Ethical Performance
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Jaguar Land Rover

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Swinging into top gear

More by Jaguar Land Rover - Back to the December 2013 issue
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Companies that buck the trend in today’s climate of cuts and austerity stand out in the crowd.

The British vehicle maker Jaguar Land Rover has recorded growth while most businesses have stagnated or shrunk but has managed at the same time to maintain its CSR principles and practices.

The achievement won the Business in the Community (BITC) 2013 Responsible Business of the Year Award for Jaguar Land Rover. BITC’s accolade praised the company for “improving its environmental performance and investing in communities, while developing its future workforce and ensuring growth as a responsible business”.

In financial terms the investment has been high. In 2013-14 the company has so far spent £2.75bn ($4.43bn, €3.27bn) on job creation, sustainability and environmental activities. It has been able to offer 9,000 new jobs during the past two years, mostly in the UK, and in 2011-12 alone it stocked up with 600 graduates and 189 apprentices to build the next generation of engineers.

In fact, the eyes of Jaguar Land Rover are fixed firmly on the future of engineering. When BITC talked of an investment in communities and a future workforce it must have been looking at the company’s programme entitled Inspiring Tomorrow’s Engineers.

This Jaguar Land Rover programme consists of partnerships with schools, in which robots and models are used to introduce young people to the engineering profession, and work-based instruction.

It is a programme that earned BITC’s Education Award this year to add to the main award.

BITC said the award was a tribute to “the positive impact [the programme’s] long-term school partnerships are having on increasing employability skills and promoting engineering careers to young people”.

About 200,000 students were put through the programme last year, and altogether 2m young people have been enabled to improve their skills on the scheme since 1999. Some of the graduates and apprentices who are taken on every year are former participants in the programme.

Many of these young people, of course, are destined for careers in other businesses in the automotive sector, making the company’s investment a contribution to the whole industry and the community, not just a staffing benefit for Jaguar Land Rover. The feedback from the schools has been particularly encouraging. Jaguar Land Rover reports that 95% of the 5,000 teachers with whom it worked last year said the programme had increased students’ engagement with science, technology, engineering and maths.

The company’s responsibility in tackling environmental issues gained equal admiration from the BITC examiners.

Jaguar Land Rover had drawn up a five year environmental strategy in 2007. The BITC award celebrated the significant achievements notched up by improvement programmes from that time, both on the company’s premises and in the wider society.

The first on the list was a 21% reduction in energy consumption per vehicle in the manufacture of cars.

The second was a huge 69% reduction in waste to landfill, an area in which the company has high ambitions. When the environmental plan was produced six years ago Jaguar Land Rover looked at its waste streams to determine how materials could be re-used. The subject has remained in focus ever since and the company now aims to cut out waste altogether by 2020.

Water saving, which exercises minds throughout industry today, was a third notable success. The company has recorded a 10% cut so far but intends to go further. At its new engine management plant now being constructed in Wolverhampton rainwater will be harvested for industrial use and re-use. It is also on target to achieve an ‘excellent’ rating from the BREEAM assessment for sustainable buildings.

Renewable technologies play a large part in the environmental strategy. Since writing the plan the company has invested £4m in a solar power installation. The resulting saving is an annual reduction of 540 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.

More environmental benefits from innovations and new practices are now being sought for introduction at all Jaguar Land Rover’s operations.
For example, evaluating a variety of renewable technologies including biomass boilers, the pumping of natural heat from the ground and more solar power.

Jaguar Land Rover looks beyond its factories and offices to the broader environmental impacts of its work. The effects of products when they leave the company’s plants is on the top of the agenda. The result has been continued improved environmental performance - reducing tailpipe CO2 emissions and increased use of sustainable materials.

The new Range Rover has been built with an all-aluminium body, making it 400kg, or more than a third of a tonne, lighter than previous models. The lower weight results in a 23% reduction in its carbon dioxide emissions.

The Range Rover Evoque has a more efficient engine thanks to technological improvements, and offers “class-leading sustainability”. The most efficient model delivers CO2 emissions at 129g per kilometre.

The company regards the attainment of environmental improvements since the implementation of the strategy as a universal effort. Fran Leedham, head of sustainability, says: “We are embedding environmental innovation throughout our business. Everybody was involved.”
She says the effectiveness of the strategy has been proved by the company’s internal environmental innovation awards and engagement of employees.

Although the strategy is divided into categories for the purpose of analysis, the company regards the investment as an integrated activity. Importance is placed on its business partnerships, of which the supply chain is “a critical part”, says Leedham.

Jaguar Land Rover’s global CSR programme focuses on creating opportunities through advancing knowledge and improving lives. The company has a long standing relationship with The Red Cross, and uses its CO2 offset programme to improve lives through clean water and cook stove projects.

The Responsible Business of the Year Award was presented at a BITC ceremony by Marc Bolland, chief executive of the retailer Marks & Spencer, which took the title in 2012.

Bolland told the company: “Jaguar Land Rover is addressing sustainability at every stage of the life cycle of its products and at all levels of its business. They are a potential pioneering force in bringing about transformative change to the luxury goods industry and a key driver in educating and influencing the client base and wider consumers on behaviour change.”

Leedham says of the award: “We are honoured to receive it as it recognises contributions from employees and the supply chain. It is hugely inspirational internally. It shows that it is possible to expand and to do it responsibly.” 

more about Jaguar Land Rover

The company, properly known as Jaguar Land Rover, is a British multinational with headquarters at Whitley, near Coventry. Its main activity is the development, manufacture and sale of Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles. Jaguar Cars and Land Rover first came together in one group when Ford bought the two companies – Jaguar in 1989 and Land Rover in 2000. They changed hands again in 2008 when the Indian group Tata Motors acquired them both and turned them into a separate company. The new company employs 26,000 and its revenue in 2012-13 was £15.784bn ($25.486bn, e18.837bn). Revenue has increased every year from and including 2009-10.

IBE comment

KATHERINE BRADSHAW, Institute of Business Ethics

Jaguar Land Rover clearly understands the business benefits to be gained by being a socially responsible business. Luxury brands are not normally known for their sustainability credentials, and winning the title of ‘Responsible Business of the Year’ sets JLR apart as a sector leader in these issues.

Points of note:

  • The long range thinking of investing in the engineers of the future of the ‘Inspiring Tomorrow’s Engineers’ programme.
  • The reduction of landfill waste and the aspiration of zero waste by 2020.
  • The commitment to look at the broader environmental impacts of their business, not just of production, but of the environmental performance of their cars as well. 

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