“We are proud to have signed up to the Scottish Business Pledge alongside other successful Scottish companies. As a responsible business we are passionate about driving forward our efforts to make a positive difference for our people, our customers, our local communities and the environment, and as part of this we remain committed to meeting the requirements of the Business Pledge.”
Jo Dow, Chief Executive, Business Stream
Business Stream is one of the largest water retailers in the UK and a trusted supplier to over 200,000 forward-thinking businesses including Cancer Research UK, Network Rail, Lloyds Banking Group, Morrison’s and thousands of SMEs. We provide a range of services to business customers including billing, water efficiency and bespoke water and wastewater management solutions. Headquartered in Edinburgh, we employ around 400 people.
As a responsible business we are committed to doing the right thing for our customers, our people, the environment and the communities we operate in and we have introduced a raft of measures and activities to help deliver this vision. We are very supportive of the Scottish Business Pledge’s approach to working with businesses to help boost productivity, competitiveness, sustainable employment and workforce engagement and development – and given we were already meeting the requirements of the Business Pledge, it felt like an obvious choice for us.
We are proud to be a Real Living Wage employer. We have been meeting the requirements set by the Living Wage Foundation for several years and in recognition of this we became accredited as Real Living Wage employers in 2017. Since then we have continued to support the initiative and are paying all of our employees, and those employed through our supply chain, above the hourly rate recommended by the Foundation.
In addition, we recently launched our Making a Positive Difference vision and through this ambitious programme we have introduced a wide range of measures to enable us to: play an active role in the community; help protect the environment; and give back to society. These measures include:
Working with Business in the Community to launch our schools volunteering programme
Launching our charity panel to align our fundraising activities with charities whose values are aligned to our own;
Launching our schools mentoring and work experience programme through Career Ready;
Providing a Modern Apprenticeship Scheme, which has enabled seven people to graduate this year alone, all of whom were then offered permanent roles at Business Stream;
Promoting the importance of water efficiency to help reduce water wastage and protect the environment. To date we have helped our customers save over 43 billion litres of water and we recently launched a pledge to help our customers reduce their water usage by 20%;
Becoming the first water retailer in the UK to receive the Waterwise Water Efficiency Checkmark award; and
Working across our three offices to introduce a range of measures to help reduce waste, including promoting responsible use and awareness of single use plastics; providing recyclable water bottles for all members of staff and external stakeholders; installing drinking water fountains that allow us to monitor the number of plastic bottles saved as a result; and providing additional recycling facilities.
To help support workforce engagement we have introduced a range of practices and policies to ensure we are meeting the needs of our people. These include:
A wide range of family friendly policies such as enhanced maternity, paternity and adoption leave packages and flexible working opportunities;
A partnership with Capital Credit Union to offer our workforce free, confidential advice on money management;
An Employee Assistance Programme through AXA, which gives our people the opportunity to receive 24/7 confidential support and information on a wide range of issues including health concerns, legal matters and consumer rights;
Access to our employee engagement platform – Reward Stream – which provides employee benefits services, including childcare vouchers and discounts on a wide range of retail options and services;
Our Wellbeing Action Group, Health and Safety Group, Colleague Engagement Group and Employee Forum, represented by Business Stream employees from across the business, which help us to continually review our working practices, to ensure they are fair, robust and protect our employees; and
Finally, our performance management system supports each individual to establish clear career goals and targets. All employees are given the opportunity to develop their own personal development plan, with options to take online, classroom and external training courses – we delivered just short of 300 separate courses and inductions in 2017-18.
Finally, in support of the Scottish Government’s wider ambitions for the country to be a world-leading Fair Work Nation by 2025, we have a tailored action plan in place to ensure we are providing fair working practices and engendering a diverse and inclusive workforce.
Signing up to the Business Pledge has provided us with an opportunity to celebrate our efforts to date with our employees and suppliers and helped cement our commitment to continue to meet the requirements set by the Pledge – and we plan to take that commitment further by seeking opportunities to help promote the Pledge and support its aspirations to boost sustainable business growth in Scotland.