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Corporate Responsibility at Serco

As a public company our job is to deliver to our owners attractive returns on their capital, and they expect our profits to increase over time. However, for those returns to be sustainable the Company needs to behave in a way that is responsible and consistent with the broader interests of society. We take this responsibility very seriously.

Download PDF: Corporate Responsibility report 2019

Our commitment

We are employed to make money for the owners of the business. Without profits we could not generate or attract investment or deliver services or employ people. But we do not regard this as inconsistent with making a positive contribution to society or behaving responsibly. To the contrary, it is the sine qua non of the Company’s reputation as a trusted organisation providing public services and its ability to secure and retain business from Governments into the future.

We recognise that if we do not behave in a responsible way the value of the Company could be severely impacted and indeed we have experience of this behaviour. We have, through this experience, learned the importance of being very thoughtful about the way we conduct ourselves.

Our Values of Trust, Care, Innovation and Pride help us to stay grounded and sit at the heart of how we operate. 

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We do not believe that it is for Serco to opine on morality, but whilst making money for our shareholders, we serve society in four main ways.

First, by helping Governments to deliver reliable, high-quality services which represent good value for the taxpayer; in many cases this involves providing citizens (or people who aspire to be citizens) with services at difficult times in their lives, or providing services which support critical national infrastructure and assets. Doing these things well is an important contribution to society, and in so doing we support the UN Sustainable Development Goals 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) and 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions).

Secondly, we serve society by employing more than 50,000 people, and giving them jobs which are fairly paid, a safe and healthy workplace where diversity is positively valued, careers which allow them to develop and achieve to the best of their abilities, and ensuring that they are treated with respect. In so doing we support the UN Sustainable Development Goals 1 (No Poverty), 3 (Good Health and Wellbeing), 4 (Quality Education), 5 (Gender Equality), 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) and 10 (Reduced Inequalities).

Thirdly, in our interactions with others – be they suppliers, politicians, competitors, lenders or investors – we contribute to society by being straightforward, transparent, respectful and fair. In so doing we support the UN Sustainable Development Goals 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production) and 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions).

Fourthly, the Company and its employees pay tens of millions of pounds in taxes. In so doing we support the UN Sustainable Development Goals 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production) and 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions).

Talking about these things runs the risk of leaving the impression that we believe our behaviour and thinking is always perfect. In a company employing more than 50,000 people worldwide, someone, somewhere is probably doing something stupid or behaving badly. From the Board down, we will make mistakes or take decisions which time judges harshly. We are often faced with situations where there is no clear answer to what is ‘doing the right thing’. Regulation and rules cannot provide the answer to everything and we are paid to use our judgement. But just because we are imperfect humans in an imperfect world does not mean that we should not set ourselves high standards of behaviour, and try to make a positive difference, every day.

Kirsty Bashforth

Non-Executive Director
Chair, Corporate Responsibility Committee

 

Rupert Soames

Serco Group plc
Chief Executive
 

 

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Explore our Corporate Responsibility progress in 2019

Our corporate responsibility framework

In order to make the principles outlined in our commitment actionable and meaningful, we have a CR framework structured around our four core stakeholders: owners, customers, employees and the wider world.

This framework defines our principal areas of responsibility and sustainability and helps to guide practice and behaviour whilst facilitating measurement of performance. Our efforts are not limited to these items, but this is where we focus our attention and ambitions most closely. Each component in our framework represents a continuously improving system of people, projects and processes – managed by global teams and fulfilled by our employees.

Behaving with integrity and treating people with respect

Across all our regions, we strive to behave with integrity and treat people with respect, within the bounds of expected individual and corporate behaviour, with regard for relevant laws and regulatory requirements, with sensitivity to local cultures and with respect for human rights.

Our people

We are committed to enabling the development, wellbeing and safety of our people.

Our owners

We are determined to protect our shareholders’ interests and create long-term, sustainable value for them.

Our customers

We understand the complex social challenges that shape our chosen markets and strive to help our customers address them. We are driven by our public service ethos to help our customers create positive and sustainable outcomes for society.

Our world

We strive to be responsible in how we manage our impact on the communities, economies and environments in which we operate – working to make a positive and sustainable difference wherever possible and limiting any other impact we may have.

CR in action stories View more stories

Each component in our framework represents a continuously improving system of people, projects and processes – managed by global teams and fulfilled by our employees. Here we share some examples of how our people have brought our commitments to life.