April 10, 2022 - Blog

ESG – It’s not just a requirement, it’s a necessity

Version 1's Environmental, Social & Governance story

At Version 1 we’re excited to be launching our initiatives that put our ongoing ESG plans into action for 2022. ESG is an organisation’s responsibility for the impacts ​​​​​​​that it has on society.​ ​Which is why we are continuing to implement sustainable strategies and tech-enabled ESG that power solutions for our wider communities. Always ensuring that we foster inclusivity, acknowledge the importance of wellbeing, prioritise learning and demonstrate an understanding of our commitments to society.

ESG - It's not just a requirement, it's a necessity

As part of our launch we talk to Lorna McAdoo, Version 1’s ESG Director, on why ESG is so imperative for our organisation, why it should be a necessity for every company and what Version 1 has managed to achieve over the years so far…

I joined Version 1 eight years ago and have been part of a company that was, and still is, building something special for our customers, our people, and our communities.

So, what does special mean?

When I joined, the company had already put its core values in place and held our Customers, People and Community at the heart of its strategy. This is something that I continue to feel passionate about and feel that all organisations should do if they want to be successful, and be a workplace that people are proud to be part of.

Building organisations isn’t all about the bottom line, it’s about so much more. And crucially, for me, it’s about the following:

  • Do we provide a good employee experience?
    How do we show we care? How are employees treated?
  • Do we give back to the communities we operate in?
    How do we show we care about the communities we work alongside?
  • How do our customers perceive us?
    Are we easy to work with? Are we effective in everything we do? And most importantly; do we listen, have empathy and deliver what our customers need?

I found the perfect fit when I joined Version 1. Alongside the fantastic work we do for our customers, we ensure that our people and communities remain a priority. And this is reflected in the way we run our business.

All of the above really encapsulates what ESG is. We consider Environmental, Social and Governance as part of our work and build it into our frameworks. And it is demonstrated on a daily basis through our Great Place to Work initiatives across Health & Wellbeing and Employee Engagement; through our Community First initiatives that endeavour to touch the heart of our communities. Whether through charitable donations or working with education institutions and young people. Version 1 have built strong Governance frameworks across the business to continually ensure secure and supported working environment for our people and our customers.

I was delighted last year when I was asked to lead ESG across the organisation. For me it was a fantastic endorsement of the investment that we had spent in delivering ESG over the years, and recognition that it was worthwhile with a lot more still to do. And having the opportunity to broaden the scope in the organisation whilst working with amazing people across all our office locations, who share my passion for doing the right thing, is something I am incredibly excited about.

Why do I think that ESG a necessity for every company?

Quite simply put; we all work in a world that everyday challenges us. Whether as organisations, people, communities – locally, internationally or globally. ESG needs to be a strategic objective for every company. If every company put it at the heart of its business plans, as we have here at Version 1, imagine the collective difference we could make to our environment and communities. Imagine the world of work and how different it would look if everyone ensured they operated within a secure organisation; keeping their people’s best interests at its core and delivering benefits to our communities seen through impactful initiatives.

What have we done so far and what do we want to achieve?

We just don’t talk the talk in Version 1 we actually walk the walk. In 2021 alone we have delivered £215.68k project value. This has been allocated across…

  • Overall hours and money to ESG in 2021: 2.45k hours, £96.64k
  • DIBS specific projects: 715 hours, £1.92k money, project value £37.67k
  • Health & Wellbeing projects: 231 hours, £10.24k money, project value £21.79k
  • Community First projects: 1.17K hours, £77.94k money, project value £136.24k

Our ESG objectives are much more aggressive, though. And below are our key ones. For more information on our efforts, please check out our ESG webpage.

Our Commitments

Climate Ambitions
- Maintain Carbon Neutrality
- Achieve Net Zero emissions by 2025
- 100% renewable energy across all our operations
- 30% reduction on employee travel emissions
- 80% of our key suppliers have emission reduction strategies in place
- 50% reduction in Employee carbon footprint
Health & Wellbeing
- Maintain Healthy Place to Work and Best Workplace in wellbeing status.
- Enhance our wellbeing offering with a particular focus on supporting our employees mental and emotional wellbeing.
- Provide employees with the tools and equipment to enhance their working from home experience.
Women in Tech
- Develop and Nurture our Company wide Women in Tech movement
- 80% of our women to participate in one WIT activity each year
- Our organisation will be made up of 40% women by 2025
- 40% of our management roles are held by women by 2025
Diversity Data Strategy
- Drive a data led Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging Strategy
- 100% of hiring managers will be trained on Inclusive Recruitment policies
- 90% of staff to have completed at least one DIBs learning module by 2023
Social Value
- An externally monitored programme of improvement for Social Value at Version 1 (Social Value Quality Mark Accreditation)
- 20 new partnerships launched through Social Value by 2023
- 1000 hours delivered through customer social value by 2023
Education Collaboration
- 5% of staff taken part in an education outreach event by 2023
- 60 work experience programmes / placements offered to students by 2023
- 1000 students reached from outreach activities by 2023
- Engaged and worked with 100 education institutes and organisations by 2023
Inclusive Practices
- Have each DIBs regional team host 2 events per year
- 4 Company wide DIBs Events per year
- All staff to be encouraged to embrace #SWAN initiative in email signatures during Induction
Community First
- 25% employees personally contribute to their Community First initiatives
- 1000 hours delivered in volunteering
- At least 30 new community initiatives launched by 2023
Governance
- To report transparently on our climate impact and progress to the Climate Disclosure Project
- To report transparently on our success against our KVIs in an annual Social Value report

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