Corporate Social Responsibility

Wireless Group plc

Corporate Social Responsibility

John McCann, Group Chief Executive, Wireless Group PLC:

“The Group’s Corporate Social Responsibility mandate is an integral piece of our business strategy, interlinking all that we do to engage, support and respect not only the society and environment within which the Group operates, but with those we come in contact with as employees and within the wider community.”

The Group’s Corporate Social Responsibility activities demonstrate the ethical values the company upholds, fundamentally underpinning all Group operations and reinforcing stakeholder pride and loyalty in what the business does. As a Board level responsibility, Corporate Social Responsibility is actively discussed as part of the Board’s assessment of the moral integrity of the Group.

The Group’s Corporate Social Responsibility focus is in the following areas:

Ethical Considerations and Behaviour

Ethical corporate behaviour continues to be a Board priority and the risk of inappropriate actions is regularly assessed by the Board as part of its work on risk management and specifically in relation to negotiations with suppliers, partners, agents and customers relating to material trading agreements and arrangements.

Accordingly, as appropriate ethical behaviour is a Board priority, ethics are awarded high prominence across all business operations and staff are expected to act responsibly, meeting legal and regulatory requirements in their dealings with fellow colleagues, suppliers, agents, partners and customers.

To ensure staff understand their ethical responsibilities, the Board has established a Code of Conduct which is issued to all staff on their initial engagement with the Group’s businesses clearly stating the principles of behaviour and conduct expected and what would be considered unacceptable.

This Code of Conduct is supported by formal policies emphasising legal responsibilities relating to conduct and relationships with third-parties in order that staff fully understand their responsibilities. There are separate policies relating to (i) Anti-Bribery and Corruption, (ii) Anti-Fraud, (iii) Gifts and Hospitality, and (iv) Labour Standards.

To further enforce the zero-tolerance to any unethical behaviour, there is a robust whistleblowing procedure in place to allow staff to report potential concerns in confidence.

The following documents relating to conduct, policy and procedures can be accessed on the corporate website,

1. Business Code of Conduct
2. Anti-bribery and corruption policy
3. Anti-fraud policy
4. Hospitality and gifts policy
5. Whistleblowing procedures
6. Labour Standards Policy

Our People

The Group recognises that central to its success is the recruitment, retention, development and motivation of its staff, contractors and freelancers.

The Group strives to achieve a supportive and inclusive work environment which promotes wellbeing and welfare, equality, respect and human rights. The Group has a broad range of policies, procedures and practices in place to support and inform staff and these are communicated widely to employees, both during the induction process and throughout their employment. Policies include Equal Opportunities, Health and Safety, Dignity at Work, Social Media and Business Conduct. Managers are updated and trained with regard to the content of these policies and mangers and staff have support from the Human Resources department in implementing these policies.


The Group offers access to a 24/7 confidential and independent counselling service and an occupational health service. Such initiatives are supported by health and safety measures, including display screen assessments, safe driving training and media safety training. All employees complete a pre-employment medical questionnaire so the business can identify any risks and support employees in the workplace.

Equality, diversity and respect

The Group is committed to providing equality of opportunity, dignity and respect to all employees, freelancers, contractors, and job applicants. All employees and job applicants are treated fairly in selection for employment, promotion and training, with assessment being based on an individual’s aptitude and ability irrespective of gender, marital/family status, religious belief, political opinion, disability, age, nationality, race, ethnic origin or sexual orientation. The Group’s policies ensure that it attracts a diverse pool of applicants and this is monitored on an ongoing basis. Staff members who have a disability are supported fully in the work environment and have equal access to training and career development opportunities.

The importance and contribution of diversity in the workplace is recognised with appropriate training provided to ensure respectful behaviour, including Dignity at Work training and appointing Equality Advisors in the Group. Breaches of the Equal Opportunities and Dignity at Work policies will be dealt with via the Group’s Disciplinary policy. All staff are issued with the Group’s Code of Business Conduct which addresses key areas of responsibilities to all stakeholders. The policy covers conduct towards: employees (including the Whistle Blowing Policy), suppliers, customers, business partners (including bribery and corruption), shareholders and funders, and conduct in the community.

Gender breakdown chart at 31 December 2014
Senior management
1, 008

The following documents relating to Equality, Diversity and Respect can be accessed on the corporate website:

Development and training

Through a mix of approaches including formal training, on the job experience and coaching, the Group ensures that staff have the appropriate skills, experience, knowledge, competence and confidence to carry out their roles. The Group works with accredited and recognised external providers to ensure the development meets business priorities and future skills requirements. The Group’s Training and Development Policy is available here.

