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Our world - Social

We strive to build strong, reliable and service-enhancing supply chains, partnerships and relationships with our communities – aligned to ethical standards and sustainability, generating greater value for society and enhancing social outcomes.

CR Framework Diagram 2020 highlighting Our World - contributing to society section

What contributing to communities and society means to us

Operating amongst and on behalf of our communities, we have a deep understanding of the complex social challenges that impact them. Across Serco, positive and meaningful engagement with individual communities, charities and partners is managed primarily at Contract level. Our role is to encourage and facilitate such endeavour, providing additional support where appropriate.

CR Framework Diagram 2020 highlighting Our World - responsible relationships section

What responsible relationships and sustainable procurement means to us

We seek to build honest, respectful and transparent relationships with customers, partners and suppliers – requiring that they maintain regulatory compliance and share our ethical standards and commitment to sustainability throughout the supply chain.

Progress in 2020 and our next steps:

Contributing to communities and society

Every year, our teams work to develop and strengthen service-enhancing relationships with their local communities whilst striving to make a difference for the causes that matter most to them. Throughout 2020, this has taken on new meaning and greater urgency. Even whilst working to ensure continuity of essential public services and addressing unprecedented challenges in their own lives, our teams have rallied hard to help charities and community groups combat the challenges posed by Covid-19.

In response, and per its commitment to support vulnerable citizens internationally, the Serco Foundation – our independent charitable trust – launched the Coronavirus Community Support Fund. All Serco employees in every region were invited to nominate not-for-profit organisations helping fight the Covid-19 emergency in their local communities to receive financial support.

The Coronavirus Community Support Fund made more than £600,000 of grants to 300 organisations during 2020. Recipients in c.20 countries included hospices, education and healthcare organisations, groups supporting victims of domestic and sexual violence, mental health specialists, religious groups, respite care, community food schemes, not-for-profit transportation providers and charities supporting displaced or disadvantaged communities.

Following the strong engagement of Serco employees with the Serco Foundation in 2020, the principal objective in 2021 is to leverage this enthusiasm to encourage more employee fundraising and corporate volunteering in all regions. Initiatives to enable this are in development. 

Further information regarding activities referenced here is available in the following locations:

Serco Foundation
Corporate Responsibility in Action

Responsible relationships and sustainable procurement

Progress in 2020

In addition to embedding and building on previously reported progress, and delivering our standard processes and programmes, we have:

  • completed the implementation of our refreshed ethical due diligence process and new screening tool and published our Third-Party Due Diligence Manual – a single volume comprising all existing, updated and new Group Standard Operating Procedures for due diligence of suppliers, agents, strategic partners and customers;

  • worked with Action Sustainability to develop new sustainable procurement goals and begin aligning all procurement practice across Serco with ISO20400 Sustainable Procurement (to complete by 2022);

  • implemented a Supplier Management programme for our most business-critical suppliers, comprising contract compliance, risk management and performance management;

  • reported our Serco Ltd supplier payment performance (89% of invoices paid on time in 2020, up 1 percentage point from 2019) and continued rolling out our e-invoicing solution, providing better visibility of payments for suppliers;

  • refreshed and continued to build our Group Modern Slavery Programme:

    • establishing a Modern Slavery Oversight Group, with representatives from all Divisions, to drive continuous improvement;

    • developing a new Group modern slavery response and remediation process to enable swift, victim-centric response and cooperation with relevant authorities;

    • training our global recruitment teams and certain key contracts on applicable modern slavery practices;

    • developing a new Supplier Code of Conduct training video, covering human rights, fair working conditions and modern slavery;

    • working with Stronger Together to:

      • review current practice, plan key actions and train our Procurement, Legal and Ethics & Compliance teams on modern slavery in purchasing practices;

      • develop an enhanced methodology for modern slavery risk assessment and apply it to our Tier 1 supplier population; and

      • develop a new supplier questionnaire for enhanced modern slavery due diligence and integrate it into our supplier onboarding process.

Our next steps include plans to:

  • publish a Sustainable Procurement Charter outlining our priorities, minimum standards for suppliers and ambitions to generate additional value for society, economy and environment from our supply chain;

  • complete enhanced modern slavery due diligence on Tier 1 suppliers in high-risk categories and commence enhanced risk assessment of our Tier 2 suppliers;

  • embed our new modern slavery response and remediation process, supported by new management training; and

  • embed our supplier training video as a mandatory requirement in supplier onboarding.

Further information about our Modern Slavery approach is available in our Slavery and human trafficking statement.