CREATING SUSTAINABLE VALUE - CEO statement
Commitment to SUSTAINABILITY
A Sustainable business
Whether we are protecting assets and people, managing cash and valuables or playing our part in rehabilitating those in custody, it is important that we do so to the highest standards and with integrity and respect.
It is essential that our customers can be sure we will always do the right thing and that our shareholders have the confidence to invest in our sustainable business model. In many emerging markets our high standards of ethics and values are a differentiating factor which contributes to our achieving leading market positions in key sectors. That is one of the reasons why sustainability is at the heart of our strategy.
We expect our leaders and managers across the Group to take personal responsibility for working in a sustainable way which meets or exceeds the company policies and standards. We also expect them to understand where risks to sustainability may exist and put in place plans and actions to ensure that any risks are mitigated.
Our business processes have in-built standards to ensure that we are making the right choices for the company based on an understanding of where sustainability risks may exist. For example, investment proposals are assessed not just on the basis of appropriate operational delivery and financial returns, but also on whether they can be achieved in line with our company values and standards and whether the appropriate risk versus reward balance can be achieved.
This takes place formally, such as those involving our Group Investment Committee, and I am also encouraged by the informal discussion which takes place across the organisation, reflecting an understanding of our important role in society and the creation of a sustainability culture across the group.
Embedding our values
Early in 2016 we completed a review of our values and we launched new values in March. Feedback from across our key stakeholder groups has been very positive and we are now embedding them across the Group – making sure our standards and practices are aligned.
We have commenced an employee communications programme aimed at making sure colleagues understand the new values, what they mean in practice and what we expect of our colleagues as a result.
We are developing a training programme for managers and a new and engaging method of introducing colleagues to the values when they first join the Group. We are embedding our new values into existing processes such as the Group’s competency framework – which assesses management performance and capability against an agreed set of criteria.
Performance contracts for senior managers and the incentives associated with them include a clear requirement to carry out their role in accordance with the Group’s required standards of behaviour. This ultimately impacts how individuals are rewarded through incentive schemes.
Where specific actions are required – for example an improvement in the safety performance of a particular business – leaders and managers will have specific non-financial objectives in order to make sure the actions are given the right level of priority and focus.
In addition, we are encouraging colleagues to “Speak Out” if they are aware of or witness wrongdoing or behaviour which is not in line with our values. In 2016 we completed the global implementation of Speak Out, our whistleblowing hotline and case management system for the most serious of issues.
Whilst we still have some way to go to ensure all cases of wrongdoing are being reported through the appropriate channels, we have seen a growing willingness of employees to raise concerns via Speak Out. We will continue to remind colleagues of the options open to them for reporting their concerns.
In 2017, we will also be undertaking a global management and employee survey, which will be linked to the company values. This is a very important means of gaining feedback from colleagues around the world on what the values mean in practice and how well they are being embedded in our organisation.
One area of our business which continues to concern me and my executive team is that of employee safety. We have made good progress in improving our safety standards, resources and accountability for safety issues, safety performance remains unsatisfactory and I regret to report that although we achieved a significant improvement in road safety, 47 colleagues lost their lives in the course of their duties last year.
This was principally as a result of sharply higher levels and greater intensity of armed attacks on our employees. We are working closely with peer companies and law enforcement agencies to mitigate these attacks. The number of road traffic-related fatalities has decreased by 20% since 2013 when the road safety programme was launched.
We will continue to focus on safety on the front line, where it matters the most, where we can have the most impact on the behaviour of our colleagues and where lives can be saved and injuries avoided.
A Sustainable Future
We continue to make positive progress in all areas of our CSR strategy, but recognise – as part of our ongoing transformation of the Group – that there is more we can do to continuously improve our sustainability performance.
This will continue to be a focus for the management and board as the group continues to develop in the coming years.
Group Chief Executive Officer
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