Jonathan Garrett reflects on Jaguar Land Rover’s time as BITC’s Responsible Business of the Year

July 18, 2014 Helen James

Jonathan Garrett, Director of CSR, Jaguar Land Rover

Jaguar Land Rover has had a particularly busy year as Business in the Community’s 2013 Responsible Business of the Year.  The company wholeheartedly embraced the title and strengthened its role as an advocate, a leader and an inspiration to other companies.

Jonathan Garrett, Jaguar Land Rover’s Director of CSR spoke to us about the impact of the company’s year as Responsible Business of the Year.

Leaving a legacy

When Jaguar Land Rover was named BITC’s Responsible Business of the Year last July, it immediately got managers at the car manufacturer thinking about what the accolade meant and the legacy they wanted to leave.

“The first conversation we had was with Marks & Spencer about their programmes as Responsible Business of the Year 2012. We were involved in Fortune Favours the Brave. The five innovation areas it covers were very much aligned to our thinking around sustainability, all about business opportunity and needing to push the boundaries and be bold.

“Rather than simply create another report, we wanted to concentrate on spreading the message that making sustainability part of your business plan benefits business and society over the long term.  That formed a central strand to what we wanted do to over the year, spreading the responsible business message internally and externally.”

Inspiring CEOs                

One of the ways Jaguar Land Rover has spread that message was by inspiring CEOs to think differently about the practical action they could take to build a more sustainable future for their businesses.  An innovation day for 30 CEOs of BITC member companies at Jaguar Land Rover’s Gaydon test facility during Responsible Business Week did just that.

“We used the Jaguar C-X75 supercar, which has the acceleration of a Bugatti Veyron, the electric range of a Chevrolet Volt and the fuel economy of the Prius. We used that as the backdrop to pushing bold targets."

Business leaders on a visit to Jaguar Land Rover's factory in West Bromwich

"We wanted to inspire them and demonstrate the key role innovation plays in developing more sustainable products and solutions.

“We took them behind the scenes to the design studio, toured our virtual reality suite, explored the Fortune Favours the Brave report and completed the day on the track so they got to experience the product as well.

“I bumped into the sustainability manager for 3M a couple of weeks ago and she was telling me that her boss, the MD there, Paul Keel, still talks about it, is still inspired by it, and that’s what the day was designed to do - to get them to look in a different way at this agenda."

Mike Barry, Director Plan A, Marks and Spencer, commented, “The visit was hugely impressive and one of the best BITC events I’ve ever been on. I knew Jaguar Land Rover was good but didn’t realise its sustainability strategy was so comprehensive from future talent to closed loop manufacturing and sustainable innovation. As we face the 9 billion population challenge in 2050, it’s vital that businesses develop new, innovative business models to help them thrive and I am truly inspired by what I’ve seen today.”

Engaging employees

Jaguar Land Rover also saw that the accolade presented a unique opportunity to engage employees on its Environmental Innovation strategy.

“We created the Environmental Innovation strategy as a voice or conscience. We think about it as sitting on our shoulder asking, what’s the environment innovation angle here?  How can I make this project greener? How can I integrate a society impact [into it]? To get people to think differently.

“We’re going through so much expansion right now and so many projects are going on, it’s an ideal time to think about what each employee can contribute.”

Jaguar Land Rover also seized the opportunity that Responsible Business Week gave them, holding their own internal week to engage employees in Environmental Innovation, including key Global CSR Programme projects.

“We created a number of 15 minute Innovation videos on things like megatrends, education and future talent, product innovation, global expansion and how employees can get involved.  We had film studios set up across our sites and we got people’s perspectives on the challenge and opportunities around Environmental Innovation, so we used it in a way to reignite interest”.


Jaguar Land Rover knows that to be a leader in this space they must innovate, and this year the company announced several such innovations including the continued development of lightweight vehicles and 'closed-loop' aluminium recycling, showcased during a Seeing is Believing visit.

“Aluminium is there to reduce the weight of the vehicle, but aluminium can also be easily recycled, saving 95% of the energy needed to produce it from raw materials. In order to get the full life cycle impact we also use recycled aluminium generated from our press shops. This is in addition to the huge use phase energy savings due to lightweighting and the end-of-life recycling of the aluminium in the vehicle.”

Jaguar Land Rover apprentices in front of the SUV hybridAnother innovation was the world’s first luxury hybrid SUV, the Range Rover Hybrid, which they showcased at BITC’s AGM and Regional Award events (right).

“It did the 16,000 km Mumbai silk trail, Birmingham to Mumbai, through rivers, up mountain passes and it averaged 38 miles per gallon. That was a real technological achievement, which demonstrated that the vehicle is truly capable.”

Jaguar Land Rover focuses on the whole life cycle of their products, from raw material extraction through the supply chain, the manufacturing process, to the use of the product by the customer and its end-of-life recovery and recycling.

