Scope of our sustainability web pages
Our approach to sustainability (corporate social responsibility or CSR) goes beyond the focus on science for sustainable national outcomes to how we do business, how we engage with our staff and external stakeholders, and how we add value to society and the natural environment.
Our Sustainability Policy, Guiding Philosophy and Code of Ethics Policy apply to all staff, senior executive managers and directors. Our compliance management systems are strongly focused on best practice and continually monitoring and improving performance. We have maintained ISO 14001 environmental certification for many years as well as participating in the Workplace Safety Management Practices programme. We also seek to assess and proactively manage future risk from (for example) environmental legislation, climate change, increasingly competitive global markets for talented staff, and issues that could damage our integrity and reputation.
Our financial year runs from 1 July to 30 June. We have a responsibility under the Crown Research Institutes Act 1992 to publish a printed Annual Report by the end of September, three months after year–end, although this information cannot be made public until after these reports have been tabled in parliament (usually mid–October).
We publish the audited financial statements and the unaudited non–financial reporting as two printed documents, which together fulfil our statutory Annual Report obligations. The Annual Report is complemented by comprehensive information on this website. We believe this approach best meets the needs of different stakeholders, helps reduce our environmental footprint, and enables us to update the website with progress reports during the year. Currently information presented is correct for the year ending 30 June 2016.
Approach to external verification
We have not had our sustainability reporting externally verified because we believe we cannot justify the significantly increased cost of this process, particularly when much our operations and our performance are already subjected to rigorous external review and audit. These include
- A Parliamentary Select Committee reviews our Annual Report and performance each year
- The Science + Innovation Group of the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) assesses company performance and governance on a quarterly basis, including performance against an agreed set of key performance indicators. Our Science Advisory Panel, Outcome Scoping Groups and Steering Groups review science progress and performance
- All research programmes funded by for government, public and private sector clients must report on agreed milestones and outputs
- The externally–audited Accident Compensation Commission (ACC)’s programme for Workplace Safety Management Practices
- ISO 14001 certification, externally–audited, for our environmental management systems and practices
- Our carbon neutrality is carboNZero–certified (externally audited) across all our sites
- Containment facilities and protocols, and the handling of animals in research are audited by MPI
- Our CEO and senior managers meet twice yearly with the CEOs and senior managers of our key clients that are the partners in and end user of our research
- The Science + Innovation Group in MBIE commissions an external survey of our stakeholders
- Each year, we commission an external agency to interview our clients to assess how well we performed and measured up to client expectations, and to identify areas where our performance could be improved
In reporting performance indicators, we have continued to apply the same rigorous data management and quality assurance protocols, which have been the backbone of external verification of our printed reports in past years. Each performance indicator is documented and checked internally, ensuring that the reported data are accurate and there is comparability between years.