Our approach to corporate responsibility
How we achieve our goals is as important to us as what we achieve. That’s why our ethics, values and behaviours all combine to shape our approach to corporate responsibility.
Corporate Responsibility at Arqiva is part of our DNA, and it is weaved through every aspect of the work we do, and the activities we undertake.
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 ask 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
We have raised over £35,000 so far for Cancer Research UK through a combination of organised events and encouraging colleagues to donate unwanted items to their local CRUK shop.
Our partnership with CRUK extends beyond fundraising – it’s also about ensuring our colleagues are equipped with the support they may need should they, or their family, be affected by cancer.
Our major corporate sites also provide support to a range of chosen charities in their local communities. These include organisations supporting adults with learning difficulties, homeless people, veterans and local food banks
We also understand that supporting a charity can be a very personal decision, so our match funding scheme enables colleagues to fundraise for their chosen local and national charities, from Diabetes UK and the NSPCC to local community projects and children’s clubs and sports teams. Our colleagues are also able to provide support to a charity of their choosing through the 'Give As You Earn' scheme, working in partnership with the Charities Aid Foundation, for which we earned a Bronze Award in 2020. This allows colleagues to get tax relief on donations and the amount provided to charities through this scheme has doubled over the last three years to over £100,000.
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.
Diversity and Inclusion
We recognise that no two colleagues are the same. High performing businesses are driven by many things, not least strong values and a commitment to creating an environment where everyone can be the best that they can be. Valuing diversity and being inclusive is a key part of this. Our diversity and inclusion programme ensures that we are continually focussed on actively identifying and putting in place actions that will take us forwards.
For instance we have launched a number of training courses and leaning materials on diversity and inclusion, such as unconscious bias e-learning, aimed at raising our self-awareness on assumptions and conclusions we can all be guilty of jumping too, without knowing.
Our Diversity Ambassadors aim to help build a safe and inclusive culture where individuality is celebrated. These ambassadors have initiated and driven further groups within Arqiva such as the Working Families Network, providing support and advice for colleagues with additional family commitments.
Investing in the future of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM)
We have active Intern, Apprentice and Graduate schemes, and connect with Universities and Schools to reach the next generation of engineers. Our STEM ambassadors support local schools, and we encourage visits from school children to our headquarters in Crawley Court and our main site in the north of England, Emley Moor, to stimulate their interest in following STEM subjects as a key step to their future career.
Arqiva recognises that women and girls have historically been deterred from pursuing a career in the STEM subjects, so our female colleagues take active roles in STEM projects within and outside Arqiva. The aim is to encourage others and to promote better diversity within the industry as a whole. You can read some of their stories in our Careers section.
Wellbeing – caring for the whole person
We take a responsible 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 colleagues can look after their personal wellbeing, both in and out of work.
Our own annual event focussing on both organisational and personal resilience, OR Week, includes many wellbeing sessions and training courses. We also have a fast-growing network of mental health first-aiders, who are equipped to listen non-judgementally, reassure and respond to colleagues, even in a crisis.
This activity is supplemented by further focussed activity aligned with national weeks around mental health or wellness. As well as specific wellbeing activities, our colleagues have access to a wealth of support through our Employee Assistance Programme and our partnership with Cancer Research UK (as mentioned above).
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 1,000ft 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 get home safe at the end of each day. We pay particular attention to teams working in high risk areas, such as at height on masts, towers and rooftops, or working near radiating antennas and on electrical systems. We also ensure that everyday activities, such as driving and manual handling are well controlled.
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 recognised standards. As a mark of our commitment to leading the industry in this area, Arqiva Health and Safety colleagues have been driving forces in the continual development of MATS, the Mast and Tower Safety Group.
We give our colleagues the tools, information and training to ensure they can work safely:
- We have a robust integrated management system that is certified to ISO14001, ISO45001, ISO9001 and ISO27001. We develop our policies and procedures with the relevant people to ensure that the defined activities actually work in practice, are compliant and support our CSR commitments.
- We have a training programme covering specific skills and general awareness;
- We run our own accredited IOSH 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.
Our technology and services provide vital networks 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.
We are an affiliate member of Waterwise, an independent UK NGO which is focused on reducing water consumption in the UK.
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.
In January 2019 we embarked on a campaign to reduce our reliance on single-use plastics. Asking our colleagues to bring their own cups to use in hot drink vending machines and canteens was a big first step, and proved very successful, removing over 400,000 plastic hot drinks cups from use. Following that we reduced the reliance on single-use plastic water cups by 150,000 per year removing them from water coolers. Highlighting the need to recycle where possible has also increased our overall recycling efforts have improved by 10%.
The nature of our business means that we also have certain responsibilities peculiar to our industry. For example, 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 Morn Hill, we don’t do normal grounds maintenance. There is a meadow area where we hand pick the weeds to protect the natural flora and fauna for local butterfly protection.
- At our Bedford teleport Bedford Teleport we have an agreement with the local community to let an area of grass grow to allow them to harvest themselves for sileage.
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.