Stakeholder engagement

Our stakeholdersWe have a diverse range of stakeholders – from local authorities to charities, environmental groups to investors. We aim to treat all our stakeholders fairly, ensuring a rolling programme of dialogue that is both timely and transparent.

We are committed to engaging stakeholders in our planning and strategic development, to make sure our business direction reflects their priorities, and the customers they represent.

For us, engagement is a continual process, rather than a one-off exercise. Our processes reflect best practice within the water industry and wider service industry, and ensure views and opinions are sought from a wide range of organisations and individuals across the whole of the region.

We use a wide range of methods to reach our stakeholders, including focus groups, workshops, formal research and the myriad of conversations which take place between our employees, partners and customers on a daily basis.

Working closely with our stakeholders helped shape our Strategic Direction Statement – an outline of our investment priorities and service standards for the next 25 years. This document provides a roadmap for the business, and involving stakeholders in the process underlines our commitment to allowing a diverse range of groups to help shape our future plans.

We have a diverse range of stakeholders with whom we are in regular liaison, canvassing their views, responding to their feedback and providing them with opportunities to influence the investment decisions we make. Here are our key stakeholder groups:

  • We supply water and wastewater services to more than 3 million households every day. We survey our customers regularly, and through an engaging programme of activities, share ways they can save both money and water.

  • Our annual employee survey gives colleagues the opportunity to provide feedback about our company, their job and their working life. 

  • We run a programme of investor meetings and presentations throughout the year, both in the UK and overseas, to keep the company’s equity and debt investors informed of key developments. 

  • We engage with North West MPs through regular meetings, an annual drop-in session with our senior directors, and party conferences. Conversations include our local investment schemes, our economic contribution to the North West, and key policy issues affecting the water industry.

  • Our press office deals with local, regional and national journalists on a daily basis. We provide a reactive service as well as proactively promoting our investment programmes, community work and achievements through the media.

  • Our contractor and supplier relationships are based on partnership and fairness. From quarterly relationship management meetings to supplier conferences, we keep them informed and engaged, and periodically survey our supply chain to see what they think of us. 

  • Our work brings us into daily contact with local authorities, as we deliver engineering projects, emergency repairs and environmental work. We strive to be proactive and transparent, consulting with them to ensure that our planning reflects local sensitivities.

  • We work in the heart of local communities, and aim to go the extra mile for these neighbourhoods, especially when our work is disruptive. Our community investments are delivered in close consultations with these particular groups. 

  • From The Canal and Rivers Trust to the RSPB, we work closely with a range of environmental and wildlife groups on joint projects to protect natural habitats, improve our catchment land and keep our regional landscapes beautiful.

  • We meet regularly with a number of regulatory bodies – Ofwat; the Environment Agency; the Drinking Water Inspectorate; Natural England; and the Consumer Council for Water – to ensure that our plans address their economic, environmental and social priorities and concerns.