As we turn 25, we have a renewed focus on our place in the world and the kind of business we want to be. Our long-term model reflects our determination to share our successes and grow in a responsible, sustainable way. This goes beyond our environmental and societal impacts. It speaks to the products we offer, the talent we hire, and how we manage our future. That’s why we created a Sustainability Committee, headed up by our non-executive director John Bernstein, to identify opportunities for improvement.
Howden Group is also a signatory of the UN Global Compact. Along with more than 10,000 other businesses around the world, we are promising to take responsibility for our impact and to work in a way that supports and benefits society.
When a business puts its people first they feel happier, more fulfilled, and more empowered. That’s not just good for them – it's good for our clients, too. That’s why for us, People First is not a set of policies or guidelines: it is at the heart of everything we do.
We support our people’s aspirations, and give them the opportunity to make a difference. That’s it. No strings attached, no hoops to jump through. Opportunities are there for the taking, and our teams’ success benefits us all. It’s been true since day one, and it still stands today. Howden Group is built on a foundation of employee ownership, which is why we are proud that almost 50% of the shares in our group are owned by our people.
Our local, on-the-ground experts around the world form a network of shared skills and knowledge. Laws, cultures, businesses, and markets vary, but the connection between our people means that, wherever our clients want to do business, we can bring the expertise they need.
Digital and Technology
The cyber revolution has affected everything – from politics and economics to health and communities. The world expects to receive its products and services in ever smarter, more efficient and more immediate ways. The insurance industry must address those expectations and become part of the solution.
In 2019 we launched HX to help us rise to the challenge. Their mission is to identify opportunities and deliver solutions that streamline our offering through data, tech, and analytics – making our customer experience more intuitive and informative across the board.
At Howden Group, we are committed to making a positive impact on the world around us. We do this through fundraising and volunteering, our commitment to protect the environment, and giving back through our charitable Foundation.
CSR and Volunteering
As a group we are keen to invest in the future - in young talent, new entrepreneurs, and the communities in which we live and work. That is why we chose Education, Entrepreneurship and the Environment for the three core pillars of our global CSR policy.
Our people help select our charity partners in each country, and we also empower them to champion the causes they have a personal connection with. We offer annual volunteer days to every one of our employees, and our Foundation matches the donations they raise for their chosen charities. Our people have rowed across oceans, mentored young students, organised food collections, shaved heads, cleaned beaches, planted trees and more to support the charities they care about – and last year collectively raised over $1.5 million as part of our award-winning Million for a Million campaign.
The Hyperion Foundation is a registered charity set up to support our communities and the great charitable work that our people are personally involved in. Chaired by our non-executive director Luis Munoz-Rojas, the Foundation has six key objectives: the relief of sickness, poverty, disasters and unemployment; the advancement of education; and environmental sustainability.
When our employees fundraise for charities that meet one or more of these objectives, the Foundation matches the money they raise. It also grants Investing in the Community Awards to grassroots causes, and supports the charities that our companies nominate each year.
Just knowing how much energy we use isn’t enough. We’re determined to reduce our environmental impact as much as we possibly can – continuing to build a sustainable business while reducing, replacing, and recycling.
In our London HQ, we have switched to renewable energy, proper cutlery, and coffee cups made from coffee husks. Even the tea bags in our meeting rooms are now biodegradable. As a result of choosing recycled and recyclable stationery, 75% of the products we use across the UK are now environmentally-friendly.
Across our London and Bedford offices, we have reduced our paper usage by almost 30% over the past year. That’s a saving of 2.7 million sheets – which, laid end-to-end, would stretch from London to Beijing.