A good example of the way the company is pushing the boundaries through Environmental Innovation was it's new state-of-the-art Engine Manufacturing Centre in Wolverhampton.  Already designed to BREEAM sustainability standards for buildings, the company went the extra mile and installed the UK's largest rooftop solar panel array in March (below right). The UK's largest rooftop solar array, on the roof of Jaguar Land Rover's Engine Manufacturing Centre in Wolverhampton

“I think one of the reasons we won the award was our life cycle perspective, which allows us to focus on where we can make the biggest impact.

“The product life cycle is still dominated by the use phase of the vehicle. 70% of the impact occurs  when customers are driving it and it bought us onto our next legacy piece which looks at how can we motivate the customer to improve their driving style. We’re really excited about that.”

Future skills

Jaguar Land Rover knows that developing future talent is essential for it to achieve its global growth plans and inspire the next generation of innovators and technologists.

Over the year, the company has been laying the groundwork for expanding their award-winning traineeship programme, Inspiring Tomorrow's Workforce, across their supply chain, and focused on this during the Seeing is Believing visit it led in Castle Bromwich.

“In Castle Vale, Birmingham, there are three generations of the same family that have never had a job, and at the same time we’re recruiting for our manufacturing centre just two miles away. This made us think, how do we leverage what we’re already doing on education to inspire unemployed young people to pursue a career in engineering?

JLR Trainees on the Hourly Recruitment and Training Programme“Our traineeship programme is leveraging our education centres and working with unemployed young people on maths skills for manufacturing roles, team-working, CV writing and interview preparation in partnership with Birmingham Metropolitan College. The first young people have successfully completed it and 80% now gained employment in the automotive industry including Jaguar Land Rover, or have started further studies at college. The next step is to broaden that through our supply chain.

We asked Jonathan how Jaguar Land Rover engages its suppliers in these kinds of initiatives.

“That was the benefit of the Seeing of the Believing visit, several of our suppliers got to see the opportunities and benefits first hand," he says. "We’ve already got the infrastructure, but we need the placement and employment opportunities that our supply chain can offer to give trainees that experience of the workplace.”

“We want to share how we did it and how other companies can replicate it. So I suppose the ultimate legacy will be more examples of that programme occurring in other industries and other parts of the country.”

The company announced details of an ex-military version of its traineeship programme at BITC’s Responsible Business Awards Gala Dinner. Jonathan explained, “Former service personnel have made a huge contribution to the UK and have valuable skills that could be used within the car industry. We’re developing the ex-military programme to target some of the 6,500 early service leavers who are due to leave the armed forces this year."

Jaguar Land Rover is one of 100 UK businesses signed up to the Armed Forces corporate covenant, which supports the reintegration of the military forces into successful civilian careers as well as a wide range of events linked to the military. Jaguar Land Rover is the presenting partner for the Invictus Games, the international sporting event for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women, championed by Prince Harry and taking place in London during September.


Collaboration has been a key theme throughout Jaguar Land Rover’s time as Responsible Business of the Year, beginning with their initial meeting with the M&S team and continuing with their promotion of the themes in Fortune Favours the Brave. It was a type of collaboration, between award winning companies, that BITC hadn’t seen before.

“The reason we collaborated with M&S was about continuity.  It’s a bit like political parties, you have a new winner every year and the whole thing can change direction, which didn’t seem right,” explained Jonathan. “Let’s have some continuity and build on it.”

“In a way it’s a safe space to collaborate with a non-competitor on a shared agenda. And M&S are brilliant people to work with and we want to continue that going forward, not just this year.

“No one company has the answer. The more companies do it, the more mainstream it gets and the quicker we get to where we want to be.”

What effect has the year had on Jaguar Land Rover?

Jaguar Land Rover staff being interviewed just after receiving the Responsible Business of the Year Award 2013Summing up the effects of being Responsible Business of the Year, Jonathan saw it as a huge source of pride and inspiration.

“There’s a lot of pride in Jaguar Land Rover for what we’ve achieved. I think a lot of people hear about the jobs being created and the record years, but they don’t necessarily hear about the responsible business practises that have gone with it so this has given us a mouthpiece to hopefully challenge people’s perceptions about us and the wider automotive industry.

“Dr. Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover CEO, was incredibly proud that we won the award. He accepted it on behalf of the sector and wider supply chain.  Winning the award has also placed Jaguar Land Rover under the spotlight - encouraging the company to do more, faster.

“It’s definitely raised our game internally. The next phase is to be really truly sustainable for the long term. That’s a big innovation challenge, and our engineers are busy working on our next generation of pioneering technologies and vehicles. The award has inspired them to push the boundaries and accelerate their progress.

The Responsible Business of the Year award has driven us to do more, to share our journey in the hope of inspiring others, and most important of all it has reminded us of the scale of the social and environmental challenges that still lie ahead. Those companies who innovate to find creative solutions to sustainability challenges will be the ones which survive and prosper. I would encourage all business leaders to build sustainability into their business plan so they too can achieve successful and sustainable business growth."

Find out more about Jaguar Land Rover's activity as Responsible Business of the Year 2013




Jonathan Garrett, Director of CSR, Jaguar Land Rover

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