We are committed to operating in an ethical and responsible manner at all times and upholding the highest levels of corporate responsibility including in the key areas of Environmental, Social and Governance (‘ESG’).
Within the following pages, incorporating the newly required Section 172 Statement on page 44 of the 2019 Annual Report, we have detailed how we have addressed and are continuing to address ESG issues and engaged with, considered and sought to positively impact all our stakeholders during the year and on an ongoing basis.
We are committed to building on our activities and practices in all areas of corporate responsibility and continually improving our performance in operating and discharging our duties responsibly, with some examples of activities undertaken in 2019 summarised below.
In recognition of our activities and practices to date, we continue to be a constituent of the FTSE4Good Index which identifies companies demonstrating strong ESG practices as measured against globally recognised standards.
It is our fundamental belief that strong ESG practices and acting responsibly is central to ensuring a long-term sustainable business and one which positively impacts all stakeholders whilst creating shareholder value, and we shall focus increasing resources to support our activities and aims in this area.
An independent Health and Safety audit commissioned, with the resulting recommendations being actioned to strengthen the provision of a safe working environment which positively impacts not only our workforce but also the communities in which we operate.
Voluntary early compliance with the UK government’s new Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (‘SECR’) scheme introduced to encourage organisations to become more energy efficient, and engagement with an external energy data collation and verification company to assist in identifying additional energy saving opportunities.
Enhanced risk assurance activities and introduction of Environmental as an additional Principal Risk in recognition of the critical issue of Climate Change, and to generate a greater focus on our actions in mitigating our direct environmental impact and working as part of the overall floorcoverings industry in reducing its environmental footprint.
Development of a positive workplace culture through new Values and Behaviours workshops, launch and roll-out of apprenticeship schemes to develop skills and aid succession across the business, and establishment of an Employee Forum for employee feedback to be considered directly by the Board.
Greater focus on ensuring the long-term sustainability of the business through the acceleration of the operational improvement programme designed to improve operating and financial performance, the customer service proposition, as well as reducing environmental impact through more effective delivery fleet utilisation.