Annual Report 2016 - Page 32

Annual Report 2016 STRATEGIC REPORT 1,076 acres at Blithfield designated for biodiversity “South Staffs Water raised over £35,000 for WaterAid during the year.” 30 - Equality and fair treatment All businesses are committed to a positive working environment, free from any discrimination or unfair treatment. Every reasonable effort is made to provide equal opportunities for employment, training and promotion, having regard to employees’ particular aptitudes and abilities and regardless of their gender, race, age or disability. If an employee becomes disabled, we endeavour to keep them in the workforce by making reasonable adjustments to their role, or looking for redeployment opportunities within the Group if necessary. Environment Wherever possible, the Group aims to have a positive effect on the environment, both through activities carried out and a policy of responsible sourcing. provision of newly-launched Caddy and Transporter vehicles which feature BlueMotion Technology as standard. Car sharing and video conferencing are encouraged by Echo to reduce their carbon emissions. During the year, Echo’s digital programme went live, with the aim of switching from paper billing to digital where possible, thus reducing the amount of paper and postage used. Echo also began a programme of delivering used newspapers to Crosskennan Lane Animal Sanctuary (Northern Ireland’s only Equine Sanctuary) to be used for bedding for the animals in their care. Communities The Group’s charitable support programme focuses on giving something back to the community, both locally and further afield. South Staffs Water has installed a nesting raft to encourage common terns to nest and breed at the 1,313 acre Blithfield Reservoir Estate. With 1,076 acres designated as SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest), the reservoir provides valuable habitat for wildlife, including many different bird species. The raft is situated in public view to help inspire and educate. Additionally, projects undertaken as part of South Staffs Water’s ongoing partnership with the Wildlife Trust include wildlife meadow planting and support for an environmentally friendly fun day. The Group made charitable donations of £238,000 during 2015/16. In addition, South Staffs Water continued its support for WaterAid, raising over £35,000 during the year. Activities supported by the South Staffs Water Employee Volunteer Scheme included restoration of a chalk stream at Cherry Hinton, Cambridgeshire, a day of painting and decorating with the Albion Foundation, and manning water efficiency stalls at community e [Z\H]\[\[YX]HHXX\[HX˂H\X\\][[B\ۜXH\[XK\H\X[\ۜY\][ۂ[H][H\Z[XB\[Y[و[X]\X[]X^HH][\YY]H]\[ۋ\š[Y\H]\[۸&\Y] \BH]۝X\X\Y܈BH\X\\[H\ܝ›[Y\\[][]H[]X]]\˜HݚY[[[X[[XX[\ܝ[Y[\[BYX\[Z\[[ۘ][ۜ[\XKXH[Z[H[^\ۜܜ\و[ܝ[X[\[Y[Y؞K[[ܚX] [[[X[\ܝ܂Y\X]Y][][]B[Z\[X]]Y\˂