Financial year ending 31 July 2018.
Our approach to corporate social responsibility (CSR) reflects the steps that we are taking to ensure we are, and remain, a good corporate citizen. Social responsibility encompasses everything we do that has an impact on society around us – it is our values and behaviour as an organisation.
Our role in supporting education and research makes a valuable contribution to the continuing development of a learning society. As an organisation that champions digital solutions for our members, such as cloud-based services, video-conferencing and online research and learning resources and services, we also support our members to deliver against their environmental priorities. However, the focus of this statement and our activities is on Jisc as an organisation.
Our statement is followed by a summary of our efforts to reduce our impact on the environment, our approach to diversity, equality and inclusion, our shared values as an organisation and how we support our staff both as employees and as citizens seeking to make a difference through fundraising and volunteer work.
Our statement is updated annually and reflects actions we took in the previous year and plans and targets for the forthcoming year.
We are committed to ensuring that Jisc is a responsible corporate citizen. To do this, we must:
- Minimise the environmental impact of our corporate activities
- Identify and address issues of equality, diversity and inclusion amongst our current and future workforce
- Ensure that employees are treated with dignity, respect and in accordance with basic human rights
- Enhance our fundraising and volunteering activities for third party good causes
- Understand our supply chains and our suppliers commitment to CSR issues and practices
- Apply an ethical approach in our investment stategy
How we are delivering against our responsibilities
In this section we describe the actions we have taken across a number of areas in 2017-18.
In 2017-18, a working group of staff committed to ensuring that CSR issues are a key focus for Jisc was established. Sub-groups of staff are also forming to focus on particular aspects of CSR activity (for example environment, charity fundraising) and drive forward our plans in these areas.
We also have a number of active Yammer groups, where like-minded staff can come together and share news, ideas and feedback on a variety of CSR issues. Yammer groups include those focussed around the environment, equality diversity and inclusion, health safety and wellbeing and organisational culture.
Every business has an impact on the environment in some form and we are committed to identifying ways to reduce our impact. For example, our use of technology means that travel is reduced as colleagues can participate in meetings and events virtually. Our provision of technology means that our members equally benefit from virtual access to meetings and resources which helps them achieve their own environmental targets.
We comply with all applicable environmental legislation and regulations and we’re taking proactive steps to incorporate and improve environmentally friendly processes in our organisation, so we actively and purposefully exceed regulatory requirements.
Some of the ongoing steps we are taking include:
- Promoting an active recycling programme, which includes disposal of outdated computer and electronic equipment, recycling bins for paper and cardboard, plastics and tins, food waste and use of recycled paper for necessary printing, with double-sided printing by default
- Encouraging electronic distribution of software and documentation to members, clients and colleagues, eliminating the need for media production, binding and printing
- Supplying reusable cups, plates and cutlery to reduce waste
- Supporting a number of energy saving and conservation strategies:
- Low-energy office lighting that switches off automatically when no movement is detected
- Selecting power settings on computers, printers and reception screens to minimise power usage
- Encouraging staff to turn off meeting room lights when meetings are over
- Car park lighting timed to come on only when it is dark
- Supporting the reduction of our carbon footprint by:
- Providing various technologies to support staff with virtual meetings to avoid travel
- Encouraging flexible working for staff
- Offering a cycle to work scheme
In 2017-18, we also:
- Identified the baseline data to be gathered to allow us to set targets for improvement in recycling rates, reduction of waste sent to landfill, reduction in energy consumption and reduction in our carbon footprint. We’ll be gathering the data and setting targets in 2018-19
- Identified a range of activities that we believe would raise awareness of environmental issues across the organisation and build commitment to improve, such as plastic-free lunch day, litter-picking around office buildings and beach cleans
- Implemented simple signage to remind staff to consider whether items can be recycled instead of sent to landfill. We’ll continue this into 2018-19 to encourage staff to reduce energy consumption
Equality, diversity and inclusion
We believe that equality, diversity and inclusion are three vital ingredients for a thriving, vibrant edtech company. We want to make the most of our collective talents and make sure that we value and celebrate diversity, creating an environment where we make the most of our different backgrounds, perspectives and talents.
Our new HR system allows the central recording of diversity data which enables us to more easily track change and monitor the diversity of our workforce, benchmark with other organisations across all sectors and identify actions to address areas of concern. The data supports the development of our plans in more detail and ensures our efforts are focussed and proportionate.
