‘We aim to build positive
relationships by developing
a sustainable approach to
Sir Roy Gardner, Chief Executive
Corporate Responsibility Report 2003
What matters to you...
Our first responsibility is to meet our customers’ needs for essential
services. Through our business activities, we are an integral part of
local communities. We create wealth for employees, generate taxes
to government, create jobs among suppliers and deliver a fair reward
to investors who finance our business.
Centrica Energy manages Centrica Business Services One.Tel provides a fresh In Canada, Direct Energy
our gas production and aims to be recognised as the and innovative approach in Essential Home Services offers
electricity generation most innovative and flexible providing a range of landline, gas and electricity and a range
capabilities, along with provider of energy and other mobile and internet services of home services in Ontario.
third party supply and essential services to the UK across the UK. In Texas, we supply electricity
transportation contracts. business community. under the Direct Energy,
WTU Retail Energy and
CPL Retail Energy brands
to homes and businesses.
We supply gas under the
British Gas is the market The AA provides reassurance Luminus, our joint venture Energy America brand in
leader in delivering gas, and services to motorists energy business in Belgium, Michigan, Ohio and
electricity and telecoms to in the UK and Ireland. Our and Luseo Energia, our Pennsylvania. Direct Energy
millions of homes across roadside assistance remains business to business brand Business Services provides
the UK. As well as energy at the core of our activities in Spain, provide us with a comprehensive energy
and telecoms, we offer and we are the UK’s number launch pad into the markets solutions to businesses
customers an increasing one insurance intermediary. of continental Europe. throughout Canada and
choice of complementary The AA is also a growing in Texas.
home services. provider of personal loans
and financial services.
Every day matters
Every day our businesses touch the lives of
millions of people. Through our leading brands,
we provide warmth, comfort and peace of
mind. People know us through our brands, but
behind those brands lies the skill, knowledge
and expertise of thousands of employees.
www.centrica.com/responsibility 2003 Operating Profit. 2003 Group turnover.
...matters to us
“…by understanding our impact on society, the economy
and the environment, we can build positive relationships
that benefit our shareholders through the development
of a sustainable approach to doing business.”
Corporate responsibility is often thought of as a new concept. and friends and our relationships go beyond the provision
In reality, companies have always had to address issues of of good quality products and services. For example the
social and environmental responsibility as a core part of £150 million ‘here to HELP’ programme is providing a package
doing business. of products, services and advice to make 500,000 homes
warm, safe and comfortable. This programme aims to
However, the recent external focus on corporate responsibility improve living conditions and the quality of life for families,
has provided an impetus for businesses of all sizes to challenge older people and people with disabilities in some of Britain’s
their existing practices and to focus on introducing increasingly most deprived communities. We also have a responsibility
rigorous processes into their work. We have embraced this to help our customers be more environmentally responsible
challenge. when using our products and services.
Our vision is given substance by core values and business My management team and I are committed to ensuring that
principles, which are intended to inform every aspect of our we manage the social, economic and environmental impacts
organisation and define the way we work. This report describes of our businesses and report on our progress. We believe this
how we put our values and principles into practice in terms of: approach will enable us to continue to evolve and develop our
corporate responsibility strategy. We recognise that is key to
– supporting our employees in the workplace continuing business success.
– our pride in delivering good-quality products and services
for our customers in the marketplace I hope you find this report interesting. I would welcome your
– our responsibility in managing our impacts on the feedback on any aspect of our policy and initiatives. You will
environment find the appropriate contact details throughout this report.
– investing in our local communities
We have many millions of customers world-wide. Each of
these relationships is built on trust and hence everything
we do and every decision we make is based on our values. Sir Roy Gardner
Our products are essential for our customers, their families Chief Executive
Our business 02
Looking ahead 26
42,573 44m £6.6m Assurance statement
More than 42,573 employees More than 44 million Contributed to community
across the business. customer relationships. causes in 2003.
Centrica plc Corporate Responsibility Report 2003 01
A business with values
Corporate responsibility is an important part of our culture, identity and
business practice. At the heart of our approach is a clear articulation of
our vision, strategy and values underpinned by our business principles.
We aim to grow our Building a better business developments during the year Our principles are designed
earnings and cash flow Since Centrica was formed included further investments to help every employee play
within a prudent risk in 1997, the company has in power generation, the a full part in protecting and
management framework. gone through a significant Competition Commission enhancing our reputation in
transformation. We were clearance of our aquisition a manner that is consistent
During 2003, our share essentially a UK gas supplier of the Rough gas storage with our values. We have
price outperformed the in a monopoly market. facility and the sale of the also produced more detailed
market by nearly 10%. Today we sell a wide range Goldfish credit card and business practice guides to
Since our demerger of products and services personal loan business. help our employees make the
in February 1997 to 31 in the UK and overseas, values and principles a reality
December 2003 we have competing strongly in Principles in practice in their day-to-day conduct.
out-performed the highly competitive markets. Underpinning the
FTSE100 Index by 221%. transformation of our The full version of our
In 2003, we reported record business has been a principles can be found at
group performance following single vision: to be a leading www.centrica.com/
a challenging year in which supplier of essential services businessprinciples
the performance of British in our chosen markets.
Gas was impacted by an
adverse combination of This vision is supported
warm weather and high by an integrated set of
commodity costs. Group core values and business
turnover was up 25% to principles that define the
£17,931 million and operating way we work.
profit increased by 14% to
£1,058 million. Our operating We aim to ensure that
profit in North America more all Centrica employees are
than doubled to £130 million familiar with our values and
and we reported strong principles, and can apply
growth in the core business them consistently and
of the AA, leading to a 27% rigorously. A copy of our
increase in operating profit. business principles is
Other major business available to every employee.
Centrica is created Centrica announces UK domestic gas Centrica Centrica acquires Centrica enters the energy
following the its entry into the market becomes acquires Canadian energy markets of Continental
demerger of UK domestic fully open to the AA for company, Direct Europe through 50%
British Gas plc electricity market competition £1.1 billion Energy share in Luminus N.V.,
1997 1998 1999 2000 2001
Multi-million pound Centrica
partnership is launched environment
between British Gas website launches
Our CR achievements and Help the Aged
02 Centrica plc Corporate Responsibility Report 2003
First 12% “Centrica is committed to the highest
ethical standards. To deliver against
this commitment we have developed
Centrica was named 2003 Utility Earnings up 12% in 2003.
a set of principles that set out how
Company of the Year in the Utility
Industry Achievement Awards.
we operate responsibly to create
the kind of service our customers,
suppliers, business partners and
Sir Roy Gardner, Chief Executive
Vision, Strategy, Values
Our vision is to be a leading supplier of essential services in our chosen markets in order to
provide maximum value to our shareholders.
Our distinctive strategy Sharing knowledge and Pride Challenge
is to create value for best practice Pride comes from the We are constantly striving
shareholders through: Making Centrica greater satisfaction of our customers for continual improvement;
than the sum of its parts both and from delivering high we are never satisfied.
Deepening our by implementing common quality products and services. We engage constructively
relationships processes and by sharing We’re proud of our staff with advocates and critics
with customers knowledge, best practice and and their achievements, from within and outside
Gaining and retaining learning across the company. and we recognise and the company. We do this
valuable customers by reward success. to maintain our competitive
understanding their needs Our values are the edge and deliver
and offering them tailored core of our corporate Trust consistently outstanding
products and services philosophy: Trust is at the heart of our shareholder returns.
through our strong brands. relationships with customers.
Passion for customers Trust means doing what we Support
Managing risk in the This value is central to the say and acting with integrity. We support employees
energy markets way we work. We have We demonstrate trust seeking to meet and own
Identifying and an ethos of delivering by respecting and challenges. We foster
implementing the right outstanding customer service. empowering our employees. teamworking and
blend of owning production We must be able to anticipate Building trust will help us knowledge sharing and
assets, negotiating long our customers’ needs and develop strong future give our employees the
term contracts and daily correct any errors promptly. relationships with our tools and training they
buying activities. We must give value for stakeholders. need to do their job well.
money, and deliver efficient
and effective products
Centrica becomes the largest Centrica acquires Joint venture is The sale of Goldfish credit
provider of indirect telecoms Glanford Brigg Power formed to build an card and personal loans
services in the UK following Station in Lincolnshire, offshore wind farm businesses to Lloyds TSB
the acquisition of One.Tel plc its fourth power station is completed
2002 2003 2004
British Gas Help the The first online Centrica wins Centrica is included Centrica launches an
Aged partnership Centrica corporate a Business in in the Dow Jones online and printed
wins the Marketing responsibility the Community Sustainability World corporate responsibility
Society Corporate section is Excellence Award Index for the first time report for 2003
Citizenship Award launched for its Project-Led
Centrica plc Corporate Responsibility Report 2003 03
Responsibility in practice
Corporate responsibility means different things to different people.
We believe it describes all the actions we take to deliver shareholder
value in the long term. It is that fundamental.
