Financial year ending 31 July 2021.
Jisc aspires to go above and beyond our charitable mission and to make positive contributions to the communities we are in and to the nation overall, while ensuring that this does not detract from our core purpose. We’ve a continued determination to make positive contributions to the communities we are in and to the nation overall to continue the development of a learning society.
Our corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy guides our work across:
- Providing sustainable benefits for our stakeholders
- Minimising our impact on the environment, both directly and through what we do for our stakeholders
- Providing support for the wellbeing and development of staff
- Securing our own financial sustainability and independence
- Improving the positive impact on the communities we live and work in and reducing the negative impact
- Developing our partnerships with suppliers
- Continuous development of our governance and transparency
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has led us to identify further ways that we can support our members, including:
- Working with publishers to make content and resources available free of charge to students
- Leading collaborative programmes of work to support the move to increasingly online provision for both HE and FE students
- Working with sector partners to raise awareness of digital poverty in government
- Approaching local authorities currently providing govroam to also provide eduroam, greatly enhancing the areas where students can get online and access their education
Our social responsibility has always been central to Jisc’s work. Now we are pushing it even further.
Our CSR strategy has been launched to the organisation, supported by a dedicated cross-organisation working group to ensure that we move forward with our plans across the three strands of the strategy: business ethics, environment and community.
Communication across Jisc of our intentions and achievements, and to drum up support, ideas and involvement business-wide has been a huge step this year too. We have plans to introduce CSR champions in each area of our business and create volunteering team events through a structured communication strategy.
The transition to net zero by 2050 has become the collective responsibility of businesses of all shapes and sizes in accordance with government guidelines. At Jisc, we are aiming for net zero, including offsetting emissions, by 2040. We are getting support from a specialist CSR consultant to help us develop a plan to achieve this.
We’re also working closely with a Modern Slavery working group, which was set up this year to look at our supply chain and recommend where we need to do more to ensure that our supply chain is ethical. A focus here is on raising awareness internally with training for all staff as well as further training for procurement around supplier assessment and other internal groups such as CSR champions and managers.
We’re bringing everyone into our efforts – staff, members, community, suppliers. CSR is at the core of what we do as an ethical, transparent business.
The launch of our corporate social responsibility strategy has been a significant step forward for us. In the last year we have progressed the 3 strands of our CSR strategy in the following ways:
- We have initiated a modern slavery working group who are developing an action plan to improve awareness and processes, including additional challenge to suppliers to ensure we have ethical supply chains. Further information can be found in our Modern Slavery statement for 2020-21
- We have continued to work with the highest rated environmental, social and governance (ESG) investment managers through our investment strategy
- We have appointed a diversity and inclusion consultant and created a diversity and inclusion strategy guided by a dedicated working group set up to improve awareness and processes
- We have a strategic target to increase positive views of an inclusive culture at Jisc and we are planning for a harder data driven target in future
- Our current diversity data is available in Appendix 1 (pdf)
- We launched a health cash plan for all colleagues and focussed on mental health support for staff, including training up 26 further mental health first aiders (MHFA’s) in 2020/21 bringing the total at Jisc to 42
- We have continued our programme of work to address our gender pay gap and to encourage women into the technology sector
- We have completed a colleague engagement survey to understand the issues of concern to our staff and are creating an action plan to address these
- We launched an updated whistleblowing policy with an anonymous route for reporting concerns
- We have set strategic targets for reducing carbon emissions and achieving net zero by 2040 (ten years ahead of the government target)
- We have included both strategic and operational climate risks in our risk framework
- We have prepared an environment policy (pdf) which ensures that we ask more questions to suppliers about their environmental policies
- We have presented Jisc’s first Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting disclosure covering the 2019-20 financial year
- We have recycled some of our IT equipment and have reused technology components in areas of our business
- We have maintained gold membership through our Trees for Life partner
- We’ve had environmental considerations as a priority for all refurbished offices this year including reusing and recycling furniture
- We are beginning the complex process of analysing the carbon emissions of our cloud-based services
- We had 43 staff use their allocated volunteering day, which is an achievement during what has mostly been a year of lockdown
- We have kick-started planning to grow the volunteering scheme in the next year, including identifying and arranging group volunteering days in different regions
Communications and awareness
- We are recruiting CSR champions as willing volunteers across the business to gather ideas, raise awareness and report CSR information back to their directorates. A CSR champion role brief is being prepared to outline their responsibilities
- Internal and external communication plans are being prepared and reviewed by Aleron, CSR consultancy
- We’ve prepared an environmental policy (pdf), written blogs on social responsibility, volunteering and whistleblowing, and communicated to the business what we are doing to become more aware, inclusive and proactive in our CSR approach
Our plans for 2021-22
We will continue to build on the progress made in 2021-22, with the support of our CSR champions, our expert consultants and our working group, by taking the following actions:
- Seek information from our partner organisations about their approach to social responsibility
- Map our supply chain to better understand where risks to our environmental and modern slavery commitments may exist and identify areas for further review
- Continue work with suppliers regarding their compliance with our environmental and modern slavery requirements and check compliance during contract periods
- Improve the diversity data we hold to inform the development of a clear data-driven strategic target
- Work with an external diversity and inclusion partner (Emerge UK) on an education programme to shift mindsets and culture towards a fully inclusive one through the provision of additional resources, events and materials for all to access through online systems
- Interwoven with the above, will be a leadership programme and a management recruitment programme focussed around leading and hiring inclusively with a conscious inclusion
- Create a baseline for all relevant information on Jisc's operational and service delivery emission from all sources (including offsetting)
- Create an action plan to reach carbon net zero by 2040 (10 years ahead of UK government target date)
- Work towards achieving net zero for Jisc with all energy use from renewable sources (where we own the building) and work towards off-setting the emissions of our energy use across our estates and all operations, including service provision
- Identify compliance gaps with the ISO 14001 standard and use as a framework going forward (Environmental management systems)
- Prioritise environmental responsibility throughout the design and execution of future office refurbishments
- Take additional steps to actively promote recycling across our offices and review the need to travel to meetings and events that have been successfully delivered virtually through the pandemic
- Include our carbon impact in our Impact in Numbers reporting
- Continue to advocate the use of sustainable energy suppliers in shared occupancy office space
- Introduce the charity, Unseen, as Jisc’s chosen charity to fundraise for this year. Unseen is a charity working towards a world without slavery through equipping, supporting and influencing. The selection of this charity fits with our CSR objectives
- Launch payroll giving in the new HR system and give colleagues the opportunity to give to the Jisc chosen charity or a charity of their choice
- Consider introducing fundraising at our main stakeholder events
- Keep encouraging employees to take advantage of the opportunity to take a volunteering day and have at least half of our people use their volunteer day by 2025
- Arranging group volunteering days in different regions of the UK to allow all colleagues to participate
We’ll continue to engage with colleagues across the business to ensure that everyone understands that our collective responsibility will drive our strategy forward and allow us to meet and exceed our ambitions.
We’ll commit to reporting regularly on progress with our plans to make sure that we are held to account:
- CSR working group (monthly)
- Jisc audit and risk management committee (three times each year)
- Jisc board (annual statement and six-month report)
View our previous corporate social responsibility statement for: