Experian's aim is to make the business more sustainable from a social, ethical and environmental (SEE) perspective. In 2007, we developed a framework of six key responsibilities for reporting and a core strategy. Each year we develop strategic objectives and ensure our focus for CR supports the wider business strategy for growth. See the relevant sections of our Annual Report and CR Report for last year's objectives and our progress against them.
Experian's particular focus – what is material?
Our framework for reporting follows the well recognised pattern of responsibilities to the marketplace, workplace, community and environment.
We consider our marketplace responsibilities to be particularly material and so include within these our consideration of consumers, our responsibility to develop products and services with a strong social benefit and, most importantly, our good stewardship of data.
Being a good employer is vital, since people are our key resource. Linked to this is our relationship with the communities where we are based. Strong environmental management is seen as an essential means of controlling cost and is something we and our people are concerned about, so is increasingly factored into decisions.
Experian's vision of CR
Ultimately we see the business fully embracing the concept of the longer term and the wider view of society's concerns in our business planning.
We have defined this vision of the future and the summary below has been endorsed by the Board and incorporates risks and opportunities.
We feel CR will be fully embedded when:
- Experian's working population understands the social, ethical and environmental risks associated with the business and standard processes take account of these on a day-to-day basis, enabling the Group to create a stronger and more sustainable business model.
- The opportunities that social, ethical and environmental issues present are regularly reviewed and Experian considers how it can help other organisations become more sustainable with new products and services.
- Experian uses its skills, information and expertise to best effect in interactions with its communities and helps them become more self sustaining.
Our strategy to achieve this vision
There are three strands to our strategy:
Business as usual, embedding SEE risks
We continue to embed considerations of SEE risks into our standard processes, including the central risk assessments associated with any business development. This underpins our wider business strategy, but also supports our investment in our key resources. our people and our data. As we grow and expand our capacity, it is important we take account of society's concerns, whether these are views on employment conditions or worries about personal data and its security.
Big ideas, supporting social and environmental innovation addressing SEE opportunities
We intend CR to provide a catalyst for entrepreneurial 'Big Ideas'; products or services that can have a major social or environmental impact and really change lives. Experian's expertise is in providing unique insight and improving decision making. Using these talents in a social and environmental capacity is something we are encouraging through a programme of support and investment for products and services with a SEE focus. In turn this encourages innovation and potentially supports growth in new markets.
Focusing the community programme
We aim to create a focused approach for projects, funded with central monies, but retain local flexibility for regional funds to also address local community priorities. Focusing the global community programme on financial education and entrepreneurship supports business goals, provides long-term benefits for consumers and enables our employees to see Experian's contribution making an impact.
All three strands help us achieve growth more responsibly and sustainably.