Working with partners for the benefit of mutually agreed outcomes is an important feature of SSE’s approach and our ability to achieve our sustainable business goals. Achieving sustainable outcomes and creating value for both shareholders and society requires mature relationships between SSE and our stakeholders.
We also benefit from many partnerships, both large and small, where we work with organisations in the pursuit of shared goals. Our key partnerships, memberships and pledges are detailed below, along with our shared objectives which help us contribute to society.
Promoting a decarbonised energy building powered by clean electricity
SSE is a signatory on the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC)
SSE is a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), the largest corporate sustainability initiative promoting responsible business practices. As a signatory, SSE is guided by the Ten Principles of the UNGC, focused on the environment, human rights, labour and anti-corruption, into its approach to business. The performance disclosed within this report outlines our progress against these Principles. The UNGC seeks to catalyse action in support of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from its signatory companies. We align key performance indicators to international non-financial reporting standards and frameworks. This includes individual targets of the UN's SDGs and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework.
Principle 1: Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights; and
Principle 2: make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.
SSE’s Human Rights Policy is based on the UNGC guiding principles. It outlines standards to ensure human rights of direct and supply chain employees are respected and protected, and how to report instances of suspected human rights violations.
SSE has mechanisms to ensure that modern slavery does not exist within its direct workforce, such as a right to work checklist, and manages the risk of modern slavery in its supply chain, through a series of due diligence steps undertaken both at an industry level and within SSE’s own contracts with its suppliers.
Principle 3: Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining;
Principle 4: the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour;
Principle 5: the effective abolition of child labour; and
Principle 6: the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.
SSE complies with high standards of employment regulations in the countries it operates in – the UK and Ireland – and does not discriminate against the protected characteristics set out in the Equalities Act 2010.
The right of employees to join a trade union is outlined within SSE’s Human Rights Policy. SSE recognises four trade unions and a Joint Negotiating and Consultative Committee, covering SSE employees, provides the structure by which industrial relations are conducted.
SSE’s Modern Slavery Statement outlines steps taken by SSE to prevent modern slavery, including child exploitation, existing within its business and supply chains. Our procurement professionals have received training to raise awareness of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and highlight the standards they must meet. For more information please see the Modern Slavery Statement.
Principle 7: Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges;
Principle 8: undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility; and
Principle 9: encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.
As a responsible developer and operator, SSE manages impacts from its activities by taking a strategic approach and adopting methods that take account of the environment at the point of project initiation and design, as well as during construction and operation of the asset.
SSE recognises that its most material environmental impact is the carbon emitted from its electricity generation activities. SSE has a long-term ambition to reduce the carbon intensity of the electricity it generates by 50% by 2030, compared to 2018 levels. If SSE achieves this, it will have reduced the carbon intensity of its electricity generated by 75% compared to 2006 levels.
Principle 10: Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.
SSE’s Anti-Bribery and Corruption Policy details definitions of corruption and bribery as well as how to report any cases of suspected wrongdoing. SSE employees can report incidents of wrongdoing internally or through an independent ‘Speak Up’ phone line and email service, hosted externally by SafeCall.
SSE’s Doing the right thing: A guide to ethical business conduct for SSE employees is available to all employees. SSE also runs internal awareness campaigns around business ethics and has tailored online training for antibribery, which all employees are required to complete. The standards around bribery that SSE expects its suppliers to meet are detailed in its Responsible Procurement Charter, along with how to report any cases of suspected violations.
Transparent political engagement and advocacy
Political engagement Regulators, non-departmental public bodies and institutions of government have a key role to play in the sector in which SSE operates, and we are therefore required to engage with them on a regular basis.
We work to the standards set out in SSE’s Group Political and Regulatory Engagement Policy and aim to maintain the highest standards of probity in our engagement with government and regulators. We aim to work in line with relevant best practice and, where applicable, regulation and legislation, and ensure any representations made by us are fair and balanced and represent our position truthfully and honestly.
SSE remains politically neutral and does not contribute to political parties or political campaigns; and we avoid doing anything that could be construed in any way as solicitation of favour.
SSE’s political engagement policy and procedures are available to all interested parties. We comply with the disclosure requirements of the voluntary EU Transparency Register, established by European Commission to provide transparency around the groups and organisations undertaking activities aimed at influencing the formulation or implementation of EU policy and legislation.
Trade association membership Trade associations are not-for-profit organisations that act on behalf of industry and support the development of industry standards. One of the key ways in which SSE advocates on policy positions of importance to SSE, and the wider energy industry, is through its membership of Trade Associations. For transparency, SSE’s three most material trade association memberships are outlined below.
Energy Networks Association (ENA) represents the ‘wires and pipes’ transmission and distribution network operators for gas and electricity in the UK and Ireland. Its members control and maintain the critical national infrastructure that delivers these vital services into homes and businesses. ENA's overriding goals are to promote the UK and Ireland energy networks ensuring networks are the safest, most reliable, most efficient and sustainable in the world. As the owner of the high voltage electricity transmission network across the north of Scotland, and the Distribution Network Operator (DNO) responsible for delivering power to 3.8m homes and businesses across central southern England and the north of Scotland, SSEN’s ENA membership is important not only to make sure that our voice is heard in discussions regarding today’s energy system but crucially in the work to overhaul electricity networks for a net zero world.
Energy UK is the trade association for the GB energy industry with a membership of over 100 suppliers, generators, and stakeholders with a business interest in the production and supply of electricity and gas for domestic and business consumers. As the broadest based energy company in the UK and Ireland, SSE considers membership of Energy UK, which represents the entirety of the energy value chain, to be vital in engaging key policy makers on net zero policies.
Renewable UK supports over 400 member companies to ensure increasing amounts of renewable electricity are deployed across the UK and access markets to export all over the world. Its members are business leaders, technology innovators, and expert thinkers from right across industry. As the leading developer of renewable energy in the UK and Ireland and currently constructing what will be the world’s biggest offshore wind farm, SSE Renewables is committed to engaging with valued stakeholders via Renewable UK to ensure that increasing amounts of renewable electricity are deployed across the UK.