17 Dec 15

EDF Energy presented with national award for equality

EDF Energy has become the first energy company to achieve the National Equality Standard (NES) award, the UK’s most comprehensive assessment of diversity and inclusion in business. The NES has been developed and sponsored by EY in partnership with 18 other UK and global companies and is supported by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), the Home Office and the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

The company’s policies and practices were assessed against 70 competencies covering all nine protected characteristics contained in the Equality Act 2010* for both compliance and best practice. To complete the assessment, over 120 members of staff were interviewed about their awareness and experience of diversity and inclusion and hundreds of documents were submitted for evaluation.

Steve Varley, Chairman and UK&I Managing Partner at EY, presented EDF Energy’s CEO Vincent de Rivaz with the official accreditation at EY’s offices in central London today. Employees from across the business were invited to celebrate the achievement.

Janet Hogben, Chief People Officer at EDF Energy, said:  “Creating a culture that is truly inclusive takes hard work and commitment. Our employees and networking groups have been at the forefront of driving change and we are delighted that their efforts have been formally recognised by the National Equality Standard.

“We believe that a more diverse workforce will out-think, out-innovate and out-perform less diverse organisations. The National Equality Standard has provided us with a great call to action to engage everyone in the business and continue our journey to embed diversity and inclusion fully at EDF Energy.”

Jo Heath, Head of NES Assessment Delivery at EY, commented: “Since I started working with EDF Energy, I have been able to see firsthand just how much progress they have made on diversity & inclusion issues.  Their corporate culture is an excellent example of how visible passion and strategic commitment to D&I has increased staff engagement and openness.  Leaders have clear ownership and accountability for progress against this agenda and the positivity amongst their staff at all levels really shone through in the interviews we conducted.”

As part of the assessment, EDF Energy was recognised for having outstanding practices in 21 specific areas, such as its mentoring programme to support gender diversity at all levels of the company, its employee networks, the business’s support for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) employees and the work it has done to support unemployed young people gain employment skills via its BAME network and recruitment team. 

The final report provides recommendations and areas for improvement to enable the company to further improve its policies and practices. EDF Energy is the third business to achieve the National Equality Standard from EY since it was established in 2013.

For more information about EDF Energy’s approach to diversity across the business visit: http://www.edfenergy.com/diversity

For more information contact:

Megan Johnson
External Communications Officer (Customers)
07875 114691

Notes to editors

  • In 2009, EDF Energy created its first employee network dedicated to supporting women in the business. It has over 900 men and women members and is the largest of EDF Energy’s six Employee Networks which seek to promote diversity and inclusion
  • EDF Energy is an official partner of the British Paralympic Association until 2017 and sponsors seven established and emerging Paralympic athletes
  • In 2013, EDF Energy established a partnership with the National Star College, an independent provider of specialist further education for young adults with physical or mental learning difficulties. Through the ‘Steps Into Work’ programme, eight students were brought into the company in December 2013. In addition to gaining valuable work experience, the students all achieved a nationally recognised qualification in Customer Services. EDF Energy is also a partner of the Government’s Disability Confident campaign
  • Working in collaboration with BITC Business in the Community and Brixton Job Centre, EDF Energy’s BAME Network and recruitment team facilitated three educational sessions for unemployed young people from a low socio-economic background.  The workshops covered interview techniques, CV and cover letter writing skills and an inspirational talk by an EDF Energy employee from the BAME network
  • The company recently launched #PrettyCurious - a campaign to encourage more girls aged 11-16 to consider careers in STEM. This is one of many initiatives EDF Energy runs to encourage and support women in business
  • EDF Energy is featured on Stonewall’s list of the top 100 employers for LGBT employees and Mark Gorry, Chief Nuclear Officer at EDF Energy, was named Straight Ally of the Year in 2015
About the National Equality Standard:

The NES was launched in 2013 to address the absence of an industry-recognised national standard for equality, diversity and inclusion in the UK and to bridge the gap between legal requirements and best practice.  The NES covers all nine protected characteristics contained in the Equality Act 2010: age; disability; gender reassignment; marriage and civil partnership; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion or belief; sex; and sexual orientation.* It is regularly updated to cover new legislation, including recent changes to equal pay, shared parental leave and flexible working. Based on EY’s experience of conducting these assessments, the underlying competencies that are measured are also reviewed to ensure their continuing relevance and value.

EY also provides a suite of related D&I solutions to assist clients with addressing any areas where shortfalls have been identified and to support an organisation at any stage of their diversity maturity. Once an organisation has achieved NES certification, there is a follow-up audit every three years to ensure it remains ‘best in class’ and to encourage continuous improvement.

EDF Energy

EDF Energy is one of the UK’s largest energy companies and the largest producer of low-carbon electricity, producing around one-fifth of the nation's electricity from its nuclear power stations, wind farms, coal and gas power stations and combined heat and power plants. The company supplies gas and electricity to 6 million business and residential customer accounts and is the biggest supplier of electricity by volume in Great Britain.

EDF Energy’s safe and secure operation of its eight existing nuclear power stations at sites across the country makes it the UK’s largest generator of low carbon electricity. EDF Energy is also leading the UK's nuclear renaissance and has published plans to build four new nuclear plants, subject to the right investment framework.

These new plants could generate enough low carbon electricity for about 40% of Britain’s homes. They would make an important contribution to the UK’s future needs for clean, secure and affordable energy. The project is already creating business and job opportunities for British companies and workers.

Through Our Better Energy Ambitions, EDF Energy has developed one of the biggest environmental and social programmes of any British energy company.

In 2014 EDF Energy received seven ‘Big Ticks’ in the Business in the Community (BITC) Responsible Business Awards. In 2013 EDF Energy received the Environmental Leadership for Behavioural Change Award in the national Environment and Energy Awards and was highly commended in the first ever pan European Corporate Social Responsibility Awards scheme for its Sustainable Schools programme – the Pod.

EDF Energy is part of EDF Group, one of Europe’s largest power companies. The company employs around 15,000 people at locations across the UK.

To find out more about the UK's energy challenges look at www.edfenergy.com/energyfuture/