ILRT social responsibility policy - March 2011

Author: Sarah Agarwal (document originated in July 2008)

Reviewed by Ros O'leary, Debra Hiom, Lesly Huxley, Frances Tyson, Carolyn McKinnon, Laura Fox

Our aims

We wish to reduce our environmental impact, and to contribute towards social responsibility, particularly in the areas of our social, economic and environmental choices. We take this position

In this document, the term ‘social responsibility’ covers all areas of corporate social responsibility, including (but not limited to) environmental, technical, economic and social issues.

Operational practice

  1. We have aligned this policy with existing University policies, and specifically monitor our progress against and plan our activity in relation to the University’s Green Impact Award criteria.
  2. We will always choose an approach (particularly in purchasing and transport), which contributes to social responsibility, when this is within the capacity of our resources.
  3. We recognise that our staff are concerned that we make efforts to improve our active contribution to our social responsibilities. We will seek input from our staff on ideas and approaches. We will also ask our staff to assist in decision-making where different choices exist that have roughly equivalent, social responsibility benefits.
  4. We will increasingly build social responsibility into our procurement activities.
  5. As we have an IT-focussed remit, we will make strong efforts to improve the sustainability of our procurement and lifecycle management of our IT systems. This includes improving the sustainability of IT systems’ energy consumption, and where possible, incorporating sustainability into our consultation activities and cooperation with other organisations, including the wider University and JISC.
  6. When developing proposals, tenders and Invitations to Tender, we will ensure that we consider opportunities for contributing to our social responsibilities and we will include these considerations within our documentation.
  7. We recognise that this policy may on occasion challenge existing ‘ways of doing things’. As an Institute we are proud of our remit as change-agents and we are keen to stay at the forward edge by embracing change in our working patterns. To mitigate against the understandable reticence that can be felt towards change, we will communicate plans and progress at the earliest opportunities and, where choices arise, seek input from our staff as described at point 3. We will also put in place mechanisms for staff’s social responsibility concerns to lead our action planning where possible.
  8. We will seek to make available a budget for achieving our objectives each year, within the limits of our annual resources.
  9. We will ensure that this policy is a living and active document by setting a plan of action, with monitoring and evaluation of progress for the short and medium term. We recognise the potential difficulty of maintaining momentum on this policy. We will address and monitor this in our plan of action.
  10. Social responsibility will be incorporated into strategic decision making with support for staff involvement to drive and own the policy.
  11. The Director of ILRT is designated with overall responsibility for the maintenance and implementation of this policy.
  12. The Director will make a report on progress annually, and a summary will be included in our annual report.