Purpose and ways of working
At SiteMinder, our purpose is to open up every hotel to online commerce. We are a global hotel commerce platform that empowers every hotel to sell, market, manage and grow their business from one place.
Our culture and ways of working guide how we work together to fulfill our purpose and meet our obligations. Our ways of working show what we are proud of, what makes us unique, and what allows us to continue to grow and be successful as a collective team.
Our Ways of Working (WoW) are:
In fulfilling our purpose, we are committed to acting lawfully, ethically, and responsibly, and creating value for all our key stakeholders (shareholders, employees, customers, consumers, and communities).
What ESG means at SiteMinder
ESG issues like climate change, social inequality, and cybercrime are not new but are growing as critical business issues, leading to unprecedented stakeholder awareness and pressure for action to effectively manage ESG risks. There are also opportunities for organisations to use ESG trends to drive positive ESG impacts with customers, enhance business value, and create deeper, more trusted relationships across their ecosystem.
As the world’s leading open hotel commerce platform with customers in over 150 countries and people in over 20 countries, we recognise that our potential ESG impacts, both positive and negative, can be far reaching in areas beyond our operations and outside of our direct control.
At SiteMinder, our purpose, people, customers, partners, and products are core to our creation of social value, as well as business value. By opening every hotel to online commerce through our software platform, we believe we are disrupting the travel and accommodation industry and democratising access to the technology that helps hotels grow and succeed.
Our solutions aim to improve the financial sustainability and resilience of our customers, especially among the small and medium businesses which represent much of our market. How do we do this?
- We enable hotels to have a digital presence and access distribution channels that they may not otherwise have access to in an efficient way
- We provide connectivity so a hotelier’s key systems integrate seamlessly
- We provide access to cloud-based software and secure infrastructure
This statement is neither the beginning nor the end of our ESG journey, but a milestone. We are adopting a formal and public-facing ESG statement to allow us to manage and increase our positive ESG impacts, including creating value for all our key stakeholders (shareholders, employees, customers, consumers, and local communities), while supporting business growth. We have commenced a process to identify target customers and communities where we can amplify our positive ESG impact, and ways we can support them. In addition to our impact across the travel and tourism ecosystem, we are committed to managing our internal operations and activities in a manner which demonstrates industry-leadership in ESG matters.
Our ESG initiatives will be governed by our management team. Our CEO has ultimate responsibility for ESG. The Chief of Strategic Operations will be the executive sponsor responsible for coordinating ESG efforts. There will be representation from across the executive team to embed ESG across the business. We will also encourage the involvement of all employees, working collectively to scale our impact. We expect that as our approach to ESG evolves, our governance structure will also evolve to reflect the business needs and expectations.
This inaugural statement details where we are today, where we aspire to be and how we plan to get there. With transparency and open communication as key tenets of SiteMinder culture, we commit to being open and transparent with our internal and external stakeholders as we continue the journey to amplify our positive impacts.
SiteMinder’s ESG Position
In 2021, we conducted a review to identify and prioritise our most material ESG factors and where we have the greatest opportunity to make a difference. Our approach was informed by the framework below, which considers the direct and indirect impacts of our business.
This process also included peer benchmarking, a review of macro-trends relevant to our business and ecosystem as well as a workshop with the Executive team. Through the process of formalising our approach to ESG, we have come to a shared understanding of where we are making good progress and where the gaps are.
We are committed to engaging with our stakeholders to validate and explore new opportunities and utilising our position in the ecosystem to make a positive impact. We are committed to structuring an ongoing program of work to improve our ESG impacts and report annually on our progress.
The key material ESG factors that we are focusing on in this preliminary ESG statement include:
- Energy and carbon footprint
- Talent attraction and retention
- Diversity & inclusion
- Modern slavery and respect for human rights
- Health and wellbeing
- Response to COVID-19
- Customer engagement and support
- Community investment
- Customer privacy and data security
Energy and carbon footprint
This relates to the consumption of energy (primarily electricity) across our direct operations as well as third-party operated data centres, and employee business travel.
Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing humankind. We recognise that there are both physical and transition risks and opportunities associated with climate change. We also acknowledge the increased scrutiny on businesses to manage their carbon footprints, and to commit to emissions reduction activities.
While we are not an emissions intensive business, we recognise the importance of taking a proactive approach to managing this footprint and doing our part as part of the transition to a low carbon economy.
We are in the process of comprehensively mapping and quantifying our carbon footprint, which has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We intend to make a Net Zero commitment and will confirm the timeframe for achieving Net Zero by March 31st 20221.