Managing corporate their business strategies Government, regulators,
responsibility and are accountable to the Non-Governmental
We have established a CRC in reporting their Organisations and think
Corporate Responsibility performance. tanks to ensure that they are
Committee (CRC) made up fully informed at all times.
of senior executives from Each business manages its
across Centrica to lead the business impact in different We believe the best way to
development and application ways, often working closely manage these relationships is
of our corporate responsibility with corporate functions, to exchange information with
“This is our first strategy. The committee is including human resources, openness and transparency.
chaired by the Group General procurement, health, safety
Counsel and Company and environment, marketing Measuring our performance
responsibility report Secretary and includes the and community affairs. We have developed a range
and an important Group Director, Human of corporate responsibility
milestone for Centrica. Resources, the Chief Effective risk management measures that are appropriate
We were pleased with Operating Officer for Centrica Our risk governance structure to the businesses we run
our progress in 2003 North America, the Group is designed to assess and and the countries in which we
but recognise that Marketing Director, the quantify all the risks to which operate. Where possible, we
there is much more Group Corporate Affairs our businesses are subject participate in initiatives that
to be done across a Director and the Head of and to create a culture in provide external stakeholders
range of business Corporate Responsibility. which risk management is with benchmarks of our
impacts. We hope integrated with decision- performance. In particular,
The committee meets making. A number of key we participate in the:
that this publication
quarterly and is a formal sub processes are in place to
will form part of a committee of the Centrica identify and actively manage Dow Jones
process to enable Executive Committee (CEC). business risk. These form Sustainability Indexes
us to achieve Regular presentations are part of our commitment to Centrica has been selected as
continually improving made to both the CEC and meet the requirements of an index component for both
levels of performance the Centrica board with the Turnbull Guidance on the Dow Jones Sustainability
in future years.” further updates to the CEC Internal Control, as appended World and European Indexes
as appropriate. to the Combined Code on (DJSI World and DJSI STOXX)
Grant Dawson Corporate Governance. in 2003. This means we are
Group General Counsel Our thinking – into action judged to be among the
and Company Secretary
Our operating businesses Engaging with the leading sustainability-driven
have a critical role to play regulators companies world-wide.
in the delivery of the group Centrica operates in a
corporate responsibility number of markets, including
strategy. Each business energy, telecommunications
operates in a different trading and financial services, that
environment and the issues are extensively affected by
they need to address depend changes in regulation and
on the location and nature of public policy. We, therefore,
their main business activities. have structured dialogue
The operating businesses are with all those that contribute
responsible for integrating to the policy making process
corporate responsibility into in these areas including
04 Centrica plc Corporate Responsibility Report 2003
Top10 2nd 48th £5.75m
The accessibility of our Centrica was placed second Centrica was ranked Cash support provided to
corporate website has been in the Employers’ Forum on 48th within the BITC 2003 community activities in 2003.
rated in the top 10 of FTSE100 Disability Global Benchmark Corporate Responsibility
companies by web usability in 2003. Index. 139 companies
consultants Nomensa. took part.
Reporting on our performance
Business in the Community
introduced their corporate In this summary report, we consider our performance under the
responsibility index in following headings. We review details of policies and initiatives that
2002 when a total of 122
illustrate our commitments. More detail is available on the web at
companies took part and
Centrica was placed in the www.centrica.com/responsibility
third quintile. 139 companies
took part in 2003 and
Centrica was ranked 48th
(second quintile) within Workplace Marketplace
the overall index with an How we support our employees within the How we manage the impact our core products
improved score of 87.19%. working environment to help them balance and services have on society including how
the competing demands of work and life. we buy and sell goods and services.
In all of the main categories, Page 06 Page 12
we met or exceeded the
average rating, and were
pleased that our performance
in the areas of corporate
strategy and integration
significantly improved on
our 2002 performance.
We accept there are still
areas for improvement and
would hope to make further
progress in 2004 based on
the planned activities around
our key impact areas.
FTSE4Good Indices How we seek to achieve positive Information about the major environmental
The FTSE4Good indices impact in local communities through impacts of our business and how we are
have been designed to our community investment programme. working to reduce them.
measure the performance Page 18 Page 22
of companies that meet
globally recognised corporate
responsibility standards, and
to facilitate investment in
those companies. Centrica
has been included in selected
indices since their inception
by the FTSE Group in 2001.
Centrica plc Corporate Responsibility Report 2003 05
Pride, trust, opportunity
Our ongoing success depends on the people we employ.
The conduct of each and every employee is the basis on which
we build effective relationships with customers, with each other,
and with the communities in which we operate.
Our workplace Our workplace policies seek process, a total of 36 new initiatives underway at any
responsibilities… to create an environment or revised policies were one time. For example, a new
that motivates and engages introduced in 2003. Our graduate recruitment brand,
at a glance our employees and rewards corporate responsibility MORE, was developed in
performance, whilst also strategy in the workplace 2003, (see case study
> Attracting quality people supporting equality of seeks to bring alive our opposite). Our website was
Seeking to attract and opportunity for all. values and to realise our extensively overhauled to
retain high-quality individuals objective of becoming an enable applicants to apply
through flexible reward Strengthening relationships employer of choice. online, and we developed
packages. with employees on-campus support to help
We want to be regarded The priorities for action that with recruitment activities.
> Employee development as an employer of choice, we have set are: As a result of these initiatives,
Helping our people to developing initiatives that – to embed the responsible we recruited 48 UK graduates
develop and grow through help attract, develop, retain behaviour embodied in our in 2003.
effective strategies. and motivate the best people values;
to work with us. In 2003, – to be clear on our This was also the first full
> Equal opportunities we launched a global people expectations of our year of activity at the British
Respecting and valuing strategy which is designed employees and about Gas Engineering Academy
the individual, ensuring to help us meet specific what we offer in return; (see case study opposite)
there is equality of business needs. The – to ensure that the people and we continued to support
opportunity for all. strategy has been widely we employ reflect the various employment initiatives
communicated across our customers we serve; designed to recruit people
> Health and safety businesses, and we believe – to attract the best people from different backgrounds
Ensuring a 100% that we now have a to work with us in achieving and groups in the community
commitment to the health framework in place that our business objectives; including people with
and safety of every will allow us to continue to – to ensure that our leaders disabilities, lone parents,
employee and customer. invest in our employees. understand and apply our long-term unemployed
values in everything they do; people and carers.
> Listening to employees We have also articulated – to develop our people in a
Valuing the views of Centrica’s values (see page 3) structured way; These included Ambition:
employees and integrating and introduced a new guide – to promote a safe and Energy and the Centrica
their ideas into business to sound business practice. healthy working Employment Programme
planning. This guide sets out the environment; and which was launched in 2003.
standards of behaviour we – to consult and respond to This programme builds on
> Keeping our people expect from our employees. the needs and interests of the earlier success of our
informed our employees. Project-Led Recruitment
Striving to ensure that The guide was circulated programme between 1998
all employees have the to all UK employees; North Attracting high quality recruits and 2002 which saw more
information they need American employees will Centrica is a diverse group than 180 people employed by
about their role in their receive copies in 2004. of businesses, with a demand the group, of whom around
organisation, at all times. for employees with wide 45% had a disability.
Our values and business ranging skills, technical
principles are supported expertise and experience.
by policies that ensure the
support we provide to our This means that there are
employees is both effective always a variety of different
and relevant. Following a recruitment activities and
comprehensive review innovative employment
06 Centrica plc Corporate Responsibility Report 2003
42,573 70% 5,000 What matters
During 2003, we employed an average Around 70% of all our employees The creation of the British Gas
> Let us know
of 42,573 people. An increase of more had an annual training and Engineering Academy has helped your views:
than 4,500 on 2002. development review in 2003. We us develop and re-focus our
aim to increase the proportion of training facilities to handle the responsibility@
our employees who benefit from
such a review on a rolling basis.
training requirements for an
additional 5,000 recruits into our
Partnership: the key to success
at the academy
At the end of 2002 we established the British Gas
Engineering Academy. The academy was set up to re-focus
our training facilities and to meet the extra training
requirements involved in recruiting an additional 5,000 new
engineers into our workforce. In 2003 alone, the academy
has trained over 500 Modern Apprentices and 1,000 adult
recruits. The academy’s strategy is not only to use our
own training centres but also to engage in partnerships
with further education colleges. This will enable us to
handle our peak requirements for technical training within
British Gas over the next few years. It will also allow us to
learn from other training professionals. Three partnerships
have been created so far with Stourbridge, Filton and
For more information on the British Gas Engineering
Academy visit www.britishgasacademy.co.uk
Graduates get MORE opportunities
Our new graduate development programme seeks to
develop future senior managers by giving them a thorough
understanding of the operational aspects of our businesses
from the outset. Introduced in 2003, the programme is
structured to provide a number of key placements, including
time spent within our customer service operation, alongside
on-the-job training and personal development opportunities.
