Stephen Bird, Group Chief Executive, explains how Vitec tackles social, ethical and environmental issues and our ambitions for the future.

Vitec is a socially responsible company which demonstrates strong governance and ethical behaviour, and we are committed to continually enhancing our existing environmental, social and governance activities.

Stephen Bird, Group Chief Executive

2020 has been a wake-up call on the importance of ensuring we have a sustainable business and that we do business in the right way as a socially responsible company within the communities in which we operate and wider society in general. The impact of COVID-19 and the changes it has brought cannot be underestimated. In addition, climate change and the negative impact it is having and will continue to have on all of society is something that Vitec and our employees must work harder at addressing. We all have a part to play and the Board and I are firmly committed to ensuring that Vitec enhances its sustainability initiatives. There are also continuing issues around inclusivity, diversity and opportunity in wider society to which Vitec can contribute.

Our Code of Conduct is key to how we do business, how we behave and sets out our responsibility to our stakeholders. We are a small company but with a global footprint and we aim to continue to improve our environmental, social and governance credentials. The Board has therefore committed to several important initiatives in 2021 that we will regularly report on.

We have established an ESG Committee that I chair. It comprises representatives from each Division and sets objectives, monitors progress and will deliver continuing improvement in this area. To ensure traction with this, myself and my senior team have an element of personal objectives under the Annual Bonus Plan tied to our ESG performance.

We have set ourselves the objective to be carbon neutral by 2050 and we will commence a planned programme to deliver on this. We will expand our reporting, particularly on environmental issues including our energy usage, our water consumption, and our waste and recycling initiatives. We will look to set targets around these to track a continuing programme of improvement.

We will also look to task our supply chain to deliver these same goals going forward.

These are challenging aspirations and we need to ensure we deliver on them. We will report progress through our Annual Report and also through our website.

We remain committed to our aim for Vitec to positively impact one disadvantaged person for every Vitec employee in the communities in which we operate. So, 1,700 students or young people by 2021. In 2019 our employees helped 410 people and in 2020, despite the challenges of COVID-19 we helped 122 people. By the end of 2021 we aim to achieve this goal.

The following Responsible Business pages of our website show our commitment to being a socially responsible company, what we have done in 2020 despite the challenge presented by COVID-19 and that we have a sound basis upon which to develop further. I am confident that we can deliver significantly on this over the next few years and that our people will rise to this great challenge.

Stephen Bird
Group Chief Executive