Our carbon footprint includes:
Electricity consumption at our offices: In FY21, the indirect (Scope 2) emissions associated with electricity consumption at our Sydney offices were estimated to be 344.22 tCO2-e (386,755.7 kWh electricity consumption). We will switch to fully renewable electricity in our head office by the end of FY22. We also lease shared spaces in Manila, London, and Dallas. Our London space is powered by 100% renewable energy, and we are working on increasing visibility of our electricity consumption in our other shared spaces.
Employee business travel: In FY20, the Scope 3 carbon emissions associated with SiteMinder employees’ business travel were estimated to be 2.8 tCO2-e. This is a significant reduction compared with the 756.9 tCO2-e in FY19 given the impact of COVID-19. Post COVID-19, we expect that travel between our offices, to meet our customers and to participate in travel industry events will return to being a part of how we do business. However, we will complement it with virtual solutions where possible, and track and offset our carbon emissions associated with business travel.
Data centres: SiteMinder uses Amazon Web Services (AWS) to store our cloud data. As the leading cloud provider, AWS is energy efficient – 88% more than on-premises data centres2. AWS is also moving steadily toward achieving Amazon’s company-wide goal of using 100% renewable energy by 20253.
People and Social
Talent attraction and retention
This relates to SiteMinder’s ability to attract and retain top talent in an increasingly competitive market.
This includes providing flexible working options, investing in our employees’ learning and development, and providing a competitive benefits package.
At SiteMinder, we recognise that our ability to attract and retain top talent is core to our success. We have various initiatives in place to support our people and make SiteMinder a great place to work, and this has resulted in strong employee engagement.
True to our brand essence of openness, the Open Working @ SiteMinder operating model is designed to embrace our new ways of living, by helping our people to balance their work and personal commitments. It provides employees with more choice over how and where they do their best work, whilst recognising that the level of collaboration required will differ by role and/or department.
Open Working @ SiteMinder is underpinned by five core principles:
- Sustaining a happy and healthy workforce – the best companies are built by those who enjoy
- Flexibility – we all have important commitments and preferred ways of working
- Organisation – business needs cannot be compromised
- Customer-centricity – opening up every hotel to online commerce remains our common purpose
- Delivery – performance is defined by outcomes rather than time spent at a desk.
Learning and Development
To support the learning and development of our people, SiteMinder offers a range of training programs and mentoring initiatives. We have bespoke programs for our leaders, induction training for all new joiners, a tech bootcamp for our engineering teams and a career pathing program for our customer success teams. We also offer individual leadership coaching to all leaders and high performing employees.
Diversity and inclusion
Diversity and inclusion are key to attracting talent and growing our business.
Diversity and inclusion are part of SiteMinder’s DNA, and we are committed to increasing gender diversity, and support and inclusion for people of colour and people who identify as LGBTQIA+.
As a truly global organisation, it is important to us that our workforce represents the diversity of our customers and the local markets in which we operate.
Our culture is underpinned by our diverse mix of views and backgrounds. We celebrate the diversity of opinions and approaches that our employees bring based on the countries and cultures they live in and their experiences prior to and outside SiteMinder. We have an exceptionally diverse workforce – in terms of ethnicity, spoken language, gender and other forms of diversity.
Diversity encompasses many aspects in addition to gender, and we are proud of having diversity in our workforce across age, geography, and language. Our employees come from a diverse range of backgrounds, with over 15 languages spoken across our workforce. These include Arabic, Bahasa, Cantonese, English, French, German, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Tamil and Thai5.
We foster an environment of inclusion and diversity and are committed to making SiteMinder a place where all employees feel safe and supported to bring their whole selves to work. For example, we support employee-led resource groups for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (“LGBTQIA+”) team members and People of Colour, and partner with external organisations like Pride in Diversity to hold events for all staff to raise awareness of the challenges faced by colleagues of different identities both at work and in society. Our Women@SiteMinder network recognises the importance of working together to acknowledge and address gender issues in our workplace. We also provide training on Cultivating Equality at Work, Inclusive Leadership Practices, Unconscious Bias, and many other diversity related trainings to SiteMinder employees.
Modern slavery and respect for Human Rights
This relates to the way we identify, manage, and provide transparency on our approach to the risks posed by modern slavery and other human rights issues, both across our global operations and supply chain. This includes compliance with the requirements of Australia’s Modern Slavery legislation.
At SiteMinder, we pride ourselves on acting ethically, transparently and with integrity in everything that we do. This includes upholding human rights and contributing to the global effort to end all forms of modern slavery.
SiteMinder takes a zero-tolerance approach to modern slavery, and we are committed to ensuring that modern slavery is not occurring within our business. We strive for transparency consistent with our disclosure obligations under Australian modern slavery legislation and expect the same high standards from all our contractors, suppliers, and partners.
