Unpacked: Our Statement of Principles on committing to tech for good
In December, Delivery Hero co-signed a shared Statement of Principles together with three other leading European technology companies (Bolt, Glovo and Wolt), committing to being responsible and purpose-driven tech platforms that strive to make a positive impact in their communities and ecosystems. From achieving sustainability goals to ensuring fair working conditions and using data in a responsible manner, together the four companies made their stance clear on what “using tech for good” means for them.
We took a closer look at what this manifesto includes and how it can contribute to European-level innovation – and beyond.
Let’s start at the beginning: What is a Statement of Principles?
It’s quite literally a declaration of the principles a company signs up for: What are the core beliefs and intentions of the business? What are the company’s commitments to back those up? Statements like these usually declare a set of objectives with regard to the industry, society and environment.
Across the board, online platforms have seen tremendous growth in the past years, and the pandemic has accelerated this development. People are increasingly relying on these online services. New forms of work have emerged, new partnerships were created.
With online platforms playing an ever increasing role in our lives, they have to take on more and more responsibility. It’s only natural that regulators in Europe and across the globe take a close look at these platforms to ensure that they contribute to the greater societal good. “In Europe, we have purpose.” This statement by the European Commission’s Vice President Margrethe Vestager resonated with us and our European peers.
“While we are conscious of our responsibility and of combining entrepreneurship and growth with purpose, we know that we can do more. The Statement of Principles is, hence, also a pledge: A pledge to improve, to have a positive social impact, to contribute to a healthier planet for everyone and to create equal opportunities”, says Christian Poppe, Public Affairs Manager at Delivery Hero.
Who are the co-signing parties, and what binds them together?
Bolt, Glovo and Wolt are European players in the (food) delivery industry – and, just like Delivery Hero, their business model is based on platform operations. In light of evolving customer behaviour and the ongoing transformation of our everyday habits into digital spaces, platform businesses are playing an increasingly important role in people’s lives. They provide tech solutions to connect customers with services that make their everyday world easier – from ordering meals to doing their grocery shopping online or booking their rides to get around in cities.
Together we will make ‘Europe fit for the age’. In a joint effort of platforms and regulators we’ll develop smart legislative proposals that aim to advance European innovation and growth potentials.Christian Poppe, Public Affairs Manager
Success stories like Delivery Hero, Bolt, Glovo and Wolt show the potential of these business models, and the impact such companies can have on societies and industries. By co-signing the Statement of Principles, all four companies commit to using this leverage for good by leading their operations in a purpose-driven and responsible way.
What exactly does a purpose-driven platform business look like?
Being purpose-driven translates to not just being successful from an economical perspective, but using the power that comes from this business success for the better, by having a positive impact on industries, communities, and the environment. In our Statement of Principles, this is specified as follows:
- Taking social responsibility needs to be a given: Platform businesses usually partner with freelancers (such as riders) to connect customers with their service. It is highly important for us that all platform workers are treated fairly and inclusively, and receive access to benefits irrespective of their employment status.
- We commit to taking responsibility for the environment by working towards becoming carbon-neutral companies. Delivery Hero plans to achieve this goal for all of its global operations by the end of 2021. (Read more about our recent milestone on that journey here.)
- Focusing on our economic externalities is one of our priorities: We work together with a large number of partners – be it retailers, restaurants or flower shops. As a global platform we strive to be a pillar of our partners’ sustainable economic wellbeing, whether that’s in times of a crisis or in a flourishing economy. Being a responsible partner to them is the foundation of our mutual success.
- As responsible platform businesses, we strive to make a positive impact in the cities and countries we operate in. This means that we actively engage in conversations with policy- and decision-makers and enter into partnerships with public institutions. Our goal is to support small and medium-sized businesses by giving them access to innovative business models, and ensuring that the legal frameworks (such as taxation) allow for their businesses to grow.
- Platforms are all about data: By collecting data on user behaviour, our services can be personalized and constantly improved to advance the customer experience. We commit to protecting this data and using it in a responsible way by ensuring transparency and accountability on how algorithms work, giving users control over their personal data, and constantly improving our way of using data by implementing state-of-the-art best practices.
What’s the impact of the Statement of Principles, and most importantly: What’s next?
The publication of the Statement of Principles was our first step towards encouraging a public dialogue about the role platform businesses play in shaping the future of the European Union – and beyond. It’s the starting point for more companies to co-sign these principles, and together, we will continue to expand the statement by adding more goals and commitments.
We are in a process of collecting feedback from policymakers, aiming to find out what else they expect from us, what they would like us to add and how we can best act on these principles. So far, we have received very positive and constructive feedback. We feel encouraged to develop the Statement of Principles further and look forward to bringing more European platforms on board. “Together we will make ‘Europe fit for the age’. In a joint effort of platforms and regulators we’ll develop smart legislative proposals that aim to advance European innovation and growth potentials. Delivery Hero is looking forward to leading the way”, says Christian.
Above all things, the Statement of Principles is another proof that we are staying true to our values:
We always aim higher.
We deliver solutions.
We are Heroes because we care.
In case you’d like to dive deeper into this topic, you can find the full Statement of Principles here. The manifesto is open for other tech companies to co-sign and contribute – both industry and policy-makers are welcome to join the conversation and shape the future of platform regulations together. For more information, please reach out to moc.orehyrevilednull@sserp.