As a global organisation we operate in many different countries and for each we aim to integrate and add value to the local community. Where needed, we will tailor our Group policies and procedures to reflect cultural and country-specific practices, and we give back to communities through charitable donations. Regardless of location we uphold and respect human rights, and we strive to reduce our environmental impact and comply with all tax legislation.
We think it’s important to give back to the community and so this year we have taken steps to formalise our charitable giving by setting up the Gamesys Foundation. Starting from October 2019 we have committed £150k a month to the foundation, which by the end of 2020 will result in £2.25 million being made available to charitable causes relating to mental health, which aligns with our business and stakeholder priorities. The foundation is in the process of being set up as a registered charity, and thereafter funds will be allocated to causes by the foundation trustees, who will report on activities to the ESG Committee.
In addition to contributions to the Gamesys Foundation, in 2019 the Group donated in excess of £550k to charitable causes, including $250k for Hurricane Dorian relief.
We also actively encourage our employees to support charities of their choosing by fundraising and volunteering. Activities this year included participating in Christmas Jumper Days, Make Some Noise and World AIDS Day Christmas Markets. Several employees in different offices simultaneously raised money for a breast cancer charity by doing a cycling challenge.
Respect for human rights
We recognise and respect the importance of human rights and are committed to avoiding, preventing and mitigating human rights impacts. Whilst we are mindful of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, as a company operating with due regard for local legislation, and with a focused supply chain built on long-term partnerships, our risk of human rights impacts is relatively low. We do not engage in forced, compulsory or child labour, and comply with local minimum wage legislation (where applicable). Our most pertinent human rights-related risks, albeit small, are discrimination and modern slavery, for both of which we have implemented appropriate policies and mitigations. Details of our approach to discrimination, inclusion and diversity, and our modern slavery statement can be found on our website, www.gamesysgroup.com.
Should any breaches of human rights be suspected, or occur, employees can raise concerns confidentially to HR through our whistleblowing process. No human rights related incidents have been raised or upheld through these processes in the last year. We will continue to monitor our ongoing human rights impacts, and aim to consider potential impacts for major new projects and operations.
Minimal environmental impact
We recognise the global importance of environmental issues including climate change, and the importance of these to our stakeholders, however as a provider of online-only services our environmental impact is relatively minor. For that reason, we do not have an environmental policy but we do take steps to reduce our environmental footprint and improve our energy efficiency.
Almost all of our energy consumption comes from electricity use. Our strategy is to reduce this by working with carefully selected and reputable third-party providers to outsource data storage to data centres or public clouds. These providers are experts in energy efficient data storage and are now responsible for storing over 90% of our data. Over half of our third-party data cabinets are now in data centres powered by at least 92% renewable energy.
In terms of our in-house IT infrastructure and data storage, our strategy to improve energy efficiency focusses on decommissioning and replacing equipment well before its end of life, thus capitalising on technological improvements in power efficiency. We use international recognised certificates to verify product efficiency at purchase and our standard issue laptops, desktops and printers (which account for 90% of Office IT equipment purchases) all have either Energy Star or Blue Angel certification. When equipment is decommissioned we are careful to do this in an environmentally friendly way, and use local schemes for recycling. For example, in the UK (which reflects over 90% of the Group’s desktop PCs, over 60% of the Group’s laptops and over 50% of the Group’s server capacity) we partner with a reputable third party IT equipment recycling company to safely recycle all servers, laptops and printers, whilst desktops are recycled via manufacturer trade-up programmes. Hard disks in all locations are shredded to maintain data security.
At a more local level, employees in one of our London offices have established a Go Green initiative that has, amongst other things, displayed informative signage to assist colleagues in recycling correctly, introduced food waste bins and Nespresso pod recycling, and stopped the use of plastic bottles for staff drinks. The Go Green initiative won Best Individual Proposal for Recycling in 2018/19 at the Regent Street Recycling Awards.
Greenhouse gas emissions
Our total greenhouse gas emissions (CO2e) for 2019 were 677.7 tonnes. Fluorinated hydrocarbon emissions from 32Kg of R410a comprised 66.8 tonnes of this. Greenhouse gas emissions have been measured in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, with reporting boundaries defined by the operational consolidation (control) approach. In 2019, 53% of our greenhouse gas emissions and 72% of our energy consumption was related to the UK. Of our UK energy consumption, all of which comes from purchased electricity, 27.8% was powered by renewable energy and 50.2% by natural gas.
As an office-based online service provider, emissions from company vehicles, production processes and other combustion sources are minimal and not deemed to be material. Scope 1 emissions are therefore comprised solely of leaks from air conditioning units. Scope 2 emissions from electricity use have been calculated using the location-based method. These reflect all our offices apart from four leased corporate offices in London, Toronto and Bahamas, which represent 3% of our total office space and are not deemed to be material.
In accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, given the significant growth in our business this year, we have restated our 2018 emissions to allow for direct comparison. 2018 greenhouse gas emissions were 644.5 tCO2e. The increase in emissions this year has been driven by one sizeable (30kg) leak in the air conditioning system of our Malta office. Steps that we have taken to improve our energy efficiency are detailed in the ‘Minimal environmental impact’ section above.
|Greenhouse gas emissions|
|Scope 1 (direct)||tCO2e||0||66.8|
|Scope 2 (indirect)||tCO2e||644.5||610.9|
|Scope 1 (direct)||kWh||0||0|
|Scope 2 (indirect)||kWh||1,725,060||1,752,343|
|Greenhouse gas emissions per m2 of office space1|
|Scope 1 (direct)||kgCO2e per m2||0||4.3|
|Scope 2 (indirect)||kgCO2e per m2||47.5||39.7|
|Total||kgCO2e per m2||47.5||44.0|
|Greenhouse gas emissions per full-time employee2|
|Scope 1 (direct)||kgCO2e per FTE||0||46.0|
|Scope 2 (indirect)||kgCO2e per FTE||446.3||420.4|
|Total||kgCO2e per FTE||446.3||466.4|
1. Office area (excluding leased premises) for 2019 = 15,388m2 and 2018 = 13,561m2.
2. Full time equivalent employees for 2019 = 1,453 and 2018 = 1,444.
Gamesys Group plc aims to achieve a low level of tax risk and to comply with the tax regulations in all the countries in which it operates. As taxation of international online businesses is complex and the tax environment is subject to ongoing change, we closely monitor changes in relevant tax practice and law and actively assess any consequences for the Group. We take expert advice when there are changes to our business that may require tax planning.
We proactively engage with the relevant tax authorities when appropriate to foster cooperation and ensure continued compliance with the regulations. We may also participate in consultation processes when changes to tax policy that could significantly impact the Group are under consideration.
The Board has overall responsibility for the Group’s risk and control framework. To manage tax risk, the Board has approved a Group-wide tax risk management policy which sets out the processes which must be adopted when making tax decisions. In line with UK requirements, the Board has also adopted a UK tax statement (available at: https://www.gamesysgroup.com/investors/corporate-governance/uk-tax-statement/) and has approved a Group-wide anti-tax evasion policy which codifies the systems and procedures required to ensure the Group does not facilitate tax evasion.