In 2017-18 we:
- Published our gender-pay report and held an all-staff meeting to share the details and our plans to address the gap. We’ll be implementing our plans through 2018-19
- Provided online training resources for unconscious bias on our new learning platform, to be expanded further in 2018-19
- Established our equality, diversity and inclusion network in which all staff can participate
- Signed up to the TechTalent Charter (TCC), a commitment by organisations to a set of undertakings that aim to deliver greater gender diversity in the tech workforce of the UK, to better reflect the make-up of the population
- Participated for the first time in "bring your daughter to work" day
- Launched our partnership with STEM Ambassadors to inspire a diverse pool of young people and females into STEM subjects and careers
- Created a calendar of events aimed at raising awareness and celebrating diversity, including International Women’s Day, June Pride month, Black History Month, Dyslexia Awareness Month, Ada Lovelace Day and International Men’s Day
- Supported our staff in creating a series of videos and blogs called #thisisme in which our people bring to life diversity and inclusion issues at work by sharing their experiences, widening our perspectives and celebrating difference
Values, behaviours and supporting staff
We want Jisc to be a great place to work. A place where people make a difference to our members, and where they feel valued and supported. We’ve developed a set of values that demonstrate the attitude and approach everyone should use at work which gives us a clear way to celebrate the behaviour which helps us achieve great things.
We regularly check-in with staff to understand how they are feeling, through organisational “temperature checks” and conducted a full staff survey to help us work towards being a “great place to work” in 2019. Our overall results were good with 54% of employees saying, "this is a great place to work". Our ambition is to achieve as a minimum, best in class at 65%.
Alongside the values framework, we have a range of policies, to ensure that our staff understand what is expected of them, and what support they may expect from Jisc in return. These policies ensure that staff are treated fairly and with respect and that Jisc acts ethically and with integrity. These policies include sickness at work, dignity at work, equality and diversity, flexible working, health, safety and wellbeing and maternity, paternity and adoption leave.
We are committed to the health, safety and wellbeing of our staff and we have an active health and safety committee and policy. We offer confidential life management and personal support services to all colleagues and their immediate families.
In 2017-18 we:
- Launched our employee recognition programme to celebrate colleagues who demonstrate our values. We’re exploring further ways to thank and reward staff for launch during 2018-19
- Launched Fuse, our learning platform, which supports a learning culture providing access to a vast range of learning resources, across a range of subjects available to all staff
- Ran internal TEDx-inspired Jisc events, an opportunity for colleagues to come together and hear inspirational talks on a huge range of topics, helping to build the culture that we are striving for. We’re developing the events further in 2018-19 to better suit our needs
- Launched our iMatter strategy with five priority areas - stress management, work-life balance, one organisation (social togetherness), healthy people, and our working environment
- Achieved accreditation as a Living Wage employer
- Organised the 10,000 steps a day challenge with staff, which raised money for Bowel Cancer UK in memory of a colleague
Fundraising and volunteering
We have an active group of staff who organise and host various fundraising activities on an informal basis, including charity cake sakes, community gardening efforts and Christmas shoe box appeals for disadvantaged children. These are always well supported and bring colleagues together in a united effort to support others in need.
A dedicated group of staff are developing a fundraising policy with the intention of coordinating efforts across the organisation.
We support the STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) ambassadors programme which is a volunteer programme in which people who work in STEM careers, or have an interest in STEM subjects, use their knowledge, experience and enthusiasm to help young people progress further in those areas. We’re also supporting edtech start-ups and are encouraging staff to use their skills to mentor start-ups and help them become successful. We’ll do more of this in 2018-19.
In 2017-18 we:
- Launched our STEM ambassadors programme and agreed that staff could take a day each year to fulfil this recognised volunteering role
- Identified a range of potential fundraising activities and an approach to nominating charities to benefit from our activities. The charity sub-group will be taking these ideas forward in 2018-19
- Investigated a charity-giving page to use organisation-wide to coordinate fundraising efforts
Our plans for 2018-19
In 2018-19 we will take the following actions:
Raise awareness and inspire staff to think about CSR issues by including updates on the activities of the CSR working group in our regular all staff updates and ask staff to think about the changes they can make to help us achieve our ambitions
- Set targets to further reduce the environmental impact of our offices and ways of working
- Investigate eco-friendly alternatives to products used across our different offices
- Introduce additional signage across offices encouraging staff to switch off lights, monitors, printers when these are not in use
- Organise events such as plastic free lunch day, litter picks and encourage staff to join organised beach cleans in their local areas
Equality, diversity and inclusion
- Further update our policies to reflect our outputs focussed approach to encourage greater diversity and flexibility to the way in which we work
- Implement a programme to further encourage and support women to return to work from maternity leave
- Increase our focus on how we address race and disability gaps
- Build on the on-line training resources on unconscious bias by completing interactive group events to shift mindsets, raise awareness and manage unconscious bias
- Continue our plan to address our gender pay gap by promoting the technology sector and attracting women into Jisc, supporting women to stay in Jisc and helping women to progress upwards
Values, behaviours and supporting staff
- Improve our results from a benchmark of 54% in the “great place to work” survey
- Launch the Jisc Metamorphosis event, a successor to TEDxJisc events which will include more original content, variable lengths of talk, optional discussion opportunities and additional networking time
- Launch a new employee voice forum, available to all staff to enable all employees to have a voice to share their concerns and views and feed these into senior management
Fundraising and volunteering
- Launch our fundraising policy and an approach to selecting charities to support through fundraising efforts
- Launch a coordinated programme of fundraising activities across the organisation
- Support volunteering across the organisation by continuing the STEM ambassadors programme and giving staff the time to fulfil these roles