Operating responsibly is at the core of everything we do. We integrate safety, health and environmental considerations throughout our business and take pride in being a business that creates value and trust for all our stakeholders.
MANAGING SAFETY, HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL RISK ON OUR SITES
The safety, health and welfare of everyone who comes into contact with our operations is our number one priority. We want our employees and others affected by the work that we do remain healthy and go home safely to their family and friends every day. We have a culture built on individual responsibility, where everyone expects all work to be carried out safely and without harm to people or the environment.
The principles set out in our Corporate Health and Safety Policy are implemented throughout the business. The Board considers SHE performance critical to our effective operations. Executive oversight is delegated to the SHE Committee, which is chaired by our Group Operations Director and attended by the Chief Executive, General Counsel and Company Secretary, Group HR Director and Group Head of SHE.
To complement our own governance structures, we work closely with colleagues from the wider housebuilding industry to support industry initiatives aimed at elevating health and safety standards across all developments.
SHE performance is the first item covered at all Board and divisional board meetings. Our safety, health and environmental management system and processes, externally accredited by Safety Schemes in Procurement, are designed to minimise risk, and cover all our construction operations.
We have standards and procedures to reduce environmental risk and improve waste management across our sites. Our SHE team conduct regular site visits to ensure conformity with our environmental standards.
For more detail on our SHE performance and progress, please see our Annual Integrated Report and ESG Data Handbook.
Our supply chain partners play a pivotal role in supporting our business to effectively manage our strategy and sustainability performance. Our Sustainable Procurement policy sets out our commitment to responsible procurement.
Supply chain collaboration is critical in tackling major environmental and social issues. Our supply chain is responsible for around a third of our carbon footprint and actions they take to decarbonise will be critical to achieving our net zero target. We communicate our sustainability and environmental policy requirements to our supply chain through several communication channels, including direct meetings, email updates, webinars and our Supply Chain Code of Conduct. We developed and issued a questionnaire in 2022 to assess the potential environmental and social risks and opportunities associated with our Group suppliers.
Our Sustainable Timber Policy commits us to procure sustainable certified timber – either FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) or PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) certified. Our last reported timber audit confirmed 100% of our timber procured from suppliers was FSC or PEFC certified. Purchasing FSC and PEFC accredited timber promotes sustainable forest management and helps reduce the risk of illegal deforestation.
HUMAN RIGHTS AND MODERN SLAVERY
We act in an ethical manner and respect human rights in our own business and across our supply chain. We are committed to engaging with our supply chain and other key stakeholders to continue to identify and manage the most salient human rights related issues to our business.
We take a zero-tolerance approach to any form of modern slavery, including forced labour and child labour. Our Supply Chain Code of Conduct sets out our expectations relating to environmental and social matters within our supply chain, which all supply chain partners are contractually required to abide by.
We publish an annual Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement that outlines the steps we are taking to mitigate the risk of slavery in our operations and supply chain. Our modern slavery e-learning module is compulsory on induction for relevant new employees and is renewed annually. Supporting this is an internal escalation procedure and we communicate updates on modern slavery to our employees via our intranet.
We have a whistleblowing helpline managed by a third party that allows our colleagues, subcontractors, suppliers and the local community to report concerns in confidence, including those that relate to human rights. Our whistleblowing policy Speaking Up provides further information.
For more information about how we drive ethical business behaviour, please read more about our corporate values and behaviours.
We aim to deliver positive impacts in the communities in which we operate, however we understand that existing residents may have questions and concerns over new development. We engage with local communities to listen and respond. We are committed to building the right infrastructure and community spaces to reach a positive outcome for all those involved.
DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION
We encourage diversity and promote equality and respect throughout the organisation. This supports our goal to be an inclusive employer, where employees are empowered regardless of their background, identity, age, gender, ethnicity or disability.
We continue to review and develop our policies that support diversity, inclusion and equality within the business to ensure there are no barriers to recruitment, performance and career development. We also continue to celebrate our calendar of initiatives to acknowledge notable dates and religious festivals to raise awareness and respect for all faiths and important causes.
Further to the launch of our Company vision and values in 2020, we announced our new People Vision in 2022, which has been developed through the Diversity and Inclusion Forum (D&I Forum). Our values underpin how we implement our Group strategy, defining who we are and how we do business. Our values set out the principles we expect everyone in the Group to follow. Together, these values strongly inform our culture and outline the type of organisation we aspire to be. We aim to create an inclusive environment where all colleagues are valued, included and empowered to succeed.
We aim to create an atmosphere that provides equal opportunities for all. Selection for employment and promotion is based on merit, following an objective assessment of ability and experience. We are also committed to ensuring that our workplaces are free from discrimination and that everyone is treated fairly and with dignity and respect.
For further information, please see our Annual Integrated Report and Gender Pay Gap Report.