REPORTING PRINCIPLES AND METHODOLOGIES

This section sets out the principles and methodologies we use in reporting the data relating to our corporate responsibilities in our annual CR report.

Our general reporting principles

We endeavor to ensure that:

  • the reported information reflects our performance and serves the decision-making needs of all users.
  • the data is meaningful and is consistent with the stated definitions, scope and boundaries.
  • any specific exclusions are stated clearly and explained. We use consistent methodologies wherever possible to allow for comparisons over time and if we make any changes they are transparent to all users.
  • we describe openly any assumptions we make and our accounting and calculation methods.
  • we aim for sufficient transparency to enable users to have confidence in the integrity of our report.

Uncertainty and estimates

Every effort has been made to capture all relevant data, but it is not feasible or practical to capture everything. Where we have made estimates to cover such occasions we make this clear in the criteria and where we deviate from this we will give a further explanation in the relevant section of the report.

Re-statement of reported data

Where information is available, we will restate figures in prior years to make data as comparable between years as possible. Please see the section below on carbon emission reporting for full details of changes due to emission factors.

Reporting boundaries

  • Our business is managed and reported on a regional basis. We therefore manage, gather and report CR data either for Experian as a whole or on a regional basis. We do not report on a legal entity basis.
  • The Experian Group is comprised of five regions: North America, Latin America, UK and Ireland, EMEA and Asia Pacific. Unless otherwise stated, for CR reporting purposes, the North America region includes Costa Rica and Chile – this is consistent with Financial Reporting.
  • Where we have the controlling stake in an acquired business but not the whole entity, we state actual or estimated figures for the whole of the entity.

Reporting specifics and methodology employee diversity

Parameter: headcount

  • Definition: The total number of employees on the last day of February in the financial year.
  • Scope: all employees in each region – excludes contractors and other contingent workers.
  • units: number of employees.
  • method: Sum of employees per region. Each employee is treated as one person regardless of the contractual hours worked (i.e. a part time staff member is treated as a whole individual).
  • Source: Reported from hR database systems.

Parameter: gender split

  • Definition: The percentage of male or female employees per region, on the last day of February in the financial year.
  • Scope: all employees in each region – excludes contractors and other contingent workers. Calculated for all regions.
  • units: Percentage (%).
  • method: Percentage – calculated as number of employees for specified gender divided by total number of employees (calculated on a headcount basis – refer to definition of headcount above).
  • Source: Reported from HR database systems.

Parameter: Women in senior management positions

  • Definition: The number of women in senior management positions, on the last day of February in the financial year. A senior management position is defined as being either a senior grade or being a position on the executive management team of a region’s main business unit.
  • Scope: all employees in each region – excludes contractors and other contingent workers. Calculated for all regions.
  • units: number of employees or percentage (%).
  • methods: number of employees – sum of women in senior management positions. Percentage – calculated as number of women in senior management positions divided by total number of senior management positions. Calculated on a headcount basis – refer to definition of headcount above.
  • Source: Reported from HR database systems and with reference to organisational charts.

Parameter: Age profile

  • Definition: The percentage of employees belonging to specific age groups per region, on the last day of February in the financial year. Age groups are defined as follows: 16–19, 20–24, 25–34, 35–49, 50–59, 60–65 and Over 65 years.
  • Scope: all employees in each region – excludes contractors and other contingent workers. Calculated for all regions.
  • units: Percentage (%).
  • method: Percentage – calculated as number of employees for specified age group divided by total number of employees (calculated on a headcount basis – refer to definition of headcount above).
  • Source: Reported from HR database systems.

Parameter: Ethnic diversity

Definition: The percentage of employees belonging to specific ethnic groups, on the last day of February in the financial year. There is no standard global definition of ethnic groups – as such, distinct ethnic groups have been defined for the reporting countries.

  • Scope: all employees – excludes contractors and other contingent workers. Calculated and reported for UK and US only. due to the voluntary nature of ethnic identity disclosure by employees, there is a proportion of the employee population whose ethnic grouping is unknown.
  • units: Percentage (%).
  • method: Percentage – calculated as number of employees for specified ethnic group divided by total number of employees (calculated on a headcount basis – refer to definition of headcount above).
  • Source: Reported from HR database systems.

