Managing our social impact
By behaving ethically and responsibly in every aspect of our business, right across our value chain, we seek to build and maintain the trust of our stakeholders. This means holding ourselves accountable for the direct and indirect impact of our actions on the human rights, wellbeing and resilience of our partners, customers and suppliers.
We developed our first social procurement plan in 2021. The ultimate goal of the plan is to encourage a shift towards a selection of suppliers, products and services based on not only the current criteria, but also on their social and environmental impact. This will mean that more of Xero’s procurement spend is directed to organisations, initiatives and projects that have a positive impact on the community and the environment. We have refreshed our supplier selection criteria to increase the visibility of businesses owned by people or groups who might traditionally be disadvantaged.
Our aim is to work with recognised programs and certifications in the countries where we operate to increase our procurement spend with businesses that are majority owned or managed by people from the following groups:
- Indigenous / First Nations people
- people living with disability, LGBTIQA+ people
- refugees and asylum seekers
- social enterprises
Supplier code of conduct
We’ve integrated our supplier code of conduct and risk-based approach into our ongoing supplier due diligence processes. Our procurement team has completed ethical procurement certification provided by the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) so that they can better recognise situations where we need to safeguard against unethical behaviours and consider modern slavery risks in our supply chain. We aim to have a positive impact through our influence on our supply chain and by working with socially conscious vendors that fulfil our business needs.
Modern slavery and human trafficking
We are committed to preventing slavery and human trafficking in our operations and supply chains. We remain vigilant about understanding our key modern slavery risks; have policies and processes in place to help us address these risks; and we regularly assess the effectiveness of our actions. Given the visibility we have over our operations, we consider our modern slavery and human trafficking risk to be relatively low.
Since March 2022, all Xero employees have been required to undertake mandatory training about modern slavery awareness, to help them recognise the signs of modern slavery and know how to report issues if they have any concerns about any part of our supply chain or operations.
Volunteering in the community
Xero’s employee volunteer program, Community Connect, supports for-purpose organisations around the world by giving Xero employees one paid day off each year to make a difference in the communities in which they live and work.
Employees can volunteer time in their communities knowing they have Xero’s full support.
In FY22, our people contributed almost over 2,500 volunteer hours, while in FY21, they contributed almost 3000 hours. Note that these figures were impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.
Since launching Community Connect in 2019, our people have contributed over 12,000 volunteer hours to their communities.
Read more in the Xero blog
- International Volunteer Day: A guide to volunteering amidst a pandemic
- International Volunteer Day: Collectively, we can make a difference for charities around the world
- International Volunteer Day: Supporting our communities and non-profits
- International Volunteer Day: Rallying together to make a difference
- Community Connect: Making a difference in our communities one day at a time
Supporting under-represented groups
We believe in supporting the communities in which we operate by working with for-purpose organisations to provide employment opportunities.
Our internal design teams contributed their time and skill to refresh the branding and iconography used by Indigenous Australian organisation Indigitek, of which we’re also a Silver Partner Sponsor.
Our senior leaders have First Nations cultural awareness and inclusion education available to them in each major region.
Through our tech outreach and engage programme, we look to increase a diverse pipeline of talent into tech, as well as supporting and encouraging a thriving tech and entrepreneurial community. We do this by showcasing what it really looks like to work in tech, providing role models, developing our own people, and encouraging tech for good.
Some of the groups and initiatives we’ve worked alongside include organisations such as Take2 who teach people in prison to code, enabling meaningful employment opportunities. We’ve provided mentors and worked with initiatives like P Tech to help students develop skills and competencies that will translate directly to careers in tech. We’ve also supported initiatives like Storyo’s 30 Women And Gender Diverse Folk Tell Us How They Got Into Tech!, Shadowtech, and The Creator Project, a kickstarter from Nanogirl Labs to encourage more girls into tech.
We continue our community outreach and engagement program aimed at increasing racial, gender and ethnic diversity among today’s students. Our initiatives have included creating an online coding adventure for young people, co-creating the Trailblazing Women in Tech quiz for girls aged 9 to 13 with the SheSharp (She#) team, and supporting a number of our people to participate as mentors in the GirlBoss Edge: engineering and technology online career accelerator for high school-age young women.
Donations and disaster support
We’ve donated to community groups and for-purpose organisations across our countries of operation for causes including front-line Covid-19 support, racial justice, wellbeing, natural disaster relief and more.
In 2020, Xero donated AU$100,000 to support the Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund to support those impacted by the Australian bushfires.
Almost NZ$200,000 was donated through the 2020-21 Xero Community Appeal, to support charities helping the most vulnerable and marginalised people in the countries Xero is based.
In 2021, Xero donated a further NZ$120,000 to our Xero Community Appeal partners as continued support in their responses to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Since March 2022, together with our employees, Xero has contributed more than NZ$75,000 to UNICEF and Medecins Sans Frontieres to support the humanitarian response in Ukraine.
