13th February 2015 at 4:59pm
Well, that’s us now coasting through February and I hope any New Year resolutions you set yourself remain on track – it’s so easy for our best intentions to hit the skids quickly. I’m happy to say it’s a case of so far so good for me, but my goals were mostly fairly mundane this year – to read more books and to get fit enough to run my favourite race again – the Seven Hills of Edinburgh , in June – with one big exception being that I’d like to move home this year. It’s twelve years since we last moved house and I’ve two kids now so I find the prospect a little bit terrifying. But I think a good goal should be daunting, while still being achievable.
Building a sustainable Life
The Standard Life Sustainability team has tried to make its goals challenging too. We achieved some major successes last year – being placed in the top ten per cent of businesses in our sector for sustainability as measured by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, being named as one of only twelve Social Mobility Champions in the UK, being recognised with a Silver Award in the Defence Employer Scheme, and being shortlisted in the Living Wage Champion Awards. We also achieved all of our targets for reducing our environmental impact. While we feel extremely proud of our success in all these areas, we’re not planning to rest on our laurels and our resolution as a team is to build on past success and aim even higher in 2015 (for more on our achievements, check out our sustainability report due out at the end of this month).
For employability, one of our main areas of focus, we’re already working to improve the diversity and inclusion of our recruitment, and ensure that school leavers we’ve helped to join us in recent years have good opportunities to develop their skills and build their careers beyond their initial role. We’ll also be continuing to fund and support programmes with the Princes Trust, SkillForce and Tomorrow’s People to help more young people get on in the world, and we’ll invest in research to understand the best ways for everyone, regardless of their backgrounds, to get employment opportunities and to plan and save for a prosperous future.
Making our voice heard
We’ll continue to champion the Living Wage and use our influence with investors, politicians and others to encourage businesses to improve opportunities for young people, disabled people and anyone else who currently may not have the same chances to progress their ambitions in life.
Working from home
Finally, we also want to make the most of our employee charity partnership with Scope and Capability Scotland in the year ahead. We’ll encourage everyone who works for us to consider what volunteering or fundraising they can do and we’ve set ourselves a target to have more of our people take part in a single fundraising event than ever before through the Kiltwalk . If you’d like to challenge yourself to do something special in 2015 and haven’t yet decided what – we’d love you to consider taking on a challenge for our fantastic partners. Here are some thoughts from Capability Scotland and from Scope
Whatever your aims in 2015, I wish you the very best of good fortune and prosperity in the year ahead.