Stakeholders asked for their thoughts on how SGN runs its business
6 April 2017
Guests divide into discussion groups to help SGN decided on its future priorities.
Gas distribution company SGN is giving its stakeholders the opportunity to have their say about how it runs key parts of its business, by holding a series of seven stakeholder workshops across the south of England and Scotland.
SGN manages the network that distributes natural and green gas to 5.9 million homes and businesses across the south of England and Scotland. As energy suppliers, other network operators, local authorities and highway authorities, housing associations, emergency services and charities all have a vested interest in how it runs its business, the company is asking for their thoughts on how it can further enhance its services to all its stakeholders.
After an update about how SGN has acted on last year’s feedback, guests at each event split into groups for a series of round-table discussions aimed at helping the company prioritise its objectives for the coming year. They are also asked to vote on key areas for discussion, such as keeping the gas flowing safely, and initiatives to support vulnerable customers.
Helen Bray, SGN’s Director of Stakeholder Relations, said: “This is the fourth year we have held the workshops as a means of seeking feedback from our stakeholders. They have always generated lots of pertinent and thought-provoking contributions, which are invaluable in helping shape the way we move forward together.
“A good example of this came out of last year’s workshops; our stakeholders told us we needed to work more closely with trusted partners to support customers effectively during gas outages. In response to this, we held two mock incidents in partnership with local resilience forums to get a better understanding of how we could improve our response. We’ve since been praised for our handling of two actual emergencies and for the support we provided to local communities.
Richard Hayden, Managing Director of Rayden Engineering, attended one of the first workshops this year which was held at Action Stations in Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard. He said: “Our group enjoyed some very open discussions. SGN is seen as a trailblazer for some of the future developments in the gas industry, so it was no surprise that innovation was high on the agenda for the day.
“I was particularly interested to hear about its locking cooker valve service, which can help to make homes safer for the elderly and particularly those with Alzheimer’s and other conditions. I put forward my own suggestions for how that provision could be enhanced, which I’m pleased to say were taken on board.
“It’s great that SGN is prepared to put its ideas out to its stakeholders to gather their feedback. I’ve been to several of these events in the past and the company really does act on the feedback it is given.”