When Dr Anne Wiese talks about her work at GLS, commitment out of conviction is in the air. It barely takes a minute for her expertise, organisational talent and passion to become apparent.
As the head of the Corporate Responsibility (CR) department, do you so to speak represent the conscience of the GLS Group?
That’s actually a good way of phrasing it. Whilst all GLS employees are responsible for putting our corporate responsibility into practice in their day-to-day work, we handle the underlying coordination and management of our sustainability commitment across all national companies. We establish the framework, such as by steering our focus in the areas of ThinkGreen and ThinkSocial.
What exactly does your role entail?
We are responsible for all overarching sustainability activities. It’s our job, for example, to develop the Group-wide sustainability strategy and implement it in conjunction with the national companies as well as to produce the Group-wide Eco Footprint and sustainability report. We are the first port of call for national companies in relation to all sustainability matters and work closely with local environmental and CR representatives.
What projects are on your agenda at the moment?
At the moment, we are putting together a new sustainability report in line with GRI standards, which will appear in the 2019/20 financial year. Besides, we are preparing our next participation in the EcoVadis rating. Furthermore, we are already working on our next Eco Footprint, getting ready for the data collection within the subsidiaries which will again be starting in January 2020. Also, we are working with the Group Quality Management on a further development of our environmental management system according to ISO 14001:2015.
Why is the issue of the environment so important to GLS?
As a CEP provider, our transport operations impact the environment. Although this cannot be avoided given the technology currently available, it is our responsibility to keep the impacts to a minimum. We develop and review new solutions in this area as part of our ThinkGreen initiative, always welcoming the opportunity to work closely with local communities.
We are also involved in hands-on social projects, as we want to give something back to society. At our sites all over Europe, we are not only an employer, but also a partner to our customers and the transport companies working on our behalf.
Is sustainability also a matter close to your heart?
My professional focus has been on the issues of sustainability and corporate responsibility for more than ten years. Over time, sustainability has become a personal passion. The topic has been even closer to my heart ever since I became a mum.
How do you balance work and family?
Both my daughters were born after I started at GLS – and I went back to work very quickly each time. GLS helped me a lot, and I can also share childcare duties with my husband. I relax by going on holiday with my family and our dog. In 2017, for example, we spent three months driving around Portugal and Spain in our camper van during my parental leave.
Dr Anne Wiese
She joined GLS in 2014, and has been appointed Manager Corporate Responsibility of the GLS Group in 2016. Anne Wiese started her career by training as a retail saleswoman. She then completed a degree in economics and business studies, followed by a doctoral study in economics. Her dissertation as well as her research and teaching activities focused on the issue of sustainability in retail. She is married with two young daughters and also has a dog.