We use our global scale and expertise to deliver shared value for our business and for the local communities in which we operate. We partner with charities, schools and colleges, community groups and many other agencies to help, educate and support people and widen their opportunities.
- Almost £1.7m contributed to our communities in 2014/15, as measured by the LBG model
- Our UK Charity of Choice partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support drew to a close this year with a total partnership value of £1,122m in the three years to 31 March 2015
- 449 hours of driver and vehicle time donated to schools and community groups by First Student in 2014/15
- 121 of our UK locations visited by a Payroll Giving in Action fundraiser, helping to increase our payroll giving by 25% compared with last year.
Progress against targets
What we said we’d do
Launch our refreshed Group-wide community investment programme following our consultation in 2013/14
What we did -
• Rolled out a consistent framework for community investment to senior managers across the Group through one to one engagement and group training sessions
• Established a Community First Committee chaired by a plc Board member and made up of employees of all levels from across our UK divisions. Members are charged with driving forward the agenda for FirstGroup’s Community First programme, reviewing progress and suggesting improvements
• In the UK we have established three employee community schemes; Payroll Giving, Matched Funding and our Charity of Choice, each with the purpose of engaging our employees in the drive to build prosperous communities and instil in them a sharpened sense of pride in their employment.
Achieve a silver Payroll Giving Quality Mark in the UK (awarded to employers achieving 5% employee participation in payroll giving) by April 2015
What we did - Participation increased by 25% this year. This increase, however, did not take our total over the 5% participation rate required to achieve a Silver Payroll Giving Quality Mark. We finished the year with 4.33% of UK employees participating at 31 March 2015.
Improve our data collection processes in North America for our community investment reporting (using the LBG model), resulting in more comprehensive information on the Group’s charitable activities
What we did - In North America, contributions increased by 33% to £204,434 as a result of a project to identify and train key employees who now track and measure our contributions made throughout our divisions in North America. We continue to make improvements in this area, and will be launching a new community investment data portal to support our reporting this year.