Woking is a town in the South East of the UK which has a number of claims to fame. It is the town where HG Wells wrote his famous War of the Worlds, the location of the UK’s first crematorium and the UK’s first purpose-built mosque.
 
It’s also the location of Capgemini UK’s head office (photo).
 
Periodically, I have the privilege of presenting to our new joiners in the UK at their induction event; an event that takes place in a hotel in Woking. My Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability colleagues and I take turns talking about our programme. There’s a big emphasis on the business value that a good CR&S approach brings.
 
We’ve changed the presentation recently so that it is much more of a discussion session than a presentation. People – especially at an induction event – get very tired very quickly when they’re presented to about how great their company is. Instead, we form discussion groups and pose questions.
 
·         Why does Corporate Responsibility matter?
·         What difference will climate change make to me at work?
·         What is the value in volunteering?
·         And more…
 
In asking the questions, I’m not testing anyone or making any decisions based on the (verbal) responses. The idea is that I start a conversation that, hopefully, continues long after the induction event has finished. 
 
Anyway – encouraging moment one: the level of dialogue, the awareness, the interest and the quality of the responses served as a demonstration that CR&S matters. Our new recruits – they’re not all graduates or apprentices – want their new company to have the right environmental and community credentials. They’re not looking solely for philanthropic corporations or big altruistic statements; they recognise – and can articulate – the business value of a good CR&S programme (indeed, they are part of the business value of a good CR&S programme) and they expect Capgemini to be driven by more than the profit motive.
 
It bodes well for the future of the company.