ESG at Speeki
As a provider of solutions in the ESG space, ESG must also be embedded into the Speeki organisation, and we practise it every day.
Like all companies, we have followed a model for ESG. In our case at Speeki, we have adopted our own model that we recommend to our clients. We conducted a risk assessment across the organisation to consider each of the 19 risk areas, and have identified certain areas of focus.
Each of these areas is shown below, with some commentary on how we are handling the issues at Speeki.
Speeki regards climate change not just as a standalone environmental issue, but rather as a global cross-cutting challenge to which we need to adapt in order to remain profitable.
The physical risks associated with more frequent severe weather events and lasting environmental changes and the transition risks posed by the policy and technological changes necessary to achieve a greener economy are ever-present in our minds.
Speeki is a software company and consulting group primarily. We don’t have large physical footprints, and we don’t have manufacturing. It is part of our thinking to consider the climate in what we do. Right now, given the size and nature of our business, this is focused on reducing travel by air, using greener hosting solutions where available, and reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.
The planet today is facing unprecedented, interconnected environmental challenges in areas including climate change, water, energy, biodiversity, and agriculture. With businesses relying on natural resources directly and via supply chains, new corporate efforts are needed to address environmental responsibilities, value natural capital, and better understand the linkages between resources.
Speeki is focused on being green. We have significantly reduced air travel, have no company vehicles, operate from shared company offices in green buildings (usually above or next to electric public train services), and rarely, if ever, use paper. We are committed to finding ways to cut natural resources even more by banning single-use plastics and prohibiting the use of anything that can’t be recycled.
Waste management refers to the practice of collecting, transporting, processing, or disposing of, managing, and monitoring various waste materials. It is important to observe sustainability in this unavoidable practice so that waste is managed as efficiently as possible, minimising its negative impacts on the environment, human health, or future generations.
The goal of Speeki’s sustainable waste management is to reduce the amounts of natural resources consumed, reusing the materials taken from nature and creating as minimal waste as possible. We don’t produce lots of waste in our business, and the focus right now is for Speeki to increase recycling.
Although the clean energy innovation movement started years ago following greater awareness of greenhouse gases and their effects, recently its efforts have been bolstered with the support of certain government incentives and more attention to the issue in the global news media.
The Speeki focus here is to be in green buildings wherever possible. Even though most of our operations are in shared offices or from home, we are committed to using less energy wherever possible.
Human Capital Management
Human Capital Management (HCM) is the set of practices an organisation uses for recruiting, managing, developing, and optimising employees to increase their value to the company. While Human Resource Management (HRM) focuses primarily on core administrative HR functions such as maintaining employee records and administering benefits, Human Capital Management is a broader term that includes HRM functions as well as strategic functions including analytics and performance management. Effective Human Capital Management facilitates the organisation’s hiring of the right talent, having all needed skill sets in the organisation’s workforce, managing employees effectively and increasing productivity.
At Speeki, we are still a small group, so our HCM initiatives are focused on ‘doing the right thing’. As we grow and expand, we will focus on scaling that process to create a great work environment for everyone.
Diversity and Inclusion
Just as general society’s increasing awareness of the importance that diversity and inclusion play in the world’s development intensifies, so does the business case for organisations to include a Diversity and Inclusion policy in their management system. Our diversity at Speeki will allow us to outperform our industry peers. Our focus is to have diversity in thought, styles, activities as well as diversity in language, culture, race and gender.
Our business is more than 65% women, who are of Asian, Hispanic and Caucasian descent.
Our team derives from Australia, South Korea, the USA, Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines, Poland, Mexico, the UK, and Colombia, and we are always looking for more diversity.
A value chain is a business model that describes the full range of activities needed to create a product or service. For companies that produce services like Speeki, a value chain comprises the steps that involve bringing a product from conception to sale (development, marketing, sales and support).
Speeki has conducted a value-chain analysis by evaluating the detailed procedures involved in each step of our business. This area presents a low ESG risk as the majority of services that we procure are development resources and technology support.
Speeki looks beyond our own business and seeks to be an active stakeholder in society over the long term. In addition to charitable giving, we are strong supporters of ESG and the impact it can have, and will continue to raise awareness of the ESG cause. It is our piece of making the corporate world more responsible.
We are interested in supporting the markets in which we operate by providing services and our platform on a no-cost or low-cost basis for charities and groups focused on supporting communities.
Human Rights and Modern-Day Slavery
Respecting and supporting human rights remains one of the most challenging areas of corporate sustainability. Speeki has communicated our zero-tolerance for any form of modern slavery, forced labour or human trafficking in any part of our business or supply chain. Our assessment is that this is a very low risk for Speeki and our business, but we continue to monitor the situation because it is just so important.
Speeki uses its own tools to manage aspects of these risks through the Speeki Platform.
A large part of a data protection strategy is ensuring that customer data is protected and that the data can be restored quickly after any corruption or loss. Protecting data from compromise and ensuring data privacy are other key components of what we do at Speeki.
We take it seriously, and are ISO 27001 certified for our information security.
