The Directors, in executing the strategy and complying with their duties in the year, have considered how their actions would promote the long-term success of the Company for the benefit of its members as a whole. When doing so, they have also taken into account a number of other factors. More information on these factors and how they have been taken into consideration by the Directors is set out below.
The Company is a significant provider of energy, playing an active role in the UK and continental European markets in ensuring security of energy supply for customers. The Directors consider that strong and professional relationships with the Company’s counterparties, including suppliers and customers, and uninterrupted operations in the Company’s markets are fundamental in meeting this objective. During the year, there were no incidents which resulted in material disruption of the Company’s operations, customer supplies or which had an adverse impact on the wider community.
The Directors believe that the Company’s success is aligned with the interests and well-being of its employees. They have been active in balancing the need for the business to remain competitive, and to continue to provide their employees with a stable work environment and development opportunities. This has been recognised by the independent body, Investors in People, who awarded the Company gold accreditation during the year.
The Directors believe that open and regular communication with their employees is imperative and have introduced monthly business-wide town hall meetings to keep employees informed of all relevant business information and strategy. Weekly employee emails and newsletters reinforce these same messages on an ongoing basis, while also celebrating the Company’s successes and showcasing stories about our business and people.
The Directors also recognise the importance of listening to employees and taking action following employee feedback. Monthly employee listening sessions, called Rise & Shine, give employees the opportunity to share questions, thoughts and concerns with senior leaders in the business. An Employee Action Group (“EAG”) with representatives from across the business has also been established. The EAG has been instrumental in supporting the business to make changes for the benefit of employees.
Employee wellbeing is another priority for the Directors, and a Wellbeing Programme has been established to support employees to maintain and improve their physical and mental wellbeing. The Company has 21 qualified Mental Health First Aiders on hand to offer support and advice for employees who need it. It also offers a series of wellbeing activities and events, such as keynote speakers, ‘Tea & Talk’ drop-in sessions, yoga and step challenges.
The Directors understand the importance of being a reliable supplier that offers value for money and excellent customer service. The Company prides itself on being easy to do business with, by keeping things simple and clear. The Company’s internal Think Like a Customer (TLC) campaign puts customer service at the heart of its corporate culture.
Delivering exceptional customer service was key in the Company’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Company worked closely with customers throughout the lockdowns to offer advice, support and flexibility for customers experiencing challenges and continues to do so.
Ongoing communication with customers is also a priority, and the Company has established monthly newsletters to keep its customers informed. It also offers added-value content and market insights for those customers on its website and in an optional daily email newsletter.
The Company has received exceptional feedback from customers as a result of its customer-centric approach, both directly and through feedback channels such as Trustpilot. Customer service will continue to be a focus for the Company and forms a key part of the Company’s strategy.
Strategic Partners and Suppliers
The Directors understand the importance of building and maintaining relationships with strategic partners and suppliers.
Third Party Intermediaries (TPIs) are a valued part of the energy industry. The Company works closely with these partner brokers to offer the best experience for the end customer. Ongoing and open communication is of significant importance. To facilitate this, the Company hosts regular events throughout the year to bring our internal teams together with these partners for discussions and insights into the energy industry.
Suppliers offer essential support for the Company’s business; maintaining strong relationships with suppliers is pivotal to its continued success. For suppliers, the Company offers a fair and considered procurement process, supported by a robust procurement policy and an experienced procurement team.
The Directors understand the importance of building and maintaining relationships with the Company’s regulators.
The Company regularly engages with Ofgem, BEIS and other statutory bodies, which helps the Directors to understand and prepare for upcoming policy developments and industry change, and also to gain insights regarding best practice.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
The Directors are committed to offering support to the Company’s local communities, with the backing of a comprehensive CSR policy.
During the year, the Company made charitable donations to support three local charities:
Standards of business conduct
The Directors are committed to conducting business ethically, with honesty and integrity, and in compliance with all relevant laws and regulations. The Directors do not tolerate any form of bribery, corruption or other unethical business conduct.
The Company’s Code of Conduct outlines its core values and business principles that guide how the Company does business. It helps all employees to act in line with the standards, behaviours and principles required to do business to a high standard of professional and ethical conduct. The Company’s policies and supporting documents provide further guidance and instruction, in line with best industry practice. These include our Competition Compliance, Financial Crime Compliance, Data Protection, and Information Security policies.