In 2022 Xero also donated to the Red Cross in Australia, and Americares in the United States as part of our ongoing support in the face of natural disasters such as bushfires and hurricanes.
Read more in the Xero blog
Xero for non-profits
Xero currently offers a 25% discount on our standard subscriptions for non-profit organisations globally, providing hundreds of thousands of dollars in discounts annually.
Xero provides more than a million dollars in discounts annually to non-profit organisations and community groups through our non-profit discount program.
Sponsorship and funding
Xero has a sponsorship programme in each major region, providing funding to organisations, events and charities that align with our company values and expertise.
For example, in both 2020 and 2021 we awarded scholarships to three New Zealand small business owners or managers to participate in the Owner Manager Program run by The Icehouse, valued at $10,000 each. Throughout this five-month program, recipients developed the capability to drive momentum and achieve better results for themselves and their business.
Interested in applying for sponsorship funding? Head to our sponsorship page for guidance and a proposal form.
Support for businesses and their advisors
We’re committed to supporting the wellbeing of small business owners, advocating for small business needs with policymakers, and enabling more sustainable business.
Mental health and wellbeing support
Xero offers a range of free wellbeing education courses in Xero Central. In New Zealand the Xero Assistance Program (XAP) provides free and confidential wellbeing support through Xero’s own provider, Benestar. In Australia our partnership with BeyondBlue means our employees, customers, and partners can access a range of content and the support they need.
In 2020, we partnered with Shift Collab, a leader in mental health education, to deliver a series of mental health workshops to our employees across the United States and Canada. We later expanded this to include separate sessions for accounting and bookkeeping partners and their small business clients.
In 2021, we sponsored the Impact Award for Wellbeing at New Zealand’s largest social innovation summit, Festival for the Future. The winner was Xero small business customer, Dignity NZ, a women’s wellness initiative with a mission to champion period equity in Aotearoa.
We supported community initiatives to give small businesses a boost throughout the difficult pandemic period. In 2021, we partnered with a range of New Zealand businesses to create Small Business Day in New Zealand, to encourage Kiwis to spend the day ‘shopping small’, as well as giving away cash prizes and free Xero subscriptions.
Read more in the Xero blog
Small business wellbeing
The Next Level
In 2021, Xero commissioned a study from the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER). The study reveals the financial benefits of investing in wellbeing for small businesses. This research was used to produce The Next Level, which offers tips for small businesses to get started with wellbeing, as well as digital tools to become more productive and more profitable.
In a world-first study, we applied behavioral science to identify the key behavioral barriers that might hinder small businesses in choosing to adopt new technology. In this report, you’ll read our findings, including insights specific to each country we surveyed, as well as recommendations that can help small businesses take one step in their tech journey.
Xero Small Business Insights
We’re dedicated to improving the lives of small business owners around the world. The Xero Small Business Insights (XSBI) programme is a snapshot of the sector's health in each of our three biggest regions – Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. The programme releases monthly data, as well as reports and multimedia about the small business economy.
The Small Business Index, part of Xero Small Business Insights, provides a regular, easy to understand reading on the overall state of small businesses in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. We provide key figures which show improvements or declines in the performance of small businesses relative to the previous month. The Xero Small Business Index also looks at mindsets of small business owners as seen, for example, in the ‘Good Days, Bad Days’ campaign. Watch the video here
Xero Small Business Insights metrics are based on aggregated, anonymised data drawn from hundreds of thousands of Xero subscribers. The program shines a light on the small business sector, enabling decision-makers to better understand how small businesses are performing.
Protecting customer data
Xero is committed to protecting the security and privacy of customer data. We use multiple layers of security, provide security assurance reports, and comply with relevant industry standards. For details, see our:
- security web page for assurance reports and more information about data protection
- privacy notice, which outlines in plain English how personal data is used and protected by Xero.
- security noticeboard, where Xero posts alerts on known and potential fraud, phishing and other scams.
68% of small businesses surveyed by Xero in 2021 want to operate more sustainably but many don’t know where to begin. We’ve produced and collated some sustainability resources to help get them started.
Focusing on sustainability doesn't only benefit our planet, it can also be great for your business’ bottom line. From the basics of carbon measurement, to the unique role accountants and bookkeepers can play in supporting the small business sustainability journey, there’s something on this page for everyone.
- Xero: Build a sustainable business
- How to make small business environmentally sustainable
- The steps to creating sustainably minded business
- Small business guides: a comprehensive series of guides with advice and information on running a successful business
- Non-profit accounting: The basics
- Xero for not-for-profits: A complete accounting solution
For accountants and bookkeepers
Xero publishes free guides, reports, books and playbooks which bring together a wealth of knowledge and ideas for running an accounting or bookkeeping business.
Rewired, our community co-working space in Xero’s Auckland office, offers a reasonably priced shared workspace where new tech businesses and individuals can develop, collaborate and scale together.
Xero's Annual Report 2022 outlines our performance for the year to 31 March 2022 and also includes details of our work in the area of social and environmental impact, and our latest gender diversity figures.