Sustainability at James Fisher

Planet, People, Partnership


James Fisher is a leading provider of specialist products and services to global energy, marine, and defence industries:we build offshore wind farms, rescue naval submarines in distress, transfer essential fuels around the UK’s coasts, install subsea communications cables, decommission subsea oil infrastructure and nuclear reactors, and more. Our rich 175-year heritage is built on the core values of delivering excellence, continual innovation, and commitment to our stakeholders. 

Due to climate change, the energy transition, growing global population, rising social inequality,and other macro-challenges facing the world today, sustainability and profitability are intertwined. We believe thatthe successful companies of the future will bethose that embed sustainability in their culture and DNA. At James Fisher, sustainability means: 

  • Delivering strong, profitable growth  

  • Building on our 175-year history 

  • Having a positive impact on all our stakeholders  

We identify with 5 core stakeholder groups – shareholders, employees, customers and suppliers, the local communities in which we operate, and the environment. Placing them at the core of our sustainability strategy, we previously made a commitment to: 

  • Invest in capabilities and technologies to deliver a responsible energy transition 

  • Harness the potential of our pioneering employees 

  • Be exemplary citizensof our local communities 

  • Become a trusted partner for our customers and suppliers 

  • Drive performance to improve returns for shareholders  

These commitments guided our 2021 materiality assessment, and itsoutcome informed our sustainability strategy. The sustainability strategy is defined across three pillars that translate our ambition into action:  

  • Planet: Protect and restore the environment 

  • People: Improve the lives of our people and those in the communities where we operate 

  • Partnership: Innovate responsibly and deliver consistent results for our customers and shareholders 

Our increased focus on sustainability will position our businesses to succeed in the dynamic, diverse and niche markets we operate in. 




"Sustainability is integral to our plan for delivering profitable growth for our shareholders, and central to how we create value for all of our stakeholders.

Creating a sustainable future for our families, friends and colleagues is important to each and every one of us, and we as individuals and James Fisher as a company need to step up, take responsibility and commit to driving positive change."

Eoghan O'Lionaird, Chief Executive Officer


This report unveils our sustainability strategy, including our stated commitments and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) with which we will measure and track progress in the years to come. Recognising that our commitments and scope of ambition may evolve with changes in the market and regulatory landscape, we will routinelyreviewour KPIs for relevance and consistency, and update when necessary.   




The sustainability strategy brings allour stakeholders into the heart of the company and informs how we actively engage with them. Our strategic objectives are aligned with the interests of our stakeholders and are outlined below



Shareholders: Consistently deliver attractive returns for shareholders 

Deliver long-term growth in underlying earnings per share, dividends and return on capital employed 

Grow strategically and profitably by leveraging existing specialist skill base to serve global markets 

Create incremental value by expanding our offerings and capabilities through investments and bolt-on acquisitions



Employees: Make James Fisher a rewarding place to work 

Ensure the safety and wellbeing of all employees 

Encourage and support innovation and accountability 

Develop individual and organisational excellence by investing in training and competence development 



Customers and suppliersEstablish trust-based relationships and deliver on shared goals 

Develop solutions and offerings that address current and anticipated customer needs 

Ensure customers and suppliers share our values and are committed to operating responsibly  

Exceed customer and supplier expectations for safety and integrity 

Support our customers in achieving their sustainability targets and influence our suppliers to set targets of their own



CommunitiesBe a good citizen and active member of the community 

Encourage our employees to engage and make a difference 

Create local employment and sourcing opportunities within our communities  

Ensure sustainability drives our decision-making process and operations 

Invest and engage in people development, wellbeing, training, and other initiatives to enhance the lives of people in the community 



Environment: Uphold responsible business practices 

Assess and quantify the impact of our operations on the environment  

Develop and implement plans to conduct our operations more responsibly, identifying opportunities to improve  

Advocate for the environment where we operate and engage in preservation / restoration initiatives  


We have defined KPIs for all stakeholder groups and are in the process of deploying these KPIs across the Group. These KPIs form the basis of how we will monitor, measure, and track the impact of our stakeholder engagements. Further details about KPI targets and how we plan to deliver these targets for each stakeholder group are outlined from page in the sustainability report, pages 36 to 51. 




We conducted our first materiality assessment during 2021 to determine areas of greatest importance for our business and our stakeholders. This extensive assessment involved internal and external stakeholder engagement and utilised a leading-edge big data platform to consolidate stakeholder feedback, analyse the data anddevelop the James Fisher materiality matrix.  

