VFS Global Sustainability

Committed to being a good corporate citizen through continuously improving our environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance.

Sustainability at VFS Global means operating ethically, maintaining a strong culture of security, safety & governance, being socially responsible, supporting our communities, protecting the environment, and developing our people. We remain focused on integrating sustainability across our business to enhance our operations and create value for all our stakeholders and the environment. Our Sustainability strategy is guided by the ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) framework and aligned with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations.

VFS Global leadership is committed to:

For more information, write to us on Sustainability@vfsglobal.com.

VFS Global Cares

The VFS Global Cares logo, represents our commitment to taking responsibility when conducting business by integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in the way we operate. It reflects sensitivity, responsibility and care that VFS Global shows for its people, environment, and society at large.

At VFS Global, we use our influence to create a positive change in the world by leveraging our industry leadership to promote sustainable business practices, defining strategies and actions based on impact assessment, and creating long-term value for our stakeholders, and the planet.

To that end, we are boosting our digitalisation efforts, to increase accessibility and inclusion for our services, with a focus on customer data protection practices, and transparent and fair customer relations.

We believe that sustainable and resilient businesses create stronger communities and greater economic growth.

This pillar is aligned with the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

We are committed to sound service delivery and business practices, and we ensure that our infrastructure, solutions, and management of sustainability and ESG factors meet the highest global standards. Our stringent and structured corporate governance practices help us live up to our values, deliver world-class service to our client governments and customers, and create long-term value for our stakeholders. Our Code of Conduct defines the values, principles, and behaviours expected of every employee and is designed to help our staff make ethical decisions in a culture of openness and trust.

This pillar is aligned with the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

It’s our firm belief that organisations should bear the responsibility to protect human rights and use their influence to drive a positive change in the society. VFS Global management is committed to remove systemic barriers to create a more inclusive, equitable, and engaging workplace for our employees.

Our people strategy is closely aligned with the evolving business needs and driven by three key areas that impact over 7,500 colleagues who we employ across 140+ countries. For us, protecting health and wellbeing, advancing equity and inclusivity, and strengthening talent initiatives to develop skills and competencies, is a priority.

As a people-driven business, we have chosen PCMM (People Capability Maturity Model) as a roadmap for implementing workforce practices to continuously improve employee capability, which enables cultural transformation through powerful practices for attracting, developing, organising, motivating, and retaining employees. VFS Global is proud to have been certified with the highest level - PCMM 5.

This pillar is aligned with the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

Diversity & Inclusion

Diversity of thought is the essence of a healthy, entrepreneurial organisation, and our diverse culture is an important driver of our success. Globally, more than 110 nationalities work with VFS Global, bringing the benefit of a wide variety of world views.

For us, ensuring gender diversity at the workplace has proven to have positive effects across the entire organisation. Over the years, we have been successful in maintaining our gender balance with a near-equal female:male ratio.

In 2020, we released our revised Diversity and Inclusion Policy for our colleagues.

In early 2021, we signed the British High Commission 'UK in India' Network Gender Equality Charter, which focuses on promoting gender equality within our workplaces and beyond and empowering people of all genders to break down gender norms and together build a gender-equal society. We are part of the Unstereotype Alliance, which is Convened by UN Women, the United Nations entity for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment and contributes to empowering women in all their diversity and addressing harmful bias to help create a gender equal world. As a member of the UAE National Chapter of the Unstereotype Alliance, we have agreed to broadening the representation of women and men in non-traditional roles in media and advertising.

We embrace the principles and practices of equal opportunity in employment and believe that promoting an inclusive workplace culture is everyone’s responsibility. For our inclusive policies and practices, VFS Global India was certified by Great Place to Work® as a Workplace with Inclusive Practices in 2021.

Health and Safety

The safety and wellbeing of our employees are of utmost importance to us, and we take every possible measure to create a safe and secure environment at our offices and Visa Application Centres. We ensure everyone’s ergonomic comfort with suitable chairs and work surfaces, correct illumination, and proper climate control. We also make sure our facilities are clean, regularly sanitised, and that the water is safe for drinking.

Learning and Development

Learning and development is not just an activity for us, but a deliberate business strategy, closely aligned with our objectives. Because our business is fast-moving, we constantly train, and retrain, our people in core competencies that best match our evolving business needs and goals. Even during the pandemic when the world went into a lockdown halting our business for over four months, we understood the role learning and development will play in rebuilding a rebooted world and continued to passionately pursue capacity building of our people.