The two-year general management programme, the three-
year finance programme and the one year IS programme
include projects related to corporate responsibility within
the personal development stream.
For more information on our graduate development
programme visit www.centrica.com/graduatesmore
Centrica plc Corporate Responsibility Report 2003 07
Workplace Pride, trust, opportunity
Work-life balance with the AA
The AA employs around 1,000 people to handle
emergency breakdown calls in centres across the country.
However, working in a call centre does not suit everybody
and following a successful pilot involving ten people in
1997, the AA now has the capacity for 150 people to work
at home at any one time, with 140 employees working in
this way in 2003.
Teleworkers benefit from the greater flexibility to structure
their work around other responsibilities as well as the
elimination of travel time. The business also benefits
as teleworkers are more productive in terms of the number
of calls handled and length of call compared to the
office-based employees. It is also easier to attract people
to manage out of office hours calls, essential to operating
a 24 hour service.
“ Being able to work from home means I can focus entirely
on giving excellent customer service, without any of the
distractions a call centre environment brings. My travelling
time consists of a 20-second journey to work instead of
a 30-minute journey. It fits in well with my domestic
circumstances and this year I have been selected to
represent the teleworking team at the award ceremony
for call handler of the year, which makes me very proud.”
Customer Service Advisor
In partnership with Enhancing leadership and individual objectives. The new We also launched a new
the Employers’ developing talent system seeks to create and career development and
Forum on Disability, we Centrica recognises that the maintain a high performance management portfolio to
produced a publication quality of leadership is a culture across the group with provide us with a clear
of best practice called central factor in achieving greater emphasis on helping understanding of the future
‘Recruitment that Works’. our business objectives and to manage underperformance. leadership talent within
in ensuring that the behaviour From 2004 onwards, the organisation.
This guide continues to of all our employees truly managers will use the
highlight the key learning reflects our values. This is a behavioural competencies Promoting diversity
points from our experience, priority area for us. to identify their development and equality
and gives step-by-step needs and then receive We are working with a number
guidance for employers In 2003 we identified the feedback on how they are of partner organisations on
who want to recruit a key behaviours required by doing. diversity-related initiatives
diverse workforce and leaders at all levels to enable that enable us to share best
for agencies that help Centrica to achieve its In June 2003, the Centrica practice, address key issues
disadvantaged people business goals. Following Executive Committee agreed and continually improve our
into work, in particular research amongst employees, actions to develop talented approach to diversity and
people with disabilities. we created a clear and managers across the equality. These include
concise set of behavioural business. The management initiatives focused on disability,
competencies for leadership talent review involves the top racial discrimination, age and
that are consistent with our 1,000 managers and enables work-life balance. We are
culture and values. Based on the organisation to succession also involved in a number
these competencies, a new plan for the most senior roles of recruitment initiatives
performance management in the business. Succession designed to attract people
system has been developed plans were developed in 2003 from a wide range of different
that provides greater clarity and used in the movement of backgrounds and groups in
at all levels, from business a number of people between the community including
and management agendas to brands and across functions. people with disabilities,
08 Centrica plc Corporate Responsibility Report 2003
Total accidents per 100,000 hours worked (Jan - Dec 2003) Age comparison of workforce
10 2002 Male
Number of employees
Number of employees
4.7 4.3 4.9
2 1.4 1.6 1.7 1,000
0.5 0.3 0.0
AA British Centrica One.Tel Centrica Direct Luminus <20 20-24 25-29 30-34 35-39 40-44 45-49 50-54 55-59 60-64 >65
Gas Energy Corporate Energy
lone parents, long-term Visit www.centrica.com/ at a low frequency despite
unemployed people and healthandsafety for further the significant growth in “I am determined
carers. details of our HS&E our operational businesses. to ensure that
management system. This has been due to our we improve our
More information on our continuing programme of performance in all
approach is provided on our Our health and safety targets risk assessment, training,
areas of the workplace.
website at www.centrica. and key performance team briefings and auditing.
com/diversity and in the indicators are monitored and
I will be monitoring
focus feature on diversity reported regularly to the We also introduced a number our progress closely
on page 11. Centrica board. Detailed of occupational health and and will continue to
scrutiny of actual or safety initiatives in 2003 to report regularly to
Employee health and safety potentially significant highlight, manage and the management
Our health, safety and incidents identifies lessons to mitigate particular risks within team and back to
environmental management be learned and preventative our business. Examples in employees as well.”
system is based on action taken. The two key 2003 included managing
internationally recognised reactive indicators are occupational road risk, Anne Minto OBE
good practice, and we take fatalities and major injuries. managing stress in the Group Director
time to advise all employees We are pleased to report no workplace (see case below),
that they have a duty to work fatal workplace accidents in improving arrangements
safely, with consideration for 2003. Major injuries, usually for employee rehabilitation
themselves and others. as a result of slips, trips, falls and reinforcing our policy on
and handling, have remained the use of mobile phones.
Understanding and managing stress
The Health and Safety Executive estimates initially at management styles, behaviours
that up to 25% of employees in the UK and structures. An employee module to
are affected by stress related problems address individual issues and behaviours
and is developing guidelines for the was subsequently launched in early 2004.
management of stress in the workplace. The introduction of the management
In June 2003, we launched our own module has been integrated with a new
group-wide programme entitled company policy on stress and clear
‘Managing the Balance – Understanding guidelines for the recognition of stress in
and Managing Stress in the Workplace’. the workplace. The training offered to
managers now includes an interactive
This initiative followed a review of data e-learning package available on the
which indicated that stress levels within intranet and one-day workshops which
Centrica reflected the UK-wide picture. build on the e-learning. Feedback to date
Managers decided to address the more has been excellent and we will continue
challenging aspects of the problem by to monitor stress indicators to gauge
establishing a programme which looked impact throughout 2004 and beyond.
Centrica plc Corporate Responsibility Report 2003 09
Workplace Pride, trust, opportunity
300 £750 74% 10,000
Between 2002 and 2005, British We spent an average of £750 Almost 74% of our employees We expect that 10,000 employees
Gas has committed to employing per employee on training in 2003, responded to our annual employee will have access to our new Flex
300 engineers as part of the UK-wide providing around three full days engagement survey in 2003. employee reward package by the
drive to deliver 4,500 jobs through of training for each employee. end of 2004.
Stakeholder engagement: listening to our employees
In the workplace, our most important stakeholders are the
people we employ. It is essential that we communicate with
our employees to make sure that our policies and initiatives
are helping them to meet our high expectations and their
own personal needs.
We encourage our employees to share their views and
perceptions. Our annual employee engagement survey gives
everyone within Centrica an opportunity to comment on
how the business is being run. Since 1999, the survey has
evolved from a simple measure of employee satisfaction
to a sophisticated tool that provides invaluable input into
our strategic decision making. More than 74% of our
employees participated in the survey in 2003.
In November 2003, it Pay, performance regular analysis across our Real commitment
was announced that and reward businesses to ensure that from our executives
British Gas had achieved We work hard to reward our bonus schemes are applied A key factor in the success
business-wide recognition employees fairly for their consistently. of our workplace initiatives
to the Investors in efforts. From the moment has been the top-level
People standard. an employee joins Centrica, During 2003, Centrica commitment of key
the way in which their conducted a review of the members of the Centrica
This success underlines performance is evaluated pay levels between men Executive Committee.
our commitment to the and recognised is made clear and women in accordance Examples of direct
development of our people. to them. All employees are with our commitment made involvement include:
British Gas is now the second encouraged to bring forward in the Kingsmill Report.
largest business in the UK all queries as they arise. The results showed that the Sir Roy Gardner
with such accreditation. gender pay gap in Centrica • President of Carers UK
We regularly review the is much narrower than • Chair of Ambition Energy
remuneration packages we national norms and our • Chair of the Government’s
offer to ensure that they are current pay policies and Modern Apprenticeship
competitive. We also use practices contain no gender Task Force
bonus schemes to encourage bias. This review will now
employees to surpass be a regular report to our Anne Minto OBE
business and personal goals. executive committee. • Chairman Engineering
In 2003, we introduced the Development Trust
new Centrica Flex employee More information is (Year in Industry)
reward package to support available on our website • Vice President, Chair of
our employee retention at www.centrica.com/ the Board of Institute of
strategy. Around 3,500 reward including our Employment Studies
employees have access to specific policies relating • Member of the
the scheme at present, a to the minimum wage, National Employers
figure we expect to increase company shares, pensions, Advisory Board –
to 10,000 by the end of reward strategy and The Reserve Forces
2004. We carry out a executive pay.
10 Centrica plc Corporate Responsibility Report 2003
Focus on diversity
Our business case for diversity is built on two fundamental principles.
The first is a recognition that valuing and embracing diversity is
simply the right thing to do. The second is a commercial recognition
that valuing and embracing diversity makes good business sense.
In 2003, we brought together our employee to review access at our sites and to create
and customer strategies in a single document a disability ‘tool kit’ for all facilities employees.
