VocaLink is committed to being a catalyst for positive change in the lives of every person and business that comes in contact with our services. We strive to go beyond best practice in everything that we do and set the standard as a world-class business partner.
For VocaLink, corporate responsibility is woven into our operations and behaviours at all levels. Our responsible business programme evolves as social, environmental and economic needs change.
Being a responsible business is key to success, so it is crucial that we understand the impact we have on society and the environment.
Every year, we measure the effectiveness of our responsible business vision and its implementation. In 2015 we were proud to receive a score of 3.5 for achieving 94% on the Business In The Community (BITC) Corporate Responsibility Index.
Over the last 8 years we have worked to minimise social and environmental impacts to increase our business sustainability and deliver long-term stability and value.
Environmental and social initiatives span our business, from the launch of an environmentally friendly employee car scheme, to becoming a zero waste to landfill company.
Last year we again received accolades for the innovative payments services that our technology makes possible. The services that featured in our 2015 awards, Paym and the Current Account Switch Service, make the industry more competitive as consumers are offered more choice.
VocaLink’s latest innovation, Zapp’s Pay by Bank App, proves that a real-time clearing system can be used for consumer and business billing and payments, without a card or a point of sale device. This is a socially beneficial service that helps people to manage affordability via a secure online payments.
Our Data Centres make up approximately 80-90% of our energy spend and whilst our Services continue to expand, we managed to reduce our CO2 carbon emissions by 18% during 2015.
This was achieved by installing more efficient cooling systems, lighting systems and virtualised IT equipment. The installation of new ‘building management systems’ across all of our Data Centres allows us more linear control of ‘higher energy’ consuming equipment – all equating to greater efficiencies.
Our property strategy also focuses on reducing our footprint. By introducing a flexible working environment we recently consolidated four offices into two. In the office refit we reused existing assets where possible, recycling, reusing or donating unwanted furniture and technology equipment.
This is part of a vision for a better employee experience, which also includes unified office technology (including video conferencing, telepresence and a social intranet) to reduce business travel.
Our success is due to the expertise and skill of our employees. We were awarded the Investors in People (IiP) Gold standard in 2013 for going above and beyond in the way we develop, support and motivate people. This recognises practices that exceed the national benchmark quality requirement and places us in the top 2% of IiP certified UK companies.
Most recently, we participated in the Best Companies ‘b heard’ survey and were accredited with our first star rating. This places VocaLink in the top third of mid-sized organisations in the UK.
In 2015 we made contributions totalling £30,235 (2014: £32,068) to charity and community projects. To help maximise our contributions we have a fund matching policy for employee fundraising efforts. No contributions to political parties were made.
We also offer partnerships with local charities to help them grow and develop by offering business skills as well as monetary donations. Over the last year we have worked with London’s Air Ambulance in a mutually beneficial partnership. We introduce more commercial thinking and share resources, helping them improve their fundraising opportunities.
Our volunteers help award-winning Young Enterprise teams and one of last year’s highlights was a partnership with Pilotlight, which connects charities and social enterprises with free strategic planning support. A number of our leadership team are now engaged and helping their partners plan for sustainability, development and growth.
Read our Responsible Business report on vocalink.com to find out more about our material environmental and social issues, initiatives and performance.