At Hippo we’re striving to become a more responsible business, minimising our impact on the environment, helping diversify talent in our industry, and drawing on our expertise to maximise our benefit to society.

Our social value strategy directly aligns to the UK Government’s social value model and is broken down into five themes.

 

Under each theme we have identified priority objectives and measures which will focus our activities on environmental, social and economic issues most important to our people, clients and communities.

Social Value - Environmental responsibility

Environmental responsibility

Taking action to reduce climate change and protect the natural environment.

Social Value - Sustainable procurement

Sustainable procurement

Supporting the growth of a diverse and resilient supply chain.

Social Value - Social equity

Social equity

Creating opportunity and growth for all.

Social Value - Diversity, inclusion and belonging

Diversity, inclusion and belonging

Driving diversity, opportunities and equal reward in the tech sector.

Social Value - Health and wellbeing

Health and wellbeing

 

Helping our people, clients and communities to thrive.

Our targets

£20m
We have set an initial target to create £20m of social value during our 2023/24 baseline.

£100m
We aim to increase this to over £100m by the year 2030

Measurement and reporting

We will measure our progress against this target using our Thrive social value measurement tool and the Impact Evaluation Standard. This will allow us to map the impact we make to the five themes of the Government’s social value model as well as seven of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:

Environmental responsibility

 

Taking action to reduce climate change and protect the natural environment.

Social Value - Environmental responsibility

Reduce our Greenhouse Gas intensity to achieve net zero by 2040

 

We’ve already taken huge steps to minimise our impact on the environment. We’ve been measuring our carbon footprint since 2020 and have been carbon neutral for the last two years.  Our next goal is to become a net zero business by 2040 – aligning our carbon reduction plan to science-based targets.

Improve resource efficiency

 

Using our ISO:14001-accredited environmental management system, we will continue making steps to reduce our impact, targeting reductions in energy consumption and office waste, assessing more sustainable solutions for our offices, whilst working with our clients to optimise the services we deliver. You can view our carbon reduction plan here.

Increase biodiversity and enhance green spaces

 

Working with our Green Hippos employee network, our aim is to raise awareness of sustainability issues, increase our environmental volunteering and promote our environmentally friendly employee benefits, including: cycle-to-work and electric vehicle leasing schemes. We’ll also be continuing our tree planting efforts, which has seen over 2,600 trees planted since 2021.

Sustainable Procurement

 

Supporting the growth of a diverse and resilient supply chain.

Social Value - Sustainable procurement

Support the growth of start-ups, SMEs and VCSEs

 

We recognise the vital role small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and the third sector play in maintaining a healthy economy. They drive growth, provide employment opportunities and open new markets. This is why we are committed to diversifying our supply chain and ensuring all businesses, irrespective of size, can access opportunities.

 

Having recently grown into a large business, we are now focused on developing a strategy to increase opportunities for SMEs and VCSEs to work with us in delivering quality services to our clients.

Identify and partner with suppliers aligned to our values and ethics

 

We are fully committed to working with organisations that mirror our valuesand contribute towards our social value strategy.

This may include: paying the real living wage, working towards net zero, responsibly sourcing raw materials and reducing waste, helping to attract future talent, supporting people from underrepresented groups into employment and looking after the health and wellbeing of their people.

Collaborate with our suppliers to deliver sustainable solutions for our clients

 

A significant amount of Hippo’s output is the development of software and digital services for our clients. These digital services are designed to run on the cloud. Our technical architects follow best practices to make systems that use less energy and only use resources when needed.

 

We check our work using tools from our technology partners and our client’s hosting providers like AWS, Google, and Azure. These tools help us plan ways to use less energy and reduce pollution. We also use them to assess how our solutions affect the environment for each client. As a result, we evaluate how much energy our work uses and find ways to make it better. In the past, we have used serverless computing or smart caching to be more eco-friendly.

Social Equity

 

Creating opportunity and growth for all.

Social Value - Social equity

Inspire and attract diverse talent through equitable hiring

 

We strongly believe in fairness and ensuring everyone is provided with what they need to to succeed, feel included, and grow.

