Corporate Social Responsibility
Organisations do not operate in a vacuum. Their relationship to the society and environment in which they operate is a critical factor in their ability to continue to operate effectively. It is also increasingly being used as a measure of their overall performance.
We have adopted a framework – ISO 26000 Guidance on Social Responsibility – for operating in a socially responsible way. This means acting in an ethical and transparent way that contributes to the health and welfare of society.
This framework identifies seven core subjects that socially responsible businesses should address, with each core subject being underpinned by a series of “significant issues”. By Implementing ISO 26000 we have evaluated our actions in each of the core subjects, to identify what we are doing in relation to our current practices. We have set priorities for improvements, details of which can be found in the Corporate Social Responsibility Review 2014 which provides a review of our challenges and opportunities for the future:
The seven core subjects address:
- Organisational governance – practicing accountability and transparency at all levels of our organisation; using leadership to create an organisational culture which uses core values of social responsibility when making business decisions
- Human rights – treating all individuals with respect; making special efforts to help people from vulnerable groups
- Labour practices – providing fair, safe and healthy conditions for workers; engaging in two-way discussions to address workers’ concerns
- Environment– identifying and improving environmental impacts of our operations, including resource use and waste disposal
- Fair operating practices – respecting the law; practicing accountability and fairness in our dealings with other businesses, including our suppliers
- Consumer issues – providing healthy and safe products and services, giving accurate information, and promoting sustainable consumption
- Community involvement and development – getting involved in the betterment of the local communities in which we operate and being a good neighbour
When reviewing the core subjects and issues of social responsibility we considered a number of factors:
- Interactions with other organisations
- The impact of our decisions and activities on stakeholders
- Social responsibility including; both legally-binding and any other obligations that exist. (Legally-binding obligations include applicable laws and regulations, as well as obligations concerning social, economic or environmental issues that may exist in enforceable contracts).
- Commitments that we have made regarding social responsibility. Such commitments could be in ethical codes of conduct or guidelines or in the membership obligations of associations to which we belong. Recognising social responsibility is a continuous process. The potential impacts of decisions and activities should be determined and taken into account during the planning stage of new activities. Ongoing activities will be reviewed as necessary so that we can be confident that its social responsibility is still being addressed and can determine whether additional issues need to be taken into account.
We actively seek to integrate social responsibility throughout our core decisions and activities such as:
- Making social responsibility integral to our policies
- Organisational culture
- Strategies and operations
- Undertaking internal and external communication on social responsibility
- Regularly reviewing these actions and practices related to social responsibility.
The essential characteristic of social responsibility is the willingness of an organisation to incorporate social and environmental considerations in its decision making process and be accountable for the impacts of its decisions and activities on society and the environment.
More information can be found in our annual report here.