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Corporate Lobbying Policy

We often work alongside the UK government and other official bodies. Our Corporate Lobbying Policy sets out how we can do this while acting with transparency and integrity.

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1. Introduction

Southern Water believes that lobbying is a normal and useful part of the process of legislation as long as it complies with all legal requirements. It enables us to provide benefit to government and government organisations by sharing expertise built up in serving four million customers and looking after the environment over two decades. It is also a legitimate opportunity for us to enhance our reputation and influence the development of public policy. In common with all the policies that guide our engagement with stakeholders, this statement is an expression of our corporate values:

  • to be open and honest
  • to be accountable
  • to focus on customers
  • to treat each other with respect
  • to act as one team
  • and to partner for best performance.

2. Scope

Among our stakeholders this statement may be of particular interest to the following groups:

  • local and national politicians and officials
  • regulators, industry associations, partners, and shareholders
  • employees
  • industry associations
  • consultants

3. Guidance

Government and other official bodies often seek the opinions and advice of Southern Water and Southern Water colleagues as experts in matters of public policy affecting the community and the environment. Equally, there are occasions when it is right for the company to volunteer information and advice on matters of public interest in which it has recognised expertise. In responding to such requests or taking such initiatives, colleagues will do everything to ensure that the company is not brought into disrepute. This means always acting in accordance with the following guidance:

  • Act with integrity and honesty towards individuals and institutions in government
  • Make every effort to satisfy themselves that statements or information provided are true and accurate
  • Never make misleading or exaggerated claims or misrepresent their role or access
  • Never offer a financial or other incentive to anyone in public life that could be construed as a way to obtain favour
  • If they hold any public office personally, for example as a local councillor, declare their position and stand aside from work involving provision of advice or information
  • Separate their Southern Water duties from any personal involvement as a member or supporter of a political party.

We are open and transparent in all engagement with politicians and government officials and we require our industry association to adhere to the same principles when carrying out such engagement on our behalf. If we employ consultants to carry out work on our behalf that might involve liaison with politicians or government officials the standards set out in this statement apply equally to them. We use all contacts with stakeholders on public policy issues as opportunities to seek feedback on our activities and operations to better serve and support our customers and communities.