The protection and access of an individual’s private data are growing in importance as new international laws, most notably the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (2018), come into effect. We are constantly looking for ways to tighten our compliance in this area and to make even more flexible tools for our clients in this regard. Right now, we have solutions that allow clients to host data in multiple locations and to keep their data in Europe. We also have intracompany agreements in place to support our employees from one region providing support to a client in another on the rare occasions when that happens and we access private data.
Health and Safety
Speeki is a small team that is home- or office-bound. Our risk assessment shows that mental illness is probably our most significant risk, and we are focused on how to protect our people, workplace productivity and morale. This is through open engagement, dialogue, support and respect for people and their mental health needs.
As a small private company that is owned by one shareholder, the Board of Speeki is less of a risk than for a traditional company. Our CEO is our Board director and chairman and is supported by two non-executive directors. As we grow our business, we will look at expanding the Board to bring in more talent, more diversity and more non-executives. Right now, that is not our focus, but we will keep reviewing it as part of our annual risk assessment into our ESG risks.
Corporate governance is important because it creates a system of rules and practices that determine how a company operates and how it aligns the interests of all its stakeholders. Good corporate governance leads to ethical business practices, which lead to financial viability. The basic principles of corporate governance are accountability, transparency, fairness, and responsibility.
We are improving governance more generally with better controls, systems, signature authorities etc., but our governance model is still young and will grow as the company grows.
Speeki uses its own tools to manage aspects of corporate governance through the Speeki Platform.
The framework we use is ISO 37000.
The definition of compliance is “the action of complying with a command,” or “the state of meeting rules or standards.” In the corporate world, it’s defined as the process of making sure your company and employees follow all laws, regulations, standards, and ethical practices that apply to your organisation and industry.
Corporate compliance covers both internal policies and procedures, as well as national and local laws. Enforcing compliance helps your company prevent and detect violations of rules, which protects your organisation from fines and lawsuits.
The compliance process at Speeki is ongoing. Its purpose is to grow and protect our business, helping us avoid waste, fraud, abuse, discrimination, and other practices that disrupt operations and put our company at risk.
Our corporate compliance programme is integrated with all compliance efforts company-wide, from managing external regulations and internal policies to comprehensive employee training. By ensuring all departments and staff are working together to maintain standards, we mitigate the risk of major failures and violations.
Speeki uses its own tools to manage compliance aspects through the Speeki Platform.
The framework we use is ISO 37301.
Bribery and Corruption
Corruption impacts every aspect of society. Its effects are not always immediately obvious, but left untreated it will inevitably spread to erode trust in systems and institutions. Corruption is a malign force that perpetuates poverty, sows insecurity, and robs the world’s most vulnerable people of desperately needed public services. It is a very low risk at Speeki, given our business.
We do not engage with Government officials, are not highly regulated, and never deal in cash or cash equivalents. We do not currently sell products to Government departments.
We also do not give expensive gifts, engage in lavish entertainment, or pay for travel for customers. Our charitable donations are limited to large well-known entities and never associated with clients.
The framework we use is ISO 37001.
Speeki knows its risks and manages them actively and proactively. We are focused on minimising the potential negative consequence of risk and then maximising positive outcomes. Our risk management makes jobs safer, enhances project success, reduces unexpected events, and results in significant financial benefits. Speeki conducts an annual risk assessment of our business, and it is documented at board and management levels. Speeki uses its own tools to manage the collection of risks annually through Speeki Survey.
The framework we use is ISO 31000.
Transparency in business is the basis for trust between an organisation and its investors, customers, partners, and employees. Being transparent means being honest and open when communicating with stakeholders about matters related to the business.
Speeki believes in transparency, and this page is an example of that. We believe that it builds trust and generates goodwill. Speeki is happy to engage with anyone and discuss our business, our structure, our shareholdings and our investments at any time.
Our business remains owned by one individual, Scott Lane, who remains our Chairman of the Board and CEO. The headquarters of the business is in Singapore, with subsidiaries in the UK, USA, France and Hong Kong. All subsidiaries are 100% owned by the HQ entity in Singapore.
Ethics and Integrity
Ethics are principles that guide behaviour, while integrity suggests that we should carry out ethical principles in our daily lives and activities, rather than espousing one ideal and then doing something contradictory. A person of integrity will demonstrate good character by being free of corruption and hypocrisy. Integrity is revealed when people act virtuously regardless of circumstance or consequences. This often requires moral courage. Integrity is the critical connection between ethics and moral action.
Integrity in the workplace is paramount at Speeki. We encourage all our leaders to lead with integrity, and understand that their actions, words, and decisions shape the company’s values, culture, and morale. Honesty and integrity at Speeki establish trust amongst stakeholders, which strengthens the organisation’s credibility. As we strive to keep customers and employees, our credibility is the driving force influencing them to stay.
Speeki takes this seriously as it is our core business. We use our own tools as our system, and whistleblowers and others who raise concerns understand that there will be no retaliation after a concern is raised.
Our programme is based on the ISO 37002 framework, and we adopt those guidelines as part of our approach to managing whistleblowing.