Famous for 15 minutes

We care about technology-enhanced human systems. So we thought we would share regular thoughts and opinions about why we think they matter so much.

War on waste - delivering digitisation of safety critical induction

Suez have a vision to live in a society where there is no more waste. They believe that waste is a resource that should be reused, recycled or recovered for their energy content. We admire businesses like Suez. They match our philosophy of daring to care for the often unseen opportunities to make a difference to the world around them, by developing solutions that positively impact the planet we share and the people who occupy it.

This shared values approach has helped us and Suez think beyond their vision as a one-dimensional customer facing strategy, by adopting the same mentality for their new starter induction portal. Where safety is a priority and time is a necessity, building an induction portal that reduces waste on time and waste on process was a huge benefit to every candidate, every line manager and ultimately, every customer.

For new “on the ground” starters, achieving ‘safe to work’ status was often a tedious and heavily  paper based, but necessary, bind. A must-have step that took too long to complete and for Suez, was too difficult to keep a track of. The portal we created enabled every new starter to get up to ‘safe-to-work’ status quickly, whilst helping every manager and the broader business have clear visibility of the progress their new team members were making.

The interface was created using a traffic light system. Red, amber and green – or stop, get ready and go – as a universal and recognisable metaphor for safety. This is easy to comprehend design that can ‘talk’ to people from any background.  And to many people, this might seem obvious. And not exactly ground-breaking. But we believe that technology is only as good as the experience the user has. And when those users come from multiple backgrounds, where English won’t be their first language, having a visual path to follow is an effective way to break down any language barrier.

We also embedded safety videos into the system, which users have to watch and then answer questions on. Again, the traffic light system was incorporated so that every hiring manager could quickly see the progress that each candidate was making.

One of the interesting detours for this system enhancement though has been our ‘en masse’ induction feature. Suez were taking over a franchise from a competitor and needed to rapidly OnBoard and safety  train around 450 employees. This could have potentially been a time-paralysing moment for Suez, but the new facility meant that hundreds of new joiners were made ‘safe at work’ at a group event  quicker than ever. To the business, this is legally fantastic and performance enhancing. But most importantly, to every new Suez employee, they not only feel all the more part of the business, but it shows Suez in the most appropriate light – as the forward thinking beacon for change they are.



We are in times of major business disruption and significant personal worry. We think, build and manage technology that makes lives easier, optimises process and helps people get up and running faster and safer. And when we can work for businesses that are actively driving the green agenda, we really feel that this small business called HARBOUR is capable of enabling massive difference.


Blog post by Alex

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