All actions have an impact. It’s true in sports (sometimes painfully so), and it’s true for us. Throughout the years, we’ve introduced a number of initiatives that have positively contributed to society and reduced our carbon footprint.

Helping communities

 
In 2020, our support in communities was focused on three areas: mental health and well-being, the needs of colleagues, and employability.

Some of our key initiatives in the UK in 2020
 

The Scottish Football Association ‘Support Within Sport’ initiative

In partnership with ‘Support Within Sport’, we continued to work to increase mental health provision and education within Scottish sport.

A clinical support service is available to all 42 male Scottish Premiership Football League clubs, and 16 Scottish Women’s Premier League teams, coaches, and referees. The service includes an initial assessment by an experienced sports medicine doctor and counselling for individuals experiencing mental-health-related issues. Since the programme’s launch in 2016, over 200 players and coaches have made contact and received help through the service.

The ‘Support Within Sport’ initiative also led to the creation of a bespoke e-learning course in mental health that aims to give coaches the tools to spot and recognise signs of mental health problems, develop skills in listening, and sign-post people to help if required. The course launched in May 2020 and was completed by more than 3,500 coaches.

SFA Mental Health League with William Hill colleagues

Switch the Play

We helped Switch the Play Foundation – the only charity in the UK dedicated to supporting all sportspeople to successfully transition into life outside of sport – through donations towards their Mental Health Support service for sportspeople. The service provides person-centred training, well-being, and transition support, and helps to empower sportspeople to be their best through and beyond sports. A cause we are passionate about!

Haringey Box Cup

From 2013 to 2020, we were the main official supporter of the Haringey Box Cup. It's Europe's largest amateur boxing event and, in 2020 alone, we helped provide an opportunity for 300 male and female boxers from all over Europe to compete in the three-day annual event at Alexandra Palace.

And a fun fact! Former unified world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua competed in the Haringey Box Cup in his amateur career.

Raising Futures

As part of the legacy from our five-year Project Africa commitment, we’ve been supporting Raising Futures–a Kenyan charity developing skills and opportunities for young people to help them become financially independent.

In 2020, our grant helped provide the charity’s Seed of Hope vocational training centres with essential sanitation and health and safety training, to ensure the centres were safe to open and would be better able to manage the impact of Covid-19.

Our initiatives outside the UK

 
Our international hub is based in Malta. With strict restrictions implemented by the Maltese Government on travelling and the entertainment sector in 2020, the Maltese community has been particularly impacted by the huge reduction in tourism.

To help, we supported Foodbank Lifeline Malta, a local NGO supporting local communities in need. Our international division also reallocated the annual budget for social colleague events in support of the NGO.

In the UK, we donated the money we would have spent on social events during 2020 to local food banks in each of our international locations, recognising the difficulties many people would be facing throughout a challenging year.

Thank you for taking the decision to give back locally. With respect to this, I feel it an honour to be part of this company.

Lisa Martin, Marketing Promotions Manager, William Hill International

 
Reducing our carbon footprint

 
Global warming is real. And it’s waiting for no one. We understand the importance and urgency of addressing climate change and are committed to becoming a carbon-neutral business in the coming years.

Our energy impact is relatively low in comparison to what it is in many other sectors. In 2019, 95% of our carbon footprint was related to the electricity we consumed in our beloved betting shops and offices. We therefore switched to 100% Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGO) electricity in the UK, meaning that all our electricity now comes from solar, wind, or hydro sources. Between 2020-2023, we will have saved almost 61,500 tonnes (!) of CO2–the equivalent of taking 38,000 cars off the UK’s roads.

This is one initiative of many that are enabling William Hill to become greener and significantly less carbon-intensive. Additional initiatives, including a full Retail rollout of smart metering across all our shops, that will drive further CO2 reductions are under way.

Renewable - Wond Power

 

In February 2020, the Board approved an updated Environmental Policy and five-year strategy. This includes the targets outlined in this table.

Focus On/Off Track Five-year target (by 2024) Commentary

Waste to landfill

On track

To achieve 30% improvement

56% from 2019

Improvement of 56% from 2019 is above target (but needs to be considered in the context of shop closures in 2020). Target should remain at 30% as tonnage expected to normalise in 2021.

Landfill diversion

On track

To achieve 95% landfill diversion

Tracking at 83%

Current landfill diversion is tracking at 83%, and we are on track to meet five-year target of 95%.

Fleet target to be electric/plug-in hybrid/ electric vehicle

On track

30% of fleet to be electric/plug-in hybrid

Currently 13% metric of PHEV in 2020, on track for five-year target.

Water

On track

Water consumption to be baselined to assess water-saving initiatives

Water consumption baselined at 270,000m3 on 1,414-shop estate. New water supplier and utility consultancy appointed.

Energy

On track

To be a carbon-neutral business
Following the reduction of our CO2 emissions through LED lighting in 2018 and a 30% drop in shop estate in 2019, we will re-baseline and assess targets for further consumption reduction in 2021 onwards. Implementation and rollout of smart metering is required to enable this.

Switching to renewable energy in UK from October 2020 will have a significant impact in 2021.

 

Smart metering rollout commenced in November 2020, with full rollout to be completed in 2021. Thereafter a full monitoring and targeting programme to be adopted to minimise our CO2 emissions.

Video conferencing

On track

Video conferencing technology adoption – increase of 400%
(from 2018)

Adoption in 2020 achieved 442%, hitting the five-year target early. The impact of Covid-19 has led this shift in behaviour.

Key performance measures

Objective

Measures

2020

2019

2018

Comments

Our economic contribution

Taxes and gambling duties

£292m

£397m

£414m

In addition, the Group collects taxes on behalf of governments, making the total tax contribution in 2020 c.£356m.

Supporting sport

Levies, sponsorship and picture payments

£85m

£137m

£126m

Decrease due to shop closures and sports cancelled in 2020.

Reducing our environmental impact

Annual global energy use in kW/h

45,008,806

83,134,419

102,190,352

In 2020, 87% of our carbon emissions related to energy consumption in the UK. The methodology used to collate and calculate these figures is the UK Government’s Environmental Reporting Guidelines, and all SECR obligations have been complied with.

Tonnes of CO2 equivalent (tCO2e)

12,499

23,973

31,853

tCO2e per £1m of net revenue

9.44

15.16

19.68

Supporting colleagues

William Hill Foundation grants

£36,723

£48,203

£24,646

15 grants awarded by the hardship fund in 2020.