Global Mobility

We provide careers and not just jobs. Our internal career mobility programme, ‘Ascent’ offers our employees the opportunities to carve a career path across different functions and different countries whenever possible, thereby retaining the best talent within VFS Global. It also provides an equal opportunity for all employees by placing the most suited person in each opening based on skills, competencies, and experience in the desired position.

Our sustainability efforts aim to restore and protect nature by reducing our carbon footprint and waste. Building on our industry leadership, we continue to innovate ways to make our operations across 140+ countries more sustainable.

We help protect our planet by:

  • Monitoring our environmental performance with efficient measures and global initiatives to reduce our carbon footprint
  • Applying principles of reduce-reuse-recycle where applicable
  • Enabling green procurement to opt for products and services that cause minimal adverse impact to our environment

We constantly strive for responsible growth by monitoring our carbon footprint and gathering data the energy and water we use or the waste that we generate. Since 2012, we are offsetting company’s work-related flights ensuring carbon emission neutral business travel, for which we collaborate with the Swiss non-profit organisation ‘myclimate’ to support a biogas (renewable energy) project in Kolar, India. Being a technology-enabled company and having a significant proportion of our waste as end-of-life electronics and IT equipment, we continuously take measures for proper e-waste disposal or recycling through certified waste managers.

This pillar is aligned with the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

For decades to come, climate change will continue to be a major risk for businesses. With the lessons of COVID-19 revealing the flaws in current risk management practices, we must act now as a responsible corporation to ensure resilience in the face of upcoming climate change risks, particularly the transition risks posed by governmental carbon neutrality targets around the world, where over 20 national governments have committed to a net-zero target.

Within this framework we aim to reduce our GHG emissions, through measures for energy conservation, purchase of renewable energy, and offsetting initiatives.

We at VFS Global firmly believe that we must contribute to mitigating the broader challenge of climate change and be part of the global sustainable solution. Our resolve and commitment towards being a responsible and active global corporate citizen are reflected in our overall Sustainability Framework and our specific commitment to carbon management is reflected in our strategic pillar on protecting our environment, including several carbon reduction strategies. Carbon management and controlling business-related emissions are integral to our business model. Specifically, with respect to our UK operations, we have aligned our business model conforming to The UK Governments Climate Change Act, 2008, ensuring our commitment to Net-Zero by 2030 and the achievement of this target.

Achieving Net Zero requires a strong strategy to reduce emissions and any emissions generated are balanced by schemes that offset an equivalent amount of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, such as planting trees or using technology such as carbon capture and storage. Our emissions for 2020, driven by our nature of business were 8,929 tCO2e for Scope1, 58,868 tCO2e for Scope 2 (86 tCO2e for UK operations) and 14,957 tCO2e for Scope 3 for the categories specified by PPN06/21.

We confirm we have undertaken several measures as part of our carbon reduction strategy such as establishing energy efficiency measures to reduce our Scope 1 and 2 emissions, obtaining green energy from electricity providers in countries where this is feasible, purchasing energy attributed certificates (EACs) in countries where these are available and offsetting measures for CO2 emissions. Further, we have established a globally certified environmental management system, which follows ISO 14001 standards, and which also includes several initiatives already implemented to help us reduce our GHG footprint.

As part of our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives and in partnership with credible organisations, we drive sustainable development projects to promote education, nurture empathy and protect the environment.

We encourage our colleagues across the globe to contribute their time and skills through corporate volunteering and giving initiatives so as to make a meaningful difference in the communities that we work in. We also prioritise the procurement of goods and services from local suppliers, SMEs or entrepreneurs, who meet our standards.

For us, supporting our community is a long-term investment, creating value for all our local stakeholders and help them address their development priorities.

This pillar is aligned with the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

In India, under the Companies Act, 2013, we invest in protecting the environment and promoting education, in alignment with our global sustainability strategy. For more details about our India programmes, please refer to the VFS Global India CSR Policy in the Reports & Policies section below.

Click here to view Integrated Report 2021

Click here to view Sustainability Report 2020

Click here to view Sustainability Report 2019

Click here to view VFS Global CSR Policy - India

Click here to view VFS Global India CSR Report - 2021-22