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Our responsible business policy

We work to a strong set of core values: doing the right thing, succeeding together and always improving. This policy sets out our commitment to being a responsible business. 

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1. Introduction

Our vision is to create a resilient water future for customers in the South East.

We have a critical role in looking after public health and are committed to making a positive impact for the good of our customers, communities, and the environment.

As a business we work to a strong set of core values: doing the right thing, succeeding together and always improving.

We also believe that being a responsible business requires a clear and continuing focus on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) matters.

This policy sets out the various ways we demonstrate our commitment to being a responsible business.

Our approach to being a responsible business is not limited to the topics covered in this policy. It includes the following, that are managed through separate policies:

  • Biodiversity Policy
  • Carbon Policy
  • Code of Ethics
  • Environment Policy
  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy
  • Health and Safety Policy
  • Modern Slavery Statement
  • Risk Policy
  • Supplier Code of Conduct

The Executive Management Team collectively promotes the implementation of this policy.

All employees share responsibility for our performance in implementing it.

Ian McAulay

Chief Executive Officer

April 2022 Version 2

2. What we are doing:

  • Committing to high standards of corporate governance and complying with the relevant principles and provisions of the UK Corporate Governance Code and objectives of the Ofwat Principles.
  • Understanding what matters most to our customers and stakeholders, considering their priorities alongside our own assessment of what has the biggest impact on our ability to create value.
  • Treating customers with fairness and respect, considering their diverse needs and meeting or exceeding the performance levels promised to them while ensuring affordable bills for current and future generations.
  • Ensuring excellent customer service, putting customers, the environment and other water users at the heart of everything we do.
  • Being a good and trusted neighbour and a steward for the environment.
  • Conforming to our compliance obligations and being honest and transparent in communicating our strategies, targets, performance and governance.
  • Working in partnership with our customers, other companies, other industries and academia to strengthen the work we do and recognise the value they bring to us.
  • Recognising the role we have within the community and supporting and encouraging our employees to engage with community organisations and activities.
  • Valuing the contribution and wellbeing of employees and aiming to ensure they, and job applicants, are treated fairly, equally, and with respect and dignity.
  • Consciously recognising and valuing our differences, ensuring all our people feel they belong and that we succeed together.
  • Offering our employees clear and fair terms of employment and providing resources and training to enable their continual development, consultation, and business involvement.
  • Providing and striving to maintain a clean, healthy, safe and secure working environment.
  • Upholding the values of honesty, partnership, and fairness in our relationships with customers, stakeholders and suppliers.
  • Ensuring our contracts clearly set out the agreed terms, conditions and basis of our relationship.
  • Operating in a way that guards against unfair business practice and supports the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  • Encouraging suppliers, advisors, and contractors to adopt responsible, inclusive business policies and practices for mutual benefit.
  • Leading and participating in research and development to enhance quality of service to customers, improving methods of working and addressing long-term strategic challenges.

3. What we will do:

  • Align our strategy and commitments to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, identifying those we can contribute most to.
  • Use six capitals thinking – financial, manufactured, intellectual, human, social and relationship, and natural - in our decisionmaking.
  • Participate in independent benchmarks and indices, identifying those where we can obtain best insight to continually improve our performance and effectively benchmark our credentials.
  • Include material ESG considerations in our reporting and accounts, and publish information including performance indicators on such matters, aligning these with best practice disclosure frameworks.