For this month’s Better Collective Spotlight, we spoke to Christina Thomsen (pictured above), Head of Investor Relations (IR) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at Better Collective.
We asked her about the sustainability strategy at Better Collective, the parent company behind the likes of bettingexpert.com and hltv.org, and a new commitment to supporting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) set by the United Nations (UN).
SBC: Hi Christina, why now for your first stand alone sustainability report?
CT: While a responsible approach has been central to the business since our foundation, last year we formalised these efforts and added structure to our reporting.
We decided to include the UN SDG framework as it is one of the most well-established and recognised frameworks for sustainability reporting.
We recognise the importance of all 17 goals, however, we are also humbly aware of the fact that we cannot strategically work with all the SDGs. We therefore made a materiality assessment and defined the SDGs where we can make an impact – either through current activities or through new initiatives.
With a total of nine goals in our scope, we are currently in the process of defining which two to three primary goals to focus on and what KPIs to implement.
SBC: Why is it so important to formalise this commitment?
CT: We strongly believe that companies hold a key role in society to solve issues the world is facing. Both from a social and environmental point of view.
At Better Collective, we have worked with responsibility and sustainability for many years – these represent core parts of our values we live by on a day-to-day basis.
However, what the UN SDGs add is a strategic framework to both work with, report and communicate on our initiatives and progresses. When we report to a key stakeholder group such as investors, reporting within this established framework makes it easier for the audience to understand, compare and benchmark our operations against other companies.
In addition, the framework provides an opportunity to showcase the value Better Collective brings to our stakeholders, be it our employees, users, partners or local communities in general.
Awareness of sustainability issues in society is growing, especially among younger generations. We therefore regard our sustainability communication to be part of our employer branding, supporting our ability to attract and maintain talent.
SBC: What would you say are the key components of the strategy?
CT: Overall, our Sustainability strategy is rolled out through our sustainability programme ‘Better for Bettors’ and the sub-programme ‘Better Community’.
‘Better for Bettors’ focuses on our core business and is closely aligned with our business objectives. This programme supports our vision to empower iGamers.
Activities in this programme includes the co-founding of the trade organisation Responsible Affiliates in Gambling (RAiG) and the investment in Mindway AI that specialises in using AI and neuroscience to detect problem gambling.
Through our ‘Better Community’ programme, we recognise our responsibility to go beyond our core business and contribute to the local communities where we are active. We have initiated the sub-programme ‘Better Nis’ where we, as one of largest tech employers in the Serbian city, support building a better local community through various initiatives.
SBC: What have you had to change to meet this strategy?
CT: As said, we have worked with corporate responsibility and sustainability for a long time. Therefore, the most tangible change we’ve made is to formalise our efforts and add structure to our reporting.
Coupled with the ambition to do more and do better, the sustainability strategy and work is a central part of our overall strategy and will help us prioritise and focus our initiatives in a way that supports not only our business and people but also our users and communities.
SBC: Do you expect more companies to follow suit with this strand of reporting?
CT: A lot of companies are doing a great job on sustainability reporting. More and more companies begin to report on operations, Better Collective included, and we expect and hope more will join as this will continue to push the agenda for a more sustainable world in future – for communities and the environment alike.
Sustainability reporting represents a great opportunity to present the challenges we are facing and the activities and operations we as a company within the iGaming industry have and are taking to support building a better society for the next generations.