 

Health and Safety

  • Parameter: Accidents with and without absence and number of lost days.
  • Definition: Any unplanned event that results in injury or ill health of people leading to absence from work / no absence from work and reported number of lost days related to accidents with absence. We do not report on occupational illnesses.
  • Scope: We report for all the sites within the regions. For cases where we had a disposal over the reporting period we include the number of accidents up to the time where the Company had responsibility for the site.  Where we had new acquisitions over the FY we have included all the sites which have been fully integrated into the business in terms of insurance coverage.
  • All regions reported for accidents that have occurred in the workplace and accidents that have occurred while on business travel.
  • Units: Number of accidents leading to absence from work / no absence from work and number of lost days due to accidents with absence.
  • Method: Reported by Health and Safety Advisors as follows:
  • UK and Ireland: Accidents with absence and numbers of lost days are reported from HR database systems. Accidents without absence are comprised of all other accidents, as reported through our Health and Safety reporting tool.
  • EMEA: Accidents with absence / with no absence and number of lost days due to absence from the workplace are reported quarterly by local site managers to the Health and Safety Advisor
  • North America: Accidents with absence are comprised of injury claims that involve a period of absence from the workplace. Accidents without absence are comprised of all other injury claims that relate to accidents at work excluding occupational illnesses. All workers’ compensation claims for the US and Canada are managed by external insurance providers. Accidents in Chile and Costa Rica are reported by local site managers.
  • LATAM: Serasa reports all accidents through our Health and Safety reporting tool, while Computec reports directly to the H&S Advisor.
  • APAC: Accidents with absence / with no absence and number of lost days due to absence from the workplace are reported quarterly by local site managers to the Health and Safety Advisor.

Employee engagement

  • Parameter: Percentage of employees deemed to be engaged with the company
  • Definition: Employee engagement is determined based on employee responses to eight questions in a wider employee survey, where employees are requested to state level of their agreement with a statement. The specific statements/questions are:
  1. I would recommend Experian to my friends and family as a great place to work.
  2. It would take a lot to make me look for another employer.
  3. Experian energises me to go the extra mile.
  4. I am willing to work beyond what is required in my job in order to help Experian succeed.
  5. I believe strongly in the goals and objectives of Experian.
  6. I am proud to be associated with Experian.
  7. I understand how I can help Experian achieve its goals.
  8. at the present time, are you seriously considering leaving Experian?
  • Scope: All employees with at least three months’ service at May 2013 (including contractors paid through an Experian payroll).
  • Units: Percentage of employees giving a favourable response (agree or tend to agree).
  • Method: Measured by a full survey every 18 months. Survey sent to 15,140 employees in May 2013, analysed by a third party, Towers Watson.

Community Investment

We are members of the London Benchmarking Group and follow their guidelines in our community reporting.

Parameter: Funds from Experian plc

  • Definition: Donations made by Experian plc, taking any of the following forms:
  1. Direct donations to regional charity or not-for-profit organisations; or
  2. Monetary transfers to an Experian subsidiary for onward donation to relevant local charity or not-for-profit organisation (includes internal support costs of delivering a charitable project); or
  3. Monetary transfers to an Experian subsidiary to invest in the development of  hero products (a product with social benefits) The funding supports product innovation at any stage of development.
  • Scope: Monetary donations incurred by Experian plc. Donations are recognised from the point of instructing the Finance department to carry out the transaction. Recognised donations include funds transferred to an Experian subsidiary for onward donation but accrued.
  • Units: Reported in US Dollars (all translations to USD are carried out at the Group’s defined average exchange rate for the reporting period.

Parameter: Financial donations and investments from Experian subsidiaries

  • Definition: Monetary donations and investments from an Experian subsidiary towards local community projects/charities and commercial initiatives in the communities as defined by the subsidiary’s regional giving policy. Recognised donations and investments include: 
  • matched-funding (monies donated to a not-for-profit organisation/charity by an Experian subsidiary to match funds raised by an employee);
  • funds to support education (scholarships) for young people identified through local programmes as especially needy;
  • donations supporting education initiatives e.g. sponsorship of financial literacy events;
  • value of commercial initiatives in the community, specifically the costs incurred that lead to benefit for the community.
  • Scope: Monetary donations incurred by Experian subsidiaries (donations are recognised once the transaction has been executed/payment made); and
  • Cost of commercial initiatives in the community.
  • Method: For commercial initiatives in the community, where it is not possible to clearly distinguish costs between those resulting in community benefit or commercial benefit, we subtract any realised revenues from the specific initiatives and recognise 50% of the remaining amount (exclusive of any applicable taxes) as the investment value from Experian benefitting the community.
  • Units: Reported in US Dollars (all translations to USD are carried out at the Group’s defined average exchange rate for the reporting period).

