Merkur UK’s Sustainability Report, published this week, has detailed the work that the brand is undertaking in the communities that it serves and demonstrates how successful commercial organisations can also be good corporate citizens.
Merkur UK continues to drive standards in the domestic low stake, low prize gambling entertainment sector with the publication of its first Sustainability Report which has been produced by the not-for-profit organisation, ESG Gaming. The document details the undertakings made by the company at national and community levels and features commentary and insight from thoughtleaders including John White, CEO bacta; Sasha Stark, Senior Researcher, Responsible Gambling Council; Ian Shanahan, Director Business Development, YGAM; Mike Kenwood, Business Development, GamCare and Pieter Remmers, Chair of G4.
Lee Willows, Exec Chair at ESG Gaming said: “Sustainability Reports are purposeful documents that can speak to a wide variety of stakeholders including customers, regulators, employees and shareholders. At a basic level, they provide a succinct, transparent, and credible account of how a business uses its profit for the greater good. There is a growing body of evidence which indicates that sustainability initiatives can help to create profits and bolster future business opportunities. It is these opportunities which provide a unique moment for the gambling sector to be a catalyst for growing back our economy, post pandemic.
“The uniqueness of Merkur Group UK is its presence on the High Street and how venues are very much part of their local community. The company continues to demonstrate a real commitment to these communities, not only by providing local employment opportunities, but also via support for grass-roots good causes. I have seen first hand that customers welcome this local investment, and the sustainability report provides a transparent account of this. On a broader level, I believe the gambling sector should consider how it communicates its impact locally and in a way that resonates with every-day customers.”
Sascha Blodau, General Manager, Merkur UK, believes the Sustainability Report is an important initiative that not only serves to document activities already undertaken but which also provides a benchmark against which future activities can be measured. He stated: “There are many things to celebrate in our first Sustainability Report. In particular the impact of our industry leading Merkur UK 360 Social Responsibility Programme; our work to help support 41 local charities, the £1.25m that we have raised for good causes and the 2,500 British jobs that we have created.
“On the political front we have hosted over 70 MP virtual and in-person visits to our venues showcasing how our teams engage with customers in their constituency and the impact that we are creating locally to re-energise the High Street. The commercial world has within its power the opportunity to be both profitable and a good corporate citizen. The undertakings that we are making in terms of providing team members with City and Guilds Assured safer gambling training and understanding how our customers manage their gambling via our Customer Experience Groups are an example of that philosophy in action.”
He added: “As the UK emerges out of the pandemic, we want to build upon our achievements and play our part in providing strategic direction to the sector whilst continuing to provide our customers with a safe and an enjoyable gambling entertainment experience.”