Corporate and social responsibility

As an insurer we can exert a strong beneficial influence by promoting effective risk management. We see a clear correlation between forward looking businesses that have such controls in place and businesses that are good corporate citizens.

For a business such as ours, corporate social responsibility has two main dimensions: how we conduct our own business and how we influence our clients in the conduct of their business. Below we describe in detail the measures we took in 2010 to ensure that as a company we met our responsibilities - to our people, to the communities in which we operate, and to society more broadly.  But as an insurer we can also exert a strong beneficial influence by promoting effective risk management, because we see a clear correlation between forward-looking businesses that have such controls in place and businesses that are good corporate citizens.

The responsibilities of our business

In continuing to build Beazley as a premier risk-taking business, we take our corporate, social and environmental responsibility seriously. We constantly consider the ethical implications of how we operate in our day-to-day business and put policies and procedures in place that reflect our commitment. 

Intrinsic to our culture is an ethical approach to business conducted by and towards all our stakeholders, including management, staff, clients, suppliers and shareholders. The values that form the essence of our brand and our working culture are professionalism, integrity, effectiveness and dynamism. We have appointed Nicholas Furlonge as the group sponsor of our corporate and social responsibility programme.

Our code of ethics comprises the staff handbook, the handling of personal data, whistle blowing, financial crime policies. We have a conflicts of interest policy which provides clear guidance to staff on areas such as inducements and handling sensitive data.

Corporate responsibility

We are an equal opportunities employer and make it our policy to offer equal treatment to employees and prospective employees, ensuring that all are treated fairly and with dignity and respect. We do not permit unlawful discrimination of any kind against any person on the grounds of gender, race, nationality or ethnic origin, age, disability, religious beliefs, sexuality, marital status, working patterns or pregnancy.

We are committed to taking positive action to ensure that all employees, whether full-time or part-time, receive equality of opportunity in recruitment, training, development, promotion and remuneration.

We strive to ensure the health, safety and welfare of our employees and anyone else who may be affected by our operations. Employees are expected to take reasonable care for their own health and safety at work as well as those of others, and to co-operate with management to create a safe and healthy working environment.  All employees, contractors and visitors are subject to induction, training and supervision in aspects of health & safety and additional training in ergonomics and fire safety awareness is provided to all employees. All health and safety matters are communicated via notice boards, email memos, the intranet and via safety representatives. Overall responsibility for health and safety at Beazley rests with the chief operations officer of the group, David Marock. 

We believe that the knowledge and skills of our employees are a key element of organisational success and therefore invest in training and development.  We ensure that this is accessible by everyone and recognised as a shared responsibility between individual employees and the organisation. Responsibility for the provision of training and development at Beazley sits with the head of talent management, Penny Malik.

Employees are kept informed of developments in business through our internal communications including formal company-wide briefings that occur twice a month, team meetings and an information-rich intranet.

We are proud of our working culture that ensures we achieve our aim to attract, reward and retain talented staff in competitive markets and support and develop them as they strive to perform to an excellent standard. 

Social responsibility

We encourage employee involvement in a range of community programmes across the group and each employee can take up to two days per year to participate in charitable and local community initiatives. Nicholas Furlonge is the chairman of the Lloyd’s Community Programme (LCP) Management Board in London, and encourages staff to involve themselves in helping pupils in schools in the Tower Hamlets area, one of the most deprived areas in the country. Beazley is involved in two schemes on a weekly basis – Reading and Number partners. Currently we have several volunteers participating in what is proving to be a very successful scheme.

In addition to the Reading & Number Partner schemes in 2009, as part of the LCP we participated in the LCP’s Sports JAM at Mile End stadium, facilitating a day of sporting activities attended by 50 pupils from the Tower Hamlets area, in addition a number of individuals were involved in cricket and football coaching.

Teams hold two Team days per year and are encouraged to use one of these to get involved in a local charity, so far 3 teams spread across the UK and US have taken up this opportunity and been involved in events in the local community.

Charity  

The group made charitable donations during the year ended 31 December 2010 of £56,265 (2009:£39,875).  The group’s charity budget is managed by a charity committee chaired by Jonathan Gray and consideration is given to a wide range of activities, particularly where members of staff are engaged in fund raising activities. For example, several members of our staff raised over £4,000 competing in the London Marathon and Brighton Marathons, and over £3,000 trekking Mount Kilimanjaro. Also, our annual Christmas card is distributed electronically to over 20,000 key clients and contacts, giving them the opportunity to indicate the charity that they wish us to support.

As previously reported, we run a payroll-giving scheme in the UK in association with the Charities Aid Foundation. By the end of October 2010, 27 employees had taken part in the scheme, donating £32,851 to approximately 30 different charities.

The US charity committee is chaired by Judy Patterson. Again, consideration is given to a wide range of activities, especially where members of staff are actively involved in fund raising themselves. During the year ended 31 December 2010, $49,000 was donated to various charities.

Over $5,000 was raised by staff members taking part in the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event.

Over $25,000 was donated to Save the Children, partly raised in various ways such as in house bake sale.

$19,000 was donated to the Susan G Komen charity, one of the US committee’s partner charities.

No political donations were made by the group in either the current or prior reporting period.

Environmental Responsibility

Beazley strives to achieve environmental best practices in the management of its global offices and in the acquisition of its goods and services and it seeks to make environmentally responsible choices, whenever possible. Beazley’s commercial management team is responsible for Beazley’s global offices and for the procurement of goods and services. Progress achieved in this area in 2010 are illustrated below: 

In the procurement area we have adopted the following best practices:

  • In all requests for proposals over $25,000 for the procurement of commodities we request and evaluate as part of the proposal information each supplier’s “green” and environmentally responsible initiatives in the manufacture and delivery of their products;
  • We carefully evaluate and compare each supplier’s “green” initiatives and will give appropriate weighting to the quality and consistency of a supplier’s programs when making an award;
  • Once a supplier has been awarded a contract, we track and monitor the supplier’s green initiatives to ensure that they are maintaining the standards and programs represented in the RFP and contract; and
  • In 2010 we commenced the tracking and reporting of the percentage of Beazley’s applicable commodity spend that is attributable to green/sustainable commodities.

Furniture

  • New US office furniture standard is Herman Miller Vivo, which is comprised of 54% recycled materials and is up to 69% recyclable at the end of its useful life;
  • Aeron Chair by Herman Miller, used in US offices, is comprised of 46% recyclable material. 54% of its parts are recyclable at the end of its life; and
  • Generation Chair by Knoll is also used in US offices and is comprised of 46% recyclable material and 54% of its parts are recyclable at the end of its useful life.

Office supplies

  • US office supplies – Below is quantitative information on the proportion of paper used by Beazley’s US operations from sustainable or recycled sources; (numbers are based on dates from Jan – Sept 2010): 

 - 37% of paper purchases are recycled paper purchases

 - Water saved – 18,310 gallons

 - Trees saved – 40

 - Greenhouse Gas Emissions reduced – 3,802 lbs

37% of Beazley’s total US paper spend was on recycled paper products.

  • UK Office Supplies- Below is quantitative information on the proportion of paper used by Beazley’s  UK operations from sustainable or recycled sources; (numbers are based on data from Jan to Sept, 2010):

 - 99.2% of paper purchases are recycled paper purchases

 - Water saved – 87,093 gallons

 - Trees saved – 190

 - Greenhouse Gas Emissions reduced – 18,083 lbs

99.2% of Beazley’s total UK paper spend was on recycled paper products.

In addition, we actively promote, support and encourage environmentally aware behaviour, including:

  • Use of video conferencing versus flying or driving to meetings;
  • Use of recycled paper supplies;
  • Opted for green electricity supplier at an additional cost to Beazley of £1,590 per annum;
  • Use of ceramic and glass versus paper products (of note: Beazley eliminated 95% of paper cup purchases from its largest US office in 2010);
  • Elimination of plastic bottled water in US offices wherever possible in favour of on tap filtered water;
  • Use of recycling bins;
  • Motion detectors are fitted in the London office and all new US offices opened in 2010; and
  • All new offices are designed to ensure that environmentally friendly materials and products are utilised in construction and fit out, whenever feasible.

In April 2010 the 2009 carbon footprint for Beazley’s London office was measured by Scott Wilson. The total emission for the Beazley London office in 2009 was 2,488.57 tCo2e/year. The total emission for the Beazley London office in 2008 was 2,043.84 kgCo2 e/year. The increase in carbon emissions was due to increased business air travel. During 2009, Beazley employees travelled frequently to Dublin due to the Group redomiciling to Ireland. Travel increased from the UK to the US due to mergers and acquisitions.

In 2009, Beazley measured the GhG emissions for its Boston, Farmington and New York offices. Total carbon emission for the three offices equalled 1,721.26 tCo2 e/year. Beazley will continue to measure its GhG emissions and will look to adopt measures that will reduce it whenever feasible.

In 2007, we signed up to the ClimateWise principles and we continue to monitor our progress against these. The principles are: lead in risk analysis; inform public policy making; support climate awareness amongst our customers; incorporate climate change into our investment strategies; reduce the environmental impact of our business; report and be accountable. Where more appropriate (for example, informing public policy and incorporating climate change into our investment strategies) we will be placing reliance on the activities of Lloyd’s ClimateWise team. Our focus continues to be towards assessing and minimising our own environmental impact when possible. Compliance with the ClimateWise principles is subject to annual independent review, which in 2010 was conducted by Forum for the Future.