Sustainability is important to us and to all of our stakeholders. At BAE Systems we serve, supply and protect those who serve and protect us, in a corporate culture that is performance driven and values led. Our sustainability agenda supports this purpose and our important role in society by reducing the environmental impacts of our operations and products, valuing and developing our people, making a positive social and economic contribution to our communities, developing innovative technologies and collaborating with our supply chains.
This approach is fundamental to our business performance and aligns stakeholder priorities with the Group’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) risks and opportunities so that we can deliver positive outcomes for our stakeholders.
Our sustainability agenda
Our sustainability agenda incorporates the following priorities.
- Environment and climate change – the risk that climate change will have a significant and lasting impact on global economic growth and prosperity is a factor that we recognise and are responding to.
- People – our ability to deliver against our strategy is dependent on recruiting and retaining people with appropriate skills.
- Safety and wellbeing – ensuring a safe and constructive working environment is a fundamental responsibility.
- Human rights – we are committed to respecting and upholding human rights wherever we operate, in respect of activities under the full, direct control of the Company.
- Social impact – making a positive social and economic contribution to the communities in which we live and work by contributing to activities and organisations that align with our values and business objectives.
- Investment in technology and research and development – technology and innovation underpin our strategy and the development of our products and services.
- Governance and business conduct – our licence to trade is dependent upon adherence to all relevant laws and regulations, robust governance and policies and high standards of conduct and behaviour.
- Responsible supply chain – our responsibilities and ability to operate require a sustainable supply chain. We also recognise the potential risks associated with an extensive supplier network, such as modern slavery and human trafficking.
Our approach to Environmental, Social and Governance factors
Our sustainability agenda incorporates Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) considerations that affect the success of our business. Our agenda provides a framework for how we do business. It is driven from the top by our Chief Executive who has primary responsibility for delivery of the Group’s strategy. He is supported on sustainability matters by the Group Director Governance, Conduct and Sustainability who advises on our sustainability strategy with input from a wide range of stakeholders.
Our Board Corporate Responsibility Committee is dedicated to the oversight of many aspects of the Company’s performance in sustainability, including governance and ethics, and it takes a longer-term view in reviewing challenges and opportunities in this area.
Investors are increasingly reviewing ESG issues that influence companies’ long-term success and considering these factors in their decision-making.
When we think about what is material, we consider how our approach to sustainability will drive success, contribute to our wider communities and reduce our impact on the environment. Our global footprint and wide range of products and services means that our markets are subject to significant shifts and challenges in geopolitics, public spending and security priorities, and engineering and cyber technology. We monitor and respond to these changes as part of our business operations.
Our approach to UN Sustainable Development Goals
We support the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and remain committed to driving progress on specific goals that are aligned to our sustainability agenda. The SDGs provide a framework for development and address the challenges that the global population faces from tackling climate change and environmental risks through to managing societal needs and building economic growth.
During 2020, we reviewed the SDGs that the Company can directly contribute to by progressing its sustainability agenda. The Company is committed to contributing to the four SDGs below, by leveraging the individual elements of our sustainability agenda which will drive change for the Company and its wider stakeholders and communities. The global nature of our business means that some of our programmes may influence other SDGs.