‘Managing the value of diversity’. This sets out
our aim to be a truly inclusive organisation, To mark the European Year of Disabled People
both in the workplace where we are working to in 2003, we developed a number of new
build an employee profile that is representative initiatives as part of our wider diversity
of our customer base, and in the marketplace, programme. For example, the AA held
where we strive to meet the essential needs roadshows at nine of our customer service
of an increasingly diverse range of customers. offices providing guidance on customers with “ We operate in an
disabilities to over 3,000 customer facing increasingly diverse
Diversity and our workforce employees. The AA also produced a booklet community, not just
We support a wide range of diversity-related entitled ‘Serving Disabled Customers’ which
of work colleagues,
recruitment programmes and employee was issued to all 12,000 of our customer
communications campaigns are also carried facing employees.
but of customers
out each year to raise awareness of diversity and suppliers.
in a business context. In 2003, a customer Diversity and service provision Recognising and
diversity intranet site was established to We have reviewed the requirements of valuing diversity will
provide guidance to all employees on this hearing and speech impaired customers help us to deliver
important issue. in collaboration with the Royal National truly world class
Institute for Deaf People (RNID). Our policy services that are
We worked in collaboration with Disability now ensures that text phones are installed accessible to
Matters, Business in the Community and throughout the business and that contracts everyone. It makes
Race for Opportunity to develop a training are established with services such as RNID good business sense.”
package on diversity issues for new Text Direct. On average in 2003, we received
employees. In addition, we produced an around 120 text phone calls each month. Anne Minto OBE
in-depth training package on disability Group Director
which looks at topics ranging from disability We also provide a telephone translation Human Resources
legislation through to the provision of service for customers whose first language
products and services. Facilities teams also is not English. The service covers over
received disability awareness training and we 100 languages and is used, on average,
commissioned expert disability consultants by over 200 customers each month.
Groundbreaking use of
SMS text messaging
After listening to the needs of customers
We send out more than 17,000 bills,
with disabilities, the AA has developed a statements, letters and marketing
text messaging service which enables its communications each month to
hearing and speech impaired members customers in alternative formats such
as Braille, large print and audio tape.
to communicate effectively with the AA
using their mobile phone. This service
has received numerous external accolades
from UK disability groups and around
20 texts are received each month.
Centrica plc Corporate Responsibility Report 2003 11
Passion, service, support
Passion for customers is the cornerstone of our values. Being responsible
in the way we behave towards customers and in our relationships with
suppliers is central to how we strive to achieve our company vision and
how we define our values.
Our marketplace Our responsibility begins consumer representative thrown up by energy sales in
with advertising and selling, organisations to understand the de-regulated market.
responsibilities… extends through customer the key marketplace issues
at a glance service and satisfaction and for our customers and A particular focus for us is
covers the safe use of our potential customers and to face to face selling through
> Customer satisfaction products. It also means learn new ways of serving our direct sales agents.
We monitor customer upholding customer privacy, their needs. Customer We have reviewed our own
satisfaction and measure respecting customers with satisfaction is measured on recruitment and training
our performance to drive specific needs, and sharing an annual basis, while procedures and worked with
service improvements. our business principles with monthly performance industry, regulator and
our suppliers. indicators of service delivery consumer bodies to agree the
> Excellent customer are reported to senior recently launched ‘AES Code
service Improving our relationships managers throughout the of Practice for Face to Face
We address particular with customers group in order to track key Selling’ which is designed
needs to ensure that all our We are committed to aspects of our performance. to ensure everyone in the
customers receive the best continually improving our industry applies a range of
possible service. standards of customer service. Attracting new customers checks and measures to
As such, we recognise the We use a variety of channels their direct sales activities.
> Valuing diversity importance of listening to a to sell our products and
A commitment to fairness wide range of stakeholders, services. We are committed We are committed to ensuring
and equality is at the heart and working in partnership to ensuring that the same that our advertising is honest
of our service ethic. with them, to meet our standards of responsibility and legal. We implement a
corporate responsibilities. apply regardless of the sales rigorous approval process
> Helping to alleviate fuel These include not-for-profit channel. As founder members operating within the wider
poverty agencies, our industry peers of the Association of Energy regulatory framework.
British Gas continues to and government regulators. Suppliers (AES) we are Representatives from relevant
play a leading role in But, most importantly, we pressing for industry-wide areas of the business review
achieving the Government’s maintain dialogue with various solutions to the issues and challenge all prospective
challenging fuel poverty
> Stewardship programmes Technology boosts AA customer service
programmes aim to help our The AA continues to develop technology to
customers use our products improve customer service. All patrols are
and services safely. now equipped with specialised all weather
portable computer systems with fault
> Supplier relationships diagnostic capability, which will enhance
We expect our suppliers patrols’ ability to fix faults at the roadside.
to have similar values and Called VIxEN, the laptop computer also
high standards to our own provides AA patrols with GPRS
in how they manage their communications functionality which enables
environmental and social more efficient deployment and better
impacts. management of call to arrive times. In
November 2003, VIxEN was recognised by
the automotive industry when it won the
2003 Autocar Idea of the Year Award.
12 Centrica plc Corporate Responsibility Report 2003
1st 44m No.1 What matters
The AA won the annual JD Power Centrica has more than Centrica business services
> Let us know
& Associates UK Road Assistance 44 million customer relationships maintained its position as the your views:
Study Award for customer satisfaction in the UK, North America and number one supplier of energy
for the second successive year and Western Europe. to the commercial sector in responsibility@
for the fourth time in the six
years it has been awarded.
Britain in 2003. centrica.com
“As a leading supplier
of essential services,
we have a
responsibility to meet
the diverse needs of
all our customers.
‘Doing the right thing’ extend across the
During 2003, British Gas launched the updated British Gas branding and
experience from how
a significant culture change programme become the strapline of a highly successful
entitled ‘Doing the Right Thing’ designed to marketing campaign. Following our online
we attract new
enhance customer service performance and billing television advertisement, our website, customers through
to embed new ways of working to derive www.house.co.uk saw an increase in unique to how we enhance
maximum benefits from the investment in visitors from 140,000 to 203,000 per week. customer
business transformation. The initiative has Almost 130,000 have signed up to online relationships.”
been embraced by employees across British e-bills since the launch of paperless billing
Gas. It has also formed the creative focus of in May 2003. Director of Marketing
advertising. We adhere to Authority. We were The following standards are British Gas
the Committee of Advertising disappointed that our internal in place currently across the British Gas is certified
Practice (CAP) Code, a procedures did not work on AA and British Gas: company wide to ISO
self-regulatory body that these occasions and will make 9001:2000 by British
creates, revises and every effort to improve our The AA Standards Institute and is one
enforces the code. performance in 2004. The AA has adopted a risk of a select number of UK
based approach to managing companies to achieve this
Our advertising methods are Reinforcing our its businesses, identifying status. In addition, our Print
researched extensively with management processes potential risks, implementing Management Centre is also
consumers to establish Centrica businesses seek management systems (ISO certified to OHSAS 18001.
whether they convey a to achieve best practice 9001:2000) to reduce those All these are brought together
positive image of the standards both for risks to an acceptable level in a common approach to
company. Our customer management systems and and monitoring performance Business Management
communications are written for the services we offer to against targets and measures. Systems across the company.
in language appropriate and customers. Where appropriate, Road Services are also
accessible for the target we link these to external certified to PAS-43 which is
audience. During 2003, two standards, as they help our for the safe working of vehicle
complaints about our managers, employees and breakdown and recovery
advertising were upheld customers to know what level operators.
by the Advertising Standards of performance to expect.
Centrica plc Corporate Responsibility Report 2003 13
Marketplace Passion, service, support
3,500 18m 750,000 9.93m
The AA has the largest dedicated As the key player in the campaign There are more than 750,000 On One.Tel’s busiest day in 2003,
patrol force in the UK, with to reduce carbon monoxide (CO) customers on the British Gas Home our customers spent approximately
approximately 3,500 patrols. poisoning, British Gas delivered Energy Care Register, and 250,000 9.93 million minutes on the phone.
18 million CO leaflets to energy customers with disabilities advise
customers in 2003. us of their individual service needs.