 

As signatories of the Tech Talent Charter, we are working hard to make the UK tech ecosystem a diverse and inclusive community where people from all backgrounds are welcomed and valued for their contributions.

 

Our hiring process can be adapted to support the needs of applicants and, supported by our Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (DI&B) Forum, we are currently identifying and developing new initiatives to remove barriers faced by those underrepresented in our industry. This includes women, people from ethnic minority backgrounds, individuals from diverse socio-economic backgrounds, neurodiverse individuals, and people with disabilities.

Secure a sustainable talent pipeline through educational engagement

 

We also recognise the UK’s tech talent shortage and that we must do more to inspire, attract and retain the future DDaT workforce.  By partnering with schools in our local communities, we want to ensure young people are aware and have access to the exciting range of careers available across our industry.

Invest in the continuous development of our people

 

Hippo has a strong culture of staff development, training and career progression.  Every Hippo is allocated an annual £1,000 budget for training. In addition, we provide training through our ‘Communities of Practice’ and ‘Profession Days,’ which foster self-learning and collaboration opportunities within the team.

Diversity, inclusion and belonging

 

Driving diversity, opportunities and equal reward in the tech sector.

Social Value - Diversity, inclusion and belonging

Grow and sustain a workforce representative of the communities we serve

 

In pursuit of fostering a culture of diversity, inclusion, and belonging (DI&B), we are dedicated to growing and sustaining a workforce that truly represents the communities we serve, ensuring equal opportunities for promotion and fair pay for every Hippo, and embracing the diversity of UK society. Our DI&B Forum plays a crucial role in supporting this objective.

Ensure everyone has fair and equal opportunity to work for us, irrespective of personal circumstance or background

 

Our Hippo Academy is just one way we are providing accessible routes into DDaT careers. Currently, we are focussing on career changers and returners from all backgrounds. We continue to look at expanding this effort to include more groups that are underrepresented in our industry.

 

We also support Skills Bootcamps offered by School of Code, Generation UK, and Code First Girls, and encourage our Hippos to mentor candidates and pass on their skills and experience.

Transparent reward and promotion for all

 

We have developed a career skills framework that provides a fair and transparent promotion and reward process and ensures individuals are recognised based on their skills, experience, hard work and contribution to the business, removing the potential for unconscious bias.

 

As of 2023, our employee count surpassed 250, requiring us to publish a Gender Pay Gap report. We are in the early stages of our journey and looking at ways to actively attract more women into the sector generally, as well as  specifically into data and engineering roles where we currently have higher levels of underrepresentation. Whilst we have a balanced promotion process across genders we are looking at how to attract and develop more women into the upper and upper-middle quartile pay brackets.

Health and wellbeing

 

Helping our people, clients and communities to thrive.

Social Value - Health and wellbeing

Offer the support and assistance our people need to thrive

 

We focus on keeping our people and clients healthy and well. As part of this commitment, we offer a holistic employee assistance programme and a range of flexible benefits, initiatives, and activities that help people and communities thrive. Our approach is guided by ISO:45003, which is part of our accredited management system. It is the world’s first global standard for managing psychological health and safety at work. From private healthcare to fortnightly yoga sessions, monthly wellbeing payments to financial advice and guidance, our benefits can be tailored to support the individual needs of each Hippo and their families.

 

We also have a network of mental health first aiders and have over 23 communities dedicated to health, fitness, wellbeing and peer-to-peer support. We want everyone to succeed and thrive at work and at home. We continually review the support we offer and react to feedback from our people.

Engage with local communities through volunteering and fundraising, targeting digital exclusion and environmental improvements

 

Every Hippo can take up to two days paid leave to volunteer and help charities, schools and community groups that are important to them. As a business, we are focussed on addressing digital exclusion, supporting local schools, and helping communities to make environmental improvements.

 

Our old IT equipment is donated to charities and helps disadvantaged people, such as asylum seekers, access the internet.

Support the growth of the third sector through pro-bono work

 

We also partner with third sector organisations and offer our Hippo’s expertise on a pro-bono basis. We’re proud to have supported Kidz Klub and Compassion in Dying. pay brackets.