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Our principal areas of responsibility and sustainability

To identify and prioritise our principal areas of responsibility and sustainability, and ensure they are appropriately embedded in our framework, we use an independent materiality assessment, aligned to external best practice sustainability principles, indices and frameworks(1) and based on:

  • the material relevance of all potential sustainability issues to our business model, corporate strategy, Principal Risks and Key Performance Indicators; and
  • the material importance of those issues for our business and operations as perceived and experienced by our key stakeholder groups (employees; shareholders; customers; communities and society; government and regulators; partners; and suppliers).

For example:

  • Protecting the environment: Our impact and opportunity to create value from an environmental perspective varies in each market and is dependent on the nature of services we deliver and the level of operational control we hold at any given contract. More than two thirds of our operations are on our client sites where we do not always control the main environmental aspects, such as managing building services, energy and waste. It is on this basis that our assessment has been made. However, there are ways in which we can control and are working to reduce the environmental impact of our operations, such as robust environmental governance, measuring and managing supply chain impacts, reducing business travel and fostering positive environmental behaviours among employees;
  • Duty of care / Social outcomes: The majority of the services we provide involve direct human interaction and care, such as patients in the hospitals where we provide healthcare support services, or offenders in the prisons where we provide rehabilitative psychological services, so not only is service user wellbeing important to us, it is integral to many of the services we provide.

The results of our 2019 materiality assessment are summarised in the chart above.

(1) Including the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards, Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) guidelines and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).