For us, innovation means applying new ways of working, new knowledge or new technology for the benefit of people, the environment and the company.
Our vision is to be acknowledged as a leader and exemplar for introducing innovations that serve these purposes.
Why we innovate
The reasons for innovating are straightforward, revolving around the rapid pace of change, globally and locally.
People’s expectations of service providers are changing, as are the standards we must meet, operating costs, the level of returns to investors deemed acceptable, the amount of competition we face, and employees’ expectations of their employers.
There are also wider changes, such as a warming climate with more unpredictable weather patterns, new pollutants and rapidly advancing technology.
Standing still is not an option – to continue being a leading company, we need to look constantly at new opportunities and better ways to do things.
We aim to understand emerging challenges and opportunities.
We are open to trialling new approaches.
We build on and improve our own knowledge, skills and processes.
We partner with others where we don’t have the knowledge or expertise ourselves.
Our strategy for making innovation happen has three main themes:
- projects and offerings
- our internal processes
- the people involved.
Rather than having a large research and development department, we are building a culture of innovation throughout the organisation.
This is co-ordinated by a small innovation team that monitors the full cross section of work and builds links within and outside the company.
Innovation has been crucial to achieving the goals we set out in our business plan for 2015-20. To lower bills while also delivering significant investment and improvements, we are focusing on efficient, innovative methods with an emphasis on low-cost partnership approaches, as preferred by our customers.
You can find out more about our approach to innovation and our work in our 2019 Innovation report.