Social Impact Pledge

Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)

SEPA logo


Social Impact Pledge logo

SEPA pledges to:

Challenge ourselves to increase the positive impact we make on our local community and make better use of our assets – our buildings/grounds and our people.

In the next six months we will do at least three things that we don’t do at the moment to improve our social impact.                                                                                                        

Signed,  Signature of CEOTerry A'Hearn CEO, September 2016.                                                                                                                                                                     

1st Commitment

Engagement with schools to inspire pupils to excel

We will aim to inspire young pupils through three pledges under one commitment:

  1. Introduce a programme of targeted mentoring of up to 20 disadvantaged pupils per year in socially deprived areas to help them achieve their real potential. This mentoring will be a combination of face to face meetings and remote communication and will include a visit to a SEPA office. Pupils will be selected through close cooperation with local authority educational officers and target schools. 
  2. Develop ‘Foundation Apprenticeships’ to help aspiring pupils from schools in an area of high social deprivation, linked to Scottish Government priority areas and thus help them unlock the first steps towards their future. Target area for the first year is North Lanarkshire. We will work with five schools to hold a competition with the prize of a ‘foundation apprenticeship with SEPA’ for one pupil from each school. The apprenticeships will consist of focused mentoring over one year, culminating in a 4 to 6 week in-house work experience suited to the needs of the apprentice. The apprenticeships will be in Science, IT and office management.
  3. Develop and roll out a ‘water lab in a box’ that enables schools in rural areas and
    areas of high social deprivation, that do not have the facilities or equipment, to carry out great environmental experiments. The stand-alone kit will provide all that is needed to carry out the experiments and compare results with other schools and SEPA’s environmental monitoring network. The kits will be supported by appropriate SSERC methods and STEM training.                                                        

Geographical location of impact

  • Areas where there is high social deprivation and rural areas

Contact details

  • Carol Gillespie Human Resources Adviser / Jennifer Russell Head of Human Resources


2nd Commitment

Step change in our new Volunteering Commitment

We will aim to increase uptake of SEPA’s newly-launched Employee Supported Volunteering Scheme, with the specific purpose of proactively promoting engagement with communities local to SEPA’s offices, and actively support the social aspects of our purpose.

We will focus on targeted social enterprises to work with, where their aims align well with our purpose and where we can help them make an impact. We will achieve this through
engagement with Social Investment Scotland and Social Enterprise Scotland, to explore
opportunities where we can add value to social enterprises.

In our engagement we will aim to encourage uptake of environmental outcomes in projects, alongside social and economic outcomes.

Engagement will enable our people to increase their understanding of the social need and
drivers within a community and the social enterprises and charities working to achieve them.          

Geographical location of impact

  • In locations adjacent to our offices across Scotland, linked to our staff’s existing connections and may include targeted communities of interest.

Contact details

  • Paula Charleson, Head of Environmental Strategy / Jennifer Russell Head of Human Resources

3rd Commitment

Supporting development of regulated businesses in rural communities to achieve high social and environmental outcomes

We will promote social responsibility within businesses that we regulate, with an initial focus on rural communities. In our role as Scotland’s principal environmental regulator, we have ambitious plans to work closely and collaboratively with businesses to help them achieve environmental improvement in ways that also deliver social and business success. We call this approach “One Planet Prosperity” and it will be delivered by working directly with businesses and with whole industry sectors. Through this work, SEPA will be well placed to promote positive social outcomes and foster conditions that encourage businesses and communities to communicate and collaborate. We will work closely with Highlands and Islands Enterprise initially to help support businesses to create social and economic benefits in an environmentally sustainable way.       

Geographical location of impact

  • Initial focus on rural communities.

Contact details

  • Andy Rosie, Head of Sector