well as by organising online stretch and posture exercises for all staff encouraging physical movement.
Diversity and inclusion
We developed and launched our new inclusive internship programme, offering internships to students of any post-secondary school education, from vocational to academic. Internships will take place in a hybrid form – online and at the office – allowing for more flexibility in terms of country of origin. For interns outside the Netherlands, we will organise and fund incidental visits to the office in Amsterdam.
For recruitment of senior staff, we invited Colourful People to carry out an inclusive and thorough search. We also invested in awareness as regards language and outreach.
Building on earlier work in reviewing and updating our Integrity Policy and Code of Conduct (published 2020), we conducted an integrity scan of our grant policies procedures. Possible areas of risk where discussed and addressed with senior staff. In addition, we held integrity awareness sessions with members of staff as well as management. Through our grievance report structure, we received one integrity grievance concerning external communication, which was addressed and acted upon.
Hybrid office, facilities & IT
We worked towards a longer-term hybrid office policy, enabling both flexibility and continuity where possible. The pandemic situation permitting, our colleagues are welcome again at the office while at the same time they are permitted to work remotely for 50% of their monthly working hours.
We invested in advanced video call equipment for our main meeting room, enabling us to hold ‘hybrid’ meetings, and refurbished a number of smaller meeting rooms for 1:1 online meetings.
In terms of digital safety, we introduced 2-factor-authentication for our web-based tools.
While travelling as much as possible by train, there does remain some unavoidable air travel, in particular when meeting online is not possible and where train travel would exceed more than eight hours. Therefore, as of 2021, we started carbon offsetting our (limited) air travel. The CO2 emissions were 11,849 kg and compensated with an amount of €659 (including an additional development donation) through Atmosfair, a certified non-profit organisation that supports climate mitigation technologies in developing countries.
Atmosfair plans, finances and carries out these projects with local partners according to the rules and procedures outlined in the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol and the “Gold Standard” established by the international environmental NGO community. We also carbon offsetted the 2021 energy consumption of our premises (15,320 CO2), resulting in a payment of €245.13 to Trees for All. Trees for All is a recognised non-profit foundation with a CBF certificate and ANBI status, planting forests in the Netherlands and abroad. In 2022, we will expand carbon ofsetting towards train, car and hotel emissions.