The assessmentwas conducted in three phases: 

  1. Issue identification – we created a long list of current and emerging issues relevant to James Fisher from publicly available sources (e.g., industry publications, Sustainable Development Goals, Global Reporting Initiative guidelines and competitor / peer sustainability reports) and internal sources (e.g., risk register, staff survey, customer research).  

  1. Stakeholder validationwe interviewed a range of representative external stakeholders and key management and decision makers from James Fisher and our operating companies to review the long list of issues. 

  1. Issue prioritisation we analysed the stakeholder feedback and used the big data platform to produce the final list of 17 overarching issues and the materiality matrix, ranking and cross-referencing each against importance to external stakeholders as well as importance to James Fisher.  

The materiality matrix has been validated and approved by the Board, with nine issues highlighted as priority areas of focus for James Fisher.  

Prioritised material issues.png



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The three pillars of our sustainability strategyPlanet, People,Partnershipreinforce each other and, together, support our business growth strategy. The ninepriorities from our materiality assessment have beenmapped across these pillars, progressing from foundational to transformational based on maturity and strategic impact. 

Foundational – Focused on fundamental capabilities that establishour credibility and ensure we have a right to operate in our chosen markets  

Transformational – Focused on differentiating capabilities that improve our competitive advantage and reposition James Fisher as a leader in our chosen markets. 

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Launched in 2015, the UN SDGs are a call to action to promote prosperity across all countrieswhilst protecting the planet we share. We have evaluated the impact of our strategy execution and determined that our efforts will contribute to 10 of the 17SDGs. 

We aim to directly engage all stakeholders, internal and external, and increase coordination of activities across the Group to have a net positive impact on the environment, tackle climate change, improve health and wellbeing, responsibly consume materials and energy resources, reduce inequality, contribute to economic growth and champion a low-carbon economy.  

Read the James Fisher and Sons plc Environment policy




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Sustainability Committee  

The James Fisher Sustainability Committee, led by the Chief Executive Officer, reports directly to the Board of Directorsand centres the Group’s sustainability strategy activation across all our operating companies.  


  • Articulate James Fisher Group sustainability strategy and ambition 

  • Recommend sustainability objectives, priorities, and initiatives to the Board, having regard to the interests of our stakeholders 

  • Define and recommend non-financial KPIs and targets to the Board  

  • Communicate sustainability objectives, priorities, and KPIsto Group operating companies and drive strategy execution 

  • Report to the Board on progress of strategy execution and implementation initiatives 


Stakeholder Working Groups  

The sustainability committee is supported by 6stakeholder working groups, each with the mandate to represent and protect the interest of one or moreof our stakeholders.  


  • Translate overarching sustainability objectives and priorities into stakeholder-focused objectives, KPIs and targets 

  • Identify, recruit, and empower sustainability champions within operating companies, to drive roll-out of sustainability communication and initiatives 

  • Support operating companies with planning course of action and delivery ofstakeholder-focused objectives and KPIs  

Sustainability Champions  

Each operating company has a sustainability champion, nominated by the operating company Managing Director. Champions function as core members of one or more stakeholder working groups.   


  • Translate Group sustainability objectives and priorities into company-specific objectives,KPIs and targets 

  • Function as subject matter expert, coach, mentor, and advocate on sustainability-related matters  

  • Drivecommunication, engagement, andexecution of sustainability agenda within each operating company 




The sustainability frameworks we have used and continue to use for reporting are outlined below.  

  • Science Based Targets (SBTi):To support our target setting exercise and emissions reduction commitments in alignment with the 2015 Paris Agreement to limit global warming to wellbelow 2°C (preferably to 1.5°C, compared to pre-industrial levels), we have chosen the SBTi criteria as the standard for James Fisher.

  • The Greenhouse Gas Protocol:The GHG protocol is the guiding reference for our emissions footprint consolidation and validation exercise. Thisallows us to assess the emissions impactof our operations across the entire value chain and identify where to focus reduction activities. The standards have been used in the development our scope 1, 2 and 3 identification, measurement, and reporting methodology 

  • UK Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR):We have calculated and reported our emissionsfootprint and energy consumption inaccordance with the UK SECR regulation. 

  • Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP):The CDP reporting structure promotes visibility and accountability in our management of risks and opportunities around climate change, water security and deforestation.We responded to the CDP disclosure in 2020 and 2021 and are committed to reporting in 2022 and onwards.  

  • Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosure (TCFD): The framework provides a structured approach for effective climate-related disclosures to better inform our stakeholders on risks, opportunities, and business resilience to climate change. We arecommitted to reporting our climate-related risks based on the recommendations of the TCFD. 

  • UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Enables the mapping of our strategy execution impact to reflect our corporate social responsibility efforts.