Safe use of all our Promoting the safe use campaigning and children. The charity’s current
products and services is of our products investigation, and the AA’s work includes assessing the
a top priority. Through The success of our brands commitment to safer travel environmental impacts of
employee training, means that we have many on the roads. travel. Further information on
customer contact and millions of customer The AA Motoring Trust can be
targeted communication, relationships worldwide. This Promoting safer motoring found at: www.aatrust.com
we raise awareness on presents us with a unique The AA is committed to
safety issues relating to opportunity to encourage our promoting safer motoring and Valuing and embracing
our core businesses. customers, and through them offers advice for drivers on all diversity
their family and friends, to use aspects of driving. Concern In 2003, we introduced
Specific examples come from our products and services for road safety was enshrined a new diversity strategy that
the AA in promoting safer more safely and efficiently. in the first rules of the AA and includes both employees and
motoring and the work done we have since extended them customers. We appointed a
by British Gas on the safe use Our stewardship programmes to include environmental new diversity director, and
of services and campaigning help our customers to make concerns. established an action group
to raise awareness of the informed decisions about the that is chaired by the
risks of carbon monoxide. use of our products and The AA established the managing director of Centrica
services in a way that reduces AA Motoring Trust in 2002 Energy. The group is driving
their environmental impact and to carry on its role in an integrated approach that
makes a positive contribution championing the interests and will build on the excellent
to society. Examples include safety of Britain’s road users. practices we have already
British Gas promoting energy At the heart of the new developed and ensure they
efficiency at home and in charity’s work is research and are consistent through all
business, our carbon information on road safety, areas of our business.
monoxide awareness particularly to protect our We commission annual
Money and budgeting advice for customers
Working with the Employers’ Forum on Disability and
Mencap, British Gas produced ‘Paying Your Bills’.
This booklet was developed with the help of a cross
section of people with a learning disability. It is a guide
to help manage household bills and covers issues
including how to find the easiest method of payment,
how to get support if problems arise and tips on saving
energy and money. The booklet is equally valuable
to those moving into their first home or for those whose
first language is not English.
14 Centrica plc Corporate Responsibility Report 2003
Carbon monoxide (CO) incidents 1997-2002
233 Figures from Health and
Safety Executive 2003 1st £2bn
132 British Gas was placed top in the We spend £2 billion on goods
112 J.D. Power & Associates Gas and services annually to support
95 Supplier Domestic Customer business operations.
Satisfaction Study for 2003.
24 24 16 13 34
Total number of deaths Total number of Total number of incidents
Carbon monoxide awareness
Centrica is the leading carbon monoxide incident
investigator and campaigner in the UK. Carbon monoxide
(CO) is a highly poisonous gas, which can be produced by
burning any fossil fuels such as gas, oil, coal and wood,
without sufficient air. Since 1997 more than 75 people have
died and hundreds more are injured as the result of CO
poisoning. The most common causes are appliances that
have been poorly installed, or not regularly serviced or
where there is inadequate ventilation. British Gas
campaigns to raise awareness of both the dangers
and the safety measures that can save lives.
As a key industry player in carbon monoxide campaigns
we have delivered:
– 18 million CO information leaflets to all British Gas
– 1.4 million leaflets to health centres and Citizens
– specially designed student CO awareness leaflets to
universities and colleges across Britain
– a CO section on our website at www.house.co.uk/safety
– a TV advertisement to raise awareness
– over 280 articles on CO in press, on radio and television
– local press competitions, giving away over 2000 CO
– support to the current Health and Safety Executive
Fundamental Review of Gas Safety
– support to all Gas Safety Fundamental Review Groups
– support to Understanding Energy, a CO video
market research from that could affect the way we inclusion of disability in a For full details of progress
independent research serve them. We record these company’s social reporting in this area during 2003
organisations to establish details so we can take them process. Having been placed see the focus feature on
the service needs and into account when we contact sixth in 2002, our performance diversity on page 11.
perceptions of our disabled or visit them. Service registers improved during 2003 when
customers, older customers are now established in all our we achieved second position
and customers from ethnic major brands. in the survey. We were pleased
minority backgrounds. that the accessibility of our
Centrica participated in the corporate website was rated
We also invite our customers 2003 Employers’ Forum on seventh of all FTSE 100
to tell us about any Disability Global Inclusion companies by web usability
requirements or disabilities Benchmark that monitors the consultants Nomensa.
Centrica plc Corporate Responsibility Report 2003 15
Marketplace Passion, service, support
20,000 37% ‘here to HELP’ progress as at 31 December 2003
Zones signed up
Households included 262,380
Zones completed 41
Direct Energy completed an average Our Condensing Boilers & Heating
of 20,000 service calls each week Controls scheme offers customers the Household assessments completed 51,952
during autumn and winter 2003 – an opportunity to reduce fuel costs by up Charity referrals (of which 90% are completely new clients for the charities) 10,230
average of about 3,000 calls every day. to 37%, to use energy more efficiently
Completed benefit checks 3,171
and reduce CO2 emissions.
Total unclaimed benefits identified £1,826,537
Potential average benefit gain per qualifying household (pa) £1,619
In the UK, we continue Promoting energy efficiency reducing greenhouse to be guided by a similar
to play a leading role in Since April 2000 the British emissions. British Gas set of values to our own.
helping to achieve the Gas energy efficiency contacted all its business We seek to establish effective,
Government’s challenging programme has been helping customers with details of the two-way relationships with
fuel poverty and climate consumers to reduce their new Climate Change Levy key suppliers that involve
change targets and also energy consumption and fuel and its implications before information exchange and
champion the efficient use bills, whilst creating warmer its introduction in April 2001. joint exploration of new
of energy in households homes and fighting fuel opportunities.
throughout Britain. poverty. (See the focus By promoting product
feature on fuel poverty on benefits and energy savings, We have agreed to support
We engage with voluntary page 17.) 34% of all boilers sold by the DTI inspired Better
groups, charities and British Gas during 2003 Payment Practice Code.
public sector partners on Centrica Business Services were condensing boilers.
a wide range of energy (under the British Gas brand) This figure has increased Compliance with the code will
efficiency initiatives and is a major supplier of gas and to more than 40% since only happen if we follow the
the effectiveness of these electricity to industrial and September 2003. correct internal purchasing/
partnerships is a key factor commercial customers. payment processes that are
in our success. Climate Change Levy (CCL), Managing our supply chain designed to protect both our
which was first applied on We seek to procure the most suppliers and ourselves.
1st April 2001, is a tax on the cost effective solutions for
use of energy for business our businesses and we take For more information on the
purposes. The purpose of great care in choosing our Better Payment Practice
the levy is to encourage suppliers. Code, visit the website at
more efficient use of energy www.payontime.co.uk
and contribute to the In addition to offering high
Government’s targets under quality goods and services,
the Kyoto Protocol for we expect all our suppliers
Stakeholder engagement: Working with our suppliers
Approximately 400 contracts per annum are within their fields of expertise. This support
awarded through the Centrica procurement benefited the group by more than
team. This team consists of category £2.3 million in 2003.
managers who are experts in their particular
areas of spend, plus a small team of Similarly One.Tel has been able to benefit
dedicated strategic supplier relationship significantly from its relationships with key
managers who aim to maximise the value, telecoms suppliers to the group such as
effectiveness and efficiency of our top 20 Vodafone, Energis and Cable & Wireless.
strategic supplier relationships. This more Focused and structured account
structured and coordinated approach has management from these suppliers, including
resulted in stronger group-wide contract dedicated executive sponsorship at board
management for some suppliers and in a level, for example from Vodafone’s CEO
greater focus on process improvement with UK, provides One.Tel with the right level
others. As a result, some suppliers are now of influence when escalating issues or
providing consultancy, advice and training making high impact decisions.
16 Centrica plc Corporate Responsibility Report 2003
Focus on fuel poverty
In the UK, we play a leading role in challenging fuel
poverty by working to meet the needs of customers on
low incomes and by helping customers during periods
of personal financial difficulty.
Our energy efficiency programmes include customers who could pay but choose not to.
‘Warm-a-Life’ and ‘here to HELP’. ‘Warm-a- British Gas uses disconnection as a last “ In the 21st century,
Life’ is a national initiative offering free energy resort and most disconnections are the result it is incredible that
efficiency measures, fuel discounts and help of refusal rather than inability to pay. there are people dying
with identifying social security benefits. Since due to cold related
it was introduced in 2000, about 50,000 There are a series of safeguards, including
illnesses and missing
customers have been assisted. Through the a comprehensive communications process,
British Gas ‘here to HELP’ programme we as we seek to make contact with the
out on the basic
provide funding to local authorities and customer. Education and advice are the first necessities of life.
housing associations to upgrade boilers and steps in trying to prevent debt, and ultimately Through a range of
to improve insulation. In 2003, this initiative disconnection. We ask all our customers to let initiatives, British
helped people in more than 40,000 us know early if they have problems paying – Gas is bringing
households to reduce their fuel bills. and we promote alternate payment plans and together private,
cheaper payment options. We also issue a public and voluntary
Help with debt management range of advice leaflets including codes sector partners to help
We believe our debt management policies of practice for paying bills, dealing with combat household
strike the right balance between helping prepayment meters and our commitment to poverty and make a
customers who would like to pay but can’t, older, disabled or chronically sick customers.
difference to the
whilst applying commercial good practice to
quality of life for
many families and
‘here to HELP’ improves quality of life
The £150 million ‘here to HELP’ programme Tina Cartwright – a 34 year old single mother
aims to improve living conditions in some of from Stoke-on-Trent – and her two children
Britain’s most deprived communities. Created have benefited from free energy efficient
by British Gas in partnership with seven UK draught proofing, loft insulation and energy
charities – Help the Aged, Save the Children, efficient light bulbs. They also received a
Scope, RNIB, Gingerbread, National Debtline £5 discount on their energy bill and free
and Family Welfare Association – the membership to Gingerbread which has
programme is now operating in more than provided support and advice, plus day trips The ‘here to HELP’
515 communities and has helped over for the children and a family holiday to programme was
260,000 households. Butlins. awarded a BIG TICK
in the Business in the
for Excellence 2003.
