Yorkshire Water has maintained its five star rating as one of the country’s most responsible businesses, with its recognition received from national charity Business in the Community (BiTC).
The award, part of the BiTC’s annual Corporate Responsibility’s Index, means Yorkshire Water is listed alongside a small elite of other UK companies that have received the highest grade.
The Corporate Responsibility Index helps big businesses to assess how well they are integrating responsible business practices into their operations. Assessors score companies up to a maximum of five stars, based on factors such as their culture and values, environmental impact and transparency over pay policies.
The firm is also longlisted along with just seven other UK companies for the BiTC’s highly-respected Responsible Business of the Year accolade.
Assessors recognised Yorkshire Water’s ‘Big Wish for Ethiopia’ campaign that aims to raise £1m by 2020 to donate to the international charity WaterAid to fund much needed access to safe, clean water and sanitation in the country. Last year, staff visited the country to provide training on faecal sludge management in conjunction with the University of Leeds.
The company has also has been recognised for its efforts to open up access to the countryside for those with physical and mental disabilities. Pathway improvements have been made at over 10 of its reservoirs within the last three years to help make them more wheelchair friendly.
Richard Flint, Yorkshire Water’s Chief Executive, said: “To achieve the maximum five star rating again demonstrates the value we place on being a responsible employer that supports not just the local economy but also the local communities in which we operate.
“We are committed to re-establishing legitimacy and trust in the water sector and ensuring that we protect and improve the water environment, as well as contributing to social progress by working closely with partner organisations.”
Yorkshire Water also installed three popular city-centre drinking fountains as part of its support for Hull UK City of Culture 2017, which has taken the equivalent of 29,000 single use plastic bottles out of circulation.
To help young people with autism get on the employment ladder, the firm has partnered with the specialist school, Lighthouse Futures Trust, with four of its students enrolling on a one year-long internship with the firm.
This is the second year in a row the organisations have worked together, with five of the students who were part of last year’s programme now in paid-employment with Yorkshire Water.