For Sony, an organisation operating at the forefront of technology and innovation, one of Basingstoke’s key strengths is its proximity to three high calibre universities – Reading, Southampton and Surrey – all located within 20 miles. This has enabled Sony to create beneficial collaborations in research and development with these high-ranking academic institutions.
Additionally, through schemes such as summer placements and internships, Sony is able to pinpoint particularly able graduates for recruitment, which is a crucial issue for any business operating in the innovation sector.
For a multinational organisation, the excellent air, road and rail links which facilitate national and international travel are a great asset, as well as the accessibility of London without the substantial overheads.
In line with the forward thinking local business community, Sony aims to lead on green issues. The Basingstoke office, with a staff of around 1,000 people, takes an active part in the company’s global Green Management 2010 programme, a blueprint for environmental improvements in all aspects of Sony’s business. An onsite environment team actively involves employees to ensure that the amount of waste created is constantly being reduced. The scheme has been very successful to date, with around 60% of Sony’s waste now being recycled. All electricity comes from renewable sources, and the company provides a free shuttle bus linking the office with the town centre and railway station to encourage use of public transport, as well as running a cycle to work scheme.
Active participation in the community is also important to Sony, which hosts an education initiative called ‘Media For Schools’ at its Basingstoke offices enabling schoolchildren from the region to come in and learn how to use camcorders and editing software to make video programmes.
Basingstoke offers a good quality of living for Sony’s employees, with house prices slightly lower than the regional average and substantially lower than in the capital. Added to that are the benefits of the easy access to the countryside as well as town based leisure activities, ranging from shopping at the award winning Festival Place to attending a performance at the nationally renowned Anvil concert hall.