Investing in our communities
Each day ScottishPower engages in activities that have a positive impact on society. We create wealth and jobs, pay taxes, deliver goods and services, drive innovation, and contribute to the skills base. Over and above these activities, we regularly contribute to community based organisations and engage in activities to help address a range of wider issues in the communities where we operate.
This specific voluntary engagement with charitable organisations or activities that extends beyond companies’ core business is broadly known as Corporate Community Investment.
ScottishPower uses the LBG Framework to evaluate its corporate community investment activity. The LBG Framework is a global standard used by organisations around the world; providing a robust and credible approach to measuring the real value and impact of corporate community investment to both business and society.
During 2016, ScottishPower voluntarily contributed £11.8 million in community support activity, through cash, time, in kind support and management costs associated with running community programmes. This represents an increase of 27% on the previous year.
ScottishPower has a significant presence in many communities throughout the UK; from offices, to power stations, windfarms, substations and overhead line networks. We have a strong employee presence in the community too, with hundreds of meter readers visiting homes across the country nearly every day of the year.
We value our relationships with our local communities and aim to demonstrate this by operating our business responsibly at all times, being open and honest in our communication with local stakeholders and by sharing our skills and resources to create real and lasting benefits.
According to LBG’s benchmarking analysis for 2016, community investment is getting more strategic, with more than three quarters of the businesses reporting to LBG setting long-term measurable goals. In fact, 99% of our total contributions as a company during the year were classified as Community Investment or Commercial Initiatives, all with a clear link to ScottishPower’s strategic priorities.
We support various education and training programmes; working with school children, school leavers and graduates, to encourage young people to consider studying science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) with a view to pursuing a career in the power sector.
We also educate young people about electrical safety, through our award winning PowerWise programme. PowerWise is a free, interactive teaching resource linked to the English, Welsh and Scottish national curricula, and is available to school teachers to help educate pupils on the importance of staying safe around electricity.
Through our long-term relationship with Cancer Research UK, we have raised over £15 million since 2012 to help bring forward the day when all cancers are cured. We have an innovative Help Beat Cancer tariff through which we make a donation for every month a customer stays on the tariff and we are the Official Energy Sponsor of the charity’s Race for Life. LBG believes that a successful programme isn’t just about the grants a business provides; it’s about how a workforce is mobilised. That’s why thousands of ScottishPower employees have shown their support by taking part in Race for Life events across the UK, and when we sponsored Stand Up To Cancer for a third year in 2016, hundreds of our employees helped to take donation calls.
ScottishPower employees are at the heart of all of our fundraising activities and last year they raised over £67,000 for Cancer Research UK. They also raised more than £37,000 for charities of their choice, which was boosted by a donation of £11,500 from ScottishPower through our Charity Chest programme. Our staff also gave a further £70,000 to charity through tax efficient payroll giving.
We have a strong culture of employee volunteering across the company, and every employee is offered the opportunity to take one day’s paid leave each year to volunteer. In 2016, almost 600 members of staff took part in volunteering activities contributing over 4600 hours during paid company time.
Social Welfare is an issue of growing importance for business, with nearly one-fifth of contributions by businesses in the LBG Network now going to social welfare issues, up from only 12% in 2015. As part of the operation of our onshore windfarms, we create and support over 30 community benefit funds, empowering communities spread across the UK, to control how this money is spent to best serve the needs of the local area. During 2016, ScottishPower Renewables gave more than £3.5 million to local communities neighbouring its windfarms.
Collectively, our voluntary community support activity benefited an estimated 550,000 people directly and we estimate that a further 200,000 people benefit indirectly. This estimate includes family members of direct beneficiaries, and people living locally to where we make our contributions.
For further information on the LBG Framework, visit the LBG website.