Non-Government Organisation’s (NGOs) provide a number of practical ways to help us understand the needs of vulnerable people and to develop sustainable solutions to benefit people throughout society. The areas we focus upon are:
Investment in UK infrastructure
We talk to a number of NGOs to help us understand and provide us with knowledge so we can invest our money efficiently. These include the Elderly Accommodation Counsel, Shelter, Triodos, Future Earth Energy amongst others.
These organisations support us while we invest £15bn of capital into UK infrastructure assets. These organisations provide invaluable assistance, giving us another strand to our due diligence and ongoing governance.
Improving our ability to manage customer vulnerabilities
Our customers judge us on our ability to deal with the vulnerabilities that affect their lives. We pride ourselves on having the presence of mind to help our customers through difficult personal events.
It gives us insight into understanding how vulnerabilities will emerge in future years which could negatively impact on society. It means we can think about developing products and structuring investments which can ease them.
We work with the following organisations to understand the changing needs of consumers:
- Tax Volunteers
- Elderly Accommodation Counsel
- Royal Voluntary Service
- AGE UK
- Step Change Debt recovery
- Health Talk
- Alzheimers Research UK
- Housing LIN
Working with experts from these organisations really gives us an awareness of the challenges and consumer vulnerabilities and enables us to develop our markets.
Doing better business
To run a business like ours, we believe you also need to bring in scrutiny on all material operating practices and processes. We value partners such as Fair Insurance Guide, Responsible 100, Opencorporates, Blueprint for Better Business and Transparency International’s Corporate Supporters network. These organisations enable our key decision owners of policy to make sure we do business the right way.
A number of areas have been put under the spotlight for feedback in these networks. These include Tax, Modern Slavery, Whistleblowing, animal testing, green technology, employee representation and unions in the workplace.
We believe that corporate responsibility functions within businesses must increasingly become research and development functions. This ensures a diverse set of opinions to run the business better. Not for profit organisations are typically set up because something is not working either socially, economically or environmentally. In our opinion they are the fastest part of the economy to spot a need and do something about it.
By listening and learning we can apply the right level of decisions within our company to understand more about the financial risks that consumers face in housing, health and retirement. We can use our scale and knowledge and make systemic changes to the five growth drivers we have identified as fundamental to our future.