Centrica plc Corporate Responsibility Report 2003 17
Support, action, impact
Playing an active role in our local communities is an essential part of
being a good corporate citizen. We understand that our success in the
marketplace can only be sustained if we accept and play an active
role in the community.
Our community Through our actions, we look case for community Tackling the issues that
to manage and improve our investment and, in turn, bring concern us
priorities… social impact. We work in the sustained commitment We are involved with a range
at a glance partnership on projects that that we know community of projects and partners
meet both the needs of partners value. Through long- tackling issues that are of
> Customer focus society and fit with our key term partnerships, we can concern to us and to society.
We aim to harness the power business objectives as a develop relationships and These primarily target in
of our business to help tackle provider of essential products activities that achieve impacts four areas: customer focus;
social problems relating to and services. within our identified priority education, skills and
areas where we have areas as well as delivering employability; sustainable
expertise. Ensuring access to the value for the business. enterprise; and employee
> Education, skills and In line with our overall It is our responsibility to
employability strategy, we have developed develop and manage We have developed a range
We have a responsibility to an umbrella theme for the community investment of community initiatives
help people, both young and Centrica community activities which embody our focused on our customers
old, take advantage of the investment programme: core values. We are constantly and their needs. Examples of
opportunities that life ‘ensuring access to the looking for new ways to put these projects include a major
presents. We look for essentials’. The purpose of our skills and resources to partnership with Help the
opportunities that are closely this theme is to help our good use for community and Aged, which aims to address
linked to our business to help stakeholders, both inside and business benefit. By focusing a range of issues faced by
people widen their horizons. outside the organisation, to on specific issues that relate older people including fuel
understand the kinds of social to our core business activities, poverty, isolation and safety.
> Employee involvement and community programmes we believe we can add value
Our employees make direct we get involved in. and expertise to help deliver To date, there have been
contributions in a range of solutions that make life better more than 1.7 million
ways including volunteering, We believe that this clarity will for people. beneficiaries of this
payroll giving and through a help us to build the business programme.
charity employee lottery.
> Sustainable enterprise
Our family of businesses is REECH gives communities a helping hand
linked by shared values.
By extending this principle Realising Energy Efficient Communities and Homes
through our community (REECH) is a partnership between British Gas and National
support, we aim to encourage Energy Action. Launched in 2002, it aims to help members
sustainable enterprise that of minority communities overcome barriers, such as
continues to make a positive language difficulties, that can prevent them from heating
contribution to building a and insulating their homes affordably.
healthy civil society.
REECH provides training and support for community
advice workers and volunteers to enable their communities
to access energy efficiency advice, information and grants.
Delegates who attend training sessions can access the
British Gas Warm-a-Life programme and receive low
energy light bulbs for their communities. Over 60
community groups have already registered.
18 Centrica plc Corporate Responsibility Report 2003
£6.6m 43% £25m What matters
In 2003, we contributed £6.6 million Some 43% of our community In the past five years, we have
> Let us know
to community causes through a investment is customer-focused provided a range of charities and your views:
combination of both cash and and targeted at social problems in community organisations with
in-kind support. the areas where we have expertise. almost £25 million of support. responsibility@
AA Trust focuses on children and
The AA Motoring Trust was publicly launched in February
2003. As a registered charity, the trust is wholly
independent and undertakes a wide range of activities
and research related to motoring and road safety issues.
As the AA’s parent company, Centrica will donate at least
£1 million each year over the next five years to support
the work of the AA Trust.
A key focus in 2003 was child safety. Some 5,000
children under the age of 16 die or are seriously injured
on Britain’s roads each year – and nearly 1,000 of these
are killed or seriously injured in cars. In February 2003,
the trust launched ‘The facts about road accidents and
children’ with a foreword by the UK Prime Minister, and
in June published ‘The effectiveness of child restraints’
which gave ratings to child car seats in crash tests (part
of a European-wide programme). In February 2004, the
trust launched its research ‘Loose in the car’ on the risks
of not using, or in making mistakes in using, a child safety
seat. More information on all these initiatives is available
Other initiatives linked to successful employment community organisations measure our contributions
our brands include the AA programmes promote greater become more financially through membership of the
Accessible Hotel of the Year diversity in the recruitment sustainable. London Benchmarking Group
Award, which aims to market. Key initiatives in this (LBG). The LBG system
highlight the importance of area include the education Measuring impact in the helps us to capture exactly
ensuring equal access for programme Think Energy (see community what cash, time and in-kind
disabled people and the AA case study on page 21) and The contribution we make to contributions we make
Disabled Travellers’ Guide, our close involvement with the community reflects our and what impacts they
which gives information and Carers UK through a range of standing as one of the UK’s are making.
ideas to help make getting carers in employment largest energy providers.
about easier at home and initiatives. In 2003 we contributed a
abroad. total of £6.6 million to
Our flagship project under the community causes.
In terms of initiatives linked sustainable enterprise theme
to education, skills and is the Sustainable Funding We are committed to
employability, we provide Project. Working with the professional measurement
a range of resources for National Council for Voluntary of our contributions and
students, parents and Organisations, the project the impact they have.
teachers, and our highly helps voluntary and We carefully manage and
Centrica plc Corporate Responsibility Report 2003 19
Community Support, action, impact
Focus of contribution in 2003
£1.2m 3,000 Charitable gifts – 4%
Community investment – 69%
Commercial initiatives – 21%
Management costs – 6%
Since our UK ‘Charity of the Year’ More than 3,000 (7%) Centrica
initiative, launched in 2001, our employees now give to a range of
employees have raised more than charities via the payroll, generating
£1.2 million for our chosen charities. an annual contribution of more
Centrica’s community spend is focused on
a number of priority areas, linked to issues
relevant to our business.
Our approach to community Helping employees to
investment is based on get involved
systematic management, We encourage employee
clearly identified objectives involvement through many of
and ongoing evaluation of our community programmes.
impacts. Each year, we run a
fundraising partnership with
We discuss and agree with our UK Charity of the Year.
our charity partners how we Many of our employees
will measure the benefits of also make direct contributions
each project. As well as in a range of other ways
quantitative outputs, we look including volunteering
at longer-term impacts and (see case study opposite).
ongoing sustainability. We Volunteering in North America
also set measures of business We gather employee opinions
benefit for each project. so that we can understand Volunteering in the community benefits charities through
their expectations and help the skills and experiences our volunteers bring and the
them make the best of the funds raised; benefits our employees through the skills
volunteering activities that they develop and benefits the business through increased
are open to them. According retention and motivation.
to a MORI survey we
commissioned, nearly three- In North America, Direct Energy, through the Direct in the
quarters (73%) of our Community programme, combines charitable giving with
employees are interested in activities designed to encourage our employees to
participating in community volunteer in their communities and support causes they
projects with our support. value. Employees who do volunteer more than ten hours
This is slightly ahead of levels per month are eligible to apply for a corporate donation
among employees in the of up to $500 for the registered charity they support.
UK as a whole.
Employees support the Charity of the Year
Our UK ‘Charity of the Year’ initiative is at the
heart of our community investment programme. Fundraising
takes place throughout the UK and the chosen charity,
selected by employees, also receives corporate funding.
In 2003, the charity of the year was the Meningitis Trust and
we successfully raised more than £500,000 via the ‘Every
Second Counts’ partnership against a target of £250,000.
Our current charity of the year is Cancer Research UK and
this partnership, which runs until August 2004, aims to raise
more than £400,000. We are also working with Cancer
Research UK to raise awareness of cancer prevention
amongst employees and customers.
20 Centrica plc Corporate Responsibility Report 2003
Focus on energy awareness
With more than 44 million customer relationships worldwide,
we have a unique responsibility to help our customers, and
their family and friends, to be more environmentally responsible
through the efficient use of our products and services.
As one of the UK’s largest energy providers, British Gas call centre employees launched
the main social issue for British Gas is in October 2003. This latter project aims to
ensuring sustainable access to energy. We raise awareness of the British Gas energy
enable millions of customers to heat their efficiency advice line and to encourage our
homes and issues such as efficient use of employees to transfer customers through
energy provide an important focus in both our to this team for energy efficiency advice.
community and environmental programmes. NEA has helped to develop energy efficiency
training for call centre employee induction
Increasing awareness of energy efficiency sessions.