Parameter: Employee time volunteered

  • Definition: Monetary value of employee time spent volunteering on community initiatives during working hours. Includes both manual and skilled volunteering. Community initiatives are defined as activities to benefit not-for-profit organisations, local government programmes and charities

Employee time contd  

  • Scope: Employee volunteering taking place during working hours for the reporting period. Employee volunteering includes time spent on setting up community initiatives.
  • Units: Reported in US Dollars (all translations to USD are carried out at the Group’s defined average exchange rate for the reporting period).
  • Method: The value placed on volunteering  per country is determined centrally from HR and payroll systems. This includes salary, payroll taxes and benefits received. No distinction is made for manual, skilled or senior management level volunteering.

Parameter: Gifts in kind

  • Definition: Monetary value of physical assets, products or services and associated consultancy services donated by Experian subsidiaries for community initiatives. Community initiatives are defined as activities to benefit not-for-profit organisations, local government programmes and charities.
  • Scope: Gifts in kind donations taking place within the reporting period. Recognised donations exclude monetary donations and employee time volunteered, but include use of Experian products and associated consultancy services.
  • Units: Reported in US Dollars (all translations to USD are carried out at the Group’s defined average exchange rate for the reporting period).
  • Method: Valued as the cost to Experian subsidiaries (for example, written down cost of fixed asset and the standard unit cost of a product or service).

Parameter: Management costs

  • Definition: Monetary value of staff time spent managing the Group’s involvement in community initiatives and in developing and coordinating volunteering opportunities for employees. Community initiatives are defined as activities to benefit not-for-profit organisations, local government programmes and charities.
  • Scope: Management costs relate to time spent by employees committed towards managing and developing activities as described above within the reporting period. Excludes employee time volunteered.
  • Units: Reported in US Dollars (all translations to USD are carried out at the Group’s defined average exchange rate for the reporting period).Method: In line with guidance given in London Benchmarking Group (LBG), management time includes salary, benefits, bonuses and other headcount attributable overheads (e.g. travel, telephone, computer). 

Parameter: Employee fundraising

  • Definition: Funds raised and goods donated by Experian employees for local community projects/charities as defined by the subsidiary’s regional giving policy (largely comprised of not-for-profit organisations, local government programmes and local charities).
  • Scope: Funds raised are recognised for the reporting period and include payroll giving. Employee fundraising is identified when employees request match-funding. Also includes amounts raised to support disaster relief appeals.
  • Units: Reported in US Dollars (all translations to USD are carried out at the Group’s defined average exchange rate for the reporting period).
  • Method: Donated items are valued based on standard rates using guidance provided by local agencies eg US food banks advise $1 per pound weight of food, UK charity shops give an average sale value across a number of donated items.

Waste

Parameter: Waste generated, waste recycled and recycled rate.

  • Definition: Waste generated reported as the result of total waste to landfill and total waste recycled. Waste recycled is reported as the total waste recycled including all the different recycling indicators collected in our CR database. Recycling rate is reported as the percentage of total waste recycled from the total waste generated.
  • Scope: 90% of our UK and Ireland portfolio.
  • units: Waste generated and waste recycled are reported in tonnes. Recycled rate is reported as a percentage.
  • method: The waste contractors send monthly figures for mixed recycling, confidential paper shredded it and landfill waste to the Facilities management Contractor who uploads them into the CR database system. Figures are checked and approved by the Environmental Officer who generates an annual report with the totals.

Carbon emissions

Definition

The amount of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions (CO2e) emitted during a financial year (1 April to 31 march) as a result of operational activities undertaken by our group. by this we mean all operations under management control of the group. Where operations are not wholly owned but are controlled by the group we report on 100% of the emissions for that operation. CO2 is the only greenhouse gas that we measure in our carbon footprint.

Frameworks and principles:

We have adopted a methodology that is based on well established frameworks. These include the UK government’s Environmental Reporting guidelines (DEFRA, June 2013) and internationally recognised guidelines such the WRI/WbCSd greenhouse gas Protocol (GHG Protocol). as our approach to carbon measurement becomes more established and the operational scope of reporting expands, we will seek to align our reporting with the guidelines set out in the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard, in accordance with recommended good practice.

Coverage:

We report two main sources of CO2e emissions:

  • Emissions from buildings (namely, electricity, gas, district heating and oil used in offices and other premises).
  • Emissions from transport (namely, business air travel and petrol and diesel used by company owned vehicles).

