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Our commitment to accountability
Like all commercial enterprises, we’re in business to be successful and grow. But it’s how we achieve this and what we invest in that is important to us as a responsible company. That’s why our ethics, values and behaviours all combine to shape our approach to Corporate Responsibility.
Our Corporate Responsibility programme is deliberately light touch - it’s just part of our DNA - and besides, it just makes good business sense. To guide us we have four focus areas that ensure we act responsibly, ethically and safely in everything that we do.
1. Corporate Focus - together we are stronger
There are a number of activities that we undertake at a corporate level because we all agree they are important, and because by working together we can make a real difference. This is our corporate focus. Activities include:
Supporting Cancer Research UK
It’s a stark fact that one in two people will get cancer in their lifetime. Of those people, 50% will survive. Cancer Research UK have an ambition to increase that survival rate to 75% by 2034 and we want to help them to do that.
We began supporting Cancer Research UK as our recognised national charity in July 2019. Our activities are organised by a team of Charity Champions based at our sites around the country and there are three ways we are asking colleagues to get involved:
- Participate in an Arqiva-organised event.
- Matched funding if they participate in any Cancer Research UK event
- Taking on a personal challenge
A strong start
Our first events took place on 25 July 2019 when colleagues from three sites at Emley Moor, Romsley and Crawley organised their own Race for Life and took on local routes of around 5k on the hottest day on record! Reaction to these first events has been phenomenal and further activity is already planned for the remainder of 2019 and beyond.
Investing in the future of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM)
We connect with universities and schools today so that future generations can experience an enriched and safer life tomorrow. We have active intern, apprentice and graduate schemes, we also have STEM ambassadors who support local schools, and we encourage visits from school children to our headquarters in Crawley Court and our main site in the north – Emley Moor - to stimulate their interest in following STEM subjects as a key step to their future career.
Inspiring social change through our support of Together
We are also proud to support Together (formerly the Community Channel), which is the first supporter-owned national TV channel and the only channel dedicated to inspiring social change. They broadcast programmes that entertain, engage and inspire with the aim of motivating viewers to ‘Do More’ in their lives and do more for others where they live. The channel is run as a charity Community Benefit Society. Along with other industry partners, we have supported Together (formerly the Community Channel) since 2010 by providing capacity on one of our DTT Multiplexes, allowing the channel to reach a national Freeview audience.
2. Community focus – building community
As responsible corporate citizens we are determined to play our part in the communities in which we live and work, and provide support for our teams to do so. This is our community focus. Activities include:
Giving something back – Connected Communities
Our ‘Connected Communities’ programme supports teams of colleagues to get involved in volunteer work for local charities. Each year employees can take a day to participate with their team to achieve a specific goal for their local chosen charity. Activities have included decorating public spaces and revamping garden areas.
We have offices across the country and we know that specific office locations want to support charities local to them. Office teams and sports and social clubs often come together to raise money and support charities that matter to them. In Winchester for example we support Boaz, a charity that supports adults with extreme learning difficulties and the Winchester Night Shelter while in Daventry we support the Ronald MacDonald Hospice for young people with life limiting conditions.
3. Our employee focus – supporting local contribution
People are most passionate about causes close to their heart. We support our colleagues to make the difference that they want to make. This is our employee focus. Activities include:
Encouraging our colleagues to take on positions of responsibility within their local communities and play their part within the wider world results in a high level of community engagement at an individual level. We have a clear Public Duties policy to enable this.
Supporting what matters to us
Charity support is often very personal with many different motivations behind the choice. We offer support to individual colleagues in a number of ways including:
- Matched Funding – we match the funds colleagues raise through their own amazing efforts
- Give as You Earn – we work in partnership with the Charities Aid Foundation which manages the UK’s leading payroll giving scheme Give as You Earn.
4. Business focus – being a responsible employer
Across the business we make sure that our ways of working and day to day activities, underpinned by policies and procedures, reinforce our commitment to being a responsible employer – it simply makes good business sense. This is our business focus. Activities include:
People – living our purpose
Our ambition is to create a workplace where people feel energised, respected and heard; a place from where they can go home safely each day with pride in the work we do. Actively engaging our workforce in the effort to be a responsible business is made easier by this pride. It’s a pride built on the belief that we play a vital role in connecting people’s lives.
For us it’s a corporate imperative that we encourage responsible behaviour, whether it is conserving energy by switching off lights and computers, or behaving ethically in our dealings with customers, suppliers and each other.
