Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Practices
Last updated: April 2023
Global-e was built to promote accessibility and to reduce borders and barriers in global ecommerce, but that may be difficult to achieve if we are not also promoting the success of our stakeholders, including our merchants and the shoppers. To that end, we have committed to develop our Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy in alignment with our business strategy and the expectations of our stakeholders, our partners to the value chain, our employees and our local communities.
One notable example of how we promote the success of our partners is how our business goals and technology can assist SMEs who wish to expand their offerings on a global scale, thereby supporting accessible economic opportunities to such SMEs. Our technology exhibited by our SME solutions, is a potential catalyst for the success of such SMEs. The accessibility provided to SMEs, not only contributes to their own potential economic benefits, but it also provides access and user experience available to people who wish to trade globally and it reduces certain accessibility gaps and barriers that may otherwise impact such opportunities.
We are only at the early stages of building our ESG strategy. In 2022, we have taken the first steps to develop a plan to prioritize and promote efforts to manage key long-term non-financial parameters important to our business, including climate change impacts and addressing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) gaps across the organization.
The ultimate responsibility for our ESG plan, goals and practices is vested with our Board of Directors, and the powers and authority to monitor and oversight were delegated and vested to the Board’s Nominating, Governance and Sustainability Committee. The Nominating, Governance and Sustainability Committee established an executive committee (consisting of c-level management) under its supervision and direction to lead the development and execution of our ESG strategy and plan, and such executive committee will be expected to work closely with various relevant departments and officers, including Human Resources, Operations, Security and Tech Ops and Legal, among others.
We engaged the Nasdaq Corporate Solutions, LLC, to conduct in 2022 our first ESG assessment based on what we believe are our stakeholders’ values and our internal leadership views and attitude on ESG, in light of our missions and business strategy.
Data Privacy and Cybersecurity
We have always regarded data privacy and data security as a top priority, being fundamental to earning the trust and confidence of our stakeholders. Our Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and our Data Protection Officer (DPO), under the supervision of our ESG Committee and the oversight of the Audit Committee, aim to follow recognized standards.
We operate and manage our risks and mitigation plans based on compliance protocols. We have obtained and maintain PCI DSS (level 1) and ISO 27001 certifications, and have recently completed our SOC2 certification, and will be subject to independent annual audits by the certifying bodies. We are consistently evaluating our security measures.
We also believe that employee education and training are key to data integrity and security. To that end, as part of any onboarding of any new employee, completion of security training is mandatory. Periodic training including phishing tests are performed regularly.
As a global leader in e-commerce selling DTC, data privacy is key to our success and reputation, and we have taken steps over the years to establish, implement and enhance global data protection program. Led by our DPO in consultation with cross-organization functional experts, our program caters for compliance, security, integrity and transparency. We review product features in light of data privacy requirements, and conduct impact assessments when and as needed. With the support of our external counsels, we keep track of regulatory updates and guidance, and take the required actions accordingly, both on product level as well as policy and contract level.
We believe that we can make an impact even by doing the very basic things – we have a strict “turn off” policy at the end of work-day, we avoid paper/plastic cups and we don’t print unless absolutely necessary.
Employee Recruitment, Retention, Engagement
Our workforce has grown significantly in recent periods, and that has, and continues to require us to seek to build and maintain a working environment that caters for employees motivation, talent, wellbeing and safety, while promoting personal and professional development.
We seek to provide and constantly develop compensation and equity incentive plans that will remain attractive and rewarding. As such, we offer both stock-based and cash-based compensation awards (in each case subject to eligibility criteria) that are designed to be commensurate with individual performance and meeting objectives.
As of December 31, 2022, we had 767 employees. Our recruitment spans through students, junior professionals through senior seasoned executives. None of our employees is represented by a labor organization or is a party to a collective bargaining arrangement or expansion orders of such arrangements, with the exception of a small number of employees in France, Spain, Australia and Israel who are covered by mandatory industry-wide collective bargaining agreements in accordance with local law.
We are extremely proud of our employees. In 2022, over 80 employees were promoted or assumed new roles within the organization. We believe that such vote of confidence is the result of our culture.
We are driven by our business expansion strategy, and we consider the needs of our clients in our existing and new markets for local culture and local business etiquette. In 2022, we continued to open new office locations worldwide, and as a result about 10% of our recruits in 2022 were recruited in those offices. As we continue to grow our workforce and to expand geographically, diversity will continue to be important to who we are, allowing us to better serve our customers in a local culture fashion yet with a global expertise earned through cross-organizational collaboration. We plan to set targets to explore how to gradually and continuously improve our DEI practices. We intend to establish a DEI committee which will be comprised of a diverse group of officers, under the leadership of our CEO, which committee will develop plans to improve the diversity and inclusivity of our organization, and we will commit the time and resources to bring improvements in this area into our organization.
