Corporate Responsibility

Corporate Responsibility remains a priority across the key areas of Health and Safety, Community, Employees, Environment and Ethical Standards.

We remain committed to ensuring that our business is conducted in a responsible manner across our key focus areas of: health and safety, environmental management, our people, ethical business practices and how we interact and support our local communities. We aim to deliver continuous improvement across each of these areas, and where possible, embed responsible practices into everyday business activity.

Governance For over four years we have convened regular meetings of our Corporate Responsibility (CR) Committee, chaired by non-executive director Ian Nicholson. These meetings are attended by senior leaders from across the Group, with the aim to review current performance, and challenge the business in meeting future targets and objectives across our focus areas.

Following a CR materiality assessment, we developed a framework to help identify and guide our responsible business practices. The key focus areas of our framework cover:

  • Health and Safety — ensuring the safety and well-being of our staff
  • Environment — managing our environmental impact areas of waste, energy and water
  • Employees — supporting our people to develop and flourish within the business
  • Ethical standards —operating to the highest ethical standards
  • Community — positive interaction with the communities in which we operate

Summary of our key achievements

Performance
vs target
Health and Safety
Achieved target of three or less lost time accidents in the financial year
Environment
Reduced our energy consumption by 13.6% vs FY2011 – Target 15.0%
Exceeded waste diverted from landfill/incineration target of >92%
Exceeded water consumption reduction target of 30% vs FY2011
Employees
Increased the percentage of female employees from 27.4% to 29.5%
Completed an employee satisfaction survey
Established a Sixth Form work experience programme
Exceeded employee training target of 1,000 days per annum
Increased the total number of apprenticeships from six to eight
Community
Continued involvement and sponsorship of Grand East Anglian Run (GEAR)
Selected two Corporate Charities of the Year
Ethical Standards
Completed Group-wide review of our Company values
Integrated the assessment of Ethical, Health, Safety and Environmental standards into our supplier approval process

Stakeholder Engagement We initially focused on engaging with employees to ensure we have internal buy-in to our activities, appropriate governance structures and a shared vision. Generating ideas and innovating on the shop floor have been key to our success and we continue to encourage individuals to take ownership and responsibility of this agenda. Over the past couple of years we have become more outward-facing in our engagement activities, recognising the importance of developing shared solutions with our key partners. This includes engaging with our customers, suppliers and local communities.

Our Performance We continue to see our performance maturing across each of our focus areas. This progress can be attributed to strong leadership, ownership at the business unit level and greater understanding of the business benefits this area can deliver. A summary of performance against each of our focus areas is highlighted below.

Health and Safety

The safety and well-being of our staff and all visitors to our facilities remains a priority for everyone within the business. We continue to focus on all aspects of health and safety, with a special emphasis on those areas with the potential to cause serious harm.

We continue to focus on the prevention of accidents and incidents through the proactive reporting of potential hazards. This has been achieved via our Near Miss system which gives all employees the ability to raise potential hazards before they have the opportunity to cause an injury. We recorded a total of 1,062 near misses in FY2014 (an average of 89 per month). This increase (from an average of 55 per month in FY2013) can be attributed to various changes across the business; more specifically the increase in management interaction and promotion of health and safety within the operational areas. Initiatives including focused safety inspections, with monitored action follow-up, have made a significant difference.

We have completed a major investment in improved machine-guarding at Bespak's Nelson site, and have recruited extra specialist health and safety expertise at Nelson to strengthen and improve health and safety management systems.

Female -workforce -bespak

Photograph:
Manual hand assembly operation within a cleanroom (cleanroom assembly).

Environment

Activity to reduce our environmental impact is focused on environmental management, energy reduction, minimisation of waste and diversion of waste from landfill and water conservation.

Environmental Management (ISO14001)

Bespak was successfully re-certified in March 2013 to the Environmental Management System ISO14001. Our ongoing focus under ISO14001 is to reduce our generation of waste materials, reduce our energy use and the consumption of water, whilst maintaining compliance with the appropriate environmental legislation.

The key area of focus remains improving the robustness of management review and the integration and embedding of the environmental objectives at every level within the organisation.

The following chart illustrates our performance in reducing energy consumption from the FY2011 baseline year.

