Driving strategic differentiation and customer diversification and developing the Company culture form key elements of our strategy. The Board takes ultimate responsibility for corporate social responsibility (CSR) and recognises that behaving ethically, working safely, reducing our environmental impact, attracting, recognising and rewarding our people and contributing to our communities creates and sustains long-term value for our shareholders and our wider stakeholders. We work with our customers, suppliers and employees to determine the issues that are material to our business by a continuous process of review, consultation and assessment.

We look to mitigate risk and improve our operating efficiencies by being a responsible organisation. The outputs of aligning our corporate social responsibility throughout our business are fourfold:

  • Sustained growth.
  • Lower environmental impact.
  • Stronger communities and ultimately.
  • Robust stakeholder relationships.

CSR governance structure

The governance structure of our CSR programme provides clear lines of responsibility from the operational level to the Board. Strong governance is essential to embedding responsible business practices across the Group. The strategy is developed and overseen by the Risk and Governance Group (RGG) which is chaired by the Chief Executive and includes the Chief Financial Officer, the Chief Risk Officer, the Chief Human Resources Officer and the Company Secretary (who also fulfils the role of Community Policy Officer). Outcomes, actions and issues from all meetings are reported to the Board at each meeting. The RGG works alongside functional heads in each business unit to develop their own CSR priorities within the strategy established for the Company. The Community Policy Officer works alongside the Chief Executive and the Board to liaise with the businesses and decide on charitable donations and community projects that will be supported during the year.

Building strategic partnerships with our suppliers

We have built up strong relationships with our suppliers over many years and they are critical in helping us achieve our strategic objectives and delivering on our differentiation. Our aim is to procure the best value goods and services from suppliers that meet our standards and deliver the services that our customers demand. We expect our suppliers to comply with all appropriate legislation and conform to high ethical, social and environmental standards in line with the EICC Code of Conduct, including the highest standards for health and safety.

Supporting local communities

We are very passionate about our community involvement and for the past two years we have worked in conjunction with our suppliers to support local communities around the world in improving education. Since 2012, we have worked with our suppliers to assist schools. In 2014, we, together with our suppliers, supported two schools in China and undertook three different initiatives but still with the theme of supporting children. The Tu Men Public Primary School and the Xin Chang Public Primary School in Nan Chong City, China were provided with new desks and chairs and table tennis tables. In Malaysia, together with some of our suppliers, we chose the Shan Children’s Home in Penang. This home, which relies entirely on donations, provides residential care for 15 children between the ages of 5 and 19 years. The donations will help with the running costs of the home and transportation costs for the children to go to school.

Our Liberec site identified a local charity, Children’s Centre, Sluniko, which needed musical instruments and other equipment for its music therapy programme.

Finally, Laird and our suppliers donated $5,000 to YouthQuest, a comprehensive, free after-school programme run by the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce in Michigan, USA. Twelve of our suppliers agreed to match our donation and a cheque for $10,300 was handed over to YouthQuest in December 2014.

This donation helped purchase the science, technology, engineering and maths (‘STEM’) curriculum for the students. Steve Brown, Senior Vice President and General Manager of our Telematics business which is based near Flint, commented, “At Laird we know that a sound education will help the next generation of engineers develop the skills needed to change the world through innovation. We are proud to support the STEM curriculum.”

To read more about our CSR program, see our 2014 Annual Report.