An Integrated Approach to Sustainability

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.

Clare Spottiswoode


Both as a founding member of the CSR Committee and as Chair over the last four years, I have seen the positive impact of having a committee dedicated to sustainability and how it has become embedded in the Group across a broad range of areas and I am proud of the progress which has been made.

For example, ensuring that a new area of business conforms to and is consistent with our core values is a deciding factor in whether to move forward with an opportunity. The fact that managers bring opportunities to executives to check compatibility with our values at an early stage is an encouraging sign of how these standards are becoming embedded in the organisation.

Shareholder engagement

The Group’s progress in sustainability has been informed by a number of factors – an important element of which is stakeholder engagement. The committee is very grateful to G4S colleagues and external stakeholders who have helped the Group focus its CSR strategy in the appropriate areas and for such positive and active engagement on the most critical issues.

I find our annual meetings with socially responsible investors and ethical social and governance groups of particular value and their continuous engagement with the Group’s management, investor relations and CSR colleagues is also highly valued.

CSR focus

Our CSR focus continues to be on health and safety, human rights and anti-bribery and corruption, although our overall programme covers a much broader range of areas. Towards the end of 2017 we will conduct a further review of material issues with input from internal and external stakeholders to ensure that the Group continues to focus on the most important and material issues.

CSR progress

Throughout the pages of this CSR report we provide updates on our progress across many of our key areas of sustainability performance. You will see from the information provided that, although our CSR strategy is relatively mature, we continue to make positive progress and to challenge the business to improve continuously.

In the past, as part of our open approach to addressing human rights issues, the Group has reported within the CSR report on current issues and challenges.This report does not include a section on current issues as (at the time of writing) there are no further developments or new issues to report. However, that does not mean that we have changed our position on being open in relation to live challenges faced by the company in this area.

Now that our enhanced whistleblowing process – Speak Out – is embedded across the Group, we are seeing increased levels of reporting, which is very encouraging. However, there is more work to do to promote the service to colleagues across the Group and to monitor and evaluate trends and causes of alleged non-compliance with G4S standards. The CSR Committee will continue to monitor progress in this area.

Our first modern slavery statement will be published shortly on our website. With such a diverse business which operates in such a wide variety of markets and countries, acknowledging our commitment to fair and open labour practices in this important area is a demonstration of our ongoing commitment to an ethical and sustainable business.

values and culture

Having agreed the new Group values in 2016 and commenced the programme of embedding them in company practices, I and my CSR Committee colleagues will be keen to see what impact they have on our sustainability progress in 2017.

The global employee engagement survey will be an essential part of this feedback, as will our improved visibility of whistleblowing cases, actions and outcomes.

Being passionate about safety is a core value of the Group. We have made significant progress in embedding a safety culture and have seen strong improvements in key areas such as reducing the number of road traffic accidents across the Group. Whilst these improvements are positive, we must continue to focus our efforts on reducing the risk of injury to our staff and ensuring that all employees think about safety every day – how they can keep themselves safe and what they can do to protect each other.

This safety culture is being driven right from the very top of the organisation with a significant focus from the group chief executive and group human resources director and the full and active support of the board and Executive Committee.

the csr committee

In 2016, the CSR Committee met on three occasions in person and once by telephone and received regular updates from members of the management team on key sustainability issues such as health and safety reports, progress on developing and implementing the Group values and the causes, effects and learnings resulting from operational incidents which may have raised questions about sustainability or ethics.

The committee will continue to work with executive management colleagues to ensure that good sustainability practices are further embedded into the Group. We will scrutinise sustainability performance and ensure that the strategic priorities are being addressed appropriately.

I also hope that our constructive dialogue with our employees, investors, customers and other key stakeholder group’s will continue in order to further develop and focus our sustainability agenda.

Clare Spottiswoode
Chair, CSR Committee