Making a change in 2018 – a Corporate Responsibility update

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Ricky Alfred 18th December 2018 3 minute read

Making a change in 2018 – a Corporate Responsibility update

As time moves on and we start to look at new projects, we should always remember to take a moment to reflect on the successes we have had along the way – and the arrival of a new year is a natural point at which to do that. Capita Customer Management’s Head of Corporate Responsibility Ricky Alfred takes a look back at the efforts we’ve made to improve sustainability and the wider community in 2018.

Over the last 12 months it has been incredibly satisfying to see how effective the corporate responsibility and sustainability programmes we have delivered across Customer Management have been. One of the most pleasing (and humbling) aspects is seeing how our colleagues have embraced the subject and been instrumental in our successes.

In our June 2018 edition of Intelligence I spoke about the importance of collaboration in achieving shared value as a key component of our approach, and there is no doubt that we as a business, as well as our colleagues, clients, third sector partners and communities have adopted this as well. This has helped us to further reduce our environmental impact, support our local communities (both in the UK and in our overseas locations), improve our supply chain practices and raise awareness of important issues such as mental health.

In March we welcomed 18 young people onto our first ‘Get Into Contact Centres’ programme, which was developed and run with the support of The Prince’s Trust with the aim of showcasing what we do and improving the employability of the attendees. The course was delivered by colleagues and it was fantastic to see their enthusiasm and dedication. We were delighted to recruit 14 of those young people at the end of the programme, and even more pleased that 11 are still with us and those that have left have gone on to other roles. A great success!

Beyond the contact centre

Throughout the year our colleagues have been fundraising and volunteering to support their local communities and beyond. Amongst many other activities, we have helped to organise a fantastic fundraising dragon boat racing event for the Bluebell Wood Hospice in Sheffield, and transformed the gardens of West Melton Care Home from our Dearne Valley site. Showing compassion for others has seen us make donations to and volunteer at numerous food banks close to our sites, helping to tackle a growing problem in the UK and abroad.

This year we chose to tackle the huge amount of single-use plastics within our business, working with suppliers and changing behaviours within our buildings. One such project was the reduction in the number of plastic drinking cups we use in our buildings. We began working on this in April/May, and in the months since we have reduced our usage by more than 50%. Our colleagues in South Africa played their part in full when Cape Town was enduring one of the worst droughts in recent memory, helping to avert ‘Day Zero’.

The Capita South Africa team also took part in an amazing collaborative partnership with the UK operation in Preston Brook, one of our clients, various charity partners in the UK and South Africa, and our communities, that has created value that will last for years to come. This year 98 pupils at Sinenjongo High School received full school uniforms through donations from our client and our South Africa business, with the school’s principal saying, “It puts them all at the same level. It takes the poor child to be a rich child, so that’s what you’ve done through these uniforms.” Wow!

In the UK, volunteers from the in-house team and our operations in the North West are supporting lonely elderly people across the country via The Silver Line – a charity we also support more widely within Customer Management.

Looking ahead

There are so many more examples as to how we have achieved brilliant results through corporate responsibility and sustainability efforts across the business this year, and we are all set to continue this into 2019. We will see the continuation of programmes we have started, the potential to work with more clients and partners on shared programmes, and our new Group strategy coming to life and the part Customer Management will play in that.

I want to finish off by saying a huge thank you to those across the business who have given up their time and considerable effort, dig deep to donate money or picked up the extra work when colleagues are out volunteering. Without our colleagues getting on board our efforts would not achieve the results they do, and I look forward to more people getting involved and bringing us to new heights in the coming year.

Great people are integral to our business. To find out about how our teams and individuals have helped to make a meaningful difference to our clients and their customers, read our latest edition of Intelligence here.

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