In December 2020, we adopted a Modern Slavery Policy to strengthen existing policies and awareness and make the prevention, detection and reporting of modern slavery everyone’s responsibility. In January 2021, we published our Modern Slavery Statement in accordance with the requirements of the Modern Slavery Act and we will be lodging our second Statement in January 2022.
Health and wellbeing
This relates to maintaining workforce health and safety.
At SiteMinder, our pillars of health and wellbeing include physical, emotional, personal growth, financial and mental wellbeing.
At SiteMinder, we support our people to be fit and healthy, both mentally and physically, and at home as well as at work. We see it as our responsibility to help support and enable our people to be healthy and believe that healthy people are crucial to our business performance and ultimate success.
We have increased our focus on health and wellbeing during the period of the COVID-19 pandemic and remote working. Our health and wellbeing pillars provide the basis and focus for the initiatives and programs we offer. Sociability @ SiteMinder is centred around ensuring that employees remain connected to their team and the wider business through fun and interesting activities and initiatives that support social interaction and good times, whether that be in the office or from home.
We have an Employee Assistance Program across our global operations to support our people and their families with a variety of personal or work-related issues. In Australia, we provide discounted health insurance for our people and their families, and our people are entitled up to 10 days’ paid leave per year in the case of family and domestic violence. We also host a range of events, workshops and other initiatives throughout the year focussed on wellbeing.
Response to COVID-19
This relates to the way in which we support our employees and customers through the uncertainties and disruption associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
SiteMinder recognises that ensuring the wellbeing and resilience of our employees and customers during these times is the right thing to do, and also contributes to resilience for recovery.
The global travel sector has been impacted significantly by COVID-19. Our customers were not immune to the disruption of COVID-19, and we experienced increased customer churn. In response to COVID-19, we quickly mobilised people across the business into critical areas such as customer support. Our response included support for customers who were under financial distress, including modified billing plans, discounts, debt forgiveness and suspended subscriptions. We launched a COVID-19 resource centre, bringing together resources, insights, live webinars, and information to help our community navigate the changing environment.
This relates to getting involved and giving back to the community, which we believe in strongly. We encourage our employees to share their skills, expertise, and resources to make a positive difference in the local communities in which they live and work.
We align our community investment activities with the key environmental and social issues impacting our customers.
Our volunteering policy supports charities, communities, and individuals in need by giving all our permanent employees two volunteering days every year to support a local cause close to their heart. Due to COVID-19, recent uptake of VTO (volunteering time off) has been limited, however in 2019 111 formal VTO days were taken. This time was used on a range of volunteering initiatives, from coastal clean ups, dog rescue services to donating blood and plasma. In addition, teams undertook volunteering as part of their team building activities. We will continue to measure the time invested and impact of these initiatives.
Customer privacy and data security
This relates to ensuring the privacy of our customers’ and their guests’ data as an integral requirement for our business continuity and success.
SiteMinder is committed to implementing processes to uphold the highest standards of data privacy and security.
As a provider of a cloud-based hotel commerce platform, we rely on a number of IT systems, data handling, storage systems and third parties to operate our systems, protect user data and store customer information. Accordingly, we need to ensure that our IT systems and cloud-based platform can operate securely and without interruption. Responsibility for managing IT systems, data security and privacy risks across our organisation sits with our Director of Security, who reports to our Audit and Risk Committee twice annually and monthly to our Executive Focus Group.
SiteMinder is PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) Level 1 Service Provider certified and to maintain compliance we undergo an external cybersecurity audit annually, as well as vulnerability testing every 3 months. In FY22, we intend to work towards becoming ISO 27001 certified, which is the recognised security standard in the travel industry.
We operate a security program designed to address information security and secure our critical IT assets. We continually monitor and improve this.
We are subject to information security and data privacy laws in many of the jurisdictions in which we operate. Customer data is stored with SiteMinder’s cloud service provider, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and is protected with AWS’s security framework as well as other third-party software and services. Access to customer data stored within the SiteMinder platform is regularly audited and monitored.
We have based our internal privacy practices on the EU GDPR, to ensure high standards of data privacy and security across all markets where we operate.
1 This will initially encompass the emissions associated with our direct business operations (Scope 1 & Scope 2 emissions). We will also undertake an exercise to understand and quantify the Scope 3 emissions relevant to our business and value chain.
2 Sourced from Amazon Web Services at https://sustainability.aboutamazon.com/environment/the-cloud, accessed on 10 October 2021.
3 Sourced from Amazon Web Services at https://sustainability.aboutamazon.com/environment/the-cloud, accessed on 10 October 2021.
4 Gender reporting is consistent with the metrics provided to Australia’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) for June 2021. We intend to include non-binary and gender not disclosed for future reporting.
5 SiteMinder does not currently request this information from employees, so for this report we have included what self-reported data is currently available.