Sage is committed to acting as a responsible corporate citizen. We take a pragmatic approach to Corporate Responsibility (‘CR’) which enables us to focus our commitment on areas that are the most relevant to Sage, to our people and the things where we believe we can make a difference.
We aim to measure our progress and whilst any standards established by local legislation will apply as a minimum, we intend to achieve best practice in the local context of every country in which we operate and to share this across the Group for continuous improvement. Our approach also builds in flexibility for our businesses to enable them to focus on the areas of strategic importance to them locally.
We established this policy in 2008 and it has four areas of focus – industry, people, community and environment.
With over six million customers, most of which are small to medium sized businesses, Sage is in a unique position to have a positive impact on the world of industry and commerce and we have focused this on two key areas this year; supporting SMEs through the recession and developing the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.
Supporting SMEs in challenging times
Recently we have witnessed unprecedented levels of economic turbulence. The impact of the banking crisis and resulting lack of credit has affected SMEs in many of our markets. We have taken a number of steps to help our customers manage their businesses through these difficult times.
Developing the entrepreneurs of tomorrow
The values on which Sage was founded (Simplicity, Trust, Integrity, Innovation, Agility) capture the spirit of entrepreneurship and are the lifeblood of business. Helping to create the entrepreneurs of tomorrow is something we are passionate about.
Building a stronger Sage team
Our focus on people remains unchanged. We continue to work hard to develop talent, improve leadership and raise engagement levels. It has been a challenging year as we have had to make some jobs cuts and impose recruitment freezes in some parts of our business in response to difficult market conditions. However we have introduced development programmes at a local and global level to improve the quality of leadership, extended local programmes to recognise exemplary employee performance and celebrated successes and enhanced local internal communication in many countries. We continue to survey our employees regularly to understand our strengths and weaknesses as an employer and action improvements in response.
Regular business briefings are held by senior managers to inform our people of the financial performance of the business and the economic factors which impact our industry. These include face-to-face meetings, videos hosted on our intranet, podcasts and newsletters, especially around our half and full-year financial results.
Supporting our local communities
One of our strengths is the fact that we are not a homogenous organisation. Sage designs, develops, sells and supports the vast majority of its products locally, which means that jobs we generate are local, supporting the local economy. Our people naturally choose to support and give back to the communities in which we work and Sage supports this activity in a myriad of ways.
Understanding our impacts
We are not in an industry considered to be a high energy consumer. Nevertheless it is responsible practice to understand better the impacts we have on our environment and the opportunities we have to reduce this. Our work this year has focused on improving our approach to measurement of the carbon emissions resulting from use of electricity and gas at our offices (our “scope 1 and scope 2” emissions) and this includes both serviced and owned properties. We have also continued our work to reduce packaging in our products using electronic downloads where possible.