Energy consumption KWh/£'000

Energy consumption reduction

Energy

Despite seeing business growth our energy consumption per kwh/£000 sale has reduced from 395 in FY2013 to 378 in FY2014. Instead of appointing a full time Energy Manager we engaged the services of consultants, E2 Energy Management Services, through the reporting period. This has resulted in comprehensive expert surveys being undertaken across Bespak which in turn has resulted in a plan and a commitment to invest further capital at both King's Lynn and Nelson with the intent to reduce energy consumption.

Specific activities which are to be targeted include:

  • Compressed air optimisation
  • High voltage optimisation
  • Building Management System (BMS) and Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) optimisation
  • Steam generation optimisation – specifically at our Nelson facility which has contributed adversely to the KPI throughout FY2014

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The table below shows the greenhouse gas emissions from all sources required under the Companies Act 2006 (Strategic Report and Directors' Reports) Regulations 2013, over which we have operational control. Emissions outside of our responsibility including shared office locations have not been included.

Emissions from:Tonnes of CO2e
Scope 1
Combustion of fuel1,851.6
Operation of facilities4,406.6
Scope 2
Import of electricity and other energy sources14,304.5
Total emissions20,562.7
Intensity ratio
Per £'000 sales
Per number of employees
0.21
25.01

The scope and methodology is based on the GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard (revised edition). Data has been sourced from Company records, contractors' reports and supplier invoices. The emissions factors for all sources are taken from DEFRA's GHG Conversion Factors for Company Reporting 2013.

Waste diverted from landfill/incineration %

Waste diverted from landfill/incineration from baseline year FY2011

Waste

We continue to improve the management of our waste, and from our FY2011 baseline have increased the amount we divert from landfill/incineration to 93% of total waste generated, which is ahead of target. This has come about through a focus on waste segregation at source and waste minimisation activities delivered through a number of quality management initiatives.

Activities to reduce our waste include the development of area waste maps which will help to deliver future waste reduction activities. These maps highlight localised hotspots for waste generation and result in localised proposals and plans for waste reduction.

At our Nelson site we have committed to a programme to optimise the use of incoming material used for pressing which will yield significant reductions in total scrap metal generated.

Water

Our water reduction activities are focused on the opportunities at our Nelson site, which accounts for approximately 90% of all water consumed within Bespak. Since initiating a programme of water reduction in FY2012 the Nelson facilities have reduced consumption by more than 50,000 cubic metres, which represents a reduction in the cubic metre per £000 sales of 30.4% vs the FY2011 baseline. Improved performance has come through the introduction of sub-metering, employee awareness, control and ownership of overall water usage. Water management consultants are to be employed to seek further savings and this activity will be reflected in the targets for FY2015.

The following chart illustrates our performance in reducing water consumption from the FY2011 baseline year.

Water Consumption cu. M / £k

Water consumption reduction

Employees

We remain focused on supporting and developing our people through training, communications and two-way engagement channels. Employees shared their views about the Company's progress through our employee survey. There was an 80% participation rate. Survey results were communicated to all employees at a Town Hall meeting and will be used by each function to address areas for improvement.

Training and Development

We continue to recognise the importance of investing in our people and nurturing their talents to the benefit of the business. We want to build the capability of managers to develop their teams, create a values-based culture and enhance their management skills. Bespak managers have been actively involved in the scoping of a Management Development Programme in collaboration with an external partner. Our aim is for all managers to be equipped with the skills, knowledge and behaviours that will enable successful delivery of the business strategy and goals. In this respect, it is expected that some 60 Bespak managers will undertake the management development programme.

The programme consists of 15 half-day workshops to be delivered in-house over a 15 to 18 month period. The programme will include pre-course work, a post-course practical activity and Action Learning with the opportunity to gain an Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) level 3 qualification.

Apprenticeship Scheme

In FY2014 Bespak recruited four additional apprentices onto an apprenticeship training programme. This brought the total number of apprentices at Bespak to seven in addition to one apprentice who completed her training programme during the financial year. In FY2015 our aim is to recruit a further eight apprentices, increasing our total number of apprentices to 15. Our objective is to develop high quality, well trained and motivated individuals with externally recognised qualifications and Bespak specific knowledge, skills and competencies. Bespak currently supports apprenticeship training programmes in the following career pathways: Warehousing and Storage, Customer Service, Information Technology, and in Engineering, Technical Support, Toolmaking, Maintenance and Plastic Injection Moulding.

