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Business Principles

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Our commitment to good business

Our Business Principles and Group Policies provide the foundation for how we operate.

This is much more than a tick box for compliance, how we conduct business reflects our values and defines us in the eyes of our people, our customers and our wider stakeholders.

Together, our eight Business Principles, which set out the operating standards we expect, and our Group Policies, which support these Business Principles, are our commitment to good business.

Our Business Principles

1. Demonstrating integrity in corporate conduct

Ensign platform and helicopter

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.

Public policy decisions can affect all aspects of our operations including investment decisions, consumer protection and employment relations. We do not favour any one political party and work closely with political stakeholders to inform policies on important issues such as energy, environment, consumers and employment relations. Find out more here.

2. Ensuring openness and transparency

Engineer from Clockwork and customer in Tampa

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.

3. Respecting human rights

British Gas engineer showing ID to customer

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.

4. Enhancing customer experiences and business partnerships

NJR rig over York platform supply boat leaving

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.

5. Valuing our people

Engineers at Easington Terminal

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.

6. Focusing on health, safety and security

Engineer checking structure at Morecambe Platform

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.

7. Protecting the environment

Installing solar panels at Cardiff City Hall

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.

8. Investing in communities

British Gas and Solihull ECO insulation project

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.

Building a better business

We have produced 'Building a better business' – a guide to sound business practice which explains the standards we expect from our people and how to put our principles into practice in the many situations we encounter every day.

Download Business Principles

Reporting our progress

Every year our managers complete a mandatory declaration of the Business Principles. This helps to raise awareness of the Principles, reinforce their importance and meet our stakeholder expectations for ethical codes of conduct.

How can employees raise concerns?

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. We encourage employees to do this in two main ways:

  • Speak to their line managers or a human resources manager in the first instance if they have genuine concerns
  • A confidential and independent 'Speak Up' helpline is provided for employees who wish to raise concerns and maintain anonymity. Calls to this helpline are monitored and reported on a quarterly basis to the Audit Committee and appropriate action is taken to address issues raised.
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