We add value to local communities around the world through educational initiatives and by encouraging employees to get involved in local good causes. This approach is key to establishing the strong local relationships that are essential to maintaining our social licence to operate, particularly in a world where global drivers indicate that trust in business is becoming more uncertain.
At Croda, our community involvement is facilitated through a programme called the 1% Club, which allows all employees across the Group to utilise 1% of their working time to support appropriate community projects. The 1% Club is adapted to suit the local needs and legislative environment of the regions in which we operate, but in every form the guiding principle is action that supports the community through direct involvement.
It is the responsibility of our Regional Boards to ensure that the 1% Club is available and managed correctly in their operations. Additionally, a network of 1% Club Champions, one at each of our operations, assists with the coordination of activities on a day to day basis.
In addition, it is the responsibility of each of our Regional Boards to define and implement a local programme of activities that is appropriate to support the teaching of science, technology and engineering across any chosen age group between the ages of 5 and 21. Our aim is to align the learning needs of individuals with the scientific knowledge and history of our organisation. Our 1% Club Champions support community education by building relationships with local schools, colleges and universities. Annual regional plans will help target the specific needs of the educational institutions we support and will also identify the employees who can enhance their personal skills through this type of activity.
Our overall commitment is to uphold the principles of socially responsible business practices, and respect the interests of everyone affected by its activities and actions, including our employees, customers, suppliers, shareholders and the general community at large.
It is our policy to conduct our business at all times and throughout the world with honesty and integrity and we operate a range of policies covering all areas of our Business. The Company believes that all its stakeholders wish to be associated with an ethical organisation which publicises and upholds high standards in all that it does. Our Code of Ethics in particular states that:-
Failure to comply with this code may result in disciplinary action. All employees have the right to make confidential reports direct to the Company Secretary of Croda International Plc at Cowick Hall, Snaith, East Yorkshire DN14 9AA, United Kingdom, without fear of detrimental action being taken against them.
Interaction with local communities has always been a major part of our culture. We are aware that our activities have a direct impact on the communities surrounding our operations, particularly our manufacturing sites and large offices.
‘Community Education & Involvement’ is one of the 10 Material Areas of our sustainability programme, and all of our locations proactively work to add value to local communities where they operate. This is because it satisfies our corporate desire “to do the right thing”, ensuring that we invest in our communities and play our part in ensuring they are appropriately supported. But also because it is a great way to motivate employees, helping them to feel that they are part of a business that values the communities in which it operates.
We focus on two key areas: community education initiatives and employee volunteering for local good causes. These activities are key to establishing the strong local relations that are essential to maintaining our social licence to operate and are facilitated through our award winning employee volunteering scheme, 1% Club.
Since the global launch of the 1% Club in 2010, we have seen a significant increase in activity and participation, largely through our network of 1% Club Champions. These Champions work at every site that we operate to ensure our community activity meets local needs and that all of our operations take ownership of their engagement activities.
We believe that enhancing our investment in community education will only serve to further improve our external reputation, thus leading to a positive impact on our ability to recruit new personnel. Our business is steeped in scientific heritage and our business model is based on the delivery of market led innovation. Also, with the number of students studying science, engineering and technology in decline, we feel that we have a duty to encourage and educate young people about the benefits of a scientific education.
Further details on how we are tackling the issue of community engagement, involvement and education can be found on pages 28-29 of the 2017 Sustainability Report.