Across 2014 development areas addressed included management development, production training, camera/edit training, engineering and operations, archiving, health and safety, dignity at work, and a range of professional IT, Finance, HR and Compliance programmes/updates. In addition vacancies across the Group are advertised internally to encourage people to develop their careers, either through promotion or a change of role. Supporting and developing the leadership capabilities of new and potential managers is important to the business, both in terms of their current roles and succession planning. A significant development programme was implemented during 2014 focused on the investment in new technology and work flows to support the launch of UTV Ireland.

The Group’s businesses work with universities and Creative Skillset to support the development of future talent to the media industry, providing input into programmes and providing 243 work placements in 2014. Such initiatives provide individuals with an insight into the industry, help them gain an understanding and an appreciation of the world of work. A number of individuals have gained employment within the businesses following their placement experience.

Performance and Recognition

It is critical that the Group’s reward strategy supports the company’s ability to attract and retain staff with the right skills, experience and knowledge to meet the needs of the business and to ensure that staff feel appropriately recognised and rewarded for their performance. Benchmarking activities are carried out, as appropriate, to ensure that the business offers appropriate reward, recognising the commitment and contribution of staff.

Attractive remuneration packages are offered, including both financial and non-financial benefits. Flexible working arrangements are supported where appropriate. The Group is a member of Employers for Childcare and offers a salary sacrifice childcare voucher scheme. Staff also have the opportunity to join a Share Incentive Plan. The Group is committed to the Living Wage for staff, other than those on formalised training programmes.

Communication and participation with staff

The Group is committed to an open culture and collaborative working with staff. The Group seeks both formal and informal feedback and maintains an open and participative approach to ensure a shared understanding of the company’s objectives and staff’s role in this. The staff representative committee involving senior management, staff and union representatives meets to consult and discuss key strategic and operational issues.

Regular management meetings take place with briefings to staff on business performance, key developments and challenges for the business. The Group engages and consults with staff through joint working groups involving staff and senior management in areas such as health and safety, environment, information technology and operations. This communication flow is also supported via team briefs, staff updates, the intranet and face to face briefings.

Human rights issues

The Group is mindful of the importance of giving due consideration to human rights issues through its relations with employees and external stakeholders such as suppliers. The Group considers its commitment to responsible and ethical trading with suppliers and policies on staff development and well-being to be adequate and appropriate to address human rights issues given the nature of the Group’s operations. The Group’s Labour Standards Policy is available here.

Health and Safety

The Group recognises the importance of providing a healthy and safe environment for all staff, visitors and any persons who may be affected by its undertakings ensuring that it meets all statutory requirements and, where appropriate, strives to establish health and safety practices that exceed these requirements across all of its operations.

The Group retains the services of an external health and safety consultancy to ensure that it remains compliant with legislation and to provide regular and relevant training to management and staff in each operational location. The engaged consultant carries out annual health and safety audits, fire risk assessments and local ad hoc inspections in all of its premises providing a detailed report which enables corrective and preventative measures to be put in place as necessary.

All employees receive general health and safety awareness training, DSE assessments as required and where applicable, job specific training. Each location has trained fire-wardens, first-aiders and health and safety coordinators who liaise locally with management and staff. All work for the statutory maintenance and inspection of mechanical, electrical and safety equipment is carried out by fully accredited specialist contractors or staff members who have been specifically trained for the job.

The Group has a well-established health and safety committee which meets on a monthly basis and has Group-wide representation. All accidents, incidents, near misses and other related topics are reported enabling performance to be monitored and responsive action taken if needed.

The Group continues to strengthen and formalise the governance structure for the coordinated management of health and safety with standardised documentation and reporting procedures in place, providing documentary evidence to support an annual assurance assessment report for the Board.

The health and safety incidents for 2014 are summarised in the following table:

Total Number of Accidents Reported
Impact of Accident    
Number of Fatalities
Number of Serious Incidents
Number of Minor Incidents
Those Involved in the Accident    
Accidents to Staff
Accidents to Public
Accidents to Contractors / other 3rd parties
Causes of Accidents    
Slips, Trips & Falls
Lifting & Carrying
Hit By Objects

The Group plays an active role in the local communities where it operates. All the Divisions across the Group support the fundraising efforts of charities and community initiatives in their areas, helping to raise significant revenue during the year for a range of vital local projects.