Thriving at work
Creating the right culture for our colleagues to thrive is essential. We expect our leadership team and managers to ask key questions every day like: have we given our people all they need to be the best they can during their working day? Are they able to use the talents and strengths they bring into work each day? Are they managed well? Do they truly feel we take an interest in them? We measure the success of this in our annual Gallup Q12 employee engagement survey.
Like many engineering-based businesses we know that Arqiva has a higher proportion of men than women. We are doing lots to address this and are working with the Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion on our diversity and inclusion approach.
We believe in complying with the law not only by the letter, but also in spirit too. This means that we are not simply ticking boxes, but through putting in place processes and procedures we ensure that our people are left in no doubt about how to behave and conduct business.
Health and safety
Our business is delivered through an average of 35,500 working hours every month. The diverse activities within the company range from office-based roles to repairing antenna systems at the top of a 1000ft mast. Whatever we are doing we look to do it in the safest manner. No accident, injury or lack of protection is acceptable.
Safety on site
Ensuring the safety of anyone visiting or working on Arqiva sites is one of our most important responsibilities. We want everyone to go home safely at the end of each day. This is especially important for teams working in high risk areas, such as at height on masts, towers and rooftops, or working near radiating antennas and on electrical systems. It is also important for everyday activities, such as driving and manual handling.
We give our colleagues the tools, information and training to ensure they can work safely:
- We have robust management systems that are accredited to OHSAS18001 and ISO14001, but we also ensure we develop our procedures with the people who carry out the tasks so they actually work in practice;
- We have a training programme covering specific skills and general awareness;
- We run our own accredited Working Safely training scheme for our engineers;
- We ensure collaboration with employee groups through the recognised union BECTU, specific working groups on topics such as work at height and radio frequency safety and our annual employee safety conference.
Safety on site also extends to all visitors and contracted workers too. We proactively engage with our contractors and work collaboratively to ensure they understand and meet our standards.
Wellbeing – caring for the whole person
We take a responsible and adult approach to the health and emotional wellbeing of our people. We see work as just part of the whole person and aim to create the conditions whereby they can look after their personal wellbeing, both in and out of work. Our wellbeing programme begins with our managers. By developing workshops and guidance training material for our managers, we aim to strengthen their ability to balance the drive towards our business goals with the wellbeing of our people. This is essential for a sustainable and resilient future. The training also keeps them informed about the services that we offer, such as the Employee Assistance Programme and occupational health monitoring.
Caring for the environment
Our technology and services create vital connections across communities in the UK and across the world. But as responsible corporate citizens, we are also aware of the impact our activities and our infrastructure may have on local communities. We always strive to minimise the impact we make on sites across the country, especially at remote locations with protected habitats and wildlife; and we work closely with planning authorities and local communities to find the best acceptable solution for locations of communications masts and other infrastructure essential to keeping both rural and urban communities connected.
The energy we consume is a significant cost for us, both economically and environmentally. In doing our best to reduce the amount of energy we use, our aim is to act responsibly both for our shareholders and for the wider community.
To achieve this we aim to create a company-wide mindset that automatically thinks about energy savings, from the small things like reducing unnecessary travel, through to the way we design our technology.
This encompasses wide ranging activities, from controlling and preventing water pollution and managing waste at all our sites, including hazardous waste, to the control and prevention of environmental noise. The nature of our business means that we also have certain responsibilities peculiar to our industry, for example we have put in place safety provisions governing how we protect the public from radio frequency radiation from our transmissions.
As new technologies emerge and legacy equipment is replaced we look for the most environmentally-friendly ways to dispose of redundant hardware. We also consider the environmental risk of every investment made.
Fauna and flora
With many of our transmission sites located in remote rural locations, we also seek to protect or work round natural habitats, rare flora and fauna. For example:
- At the Bilsdale transmission site in North Yorkshire we commissioned Natural England to carry out an assessment of the local area to ascertain the presence or likelihood of nesting birds. Major installation works were re-arranged to accommodate the nesting season.
- In London we provide access to our sites to the RSPB for tagging of rare birds.
We want to be a business that is known for its ethical conduct and general fairness. This extends to our suppliers. That’s why we are committed to ensuring our suppliers align with the same values and behaviours we expect of ourselves. This means that they operate ethically, lawfully, environmentally and in a socially responsible manner throughout the supplier engagement process. We ask our suppliers to commit to our Supplier Code of Conduct. The principles in this Code guide behaviours of accountability and transparency in the core areas of employment, business ethics, environment, health and safety, and products and services.
And as we pursue our vision to be central to every vital connection people make, every day, it is our employees who make all the difference. They understand the importance of achieving the highest level of professionalism and integrity as they deliver on our customer promises.
We trust them to take action and to be accountable for those actions as they ensure we all stay in touch. Always.