Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)
At Sumo Group, we are very conscious of our ongoing responsibility to stakeholders and understand the increasing importance that sustainable business practices will play in our ability to grow successfully and maintain profitability over the long term.
During 2020 the Sumo Group Board reviewed the Group’s approach to ESG to reflect feedback from investors and out people, so that priority is given to those areas where the organisation can have the greatest impact.
The Board also approved the ESG targets for 2021 that appear later.
As a people business, the social element of ESG is vitally important to us and we were delighted to receive the Best Companies 3-star accreditation for engagement and to be included in the Best Companies 100 Best Large Companies to Work For list.
Our 2020 Annual Report and Accounts included our first Streamlined Energy and Carbon Report and we are making progress towards the IT Security ISO standard as part of our approach to Governance.
Our priorities include taking care of our employees, being responsible caretakers for the environment and taking initiatives that support our people and contribute to the wider community.
The success of our people is the success of our company
Sumo Group operates in a sector with a high level of competition to recruit and retain the most talented people. We need to ensure that Sumo is an attractive option to join and to remain and that we continually widen the pool of potential recruits.
The success of our people is the success of our company. We have many initiatives in place to support our employees, nurture their talent and provide a healthy, friendly, enriching, creative and safe environment for them to work.
Sumo Group has been included in the 2021 100 Best Large Companies To Work For List. This accolade is based on feedback from an all-employee survey and benchmarks Sumo against peers from both within the video games sector and more widely. It recognises Sumo's commitment to its people and demonstrates that we see workplace engagement as a vital part of our success.
Our targets for 2021 are focused on improving further the working environment, improving diversity within the Group and reaching out to communities that may not ordinarily have access to the sector as a career choice.
We have also established an internal committee to oversee our charitable contributions.
We aim to inspire young people to consider careers in the entertainment industries
Through our outreach and engagement programmes, we aim to inspire young people to consider careers in the entertainment industries, especially those from underrepresented backgrounds.
We launched a school engagement programme in Sheffield in 2019, and in the first year, 360 children took part. The programme gave them the opportunity to experience the video games industry and to pitch their own video game ideas to an expert panel. After encouragement from Sumo to take part, one of the participants subsequently received a BAFTA award for his game design. Approximately 50 girls who had not previously considered a career in the industry said they would do so after taking part.
This programme was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic during 2020, but we intend to continue it as soon as this is possible, potentially on a “virtual” basis.
Being able to support charities is a benefit of our success
We support and donate to various charities that encourage creativity, as well as using our own reach to amplify fantastic initiatives across our industries.
We have a long-standing relationship with Special Effect, a UK charity which helps physically disabled people play video games and works with developers to create specialised game control devices and improving game accessibility.
Some of the additional charities we’ve supported in recent years include the National Videogame Museum, Action for Kids and ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ (UK). We also facilitate charitable donations by our people through payroll giving.
All companies have a duty of care towards the environment
As in all industries, there is increasing interest from stakeholder groups in the environmental impact of businesses. We understand the importance that sustainable business practices will play in our ability to grow successfully and maintain profitability over the long term.
While our activities are largely office-based and don’t involve any energy-intensive processes or generate significant waste, the business is taking actions to reduce its environmental impact.
Our first Streamlined Energy and Carbon Report below gives us a baseline against which to measure improvement and represents achievement of our first target for 2021.
During 2020 we completed three significant studio refurbishments and used this as an opportunity to replace existing lighting with high efficiency LED lighting.
Governing our decision making, accountability, control and behaviour
At Sumo we aim to facilitate effective, entrepreneurial and sensible management of the business, so that we can deliver long-term success of the company.
The structure and memberships of the Sumo Group plc board and the group’s Operating Board can be found in our Annual Report and Accounts, which also contains the Board’s statement on how it has had regard to the requirements of section 172 of the Companies Act 2006 in its process and decision-making.
IT security is vitally important for a business dealing with valuable intellectual property of its own and of its clients and we are targeting the ISO27001 standard as a measure of our systems and processes.