Latest Update | 30 April 2013
To ensure we operate to the high standards and values set out in our Business Principles, employees are encouraged to raise concerns about possible illegal or unethical practices.
14 June 2012
Economic value add information shows the flow of money between Centrica and the stakeholders who benefit financially from our operations.
25 May 2012
Our 'Speak up' helpline enables employees to report concerns regarding unethical or illegal practices. In 2011, we continued to promote the helpline and communicate our policy through internal communications.
We have high standards for ethical behaviour that we apply through our Business Principles
Our continued success depends on our ability, both as a company and as individuals, to establish and maintain positive relationships not only with our customers, colleagues and shareholders but also with our business partners, suppliers and the wider communities in which we work.
Our Business Principles set out our commitment to operate professionally, fairly and with integrity wherever we work in the world. Furthermore, they help us to protect and enhance our reputation by creating a clear framework to guide our behaviour and decision-making.
We expect the highest levels of ethical conduct and will support those who make decisions based on our Business Principles. Our employees, business partners and suppliers, have a shared responsibility to make sure we reflect these principles in our behaviour.
I want to be proud of what we achieve. Our Business Principles clearly set out how we want to work with employees and all stakeholders to make sure that we continue to maintain the highest ethical standards throughout our organisation.
We are committed to working within the laws and regulations of all the countries in which we operate. In the absence of adequate laws and regulations, we will adopt recognised international standards of best practice and promote these in our business operations.
We also support the 10 principles described in the United Nations Global Compact and will seek to address social, ethical or environmental matters that may affect our stakeholders - customers, neighbours, employees and shareholders. We believe that competitive markets can only flourish where there are sound business ethics. Our businesses are judged by what the outside world thinks of us and the way we conduct ourselves collectively. As such, we will assess the implications of our business decisions for all our stakeholders and manage our social, ethical and environmental impact accordingly.
We will avoid conflicts of interest and implement anti-corruption policies and procedures. We will not engage in bribery or any form of unethical inducement or payment.
Open and transparent communications with our stakeholders - customers, employees, local communities and society - are important to us, but we also respect commercial confidentiality and the privacy of our employees and customers. We will provide meaningful and timely communications to stakeholders of our social, ethical and environmental performance, which form part of our Business Principles, through the annual reporting process and online progress reports.
We support all aspects of human rights set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which forms the basis of our respect for the communities and societies in which we operate. Human rights considerations affect many aspects of our business activities, including our employment processes and investment strategies, the health, safety and security of our people and assets and our goal to contribute positively to communities in which we operate.
We will treat our customers fairly and professionally to deliver good quality customer service based on trust and credibility. We will also work with our customers to ensure they understand how to use our products and services safely and responsibly.
We will maintain dialogue with regulators, consumer and industry organisations and relevant not-for-profit organisations to inform our decision-making and ensure that we provide innovative products and services that are relevant to the markets in which we operate.
We will disseminate these principles to our business partners – including sub-contractors, suppliers and joint venture partners – and will seek to promote their application throughout our supply chain.
We value our people and are committed to creating a culture of mutual trust and respect. We will recruit people based on the qualifications and abilities needed to do the job, while promoting diversity and development throughout our business.
We will work with our employees to ensure fair consultation and representation in decision-making, and respect employees' rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining. We will not tolerate any form of discrimination, harassment or bullying in the workplace.
The health, safety and security of our employees, customers and others who may be affected by our activities are a top priority. We believe that all work-related fatalities, injuries and illnesses can be prevented and we are committed to ensuring that all employees work in a safe and healthy way.
We are committed to understanding, managing and reducing the environmental impact of our activities. In particular we are committed to playing our full part in the transition to a low carbon energy future, while ensuring the security of present and future energy supplies. We aim to achieve this by sourcing and producing energy from cleaner sources, reducing wasted energy and developing and deploying new technology.
We aim to reduce the carbon intensity of our power generation by developing renewable and low carbon energy sources. We are also committed to leading the consumer market for low carbon energy products and services, helping customers to reduce their energy usage.
We recognise that our operations, together with the way we deliver products and services, can have a major impact on the environment – for example, in the way we produce and use energy, manage our local environment and its biodiversity, operate our fleet of vehicles and manage the waste we create. We will work with our employees and suppliers to reduce these impacts through innovation, technology and cultural change. In addition we will quantify, measure and communicate our environmental performance in a rigorous and clear manner.
We recognise that strong relationships and long-term partnerships with local communities are fundamental to our sustained success. Wherever we operate, we seek to develop enduring relationships with our neighbours based on mutual trust, respect and an understanding of our impact.
We are committed to providing additional targeted support for our more vulnerable customers and the promotion of social inclusion. We also promote education, skills development and employability in the communities we serve.
We have produced 'Building a better business' PDF (1.86Mb) - a guide to sound business practice which explains the standards we expect and how to put our principles into practice in the many situations we encounter every day.
This guide is for our employees, including anyone working for us under contract or on a temporary basis, in all of our majority-owned business dealings and transactions in all the countries in which we or our subsidiaries and associates operate. Where we have a minority interest we will encourage our contractors, suppliers and joint venture partners to uphold our principles.
Failure to respect our principles could result in disciplinary action or dismissal for employees and in the case of a business partner who fails to uphold our Business Principles, in the last resort, termination of their contract.
If an employee is concerned about any possible improper, unethical or illegal practice within the organisation, he or she has a responsibility to speak up. Employees are encouraged to speak to their line managers or a human resources manager in the first instance if they have genuine concerns. We also provide a confidential and independent 'Speak Up' helpline for employees who wish to raise concerns and maintain anonymity. Calls to this helpline are monitored and reported on a quarterly basis to the General Risk Management Committee and Audit Committee and appropriate action is taken to address issues raised.