Beginning from mid-2022, we implemented hybrid remote work policies to enable our employees to work remotely for parts of the work-week, while still fully operating all our office facilities, and maintaining health and safety measures.
We consider inclusive work culture to be an important criterion in promoting collaboration and transparency among our employees, while still offering private spaces for personal and professional needs. To that end, we strive to have an open workspace with optimized balance between team collaboration and private space.
Human Capital Development
We value the uniqueness each of our employees. We appreciate the talent and the caring they put into their work in making us a better organization, which in turn defines our culture, and eventually will make our business strategy, our solutions and our services better. We therefore always aim to encourage and promote our employees, talent, ambition and sense of devotion.
We intend to explore ways to offer our employees opportunities to acquire new skills, and to develop through exploration, experience and learning, by providing them learning and development programs. We have a dedicated personnel within our Human Resources team, supervised by our executive leadership, who will focus on developing learning, training and growth policies and plans, through internal and external platforms, to be made available for our people worldwide. In 2022, as an initial step, we have implemented and launched the Juno Journey platform, offering tens of thousands of external learning resources which each employee can choose from for own personal and professional growth path. Over 70% of our employees are already active on the platform. We have allocated each employee an annual budget allowing them to attend, on average, 2-3 courses of their choice. In 2022, Juno was fully implemented as our onboarding and professional training platform, through in-house developed courses and professional sessions covering our products, technology and offering. We have recorded over 20 onboarding sessions, all presented or narrated by our own employees.
In parallel, we started building our in-house competence development program. The program is expected to focus mostly on spreading the knowledge about our solution across all verticals in the organization.
In an effort to promote candid and effective dialog between employees and their managers with a view to contribute to career development and personal accomplishments, we implemented tools and annual review processes for all employees across the world. Any annual performance and goals review is based on personal individual work and development plan with specific objectives and, if applicable, resource requirements, always attempting to balance between business needs and personal aspirations and targets.
Our unique position as enabler in the ecommerce sector comes with great responsibility to the value chain stakeholders – our merchants (brands and retailers), our consumer shoppers and the vendors we work with or collaborate when we perform our services. We aim to hold ourselves to the highest standard of business and professional ethics, and expect our stakeholders to do the same. We are committed to making equal and unbiased selection of partners, honor our promises and commitments, and stay accountable to our actions and choices towards our stakeholders.
Being a founder-led organization, operating under the oversight of our Board of Directors and its committees, we are committed to the values and standards of behavior set forth in our Code of Conduct. We will keep our employees appraised of the code by annual training and making it available to all, including by reference in our service contracts with our merchants.
We are privileged to have experienced industry-relevant leaders as our members of the Board of Directors. The members of our Board of Directors bring years of leadership experience, making it fit for overseeing our organization’s governance and compliance. We maintain a majority independent Board of Directors, with five independent directors. We believe our Board of Directors demonstrates balanced perspectives of relatively newly appointed directors and required industrial knowledge from the more tenured directors. Under the supervision of the Board’ Nominating, Governance and Sustainability Committee, we have recently conducted annual Board of Directors and Committee evaluation to facilitate an assessment of the performance of the Board of Directors and its Committee and assessing its strengths and weaknesses and laying a foundation for discussion and future improvement. The results, which were reviewed and discussed by our Nominating, Governance and Sustainability Committee showed that our Board and Committee members agreed with the evaluation statement made in the assessment. 3 of our directors self-identify as women or non-binary, and 2 self-identify as members of traditionally underrepresented racial/ethnic groups in their home jurisdiction.
As an ecommerce enabler, we recognize the efforts and commitments made by our value chain partners to combat climate change, and accordingly we share their vision to achieve their goals by making sustainable choices. While we have not yet made significant environmental efforts, we have started, and we are committed to develop, our long-term plans, considering the goals and pledges of our partners along with ours. We intend to develop and mature our ESG plans and strategy, and be committed to transparency through mandatory disclosures as well as discretionary reports and updates.
We intend to explore initiatives for addressing the climate situation, utilizing our unique position in the value chain of global ecommerce as well as establishing goals in 2023 informed by our business situation and strategy. As a fundamental aspect of our future commitment, we plan to pursue operations through cloud-based services. We are developing plans to work with our partners across the value chain to investigate how we can better measure and understand our emissions as we continue our work to set tangible reduction pathways. As we explore and start executing our initiatives, we expect to incur additional short-term costs as well as long-terms cost commitments, and the timing, the management commitment and level of investments to implement such initiatives are and will be subject to uncertainties.