Heathrow Airport - Stakeholder engagement

BITC supported Heathrow Airport to develop an engagement model during a time of difficulty for the aviation industry.

The challenge

In 2009 aviation became a very sensitive topic. To rebuild trust, Heathrow Airport had to demonstrate sound management of economic, social and environmental impacts and “Deliver an airport which is sustainable”. To do so Heathrow needed an innovative solution to engage with many different companies operating in the airport area. BITC supported Heathrow Airport to develop an engagement model focusing on collaboration and voluntary contribution towards mutual success.

The team from BITC translated significant complexity and a variety of views from a wide range of BAA stakeholders in order to provide clear, concise and accurate reflection and guide business decision making.

- Iain Groark,
Head of Sustainability, Heathrow Airport

What we did

The project had two main phases - the Design phase and the Implementation phase.

In the design stage BITC was asked to:

  1. Articulate the sustainability context, business case and key themes through stakeholder consultation

  2. Share key learnings from other CR collaborations

  3. Provide “straw man” options of a sustainability charter for critique

In order to do this BITC:

  • Engaged internal and external stakeholders through series of interviews to understand key needs and issues

  • Distilled stakeholder feedback to identify key objectives and ambitions for a collaborative model

  • Articulated the sustainability context, business case and key themes for consideration

  • Provided insights from successes and challenges of alternative collaboration models

  • Designed a collaboration model to address identified issues and challenges and drive improvements

Due to a lack of resources to implement the collaboration model, Heathrow Airport benefited from the expertise of BITC Project Manager, seconded for a period of 7 months. The full time manager was responsible for, amongst others, managing the project according to plan and recruiting the Leadership Board, Practitioners Group and other members.

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What we delivered

Business benefits

  • A shared vision and a set of common sustainability objectives for all organisations operating on site

  • A partnership model to incentivise collaboration in achieving joint sustainability goals at Heathrow

  • A framework and programme portfolio to set up targets and demonstrate performance improvements

  • Successful implementation of the partnership model: “Heathrow Sustainability Partnership” was successfully launched led by a Board made up of the Chief Executives of 16 companies operating at Heathrow

  • Improved employee engagement

  • Increased participation from the wider airport community in existing sustainability projects at the airport

  • Transfer of learning and best practice between Partnership members

  • Improved external stakeholder engagement and public recognition (e.g. Ethical Corporation Global Responsible Business Award for Best Sustainability Collaboration)

  • Joined-up thinking to develop innovative solutions

  • Shared responsibility over airport sustainability issues