Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate Social Responsibility

We believe in enacting positive change to the communities around us and opening the doors to a brighter future. Have a read about our business ethics, commitment to the environment, support for equal justice and more.

Ethics:

We began building robots over two decades ago, and it all started as a bunch of unpaid hobbyists coming together to work on our passion (see our story). We didn’t think it would become a business, and when it did, we instinctively knew what type of business we wanted it to be – an ethical one.

We have a strict “robots for good” policy. Sometimes, this involves us saying “no thank you” so that we can take a more positive stand. We screen each sale to ensure our tech is used responsibly. Each proposal has the eyes of our Directors, and if we don’t like the idea, we won’t do it. Also, we don’t, and never will sell our robots for military use.

Before working with us, or for us, we highly recommend a read around the steps we take in maintaining our ethical stance. If you have an ethical cause related to the robotics industry that you’d like our assistance with (e.g. circulating a petition, letter of support etc.), please get in touch.

 

Robots and Jobs:

We’re working towards robotics for a safer world by allowing robots to enter extreme environments where it would be too risky for a human to go. This includes jobs that are too dull, dirty, difficult, dexterous, dangerous, and/or dear. We aim to help businesses become more productive and allow workers to carry out more specialised tasks.

We do believe that rather than feeding into media influence around the fear of robots, we need to be open and pragmatic with much-needed discussions around the role of responsible employers.  This involves transparency around ethical guidelines and employee job protection when employers introduce such technology into their businesses. We’re happy to work with policymakers or employers who would like help defining a framework.  

 

Sustainability – Carbon Offsetting:

Ever since we found ourselves a “proper” office after making robots from our Founder’s attic, we’ve turned our attention towards reducing our carbon footprint and protecting our wildlife. Key steps include moving to Ecotricity – the world’s first Green Electricity company (where the energy generates from renewable sources) and partnering with three C02 offsetting charities (Woodland Trust, Trees for Cities and Carbon Footprint Ltd).

Have a read of the full details around how we’re helping towards a greener future but please note, we’re still new to this. The climate crisis is huge, complex and can be overwhelming, so we’re finding the balance between recognising progress and pressing on.

If you’re a company that can work with SME’s to help control carbon emissions and mitigate climate change, feel free to get in touch with us.

 

Gender Balance – Women in Stem:

Reportedly, only 17 per cent of UK tech workers are female, and that is a major discredit to the industry. We firmly believe progression in STEM starts from an early age and we encourage our staff, particularly our female employees, to go out to schools to talk about robotics, coding, engineering along with their experiences of breaking into the industry and their successes. We find this helps inspire young girls to see STEM-related careers as viable and rewarding options.

We’re active members of the WISE campaign and are looking into more ways where we can help close the gender gap in STEM-related careers.

“We don’t like the disparity of gender in engineering. At Shadow Robot, we are proud to work with such a wealth of inspirational colleagues and partners – which includes a list of brilliant women within the Shadow team and throughout the world of robotics. Neither our company nor our industry’s success could exist without them.”
Rich Walker
Managing Director at Shadow Robot

Supporting Academic Growth:

The following generations will benefit the most from robotic technologies as the tech will become more prominent in our everyday lives. It’s one of the many reasons why we feel a social responsibility around inspiring and driving the next generations of students and contributing to key robotic research in academia. Some of the ways we do this is through:

We also try our best to accommodate the following on a case by case basis:

  • Guest speaking at universities
  • Visiting schools
  • Hosting student visits
  • Work shadowing
  • Sponsoring a student

We recommend you read our supporting academic growth in robotics page for more information on each of the points above.

 

COVID-19:

Like most tech companies, we weren’t market-ready to tackle the demands of COVID-19, but it did highlight to us, and the tech industry all across the world, just how important and life-saving technology likes ours, and many others, can be.

For example, our automation and teleoperation technology would safeguard public health agencies and frontline health workers by automating repetitive and time-consuming tasks in the lab, as well as  allowing critical workers to perform tasks at a distance, without having to be in the lab or needing PPE. There are other ways we can help too, which you’ll find in this personal coronavirus statement issued by our MD, Rich Walker, during the outbreak.

euRobotics and the European Commission have been in intensive contact to see what can be done in robotics to help overcome a pandemic such as COVID19. The two organisations have reached out to tech companies all over Europe to create a hub of possible solutions, and we’ve submitted our proposal into them. As a company, we are continuing our efforts to progress our technology further and help protect us during future crises.  

 

Diversity, Inclusion, and Equal Opportunities:

We hope one day we wouldn’t need to add this to our website because it would just be the norm all around. Until then, we’d like to state that we have a policy where we ensure that no one feels left out or indifferent because of their age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, or other factors such as social background. This is not only for recruitment (and you can find out more about this on our join our team page) but for anyone we work with including our suppliers, clients, and partners.

If you have any questions regarding any of the above, please contact us.