Corporate Responsibility

Corporate Responsibility
Oxford Biomedica is committed to its role as a responsible business and we have a range of evolving policies in place to ensure we meet this objective. We focus our corporate responsibility efforts on a number of main areas:

People
We are resolutely focused on the health, safety and the welfare of our employees, their engagement and job satisfaction, and ensuring equality of opportunity and respect for diversity. We are equally focused on the safety of patients in our clinical studies, and of our neighbours in the wider community.

It is group policy to give full and fair consideration to job applications from disabled people, to provide opportunities for their training, career development and promotion, and to continue wherever possible to employ staff who become disabled.

Community
We focus on the wellbeing of the community around our facilities, conducting our business in a responsible manner. We comply with local laws and regulations and control our emissions and waste.

Environment
We monitor and responsibly manage our facilities’ carbon emissions, use of water, electricity and gas as well as waste production and disposal.

Integrity & Ethics
The Group is committed to the highest standards of ethical conduct and integrity in its business activities in the UK and overseas.

Values
Our commitment to corporate responsibility is governed by our Group values which are “Have Integrity”, “Be Inspiring” and “Deliver Innovation”. In practice, this means doing the right thing for our employees, patients and partners and delivering on our commitments. We aim to create an environment which positively challenges, engages and excites us, and we deliver ground-breaking scientific excellence by nurturing our talented people.

People
Safety
The health, safety and welfare of our employees, visitors and contractors is our first priority. The safety of all employees is important, and those working in our bioprocessing, engineering and laboratory facilities face additional risks which we endeavour to manage through maintaining our facilities and equipment to the highest standards and through specific and detailed training. Our Health and Safety Management System covers all work activities, such as working with biological and chemical materials and the operation of laboratory equipment. The Health and Safety Management System is reviewed and updated to ensure continuous improvement, and to adapt to variations in scientific work and reflect changes in legislation. Oxford Biomedica continues to have a first-class safety record. Health and Safety issues are a standing item on the Board’s agenda and the Group is committed to meet both the letter and spirit of all health and safety regulation and best practice.

Diversity
The Board and senior management are fully committed to providing equal opportunities to all employees, irrespective of race, gender, religion, national origin, disability or any other personal characteristics, and we embrace diversity in all forms.

The table below shows the gender split across our organisation as at 31 December 2018:

 

Male

Female

Total

% Male

% Female

Board including non-Executive Directors

 

6

 

1

 

7

 

86%

 

14%

Senior managers

20

11

31

65%

35%

All other employees

178

216

394

45%

55%

Total

204

228

432

47%

53%

 

Remuneration
With the continued growth in employee numbers to 432 at year-end, we continue to invest in strong internal procedures to ensure that we are well placed to attract and retain high quality employees. This includes the development of an independently validated and market aligned remuneration structure, which is being implemented during early 2019. We continue to review the appropriate levels of financial and non-financial remuneration for each level within our structure. In addition to cash-based reward programmes, we have modern share option plans to allow employees to participate in the success of the organisation. We provide medical insurance for all staff, along with a pension facility to enable employees to take a more flexible and personalised approach to saving for their future.

Under new government legislation that came into force in 2017. Oxford Biomedica is required to publish an annual gender pay gap report.  The gender pay gap is the difference between the average earnings of men and women, expressed relative to men’s earnings. The Gender Pay Gap Report 2017 can be downloaded here. The Gender Pay Gap Report 2018 can be downloaded here.

Training
Training is essential for the safety and wellbeing of our employees and others we interact with, as discussed above. In addition, our bioprocessing, laboratory and clinical processes are complex and highly regulated and our training helps us to achieve the outcomes, compliance and productivity we need to succeed as a business.

We provide training to our line managers to ensure that they are well prepared to manage, develop, support and motivate their teams.

Communication
We acknowledge the importance of communication and consultation across our business. Group-wide briefings, R&D seminars and informal all-staff meetings are held to keep employees informed of general business issues and other matters of interest, and to ensure the views of employees can be taken into account in making decisions that are likely to affect their interests. The circulation of press announcements, internal newsletters and access to work-related social media keep employees informed of business and employee activities, and enhance understanding of the financial and economic factors affecting the Group’s performance.

Community
We recognise the value of being a good local citizen in the Oxford community. We endeavour to achieve this by delivering positive benefits for the community, such as creating new high quality jobs, establishing an apprenticeship scheme and by building links with schools and other local educational establishments. We seek to behave as a responsible neighbour, complying with national and local laws and regulations, particularly with regard to emissions and waste, property planning and the traffic impact caused by our employees. We have a well-established Cycle-To-Work scheme and interest-free season ticket loans to help minimise our traffic impact on the local area.

Charitable Giving
In further support of the community we worked with employees to support locally focused charities this year. This included an employee driven gift giving for the Children’s Hospital, John Radcliffe and also financial donations to two local charities. The charities selected were Sobell House (charity registration 1118646) which provides palliative and end of life care in Oxfordshire and SeeSaw (charity registration 1076321) is a local based charity providing grief support for bereaved children.