We apply the following measurement and estimation processes for our carbon footprint:

  • We aim to collate data from at least 75% of the Group as defined by floor space area of our offices and data centres, across the total of all our geographic locations.
  • In order to represent the impact of the whole group, a scaling factor is applied to the measured emissions based on representative data collected from each region and the floor space area. The aim is to account for the impact of the offices from which data was not collated.
  • Data for the final month of the reporting period (march 2014) has been estimated based on prior year actual values for the same month, or a scaling factor where these are not available.
  • We are gradually increasing the amount of data being collated and therefore reported emissions are becoming more robust. This can affect the trends reported between years.
  • data centres are high energy consumers and are not representative of our general office usage. data centres are excluded prior to applying a scaling factor and are subsequently added back. We have also continued this year to apply a scaling factor based on floor space area rather than headcount as per periods prior to April 2010. We have been unable to apply these improved methodologies retrospectively, making it less easy to judge our performance against years prior to April 2010.
  • The floor space area data used in determining the scaling factor is adjusted to exclude the following: land, property owned by Experian but leased to third parties (i.e. not occupied by Experian) and unoccupied sites no longer in use. These are expected to have minimal contribution to Experian’s carbon footprint.
  • Floor space in respect of acquired businesses is included in the scaling calculation from the point that Experian takes financial control of the business. Travel data is included in the year following acquisition of a business.

disposed businesses are included within carbon reporting until the point that Experian relinquishes financial control. No adjustment is made to prior year comparatives in respect of discontinued or disposed operations.

There are a number of sources of emissions that are excluded:

  • Other business travel: Includes travel by employees in their own cars, hire cars, rail journeys and taxi journeys.
  • Refrigerants: A significant volume of refrigerants are used for air conditioning and cooling, particularly within data centre facilities. These are closed systems and emissions of greenhouse gases are considered to be negligible and are not measured. The lifetime impact and carbon credentials of hardware and building systems are considered at point of purchase.
  • Supply chain and outsourced activities: Experian acknowledges that it can influence suppliers to take action to reduce their carbon emissions. We also recognise there are difficulties gathering accurate and reliable data, particularly as our suppliers are generally substantial and provide services to a number  of other companies. Carbon dioxide equivalent emissions from these activities are not currently measured.

baseline:

  • We do not report our carbon footprint against a baseline year, instead favouring an approach that reports year-on-year performance on an absolute (i.e. total emissions) and normalised basis (i.e. as a function of revenue and average full-time employee numbers) to take into account growth and other changes to the business.
  • For significant changes in the Group’s composition, emissions associated with the operation acquired or disposed of are separately identified to enable users of the data to identify trends on a like-for-like basis with historical data. Significant change is defined as one that changes the workforce by +/- 10%.

Emissions calculation methodology:

Our carbon emissions are calculated by multiplying publicity available emission factors by collated energy and travel data. data collated is comprised of power and fuel usage (electricity, natural gas, district heating and fuel oil) for energy in buildings and distance travelled for air and road business travel.

Emission factors are derived from the UK government.  

We report all the emission sources required under the Companies Act 2006 (Strategic Report and Directors’ Reports) Regulations 2013.  These sources fall within our consolidated financial accounts.  We do not have responsibility for any emission sources that are not included in our consolidated statement.  We have used the 'Environmental reporting guidelines: including mandatory greenhouse gas emissions reporting guidance' ., data gathered to fulfil our requirements under the CRC Energy Efficiency scheme, and emission factors from UK Government’s GHG Conversion Factors for Company Reporting 2013.

We have revisited our historic electricity data, removed the old 5 year average conversion factor and replace it with the newly stated 1 year average conversion factor applicable to the reporting year, recalculating their reported emissions total.

 “Our carbon footprint has been restated for all years in order to account for material changes to the conversion factors provided by Defra for company reporting purposes”

Key assumptions in using the DEFRA factors are as follows:

  • grid electricity: We have applied the latest emission factors available at country level as per DEFRA guidance.
  • district heating: We have applied the latest emission factor available for this source as per DEFRA guidelines. This includes an adjustment for assumed energy losses.
  • distance travelled is used to calculate emissions for company owned and leased vehicles, using the ‘average’ factor for vehicles of each fuel type.
  • distance travelled is used to calculate emissions for passenger air travel. Short haul is defined as flights up to 3,700km; long haul as flights over 3,700km, using the ‘average’ factor for class of travel.

While we recognise there is some variation in the emissions associated with different fuel types in different countries, owing to the specific local composition of the fuel, such as the proportion of bio-fuel in vehicle fuel, for the purposes of carbon reporting, a consistent approach using the same factor for each fuel is adopted globally.

Where possible, fuel or energy use is based on purchase invoices or actual mileage data; in other cases it has been necessary to obtain estimations.

Prior year adjustments and restatements for changes in conversion factors:

Where information is available, prior year figures have been restated to comply with the current year reporting policy.

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