How we are delivering against our responsibilities in 2017-18.
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 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.
While our efforts to ensure that we deliver against our social responsibilities are not new, this is the first time we have captured our activities in a formal statement.
Our role in supporting education and research makes a valuable contribution to the continuing development of a learning society. As part of this role we deliver digital solutions to our members which assist them in meeting their environmental commitments. However, the focus of this statement and our activities is on Jisc as an organisation.
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
- Provide digital solutions that assist our members in reducing their environmental impact
- 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
How we are delivering against our responsibilities
As an organisation that champions digital solutions for our members, such as cloud-based services, videoconferencing and online research and learning resources and services, we also support our members to deliver against their environmental priorities.
The nature of our business and production processes have little direct impact on the environment. However, we are committed to identifying ways to further reduce the impact we do have.
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 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
- Allowing occasional home working where practicable and feasible
- Offering a cycle to work scheme
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. We’re developing a range of actions aimed at progressing equality, diversity and inclusion. While our initial focus is on gender diversity, we’re looking at ethnicity, sexual orientation and other characteristics too.
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. We’re also looking at establishing a staff network which will engage, represent and advocate for equality, diversity and inclusion across Jisc.
We are transforming our approach to recruitment to improve diversity. This includes implementing an applicant tracking system that will allow us to track diversity across the candidate journey and identify actions to address areas of concern. We’re also providing guidance and training to recruiting managers on merit based selection and unconscious bias.
We are signing up to the Tech Talent Charter (TCC), which is 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. We are leveraging our apprenticeship levy to secure apprentices in our technical areas such as cyber security and developers, and address under representation of women in STEM and leadership roles. We also aim to consider a range of initiatives including targeting existing female staff to support them gaining the essential skills and experience to enhance their existing skills and career opportunities.
We’ll be publishing gender pay gap information during 2017-18 together with details of the actions that we will be taking to address this.
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 behaviours 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, more recently, a full staff survey to help us work towards being a “great place to work” in 2019.
Our internal TEDx events are another 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.
Alongside the behavioural 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 2016-17 we’ve had a focus on a number of activities, including health and well-being visits to our offices by trained health professionals, stress and resilience workshops and a 10,000 steps a day challenge. We’ll be building on this with a new range of support in 2017-18.
Fundraising and volunteering
We have an active group of staff who organise and host various fundraising activities on an informal basis, including charity cake sales, 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.
Opportunities to support volunteering on an organisation-wide basis are being explored, through identifying key partners who share some commonality with our mission and values. This will be progressed through 2017-18 with an aim to launch a volunteering programme in 2018.
In 2017-18 we will:
- Review how we can further reduce the environmental impact of our offices and ways of working
- Launch plans to address equality, diversity and inclusion issues
- Sign up to the Tech Talent Charter (TCC) and leverage our apprenticeship levy to secure apprentices in our technical areas and address under representation of women in STEM and leadership roles
- Publish gender pay gap data and plans to address this
- Launch our health and well-being strategy across the workforce
- Launch a programme of fundraising and volunteering