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Responsible business

Being a responsible employer


We take our responsibilities as an employer very seriously. As well as ensuring that our people work in safe, positive environments, our policies are all geared towards ‘doing the right thing’.

For example, we pay at least the Living Wage – and we extend that policy to all our suppliers and contractors. We have strong policies on issues like modern slavery and exploitation.

Valuing difference

We’re working hard on issues like diversity and social inclusion, encouraging applications from ethnic communities and actively tackling the gender pay gap. Equality is our goal and we’re currently developing a range of initiatives to recruit many more women into a traditionally male-dominated business.

SSE was the first FTSE 100 company to publish its gender pay gap in-line with the UK Government’s new regulations. This reporting has helped SSE develop its strategy for greater gender diversity, called ‘IN, ON and UP’: encouraging women IN to the business, supporting women to stay ON at SSE, and helping women to progress UP in the organisation.

SSE has also worked with inclusion and diversity (I&D) specialists Equal Approach to calculate the business benefits from greater inclusion in the workplace. SSE’s ‘Valuing Difference’ report shows that for
every £1 invested in I&D initiatives in 2017, there was a £4.52 ‘Return on Inclusion’ for SSE, with the potential to significantly increase this to £15 with a more strategic approach to becoming a truly inclusive workplace. We’re now working with Equal Approach to develop our Inclusion Strategy for 2017-2020.

We’ve also introduced measures and technologies that promote flexible working so that it’s easier for our people to strike a healthy work/life balance.

Building a sustainable workforce

Our future success depends upon the people we attract, retain and develop. The energy industry faces a looming skills gap and lacks diversity. By addressing these challenges, SSE can become a more inclusive employer, attracting a diverse range of applicants and building a pipeline of talent that more closely reflects the communities we serve.


Links and Downloads

Living wage implementation guide

SSE Safety and Health policy

SSE Human Rights policy

SSE Modern Slavery statement

Creating a workforce for the future

We are investing heavily in training and development through structured programmes designed for school leavers, apprentices, trainee engineers and graduates. These programmes introduce hundreds of young people into SSE every year and represent the single most important way we build our future workforce. In 2016/17 we invested £9.4m in our pipeline programmes.

We also invest in non-traditional recruitment routes to attract people from different backgrounds, such as the Barnardo’s Works youth employability programme. Since 2008, SSE has invested over £1m in Barnardo’s Works and helped over 230 individuals join the programme.

Crucially, we make sure that all our initiatives are properly measured, monitored and reported with improvements made wherever necessary. Being a responsible employer is an ongoing process and it is supported at the highest level within our business.

Being socially responsible

Being a responsible business isn’t just about having fair and equitable internal procedures. It also involves looking beyond the business itself and making sure that we play in active part in society.

There are many measures that we employ to ensure that we fulfill our social obligations. For example, in terms of taxation, we’re still the only FTSE100 company accredited with the Fair Tax Mark. This means we pay the taxes we’re due in full and on time. We think this is vital because we believe our business enjoys the benefits provided by the UK’s public sector and that it’s only right that we contribute to its cost.

We are keen to see other businesses champion responsible tax planning and have developed a Fair Tax Mark Interactive Assessment tool that enables companies to quickly and easily take the first steps toward Fair Tax Mark accreditation.

We also support the Prompt Payment Code, paying suppliers within the agreed terms which helps their businesses to prosper.

We also actively encourage the many businesses in our supply chain to sign up to our high standards. That has a huge impact on the communities where we operate and the many thousands of people who are indirectly employed as a consequence of our activities.

Through our many community initiatives, we try our best to give back. This support takes many forms from educational partnerships that encourage women to consider careers in science and engineering to schemes that help local groups to take advantage of renewable energy.

In everything we do, we’re proud of our record and will continue to ensure our business plays a positive role in society.

Through our many community initiatives we try our best to give back. This support takes many forms from educational partnerships that encourage women to consider careers in science and engineering to schemes that help local groups to take advantage of renewable energy.

In everything we do, we’re proud of our record and will continue to ensure our business plays a positive role in society.
An independent stamp of approval for businesses that proactively demonstrates they pay the right amount of tax, in the right place, at the right time.

A responsible approach to the environment

Over the years, we’ve all become more aware of the impact that modern life has on the natural world. We’re well aware that there’s a delicate balance in the environment and that we have a duty to work towards a future that’s sustainable for all.

That’s why we’ve invested more than £4 billion in renewable energy technologies. As a consequence, we now have the broadest renewable energy generation portfolio in the UK and Ireland, allowing us to offer the affordable, 100% renewable, SSE Green. SSE Green fits neatly into companies’ environmental governance policies, allowing them to report zero emissions for purchased electricity thanks to Ofgem’s Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origins (REGOs) scheme which certifies that the energy has been generated exclusively through our ‘home-grown’ portfolio of wind and hydro assets.

Greening our own backyard

SSE has a long-standing commitment to halve the carbon intensity of the electricity we produce by 2020 (using 2006 as a baseline). We are doing this through investing significantly in renewable energy generation and by moving from a portfolio weighted towards coal and gas, to one weighted towards gas and renewables.

We have invested over £3.2bn in renewable generation since April 2010, have the largest renewable energy capacity in the UK and Ireland at over 3,300MW (including pumped storage) and are continuing to expand our renewable portfolio.

In 2016 SSE’s performance in managing climate change impacts led CDP to award SSE an ‘A’ rating for its 2015/16 performance and include it in the global Climate Disclosure Leadership Index.

Links and Downloads

Choosing Renewable

Energy Efficiency

SSE Environment and Climate Change policy

This is one of the many measures that organisations can employ to actively reduce the carbon that they generate. We help in other ways too – advocating energy efficiency and actively helping to reduce our customers’ energy consumption. While that’s good for the environment, it can also lead to long-term cost savings.

Like many of our customers, we’re actively reducing the amount of carbon that we generate and we’ve made a commitment to reduce the carbon intensity of our electricity generation by 50% by 2020 (using a 2006 baseline). This target has a major impact on our business strategy, shaping our investments and resource management. In the long run, we believe that everyone benefits from policies like these.