Lauren Nurse

Current Role:
Engineering Technical Support Apprentice

Apprenticeship Programme

Pathway: Engineering Technical Support

Start Date: Aug 2013

Completion Date: Aug 2017

I am currently six months into my apprenticeship and so far really enjoying all the new experiences. I decided that an apprenticeship was the right route for me to take after completing two years at Sixth Form, where I achieved my A-levels in maths, product design, physics, and art. I love practical hands-on work, but also understanding the theories behind it, and felt that an apprenticeship in engineering with Bespak would suit me well.

As I am currently in my first year of the apprenticeship, I am training off-site with a specialist industrial training provider. This does mean some early mornings as we travel back and forth to Norwich each day, but they are well worth it as the practical skills I am learning will be invaluable in my future career. We are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to train and pick up a huge variety of new skills, starting from the basics in hand fitting all the way to designing and writing the programs to make components in CNC machining. After the off-site training is finished, I will have the opportunity to train in several different areas within Bespak.

I'm looking forward to the chance to gain new experiences, continue learning, and meet new people when I am full time on-site at Bespak.

James Jay

Current Role:
Manufacturing Engineer

Apprenticeship Programme

Pathway: Engineering Technical Support

Start Date: Aug 2004

Completion Date: Aug 2008

I began my apprenticeship with Bespak after attending Springwood High School and its Sixth Form. Having not previously considered an apprenticeship route, I applied after seeing the advert and, after several selection steps, was chosen for one of the two available positions. The first year was challenging: relatively long commute every day, early mornings, not to mention attempting new skills that I hadn't encountered before. However, it was also incredibly rewarding as I made new friends and also won a top award for my efforts. Throughout the remaining three years of the apprenticeship I worked in almost every department within Bespak, ultimately completing my specialisation in Manufacturing Systems.

On completion of my training, I worked as a Manufacturing Engineer for two years. During this time I was also a mentor at Springwood; it was interesting to hear how the approach to apprenticeships had changed since I was there as a student. In January 2010, Bespak advertised an International Secondment that I was fortunate enough to be selected for. This involved moving to Indianapolis, USA, to work on different projects. In October 2012 I returned to Bespak where I have been given the opportunity to develop myself further within our Operations department. I'm focusing on the transfer of products from the development world to operations, and have recently completed a large construction project.

I am incredibly grateful for all of the support that I have been given, and continue to receive, during my career at Bespak.

Human Rights

We are committed to supporting human rights through our compliance with the laws and regulations of the UK and through our internal policies. Our Code of Business ethics and associated policies require respect and equal and fair treatment of all persons we come into contact with.

Employee Diversity

We are committed to actively encouraging a more inclusive and diverse workforce and look for opportunities to embed this where we can. We hire on merit but when recruiting externally it is a mandate that a female candidate must be on every shortlist.

The female representation on the Board and across the Group as at the year-end is shown below:

Board
Male 85.7% Female 14.3%

Executive
Male 80% Female 20%

Management
Male 78.3% Female 21.7%

All Employees
Male 70.5% Female 29.5%

Community

We are committed to supporting the patient population we serve and the communities in which we operate. Both local and national charities are considered important stakeholders for our business and we continue to discuss how we direct our support to make the biggest difference.

Gear logo

Grand East Anglia Run

Bespak continues to offer long-term support for the annual Grand East Anglia Run (GEAR) for the ninth year running. Both direct sponsorship support, and participation of our people in a three month pre-race training programme help build our reputation and brand within the local community, whilst also supporting our own employee well-being programme. Bespak also encourages junior participation including a number of free school places in the Mini Gear Fun Run and offers prizes of educational equipment to primary schools.

"The Bespak Grand East Anglia Run is now one of the largest and most important events in the local calendar. It encourages people to be fit and healthy and brings many visitors to the area too. Bespak has been with us from the very start and their continued support is highly valued by the Borough Council. The benefits that the partnership brings to the West Norfolk community are enormous. Long may it continue!" — Quote from Roger Partridge, Sports Development Manager, Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk

Great -north -run -children

Photograph:
Grand East Anglia Run 2013

Schools, Colleges and Universities

We continue to be active with local schools, colleges and universities through a number of different programmes. These have included:

  • Supporting a local school's careers event by facilitating mock interviews
  • Offering a two week work experience placement for a 17 year old A level student
  • Encouraging junior participation in the Grand East Anglia Run, including a number of free school places in the Mini Gear Fun Run and presenting prizes of educational equipment to three primary schools.

