Friday 21st October 2016                 Change text size:

Corporate responsibility ‘integral’ to Royal Mail success

Royal Mail - Peter Broster via Flickr

The CEO of the Royal Mail has reaffirmed that the company’s commitment to its corporate sustainability agenda, following its recent floatation on the London Stock Exchange, remains unchanged.

Moya Greene said, “Corporate responsibility is a core part of our focus on being a sustainable and stakeholder focussed business. It is integral to our success. We have a long heritage of contributing to our communities.”

During the 2012/13 financial year, Royal Mail maintained its platinum ranking in the Business in the Community Corporate Responsibility Index, which aims to help companies measure, manage and integrate responsible business practices. It also ranked on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, a benchmark for sustainability for investors and companies, for the transport industry.

In order to improve its working environment, Royal Mail aims to increase gender diversity, particularly in operational functions where only 14% of the workforce is female, extend their employee wellbeing offerings and strengthen training and awareness programmes.

In respect to the environment, the company has cut the amount of carbon it produces per £1m of revenue by 4.2% and electricity emissions by 2.1% over the year. Reductions of 12.6% and 23% were also made in water use and waste being sent to landfill respectively. One of the priorities for the coming year is to show further improvement on these fronts.  During the next year, the Royal Mail will also launch a new environment policy.

Greene said, “We are working hard to reduce our environmental impact. We have strengthened our approach to environmental management during the year. We have established a new environment governance board to help drive performance.”

The Royal Mail was valued at £3.3 billion in October 2013 during the first phase of the company’s privatisation. However, numerous stockbrokers spoke out to say it had been significantly undervalued.

A committee of MPs questioned Goldman Sachs and UBS, the two lead banks that advised the government on the sale, in November. It followed allegations that they had favoured foreign investors as well as concerns about the valuation .

Considering the corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives of a company before investing is not only important from an ethical perspective, but it can also boost financial stability and returns. Recent research found that companies that invest in CSR see less risk in their stock prices, whilst there are also figures to show that sustainable investment funds can perform as strongly as their unsustainable counterparts.

Further reading:

Bankers to face questioning over Royal Mail valuation

Royal Mail investors at risk of losing out after ‘undervaluation’

Research links sustainability initiatives to investment stability

A simple chart that proves sustainable investment pays off

Mandatory corporate responsibility reporting favoured in poll

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