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Our Code of Ethics: Doing the Right Thing

Our Code of Ethics sets out our values and responsibilities so that we can always do the right thing and continuously improve.

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1. Our commitment to doing the right thing

Our Code of Ethics underpins everything we do. It ensures openness and transparency, enabling us to build better relationships with our customers and stakeholders.

It sits at the heart of the design and delivery of the kind of improvements to the environment our customers and communities want and rightly expect. We are clear that everyone working for, or on behalf of, our company must maintain the same or equivalent standards and approaches.

2. Water for Life

Our fundamental purpose is to enhance the health and wellbeing of the communities we serve. We do this by providing clean drinking water, safely removing and treating wastewater, protecting and improving the environment and sustaining the economy.

3. Living our values

As a business we work to a strong set of core values of succeeding together, always improving and doing the right thing. Our values underpin the culture in which our teams operate every day. How we all behave as we do our jobs is a core principle of a truly ethical business.

4. Our shared future

Since 2017 we have been delivering against a programme of wide-ranging transformational change. This has included reviewing how people, processes and systems work together across the business. Now is the time to build on these foundations so that we continue to deliver the performance improvements required for our customers, the environment, and our wider stakeholders and community groups.

In July 2022, Lawrence Gosden became CEO. Lawrence and his Executive Team set out four, clear priorities to ensure that we remain focused on the expectations that are placed on us:

We will value safety above everything else – this means we must value ourselves, our colleagues, and those in the wider Southern Water community. No one should ever be harmed while at work, and if it’s not safe, we stop and find a better way.

Water quality matters – we must never become complacent about the huge responsibility we hold to provide this vital resource.

No pollution is ever acceptable – we have a duty to protect, sustain and ultimately enhance our environment and we must make progress each and every day.

Customers are what we’re here for – we must continually improve the service we provide.

Aligned to our Code of Ethics, we will continue to build an environment and culture where we all excel, creating an inclusive environment that values diversity of people and thought. Our Code of Ethics is a foundation and guide for the behaviours that positively support how we connect our shared enthusiasm, skills and capabilities to everything that we must achieve.

5. Working with our partners

Our Supplier Code of Conduct supports our company Code of Ethics. It shows how we value the importance of working with all our suppliers to be a fair and honest partner. The expectations we have of the standards that both the Company and its supply chain will maintain regarding doing the right thing, are detailed in the Supplier Code.

6. Growing for the future

Our people are the foundation of what we do as a business. Our newly established Management Academy, designed to develop our teams across the business, draws ethics and ethical practice as a ‘golden thread’ through the modules and learning, demonstrating that ethics isn’t a stand-alone consideration but underpins all we do.

We are committed to our values and this Code of Ethics, alongside our colleagues on the Board and the Executive Leadership Team. We expect the same of everyone in the company as we expect from ourselves. By doing this we will continue to earn, maintain and improve the trust of our customers and stakeholders thereby supporting of our vision for a resilient future for customers in the South East.

Lawrence Gosden

Chief Executive Officer


Keith Lough