Why ESG is important at SFG
SFG believes that the telecoms sector has a vital role to play in connecting the world sustainably through positive Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) practices in our business and we are proud to say that we place these practices at the forefront of our business. We recognise that our business operations has a modest direct impact on the environment however we also acknowledge the positive impact our business has socially in the communities in which we operate.
Our aim is to create value and long-term rewards for all our stakeholders - which includes our suppliers, customers, investors, and our people. We achieve this through our robust ESG strategy and framework which enables us to effectively manage our risks and opportunities.
To ensure SFG has the right focus and a balanced business strategy, our approach to ESG is founded upon a double materiality analysis, undertaken in accordance with Global Reporting Initiative standards. This analysis helps us to identify and prioritise our most important risks/opportunities and areas for value creation, in line with our business’ philosophy and commercial objectives.
Claire M. Murphy has responsibility for sustainability and our
ESG practices in the company. Claire is supported by a passionate and committed
team of individuals who daily champion and influence systematic consideration
of ESG issues in all decision making in the business. Key influencers in this
space include Marie Kearns and Karen Counihan, both of whom are working closely
with Claire on the key United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
identified by the business as having the greatest influence and impact through
our strategy and services.
We are committed to managing our business with climate change in mind and fulfilling our duties and obligations under the Paris Climate Agreement. Although our direct impacts as a network operator are small compared to many businesses, it is vital we manage those we have and use our role within the telecoms industry to positively influence and encourage others to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
SFG understands that it has a responsibility to the environment that goes beyond our legal and regulatory commitments. Both at development and operational phases of our activities we look to minimise our impact upon our material environmental issues. We do this through the reduction of our energy consumption, which reduces our carbon footprint. We also look to protect biodiversity and terrestrial ecosystems and we ensure responsible disposal of waste. We have set these principles out in our suite of environmental sustainability policies.
The responsible treatment of our internal and external stakeholders is inherent to our social values and our business operations. SFG has continuously striven to support businesses, communities and people by providing high quality fibre networks to enable realistic opportunities to work in a national and international arena. We believe SFG is at the forefront of how people can adopt whichever working lifestyle they choose which is why in 2021, in our effort to reduce our carbon footprint, we moved to a new flexible working model by allowing our people to work up to four days from home.
Since 2021 we have developed a partnership with the Irish Centre for Diversity to demonstrate our belief that supporting Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) fosters a healthy working environment for all our staff, both present and future. This forward thinking has helped ensure strong engagement with our broad employee base, whilst also appealing to potential employees, which will enable us to develop more expansive sustainable projects far into the future.
Furthermore, SFG is very active in terms of Corporate Social Responsibility. We have made charitable contributions, both locally in our communities and further afield. In the past three years, we have partnered with the Hope Foundation and have raised almost €135,000 to support key Hope projects in Kolkatta, India such as the Punorjibon Rehabilitation Home.
These key social values are detailed in our suite of People Strategy policies, all of which are actively evolving in line with our business goals.
SFG participated in ‘STEAM-in-a-Box’ 5-week programme in May 2022 introducing 5th class students at Lisnagry National School in Co. Limerick to the diverse fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths.
SFG appreciates and understands the clear relationship between a business’s approach to governance and its ultimate success. We believe that governance means “doing business responsibly” and this is a key, simple message that is transcended in everything we do. We endeavor to manage the interests and expectations of our stakeholders in a matter which upholds the basic principles of corporate governance which include; accountability, transparency, fairness, and responsibility.
SFG has taken the time to ensure there is a clear and structured governance framework within the business, and we adopt a continuous development approach that ensures we analyse our effectiveness and performance in relation to governance matters on an ongoing basis.
We consider a range of issues within our corporate governance strategy including management structures (including board composition, audit committee structures, delegation of authority and board of chair independence), external engagement (including lobbying activities, political contributions and conflicts of interest) and business practises (including risk management, cyber security, fraud, bribery etc.).
SFG has robust processes and policies in place ensure objectivity and clarity on the values and standards which are upheld within SFG
We recognise the importance of external benchmarking and voluntary disclosure. Last year we chose to voluntarily report our efforts to GRESB, an internationally recognised rating agency, and we received 5-star rating and a score of 96/100.