We invest in a range of products and
awareness programmes designed to promote Working with all our stakeholders “ Over and above the
energy efficiency. We provide information and Our energy awareness initiatives are not impact of our day-
advice to help our customers make informed limited to the people or groups of people to-day operations,
decisions about the way they use energy in who use our services. For example, the we aim to be a good
their homes – and in the workplace. British Gas Think Energy education corporate citizen.
programme is one of the biggest school- To achieve this, it is
For example, British Gas has been working in based initiatives of its kind (see below). essential that we play
partnership with National Energy Action (NEA) In 2003, Think Energy received a Business an active role in
since 1984. Our funding has enabled NEA to in the Community Award for Excellence in the
implement a range of projects encouraging Education and Lifelong Learning category.
the efficient use of energy and delivering
and address issues of
tangible benefits to low-income families. In early 2003, we launched ‘Natural Capital’, wider social concern
a campaign that aims to increase levels of that are relevant to
Recent examples include the REECH initiative employee awareness of environmental our business.”
(see case study, page 18) launched in issues and encourage direct action through
November 2002, and a project involving behavioural change. Charles Naylor
Director of Corporate Affairs
Energy education is an award winner
British Gas Think Energy is a free energy education
programme for 7-18 year olds. Since its launch in 2000,
Think Energy has reached 49% of UK schools, some
2.6 million pupils, more than 22,000 teachers and 3.4 million
parents in the UK.
The programme combines a mixture of classroom learning
and home study. The resources concentrate on energy and
the importance of energy efficiency, encouraging behavioural
change to reduce fuel consumption and carbon dioxide
emissions. Research shows that some 50% of pupils
exposed to the resources claim to have made energy
efficiency improvements in the home. Please visit
Centrica plc Corporate Responsibility Report 2003 21
Responsible, caring, committed
Centrica recognises that it has a dual environmental responsibility.
Our primary responsibility is for the direct impacts of our activities on
the environment. Our secondary responsibility is to help our customers
make informed decisions about the use of our products and services.
Our environment Understanding and managing performance data for all
our environmental impacts is our major assets.
responsibilities… key to continuing business
at a glance success, and we include an We manage these risks by
appreciation of environmental investing in technology for
Our environmental policy issues within our decision- hazard prevention and
gives us a framework to making processes. minimisation. We are
manage our business in an introducing environmental
environmentally responsible Managing our major impacts management systems (EMS)
manner. Within that Gas and power provision are that meet the requirements
“Many companies say
framework, we specifically a major part of our business. of ISO 14001 across all of
seek to: our UK businesses by 2005.
that they take their
Our main environmental
impact areas are those related The major elements of EMS environmental
> Integrate environmental to this industry: climate are already in place for the responsibilities
considerations into our change, air pollution and AA, British Gas and for our seriously, but unlike
decision making on waste. power generation and gas many, Centrica can
operational issues including production activities. make a real lasting
new projects and potential In recent years, our portfolio difference. Our
acquisitions. of gas and power assets has We are also ensuring that strategy will enable
changed significantly. We the businesses with greater us to protect our
> Quantify and seek to reduce have acquired six gas-fired environmental impact have customers by
the environmental impacts of power stations and the Rough external certification of their
providing a cleaner
our activities on an ongoing offshore gas storage facility. systems to ISO 14001.
basis through continuous These businesses include
and more sustainable
These acquisitions have
improvement. influenced our major our gas fired power stations, fuel mix.”
environmental impacts. our production facility in
> Comply with all applicable In particular, environmental Morecambe, our AA Service Managing Director
environmental legislation, emissions have grown Centres, AA patrols, British Centrica Energy
regulations and other codes significantly with the Gas print centres and the
of practice. integration and reporting of Rough storage facility.
emissions from the six power We have so far achieved
> Encourage suppliers and stations. Visit www.centrica. certification for 13 of the
contractors to pursue com/environment to review 15 selected businesses.
Managing the major impacts Lowest impact Medium impact Highest impact
> Review and improve Air Biodiversity Climate Contaminated Ozone Hazardous Waste Water
policies and practices in pollution change land depletion chemicals
line with developments in Centrica total
understanding and British Gas
> Improve the choice and North America
efficient use of energy, water
and other resources, focusing
particularly on reducing
greenhouse gas emissions.
22 Centrica plc Corporate Responsibility Report 2003
10% 1,000MW 191m What matters
At peak production, some 10% of the We aim to have the capacity to In delivering our UK services British
> Let us know
UK gas supply is obtained from our generate 1,000MW of electricity from Gas engineers and AA patrols your views:
Morecambe gas fields and the gas renewable sources within the next five travelled 191 million miles in 2003.
processing terminal at Barrow-in- years - enough energy to power responsibility@
Furness. 350,000 homes. centrica.com
Reporting on our new assets
Our six power stations are all combined cycle gas turbines,
which burn clean natural gas to generate electricity. They
provide total generation capacity of 2,174 MW, approximately
25% of the peak day domestic and commercial electricity
customer demand from our electricity customers. All six sites
operate to high environmental standards and four have been
certified to the environmental standard (IS0 14001) for several
years. Pollution control is a vitally important part of these
environmental standards. We are committed to reporting on
the environmental performance of new businesses in the UK
within 18 months of acquisition. Details on the performance of
Barry and Roosecote power stations will be reported in 2004.
Current environmental performance data can be reviewed
online at www.centrica.com/responsibility
Our investment in renewable energy
Centrica Energy will be investing more than £500 million,
alongside joint venture partners, to build renewable
assets during the period to 2010.
We have entered a joint venture with DONG and Statkraft
to build a 90MW offshore wind farm at Barrow and have
acquired the Inner Dowsing and Lynn offshore wind farm
developments in The Wash, with a combined generation
potential of 180MW.
In partnership with AMEC, we have also won a lease to
develop two further sites. This will bring our total potential
generation capacity to 1000MW within the next five years.
These announcements will account for about half of British
Gas’ renewable obligation and roughly 5% of it’s overall
electricity supply requirements. 1,000MW is enough
energy to power 350,000 homes, equivalent to the city of
Birmingham. Taken as a whole, this investment makes
Centrica one of the largest investors in offshore wind
farms in Europe.
Centrica plc Corporate Responsibility Report 2003 23
Environment Responsible, efficient, caring
Our buildings: Office recycling 2000-2003
Percentage of waste recycled
Fuel use per mile (mpg) Total waste recycled by
of our fleet improved Centrica in 2003 -5%
by 13% 19%
-20% Change in CO2/m2
Change in CO2/FTE
2000 2001 2002 2003 2000 2001 2002 2003
We aim to provide Buildings and vehicle- monitoring which will ensure A key part of the Government’s
comprehensive reports related impacts the buildings are not only run strategy is being achieved by
about our environmental As a large business with more efficiently but will be more placing a ‘renewables
impacts and how we are more than 40,000 employees, comfortable places to work. obligation’ on all electricity
working to reduce them. our buildings consume suppliers to source a set
considerable amounts of In 2003, our total vehicle fleet proportion of the electricity
We recognise that we still energy and create significant covered over 191 million miles they supply from qualifying
have some way to go, but we amounts of waste (see case and used 29 million litres of renewable generation plant.
have already put a number study below). In 2003, all the fuel to deliver roadside service This started at 3% in the year
of practical and innovative electricity for our offices came and install, maintain and repair to March 2003 and will reach
plans in place to ensure we from renewable sources, and central heating, white goods 15.4% by 2015. Centrica
make good progress in 2004. hence were on a climate and other products in the intends to meet the renewables
change levy exempt tariff. home. We prioritise fuel obligation for its main British
efficiency in new vehicles, and Gas energy supply business
We remain committed to we implement travel and fuel through a ‘balanced portfolio’
reducing building energy use reduction policies. We also approach. This means
per employee and ensuring run a fleet management obtaining electricity from a
that our buildings meet, and programme, to reduce the variety of sources: some from
where possible exceed, current amount of travel by investment in generating
energy efficiency standards. employees, and in turn reduce capacity (see case study on
impact on the environment. page 23), some through
In 2003, our energy efficiency bilateral contracts with
programme continued across Our commitment to independent generators,
the estate and delivered renewable energy some through market
2,454 tonnes of carbon In order to address the threat purchases, and some through
dioxide (CO2) savings. In 2004 of climate change the UK has paying the Government’s
the programme will deliver agreed to cut its greenhouse ‘buyout’ charge intended to
increased levels of remote gas emissions by 12.5%. promote green generation.
Centrica and waste recycling
Our businesses generate a wide range of innovative programmes in areas such
waste. Office waste includes paper, cardboard as the recycling of furniture, uniforms,
and cans from our offices and call centres. mobile phones and packaging. Through
Operational waste covers batteries, tyres, oil the work of the site services people and
and used parts from our operations such as environmental champions a recycling rate
the service centres, our offshore activities of 48% was achieved by the end of 2003.
and from the field engineers and patrols. In an office environment this recycling rate
is higher than we are aware of for any other
Our office waste recycling programme office-based FTSE100 company and means
ensures that paper, cardboard, cans and that the waste per employee has fallen by
drinking cups are recycled in most of our more than 40%.
office buildings. Toner cartridges are collected
and recycled. Where they exist, we try to Our target for reducing waste sent
recycle via local schemes that donate any for final disposal by 15% per employee,
profits to charity. The group also has has been greatly exceeded.