Charitable Support

We have further strengthened our Charity Steering Group and continue to raise the profile of this Group within the business. We now have a dedicated intranet page, created to provide an accessible portal for all employees to view the intent and successes of the Group. Consort Medical's charitable policy aims to promote education and opportunity and encourage the involvement of employees in community and charitable activities and organisations.

Consort Medical has selected two corporate charities for the forthcoming year and will provide help, advice, business skills and financial assistance to both. The two selected charities are Changing Faces and Friends of Chums, with a donation of £15,000 set for each charity next financial year.

Bespak has chosen each (East Anglia's Children's Hospices) to become the charity for FY2015 and will benefit from funding and employee involvement. Additionally, Bespak completed an employee volunteering day with the local charity Mind, which involved helping with a landscaping project, and continues to support a number of other local and regional charities.

Appointed charities:

Consort Medical plc is committed to supporting the patient populations it serves and the communities in which it operates.

Changing Faces is the UK's leading disfigurement charity supporting and representing people with any condition or injury that affects their appearance. Changing Faces is committed to promoting a culture of confidence, positively and acceptance around disfigurement. It campaigns for equal opportunities and challenges misrepresentation and discrimination. Changing Faces provides support, advice and training for professionals in health and social care, education and employment.

Friends of Chums is a Bedfordshire based charity providing support to children and their families affected by traumatic bereavement. It aims to reduce distress and increase functioning in children and young people who have been traumatically bereaved, or who are experiencing complicated or severe reactions to their bereavement by providing assessment, support and intervention.

East Anglia Children's Hospice (each) provide care and support to life threatened children, young people and their families within the East Anglia region. Each's care teams help children and their families with the emotional and physical challenges they face, helping them to make the most of life.

Gear schools

Photograph:
Mini Gear primary school presentation

Ethical Standards

We continue to review and enhance how we operate as a business and in all cases ensure we act in a responsible and ethical manner. We have set appropriate standards and policies to uphold all laws relevant to prevention of bribery and corruption in all jurisdictions in which we operate. The Company has in place policies and procedures covering Anti-Corruption and Bribery; Gifts and Hospitality; Business Ethics and Whistleblowing.

We have finalised a supplier code of ethical standards, which is currently being rolled out with the aim of assuring that our suppliers conform to this code as part of the supply chain strategy approval process. We have now made an assessment of "Ethical, Health, Safety and Environmental" standards a key part of our supplier selection criteria.

Group Values

Values have always been an important part of Consort Medical's business model. Our core values were rolled out Company-wide in 2010 and we have recently completed a Group- wide review of our core values with a view to confirming that they remain relevant to our vision and mission.

The review process itself embodied our belief in engagement and consultation with our people and as a result we have slightly amended our values to better reflect the behaviours and attitudes that we wish to employ internally and reflect externally. Our core Company values are:

  • Integrity
  • Respect
  • Team Work
  • Results Driven
  • Customer Focus

These are the values that our employees want to become the bedrock of the culture within the organisation. As such, the review of our core values has resulted in the articulation of the model behaviours and attitudes that we wish to deploy and those that we aim to discard. Consequently, the roll-out of core values will involve a number of Group-wide workshops and conversations whereby everyone within the Group is engaged in how we may live the values and ensure they permeate every aspect of our business life from those of our interchanges and interactions to our performance management processes and reward structures.

Our Goals for FY2015

Health and Safety
  • No more than three lost time accidents across Bespak
Environment
  • Reduce our energy consumption by 14.5% against the FY2011 baseline
  • Divert 93.5% of our waste from landfill/incineration against the FY2011 baseline
  • Reduce water consumption by 31.5% against the FY2011 baseline
Employees
  • Continue to monitor employee satisfaction through regular surveys
  • Employee training days target of 2,000 days
  • Increase the number of apprentices to 15
  • Roll-out the Management Development Programme
Community
  • Continuation of Sixth Form work experience programme
  • Continue both our involvement and sponsorship of 'GEAR'
  • Continue with the Charity of the Year including a fundraising event in addition to funding local and regional charities
Ethical Standards
  • Launch our supplier code of ethical standards
  • Include Ethical, Health, Safety and Environmental standards within our supplier audits

Longer-term target setting

Over the coming year our business will continue to grow and in some areas introduce new methods and processes. These are all likely to impact our environmental performance and as such we have decided to delay setting longer-term targets for energy, waste and water until the end of FY2015. This will allow time for us to understand the longer-term impacts of our changing business and then set a number of targets which will drive our ongoing performance improvements and set a future vision.