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We are pledging a commitment to communities, employees and the environment in our first Social Contract

We have published our first ever Social Contract, highlighting our commitment to be a force for good in the communities we serve. The 32-page document consolidates our purpose-driven approach, with new actions that seek to generate additional social and environmental value for our employees, customers and wider society. 

We have become the first DNO to publish a Social Contract. The Contract was created in partnership with stakeholders during a rigorous two-year process and outlines our commitments in three key areas, under the headings of ‘Employer of Choice’, ‘Empowered Communities’ and ‘Environmental Steward’.

This includes a focus on developing the current and future workforce, fostering resilient communities and driving a fair and inclusive transition to net zero.

Alison Sleightholm, WPD Director of Resources and External Affairs, said: "We recognise the important role we have to play, not only to provide outstanding service to customers and keep the lights on, but to do business in a way that enriches the wellbeing of our employees, communities and the environment.

“The impacts of climate change and, more recently, the Covid-19 pandemic, have intensified the need to build a sustainable future for all. This Social Contract is our response to this challenge, providing a framework to identify where additional value can be generated in our activities.

“We have been operating on these principles for many years but this is the first time we have formalised them in a single strategy. This document is not a silver bullet, but a promise to listen actively to our employees and communities and contribute positive solutions to the social and environmental challenges we all face.

Importantly, while our Business Plan sets out what we will do over the next five-year regulatory period, the Social Contract is long-standing, underpinning everything we do as a company.”

The Social Contract includes wide-ranging commitments, for example, to:

  • Be a net zero company by 2028
  • Deliver a £1 million community fund, paid for by shareholders
  • Create 1,000 employee volunteer days each year
  • Improve social mobility by removing academic barriers.

The document also reiterates our ambition to be transparent in all our activities. To ensure these commitments are meaningful and impactful, the Social Contract will be reviewed and updated each year, evolving to meet the needs and expectations of staff, communities and other stakeholders.

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