Environment, Social, and Governance

With over 1 million skilled contractors worldwide, we are truly a global company. At Appen, we feel it is our responsibility to contribute positive solutions to the social challenges faced by our global community. By leveraging our resources, we have and will continue to demonstrate our commitment to social change and progress.

We celebrate our diversity, as do our customers who value this as a core differentiator. Our work from home model provides a source of income to individuals that may otherwise find this difficult, including the disabled.

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Our Commitments

Through responsible practices and policies, our efforts have had far-reaching results. Our ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) priorities are focused on the diversity of our workforce, social responsibility, environmental footprint, corporate governance, and risk management. In all cases, the welfare of people is at the forefront of our mission. To demonstrate our commitment, we have become a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC). In doing so, we support the ten principles of UNGC on human rights, labour, environment, and anti-corruption and adopting them to our business strategies and operations.

Diversity

We are proud of the cultural and ethnic diversity in our workforce, with crowd workers in 130 countries who speak 180 languages and dialects. We have a broadly-based diversity policy.

We celebrate that our employee population is 61% female and 39% male. We are one of few tech organizations founded by a woman and continue to incorporate values of gender equality and representation in our culture and hiring practices. We will focus on inclusion and career development to improve diversity among our workforce. Our Board and CEO are committed to enhancing the gender diversity of our senior leadership team.

Global Social Responsibility

Appen has an active Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program that supports those in need in the countries that we operate. Participation is encouraged, and community projects are publicised and celebrated via our intranet. On several occasions, we raised funds to support employees in need, with a company match to all money raised. We also support research and provide technical and linguistic resources towards community projects.

Our corporate approach to CSR includes partnerships with organizations such as Translators without Borders and the National Council of Disability Affairs in Manila, Philippines. In fact, we received a 2019 Donor Award from Translators Without Borders for our contributions in translation support. We continue to endorse their mission to provide accessible knowledge to people all around the world in the language they understand best. Employees also have a voice and are able to raise awareness around a need by contacting the CSR committee and asking for it to be a focus for employees around the globe. Funds raised are matched by the company.

Wellness

Our Crowd Code of Ethics is confirmation of our long-standing dedication to the well-being of contractors, who are the foundation of our success. Our code stands for key social principles that permeate everything we do, such as inclusivity, fairness, wellness, and privacy.

Risks

Economic risks – the business is exposed to general economic conditions. Specifically, there is a material risk in customer concentration, however, these customers are active with several separate projects across the business.

Environmental risks – there is no current material exposure to environmental risks, however, the Board monitors these risks and notes initiatives to lower the our carbon footprint where possible by using video and phone conferencing to reduce the extent of travel, and has over one million crowd workers that work from home using internet-based tools.

Social sustainability – there is risk associated with the engagement and conditions of crowd and remote workers to the extent that these workers may be incorrectly classified as employees and thus entitled to employee benefits. We have adopted a Modern Slavery policy in the UK and is in the process of codifying a global policy that incorporates our current practice of monitoring crowd and remote worker payment levels.

The Board notes that part of our business is in the area of artificial intelligence and as such, it continues to monitor the social, ethical, and political context in which we operate.

Corporate Governance

We have a number of Board endorsed policies and statements which focus on company culture including corporate governance statement, code of conduct, and diversity policy. We do not tolerate behaviors which are at odds with the Company’s culture and has taken action to address such behaviors, on the rare occasions that it is needed.

Our Corporate Governance Statement sets out how we meet or exceed the requirements of ASX Corporate Governance Council’s Principles and Recommendations.

The Board and the Board Audit and Risk Committee spend time on ESG issues which include employee and crowd pay rates, privacy, community projects, and, generally, the sustainability of the Appen businesses and business model.

We test our culture through employee annual surveys and root cause analysis of incidents or breaches.

Whistleblower Policy

We hope to foster a culture in which people feel comfortable reporting improper conduct. Our Whistleblower, or Speak Up, Policy is in place to ensure we conduct business legally throughout our global operations and jurisdictions. It enables reporting of dishonest, fraudulent, illegal, or otherwise improper behavior by our employees, contractors, partners, former employees, and other relevant stakeholders. Reports can be made anonymously and are completely confidential. We are committed to investigating any disclosures made.

Modern Slavery Policy

We are committed to preventing acts of modern slavery and human trafficking from occurring within its business and supply chain, and impose the same high standards on suppliers, contractors, and other business partners.

Privacy Policy

We take our privacy responsibilities seriously. We take precautions to protect information provided to us and aim to be transparent about what information we collect and how we use it.

Anti-Corruption and Anti-Bribery Policy

We are committed to the highest standards of ethical conduct, including a zero tolerance for bribery and corruption. This policy contains information and guidance intended to prohibit and prevent corruption and bribery from occurring in our activities.

Environment

Climate change poses major risks to our environment, society and economy. We are committed to playing our part by signing up to the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi), to limit global warming by 1.5°C and created a Net Zero Roadmap to provide pathways towards achieving our net zero emissions target across the business by 2030.

Our overall environmental commitments are outlined in our Environmental Position Statement