Reflections on the year
Here, in our 18th Corporate Responsibility Report (the first one was published in 2003), we summarise our impact, progress and performance in delivering our commitments across our ESG priorities. Brought together in one model, our Corporate Responsibility Framework, we drive them forward as continuously maturing and integrating systems of policy, people and process – governed by our Values and bound by our purpose, with appropriate Board and Executive oversight and dedicated leadership at all levels.
We are proud of the strength and depth of our approach to Corporate Responsibility; we believe that our focus on it, particularly over recent years, has served the Company and its stakeholders well. However, we also understand that, to coin a phrase, ‘the price of liberty is eternal vigilance’. It is when companies think they are doing well that they can sow the seeds of their own destruction; they can become complacent, too believing in their own righteousness, and insufficiently humble in the face of the fact that in any company as large and diverse as ours, someone, somewhere, is doing something stupid or wrong every day of the year. It is eternal vigilance, an understanding that the gravitational pull of temptation is constant, a belief in transparency, a willingness to admit to fault and accept our own fallibility, and a desire to do the right thing, even when it hurts, which are the ways to preserve long-term value for our shareholders.