Corporate Social Responsibility

esure is active in its local communities and also on the national stage with a number of charitable and education initiatives that help us to make a difference. Some of these are outlined below.

Community and Issues Engagement

As a business operating out of three offices in Glasgow, Manchester and Reigate we are particularly conscious of those communities around us. We understand that investing in a community is not just about providing employment opportunities.

We encourage nominations to local causes from people around the Business so we never lose sight of our role in those communities and give back where possible. We operate a structured community giving programme, working and investing in organisations that share our core values in and around our office locations. This year, we continued our engagement with national organisations such as BRAKE, Road Peace, Thatcham Research, and the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety.

Our relationship with Surrey Fire Brigade and its Safe Drive Stay Alive campaign has been longstanding. We have supported this programme for ten years and are proud to be part of an initiative that has taught over 100,000 young drivers in Surrey about road safety, saving lives and making local roads safer.

Charitable Involvement

Supplementing our community engagement activity, the Group supports some excellent charitable causes. Our Sheilas’ Wheels brand was the founding partner of the Macmillan Cancer Support Night In campaign in 2013 and we partnered with Macmillan again this year with sponsorship, staff and customer engagement.

At esure, teams throughout the company were involved through cake sales, dress down funds, quizzes, raffles and a special Sheila Selfie initiative which saw the Sheilas have their picture taken with staff members for a donation. All the activity created a 25% increase on last year’s fundraising total to help Macmillan Cancer Support make a real difference to the lives of those living with cancer and its effects. This was supplemented by a corporate donation.

In addition, we supported other local charities throughout the year nominated by staff members in each of our offices, including larger national activities such as Children In Need alongside smaller, localised initiatives close to team members’ hearts such as The Beatson Cancer charity in Glasgow who cared for a member of staff who lost her battle with cancer in 2014.

The team in Glasgow managed to raise over £20,000 through a variety of charitable initiatives in 2014. As well as supporting nationwide charities such as Macmillan Cancer Support, Sports Relief and Children in Need, the Glasgow staff nominated local charities to benefit from its monthly dress down days and quarterly fun days which they fit in throughout the year. The fun days included bake sales, raffles, sweepstakes and various other fundraising activities throughout the office.

In addition to monetary donations, the Glasgow team collected Christmas lunch boxes for Loaves & Fishes, a local charity providing essential food items to families in the Glasgow and surrounding area. It has been supporting the charity for ten years and is something the team are very passionate about. Our Manchester team selected Macmillan Cancer Support as its nominated charity in 2014 following a vote taken at the Manchester office at the end of last year.

The team set a donation target of £2,800 based on previous year results and managed to raise approximately £6,000 by year end 2014 through a series of events such as a Christmas raffle, book sale and a variety of dress down days for staff. In March, the team ran a Sport Relief initiative. The event included activities such as a 5k fun run around the City centre and cake sale with all proceeds donated to Sport Relief. As always, the focus for the fun run was on inclusivity, with the team welcoming all abilities and encouraging as many people as possible to take part.

In addition, the Manchester team supported Children in Need; the Points Parents’ Forum, a local organisation who support families with children who have additional needs; as well as Homeless Hounds, whose mission is to rescue and re-home abandoned and abused dogs and give them a forever home.

Sustainability and the Environment

The Group operates within an industry that has minimal impact on the environment as a financial service; however, we are conscious of the effects we have and work hard to identify ways to mitigate them.

We source all of our electricity from renewable sources, and invest in our systems – such as auto-shutdown facilities and our efficient thin-client desktop environment to ensure each of our buildings run efficiently. Each year, our facilities team undertakes UK GHG Mandatory Reporting looking at the Group’s carbon footprint and presents this to the executive team.

The headlines are that esure Group managed a 12% reduction in its carbon footprint in 2014 vs 2013 with our head Office in Reigate managing a reduction of 27%. Overall, esure Group is responsible for operations that saw 5.53 tCO2e per £million of turnover emitted in 2014 – a reduction from 6.23 tCO2e in 2013. On a per employee basis, we emitted 1.68 tCO2e in 2014 – a reduction of 16% against 2013.

We continue to work hard on initiatives that will make us even more efficient and environmentally conscious in our day-to-day activities.

As a Business that has traditionally relied on paper for product dissemination, we have made major steps in 2014 to reduce our paper usage. Our new systems that allow customers to migrate to the e-fulfilment of their policies became fully operational in September 2014. The launch saw the introduction of fully online policy documents and certificates for our customers.

During 2014, these early stages in e-fulfilment saw the Group reduce the number of customer policy and document packs it sends out by 477,000, saving 619,165 tonnes of paper that would have otherwise been used in printing these packs. We are incredibly proud of this result.

As the penetration of e-fulfilment grows within our customer base we expect to see this part of our resource usage and carbon footprint from printing and postage further reduce in years to come. Also this year, we adopted the Government-led Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme which is to become compulsory for businesses in December 2015. Our early start with this will allow the Group to make further strides.

Through our approved repairers we undertake many thousands of repairs each year for customers. We have mandated compliance with PAS125 for all our approved repairers providing quality guarantees for our customers. This also sets safety standards for the qualified staff who conduct repairs.

Among the good causes we have made donations to over recent years are: Sport Relief, Children In Need, Save The Children, Cystic Fibrosis Trust, Breast Cancer Care, Help For Heroes, Jeans for Genes, Lifecentre, Neoroblastoma Alliance UK, St Andrew's Hospice, Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, Multiple System Atrophy Trust, Chestnut Tree House, Reigate and Redhill YMCA, Chest, Heart & Stroke Scotland, Yorkhill Children's Foundation, Ayrshire Hospice, Maggies Cancer Care Centre, Changing Faces, The Children’s Trust, Sussex Wildlife Trust, Sports Aid, Sport England, Reigate & Banstead District Sports Council, Chestnut Tree House, Loveworks, and JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge.