We are committed to being as open and transparent as possible about our business. The support of external stakeholders is integral to our success and the on-going sustainability of our business.
These stakeholders include customers, local communities, businesses, suppliers, government, charities, the media, associations and NGOs. We communicate proactively with our stakeholders and offer a range of channels for them to engage with us. We also seek their views about our role and responsibilities as a key part of the UK’s economic and social infrastructure. At the same time, we aim to help stakeholders gain a better understanding of our business, as well as our need to change.
Royal Mail has a range of stakeholders. They include our customers, investors, unions, communities, suppliers and the Government. We engage with these groups to obtain their views and better understand their needs and expectations. Their support is integral to our success and the ongoing sustainability of our business.
Our stakeholder engagement programme has the following objectives:
- To earn and retain the trust and respect of our external stakeholders and protect our brand
- To demonstrate active and visible leadership in stakeholder engagement
- To help to provide positive outcomes for local communities
- To ensure that we continue to provide the Universal Service.
We commit to disclosing full and accurate information, where this does not breach commercial confidentiality, and to disseminating Company information in a format that is accessible and understandable to stakeholders.
Please see our Stakeholder Engagement Approach which outlines our approach in detail.
Royal Mail undertakes materiality assessments to help refresh our CR strategy. Every two years, we engage with a representative group of stakeholders to gain insight into the areas they deem most relevant to us. These issues are then prioritised within our CR programme and activities.
In 2017-18, we commissioned Corporate Citizenship, an independent CR and sustainability consultancy, to work with us to conduct our materiality assessment. We engaged stakeholders representing customers, consumers, employees, our unions, shareholders, suppliers and environmental representatives. Through surveys, interviews and a stakeholder panel, we asked the participants to rank a range of social, financial and environmental issues in terms of their importance for Royal Mail.
One of the key outputs of our engagement with stakeholders is our materiality matrix, available on page 17 of the 2017-18 CR Report.
Responsible political engagement
Public policy decisions can affect key aspects of our operations at Royal Mail. In the UK, we meet with government ministers in Westminster, Holyrood, Cardiff Bay and Stormont, as well as Special Advisors, Members of Parliament and the Scottish Parliament, Members of the Welsh Assembly, Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly, and Members of the London Assembly. We also meet with Councillors and other stakeholders, including the CBI, FSB and IoD, on a regular basis.
In addition, we manage day-to-day relationships with EU stakeholders. We work with the other European postal services, not least as a member of PostEurop (the association of European postal operators). Similarly, we have close contact with the UK Government, European Commission and European Parliament in London and Brussels.
Royal Mail ensures responsible political engagement in the following ways:
- Royal Mail has a policy of political impartiality, as committed to in our code of Business Standards;
- Royal Mail adheres to the regulations set out in the Political Parties, Elections and Referendum Act 2000 (PPERA) and does not make political donations;
- Royal Mail adheres to the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA) Professional Charter and Codes of Conduct;
- Royal Mail has signed up to the EU’s Transparency Register;
- Shane O’Riordain, MD Corporate Affairs, Regulation and Group Marketing, regularly briefs the senior leadership and Board on political activity.
Transparency and the European Union
The European Transparency Register informs European citizens about how businesses like ours engage with European Union (EU) decision makers. Royal Mail’s entry on the Register shows the resources we allocate to EU affairs. It also indicates our core areas of interest in policy development.
We aim to offer an accessible mechanism to handle complaints on company activity in a systematic way and ensure that stakeholders are made aware of it and how it works. Stakeholders that identify particularly serious or recurring issues are fast-tracked to Group Communications. We provide named senior contacts on our website for each of our key stakeholder groups and publish the process for complaints on our Customer Support pages.
Any stakeholder can contact the Public Affairs Team by writing to David Gold, 100 Victoria Embankment, London, EC4Y 0 HQ, via firstname.lastname@example.org, or calling 020 74498240.