Christopher Hyman, Serco's Group Chief Executive, explains why doing the right thing by our people, our customers, the environment and the communities we serve will always be at the heart of our business
"Corporate responsibility is and always has been integral to Serco. This is why our Governing Principles are so important - they are the values that
The economic environment has never been tougher; these are unprecedented and challenging times for businesses and people around the world. Now more than ever, organisations need to be good corporate citizens. Building trust with all stakeholders is critical. Working in an ethical and responsible manner must be a priority for all companies to ensure a positive impact on the environment, customers, employees, stakeholders and all other members of the public. Corporate responsibility (CR) is - and always has been - integral to Serco. This is why our Governing Principles are so important - they are the values that define the way we do business.
They are shared across the organisation, wherever we are in the world, and provide a vital identity for our diverse and growing company. In 2011, we welcomed 40,000 more people to Serco. Acquiring Intelenet made us the biggest domestic business process outsourcing (BPO) company in India, bringing employment and opportunity to many. Two other BPO businesses (The Listening Company in the UK and Excelior in Australia) also became part of the Serco family, which now includes more than 100,000 people. As an organisation of this scale, it is essential that we maintain our localised approach to operational delivery. By empowering our people to make the right decisions and by enabling them to make the best possible impact on their communities, we can all be responsible citizens.
Transforming our values into action
By sharing our values across our organisation, our business continues to deliver tangible results. I am very proud of the awards we won last year, including, in the UK, 24 Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents awards for occupational health and safety management, and six Swords of Honour from the British Safety Council (out of just 54 awarded). The National Safety Council of Australia listed Southern Queensland Correctional Centre as a finalist in the annual Excellence Awards (in the sustainability category). And in the United States, we received a Commendation of Excellence award from the Department of State for exceeding small business subcontracting goals during 2010 - one of only three contractors to be recognised in this way.
Our values drive and define the passion and commitment of our people to excel and make a real difference. This is where our people truly demonstrate Serco's unswerving commitment to corporate responsibility.
The inspiring stories featured in this report testify to the enduring strength of the ethos that defines Serco and our continuing commitment to those we serve. Our CR model gives us the flexibility we need to adapt to shifting business dynamics, new regions and changing customer needs without compromising our values.
Around the world, we are building valuable partnerships with small- and medium-sized businesses and with the voluntary sector. At Ashfield Young Offenders Institution in the UK, we're working with a small to medium-sized enterprise called ECO Specialists to upgrade in-room lighting with LED technology. This has a host of environmental benefits, including reducing utility consumption and carbon emissions. ECO Specialists is partnering with Prison Industries, a unit within the National Offender Management Service's Skills and Services Group, to ensure that the lights are assembled in one of our prisons, providing prisoners with work. Meanwhile, at the Southern Queensland Correctional Centre, we're partnering with Assistance Dogs Australia. Our prisoners and staff are training dogs to assist people with physical disabilities. This helps rehabilitate prisoners as they discover new skills and take pride in what they can achieve.
In Manchester, our leisure team worked with Diabetes UK to help identify those at risk of developing the condition, offering diet and exercise advice and a free six-week gym membership. We're also working with the Neighbourhood Policing units, Manchester City Council's Leisure Services and the Youth Offending Service to help combat anti- social behaviour. Our solution has included providing evening gym sessions for young people and encouraging interaction with youth workers through physical activity.
One of our Governing Principles is to enable people to excel. We believe in encouraging young people to take their first steps onto the career ladder, and in 2011, we promised 1,000 work placements for young people and 500 apprenticeships across Serco in the UK. For more read our case study for RNAS Yeovilton.
We are also looking at ways of supporting disadvantaged young people aged between 16 and 24 by providing them with access to experiences, skills and opportunities that will help them find employment. Projects have begun at some of the hospitals we work at, including Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital, with the intention of a wider roll-out in 2012.
We want to continue to build an organisation of which we are all proud. Whatever challenges this year brings, we remain focused on the fundamentals of responsible business practice, including operating world-class health, safety and environmental systems; sharing best practice; cultivating sustainable community relationships; and fostering a culture that respects the talents and ambitions of people inside and outside our business. None of this would be possible without Serco's people, who bring passion, experience and commitment to their work on a daily basis. I continue to be extremely proud of all that we achieve together.