24 Centrica plc Corporate Responsibility Report 2003
In early 2003 an environmental communication campaign
called ‘Natural Capital’ was launched. This campaign aims
to increase levels of employee:
Awareness – of the environment as a business issue for
Centrica, along with our environmental policies and
Action – towards key environmental performance targets
and savings, by targeting behavioral change in employees.
Advocacy – of Centrica as a company that takes its
environmental responsibilities seriously.
Natural Capital challenges employees to think about four
environmental concepts: boosting efficiency, driving
innovation, earning trust and enhancing quality of life.
There have been roadshows in our offices, displays at AA
patrol conferences and a photo competition to engage
Centrica Energy. By setting up quizzes, competitions,
green teams and a pledge scheme Natural Capital has
helped employees focus on their environment.
To date more than 3,500 pledges have been made to
turn-off PC screens at night, recycle rubbish, use trains,
buses or bikes and to save energy at home. The campaign
has helped employees to understand how environmental
issues are relevant in the workplace and in doing so has
developed so much goodwill and enthusiasm.
Benchmarking against and improvements in our Employee involvement In 2003 the Natural Capital
our peers auditing processes and our Our employees play a vital communications campaign
Following a thorough search environmental management role in helping us to reduce (see case study above) was
for the most suitable external systems on the previous year. the environmental impacts launched which delivered
environmental benchmarking We achieved an above of our operations. We rely significant improvements in
tool, we selected the annual index- and sector-average on our employees to work both the spot employee
Business in the Environment performance in the core in ways that reduce their surveys and the main results,
Index of Corporate impact areas of energy, impact, and to influence our the former by 11% and latter
Engagement because it gives transport and solid waste. customers and suppliers to by 14%.
the most balanced view use our products and services
across our peer group. In the Looking forward, Business in in a more environmentally
2003 Survey (published March the Environment noted that sensitive way.
2004) our ranking, out of 177 our enhanced environmental
FTSE companies, was 52nd management systems, and For the last two years, our
and within our peer group of comprehensive target setting, employee engagement survey
12 companies, we ranked lead them to expect further has measured what our
eighth. Our combined improvements in our employees think about
weighted score was 89.83% – performance in next year’s our commitment to the
an improvement of more than index. environment. In 2003,
10% on the previous year. more than 60% of employees
Environmental issues also across the group felt that we
We were awarded full marks in play a key part in socially cared about environmental
the areas of clear board responsible investments issues. Communicating our
support and policy, the setting surveys we take part in, environmental performance,
of objectives and targets, and including FTSE4Good indices and engaging employees is
product stewardship. and the Dow Jones important for our brands and
Sustainability World and environmental improvement
The 2003 index highlighted our European Indexes. programme.
continued commitment to
Centrica plc Corporate Responsibility Report 2003 25
Next steps on the journey
We are constantly refining our approach to corporate responsibility.
In each of the four areas of workplace, marketplace, community and
environment, we will be seeking to improve performance in 2004.
We will seek more
with our stakeholders,
building on current
relationships but formalising
the engagement into
and ensuring the process
and results of the
consultation are more Workplace Marketplace Community
transparent. Our plans for making further To help us develop our In the community we will seek
progress in the workplace marketplace relationships, to improve levels of in-kind
We will also aim to improve include: we will be looking at: support as part of overall
the communication of our • Developing our career • Increasing our focus on programme. And we will work
objectives and targets across development and talent key customer service with the businesses to
all material responsibility management programmes performance issues. We will encourage greater employee
issues. This will help us to to include: look to provide better non- engagement as part of our
ensure we turn our policy – introducing a more robust financial indicator data employer of choice strategy.
commitments into real action. management talent around issues such as Specific initiatives will include:
review process, resulting appointments missed, • Implementing the British
We will update our website in more internal response time to central Gas volunteering initiative
on a regular basis to include promotions/ heating failures/car as a blueprint for wider
new information. appointments and breakdowns, meter company involvement;
– developing performance problems, billing queries; • Improving communication
management systems to • Capturing and and business support for
ensure identification of communicating more employee support
superior performance detailed information on schemes, such as the
and tackle under- how we manage corporate matched funding
performance. responsibility issues programme, employee
• Embedding our leadership across our supply chain; lottery and payroll giving
competencies in to all day • Promoting our relationships schemes; and
to day business with industry bodies to • Researching how
transactions; illustrate stakeholder community investment
• Improving employee engagement; and builds personal motivation
engagement scores, • Capturing and and employee skills
building on the new communicating data on development.
criteria and measurement how we develop
launched in 2003; appropriate advertising
• Monitoring progress in campaigns – and monitor
diversity including external complaints upheld per
measurement of progress; annum.
• Developing further our
employee support policies,
particularly around flexible
26 Centrica plc Corporate Responsibility Report 2003
Reporting in 2004
We accept that the quality of our current reporting
requires significant improvement and aim to further
develop our reporting procedures across all areas of
corporate responsibility. Some of our plans include:
With respect to the
environment, we will focus • Improving our level of workplace reporting, • Participating in the 2004 Probus BNW
progress in three areas: particularly around performance and issues Corporate Community Involvement Index
• Delivering against the such as retention, succession planning and to monitor perceived quality of the
targets set out in our flexible working; overall programme against other blue
Environmental Improvement • Ensuring more robust reporting of health chip companies;
Programme and safety data; • Eliminating environmental data gaps
and which include: • Broadening our marketplace reporting and report agreed criteria from North
– 15% reduction in office performance across all brands; America;
energy use; • Participating in the London Benchmarking • Providing an updated report on the
– 50% office waste Group and reporting publicly on our results of our employee environmental
recycling rate; performance; awareness campaign; and
– 15% waste reduction • Improving our measurement and reporting • Improving the quality of data we report
(through paper reduction); of community programmes – moving from in relation to our supply chain.
and inputs, to outputs and impacts – with
– 13% improvement in fuel improvements to be measured through the
efficiency. 2004 verification statement;
• Deliver EMS across all
businesses and ensure that
high risk businesses
acheive accreditation to
• Providing continued input
to our power generation
strategy in both North
America and the UK to
ensure the environmental
risks are quantified, the
impacts understood and
that these are
communicated to key
Centrica plc Corporate Responsibility Report 2003 27
The Corporate Citizenship Company acts The presentation of this information adds
as a specialist adviser to corporations that to Centrica’s longstanding community
seek to improve their economic, social and engagement programme, where notable
environmental performance. Centrica has strengths are a focus on strategic business
commissioned us to provide an external issues and evaluation of results achieved,
assurance statement and commentary on not simply amounts contributed. We have
the complete corporate responsibility conducted a separate assurance process
website from which the contents of this on Centrica’s correct use of the London
printed summary have been drawn. Our Benchmarking Group (LBG) assessment
full statement is available on-line at model.
Our full assurance statement and
As there are no statutory guidelines for social commentary also identifies areas where
reporting, we have formed our judgements we believe Centrica has room to improve.
based on emerging best practice among These include improving performance
other companies, the principles underlying measurement against stated business
voluntary reporting and assurance standards, principles, setting clear targets for managers
the views of main stakeholders and our own to achieve and understanding better the
professional experience. In our opinion the implications of the company’s commitment
corporate responsibility website provides to sustainability especially for the energy
a fair account of Centrica’s progress in and motoring services businesses. In these
addressing material aspects of its social, and other areas, we believe Centrica should
environmental and economic performance. more systematically gather and assess the
views of its various stakeholders, take due
Our full assurance statement and commentary account of them in decision-making and
commends Centrica’s presentation of report the results in future.
developments in its corporate responsibility
policies and practices. In particular we
highlight the systems in place to manage
and implement these policies, especially
the recent adoption of a statement of
Centrica’s values and business principles.
We also praise the fact that responsibility
issues in mainstream business practices
are addressed, on topics such as customer
satisfaction, employee attitudes, some The Corporate Citizenship Company
diversity concerns, and the environmental www.corporate-citizenship.co.uk
impact of products and services. London 12 February 2004
28 Centrica plc Corporate Responsibility Report 2003
Our commitment towards corporate
responsibility is detailed fully on our corporate
For more details of our commitment
to corporate responsibility reporting,
please visit our website.
> Let us know your views
We value your feedback. If you visit our
corporate responsibility website, we invite
you to tell us your thoughts.
> Subscribe to our corporate
On our website, we have a unique function
to keep you up to date with the latest
corporate responsibility news. To register
go to www.centrica.com where you will
be asked to fill out an on-line subscription
form. You will receive an email notification
whenever news is available.
Head of Corporate Responsibility
Group Head of Environment
Community Affairs Manager Designed by Loines Furnival.
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