Wireless Group PLC is an active member of Business in the Community (BITC). The Group fully embraces the BITC’s membership strategy of being “committed to building a sustainable future by investing in our people, the planet and the places where we operate”.


The Group recognises the impact that the business’ operations can have on society and so the quality and content of output is of utmost importance.

The Wireless Group PLC is one of the most successful media groups in the UK and Ireland comprising a highly focused radio division with market leading assets and a growing digital division comprising Simply Zesty and Tibus. The Group endeavours to grow and build the brand by operating reliably and responsibly. Group stations maintain high editorial standards and engage with industry regulators, government and the media in open and honest dialogue. As licensed broadcasters, the Group understands the regulatory standards which must be followed, as well as the importance of retaining loyalty, trust and interaction with audience through the integrity of output.

The business adheres to the stringent regulatory broadcasting codes and requirements of the media industry including those of independent regulatory body Ofcom, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI), the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP), the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) and the Authority for Television on Demand (ATVOD).


The Group has a varied scope of suppliers from large multinational engineering and technology providers to major national broadcasters and small independent local companies. Central to the provision of programming and content for the Radio and Television Divisions are major broadcast suppliers such as ITV and the sporting / sponsorship bodies which sell the rights for national and international sporting events broadcasts, including football, rugby and cricket. Arqiva are the main source of transmission capabilities. A small set of specialist suppliers provide the essential technology for production and where possible, the Group’s preference is to use local, independent production companies for its television and radio output. There is an impetus on continuing open and fair trading arrangements when relying on key suppliers. Accordingly, the Group invests significant effort in managing supplier relationships through agreed-term contracts or service expectation agreements which provide the basis for constructive working relationships. The Group expects its suppliers to trade in a responsible business manner. Choice of supplier will be influenced by their respective commitment to ethical, environmental and social responsibilities.


The Group recognises that its business activities across the UK and Ireland have an impact on the environment and is committed to minimising any potential damaging effects and continually improving performance on environmental matters. The Group’s environmental policies are aimed at encouraging high standards of environmental practice across all business activities. The Group participates in the annual Business in the Community NI environmental benchmarking Survey achieving consistently good results for our commitment to managing environmental issues.

In addition to their economic benefits, new projects and activities are assessed as to their potential impact on various environmental factors. 

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Tonnes (tCO2e)
Group-wide locations
Scope 1
Scope 2
Total CO2 emissions
Intensity: emissions per £m revenue
Intensity: emissions per £m revenue

Scope 1 emissions are direct GHG emissions mainly due to fuel consumption of vehicles controlled by the Group and Natural Gas for heating.
Scope 2 emissions are indirect GHG emissions due to consumption of purchased electricity

The tonnes of CO2 emitted are calculated using the latest 2014 Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) government conversion factors for company reporting. The DEFRA rates per MWh of GHG emissions increased from 2013 to 2014 so while the Group’s electricity usage decreased by 5.4% in 2014, compared to 2013, the GHG Scope 2 emissions went up by 4.2%.

As 77.5% of the CO2 emissions are due to consumption of purchased electricity, the Group sources its suppliers who can mainly provide green power generation.

Waste production and recycling

Northern Ireland location only
Waste recycled
20 (93%)
22 (69%)
Waste sent to landfill
2 (7%)
10 (31%)
Total waste

The Northern Ireland based location uses only accredited waste management companies to dispose of its waste, ensuring that it is disposed of in accordance with statutory and local regulations

Governance framework for Corporate Social Responsibility

The Group fully supports the expectations of its key stakeholders in conducting its business activities in a highly responsible manner that creates a positive impact on the community, its people and the environment it operates in. Consequently, the Group actively promotes the effective management of its Corporate Social Responsibility agenda, recognising its importance to the long term sustainability of all of its businesses.

The Group is committed to acting as a "good corporate citizen" by applying the highest standards of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in all aspects of its operations, both internally and externally.

Therefore, the Group recognises that its social and environmental impacts have to be managed in just the same way as its commercial and financial performance. The Group's approach to CSR is to effectively and actively manage the impact that their operational activities, could or do have, both within the Group and also on external stakeholders and the environment.

Employee Engagement and Fundraising

Staff are encouraged to participate in and support fundraising and awareness initiatives on behalf of a range of charitable organisations.

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