Our approach to CSR - CSR Chair statement
Good CSR practice plays a vital role in successful, long-term business outcomes. In order to have the most impact on performance, CSR priorities must be integrated into everyday business actions.
While some areas of sustainability have always resided in our everyday operations – for example employee engagement and health and safety – we have seen an increasing trend of further CSR practices becoming a key part of business decisionmaking and operational delivery.
Many of our internal processes have been enhanced in recent years and now incorporate important elements of CSR. CSR issues are considered as essential in strategic decision-making in areas such as service line development, entering new markets and assessing risks of doing business in certain customer sectors and geographical regions.
The requirement of managers to take direct responsibility for the safety of the staff in their care and for others with whom we come into contact has been enhanced with safety objectives built into performance contracts and incentive schemes. Following an incident, managers are expected to play a direct role in understanding the causes of the incident and making changes to processes to help prevent them reoccurring. This has helped to improve the visibility and understanding of safety risks and the accountability for addressing safety concerns.
Human rights and other CSR risks form a significant element of our internal assurance and audit processes and are prioritised following our annual review of human rights risks.
As an organisation that spans more than 100 countries and employs 610,000 staff, we are acutely aware that G4S can play an important role in societies across the globe.
This applies in both developed countries where laws and standards set out clear expectations of sustainable performance and in emerging markets where we are often responsible for setting voluntary guidelines and working with our key partners to ensure that we are raising industry standards.
An essential part of reviewing whether CSR is having an impact in our local markets is through feedback from our employees right down to those providing frontline operations. In 2015, our employee engagement survey provided essential insight into how strategies developed at the centre of the organisation are deployed on the ground. It also helped to provide feedback on the company values, the fair treatment of employees, local health and safety practices, and employee understanding on how to raise concerns or issues where they see behaviour that does not meet our standards.
We welcome active engagement with our key stakeholder groups on CSR matters. In addition to the everyday business engagement carried out by our managers which includes CSR issues, the CSR Committee also participates in discussions and debates about CSR performance and strategies. In 2015, I personally met with socially responsible investment (SRI) analysts and institutional investors to discuss elements of our CSR actions and governance. Presentation material used for those briefings.
We expect our staff to behave in line with the company’s policies and practices on human rights and other matters. We work hard to ensure that our colleagues are clear about our expectations and the requirements of our customers and know how to raise concerns if they believe others are not meeting those standards.
In any organisation, there are occasions when things go wrong or when staff do not behave in accordance with our policies and practices. While the executive management will lead on analysing the root causes of any incidents and on identifying ways in which future incidents can be prevented, I am keen to make sure that, from a governance point of view, the CSR Committee is engaged in understanding the issues and in overseeing that appropriate management action is taken. In 2015, Paul Spence and I visited a G4Smanaged prison and I visited a prison and secure training centre to see for ourselves how practices are developing in line with enhanced CSR standards in the light of incidents that had taken place.
Further information on recent incidents.
Our CSR priorities
I would like to thank colleagues and other stakeholders for participating actively in our CSR materiality review. Their insight forms an important element of our CSR strategic development and has played a key role in confirming our priority areas for the future.
The CSR Committee
In 2015, the CSR Committee met on three occasions and received regular updates from members of the management team on key CSR issues such as health and safety reports, CSR and human rights reviews of new business opportunities, and progress against our plan to introduce new whistleblowing processes and case management systems.
The committee participated in reviews of the group’s response to operational incidents and the progress against our corporate renewal programme, which was agreed with the UK Government in 2014.
Committee members participated directly in the CSR materiality exercise and contributed to the review of group values that took place in 2015.
The committee will continue to work with the executive management to ensure that good CSR practice becomes further embedded within the group. We will scrutinise CSR performance and ensure that the strategic priorities are being addressed.