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Simon Henderson

‘Under the miCRoscope’ – our transparent approach to putting our key issues up for discussion

4 May 2012 Posted by Simon Henderson, Corporate Responsibility

As part of our launch of our corporate responsibility performance reporting for 2011, we have developed two videos of our Chief Executive reviewing the year in conversation with Mallen Baker, a well known advisor, writer and commentator in the CR world.  They are entitled ‘Under the MiCRoscope: A review of 2011’ and can be viewed on our videos page.

For 2011, the two biggest issues discussed were building trust  in the energy industry, and securing future UK energy supplies, the latter with a focus on nuclear power but also how other sources of energy will play a part in the future generation mix. Both are big subjects which produced a great deal of footage. As a result, we’ve two separate  films this year – ‘Engagement and building trust’ and ‘Securing energy supplies’.

This is the third time that Mallen has agreed to interview Sam Laidlaw, and it’s something that we think adds real value to our CR communications. It’s a simple formula. We ask Mallen to review the year and to discuss with Sam what he feels are the key issues, challenges and opportunities facing Centrica and, potentially, the wider energy industry. No subjects are off-limit, and questions are not agreed prior to the interview – it’s an opportunity for Mallen to ask the difficult questions and challenge Sam on Centrica’s progress on key topics.

Although this approach could be risky in that we don’t know what Mallen will ultimately choose to focus on, we do so in the hope it demonstrates our transparency regarding the key issues we’re facing. It also allows Sam to express our side of the story, something which is not always possible in a shorter soundbite on TV or in the media.      

As a CR team, we’re delighted that our Chief Executive is committed to this approach – as well as demonstrating his personal commitment to the CR agenda, it also helps in our longer-term aim to embed sustainability issues into the business and be part of mainstream business decisions. We were pleased to get some positive reaction to the video last year - and particularly delighted to get such good employee feedback on seeing our Chief Executive leading from the front on the CR agenda.

We hope you find the two films both interesting and helpful in understanding some of the key challenges we currently face. If you’ve any feedback, we’d love to hear from you...enjoy.


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