 Charity

Donation

Sobell House

£1,500

SeeSaw

£1,500

Total

£3,000

 

Environment
Environmental policies & initiatives
We fully recognise our responsibility to protect the environment and we have a strong environmental policy, objectives and guidelines in place which we review and update regularly. The Group complies with all regulations covering the processing and disposal of laboratory waste, and uses qualified licensed contractors for the collection and disposal of chemical waste and decontaminated biological materials. No laboratory waste goes to landfill sites. We make every effort to keep our neighbours in the local community safe from any potential harm caused by our activities by closely managing our emissions and waste.

Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS)
As we are now an organisation of over 250 employees we have engaged with ESOS, in compliance with EU Energy Efficiency Directive (2012/27EU). This has involved an ESOS Phase 2 energy assessment based on 2018 data covering all aspects of our energy usage. The recommendations from the audit will be incorporated into the Environmental section of our responsible Business policy.

Greenhouse gas emissions report
The tables below show our usage in 2018 and 2017 of energy and water at our sites in Oxford, UK. We have also estimated our total CO2 emissions and have indicated our “environmental intensity” on a per employee basis, an important indicator of our activity.

2018

Unit

Usage

Usage per employee

CO2 emission (tonnes)

Electricity

MW hours

4,169

11.4

1,180

Gas

MW hours

3,225

8.8

593

Water supply

Cubic metres

6,330

17.3

2

Other activities (estimated) including waste disposal and travel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

590

Total

 

 

 

2,365

 

2017

Unit

Usage

Usage per employee

CO2 emission (tonnes)

Electricity

MW hours

4,124

14.7

1,450

Gas

MW hours

3,108

11.1

573

Water supply

Cubic metres

4,947

17.6

2

Other activities (estimated) including waste disposal and travel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

447

Total

 

 

 

2,472

 

Energy efficiency
We are committed to energy efficiency and have a number of policies to decrease energy usage where possible. For instance, when existing lighting needs replacing we switch to LED lights which are significantly more energy efficient than traditional lighting systems.

In our Windrush laboratories we have passive infrared light sensors in all areas that have been refurbished to ensure lighting is extinguished in areas that are not currently in use.

Waste Management
We continue to review our waste management systems to manage waste more effectively. This includes:
• recycling all paper and cardboard waste, aluminum cans, glass, plastics and printer toner/cartridges.
• use of different waste streams to increase processing efficiency.

Integrity and Ethics
The Group is committed to the highest standards of ethical conduct and integrity in its business activities in the UK and overseas.

Anti-bribery
Oxford Biomedica’s policy on preventing and prohibiting bribery is in full accordance with the UK Bribery Act 2010 as well as other relevant overseas legislation and all employees receive training in this matter. The Group does not tolerate any form of bribery by, or of, its employees, agents or consultants or any person or body acting on its behalf. Senior management is committed to implementing effective measures to prevent, monitor and eliminate bribery.

Whistleblowing
Oxford Biomedica’s compliance activities include the prevention and detection of misconduct through policy implementation, training and monitoring. As part of this effort, the Group’s employees are encouraged to report suspected cases of misconduct in confidence and without fear of retaliation. Concerns and allegations are thoroughly investigated with disciplinary action taken where necessary, up to and including dismissal and reporting to relevant authorities.

Clinicaltrials
We instill transparency, safety and ethics in all aspects of our business, including the design and conduct of our clinical trials. Our clinical studies are designed with patient safety as a paramount concern and the protocols are agreed with the relevant national regulatory authorities, as well as local ethics committees and institutional review boards at clinical trial sites, before any patients are treated. We also have standard operating procedures in place under a controlled Quality Management System to ensure compliance with appropriate guidelines and legislation.

We are also committed to transparency, and this website (www.oxfordbiomedica.co.uk) provides information on ongoing clinical trials and relevant trials in the EU and EEA are automatically posted on the EU Clinical Trials Register (www.clinicaltrialsregister.eu) and we also disclose our trials on a US government-sponsored website (www.clinicaltrials.gov).

Human rights and anti-slavery
The Group fully respects human rights and we conduct our business in accordance with the letter and spirit of UK Human Rights legislation and the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015.  Oxford BioMedica’s Board of directors has approved a Modern Slavery Transparency Statement in compliance with section 54 of the Act, which can be downloaded here. Our facilities are all located in the UK, where our policies accord with human rights regulations and our supply chain operates in territories with strong commitments to human rights safeguarding.

Animal testing
It is a regulatory requirement that all new therapeutic products must be appropriately tested for safety before they are administered to patients, and there is currently no alternative to using animal models as part of this process. We are committed to following the principles of the three “Rs” in safety testing: replacement, refinement and reduction of animal testing. These principles ensure that animal testing is only employed when necessary and where there are no alternatives. The Group minimises the use of animal models by cross-referring LentiVector platform data packages for regulatory authorities.