Corporate Responsibility

Managing Corporate Responsibility (CR) remains a priority for the Consort Medical Board across the key areas of environment, employees, ethical standards and our local communities. We manage these areas within our business activities to ensure they remain a business priority in delivering sustainable shareholder value.

Governance Our Corporate Responsibility (CR) Committee continues to meet on a regular basis to review performance and continues to drive improved performance across all areas. The committee is chaired by Ian Nicholson, a non-executive director, and consists of senior leaders across the Group.

The focus of our activity is shaped by the four pillars of our CR framework. These cover:

  • Community — recognising the needs of the communities in which we operate
  • Employees — supporting our people
  • Environment — managing our environmental impact
  • Ethical standards — acting with integrity to achieve the highest ethical standards

Performance management The Group's CR performance is reviewed against a number of key performance indicators (KPIs) for the issues which are outlined in our CR framework. This mechanism has now been in place for a couple of years and helps to guide our efforts and direct resource to the areas in which we can make the biggest difference. Progress against KPIs is noted in the achievements table.

These KPIs currently cover the areas of employee turnover and diversity, health and safety, waste recovery, water consumption and community investment. Our monitoring and reporting against these KPIs continues to improve and our interrogation of these measurements enables a better understanding of our risks and opportunities across our key impact areas.

Stakeholder engagement We recognise that our people are central to delivering our CR vision and objectives and we continue to explore further employee engagement opportunities. We are also exploring opportunities to incorporate CR-related discussions with a number of our key external stakeholders; opening dialogue with our customers, suppliers and local communities to support our efforts in this area.

Our performance We have seen year-on-year performance improvements across our programme of activities, with a summary of performance highlighted below for each of the pillars:

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 businesses. To help deliver this commitment Bespak has established employee-led charity groups, with the aim of maximising opportunities to partner with external organisations.

Grand East Anglia Run

Bespak continues to offer long-term support for the annual Grand East Anglia Run (GEAR), through both direct sponsorship support and encouraging employee participation. This helps to cement Bespak's reputation and brand in the local community, whilst also supporting our health and wellbeing programme by encouraging employees to lead healthier lifestyles. For the first time this year Bespak offered 150 free places on the mini GEAR run, with these places distributed between the ten Norfolk high schools.

Grand East Anglia Run 2013

Schools, Colleges and Universities

Bespak continues to be an active supporter of local schools, colleges and universities, through regular work experience, career events and/or projects. This has included:

  • helping students to prepare for job interviews by completing mock interviews;
  • supporting an engineering careers event, helping students to prepare CVs and apply for positions, all of which increased the chances of getting an interview; and
  • supporting the three main high schools in King's Lynn with science awards. Bespak employees assisted South Wootton Junior School with their science week by facilitating a one day event for pupils; introducing Bespak and a range of healthcare products in a fun environment.

We view all these pupils as potential future employees and it is our intention to continue to support young people in our local communities who wish to pursue a career in engineering by offering careers advice and work experience opportunities.

Charitable Support

During November 2012, a number of Bespak employees raised £1,455 to support men's health charities by growing moustaches for the annual Movember event.

Bespak's Environment, Health and Safety Team launched a local 'Foodbank' appeal (part of the Trussell Trust) which is aimed at helping local families. All employees across the King's Lynn site have been asked to donate non-perishable food products which will then be collected at a local Foodbank depot and distributed to those most needy in the King's Lynn and surrounding areas.

The Charity Committee has approved a request from the RSPB Titchwell Marsh Nature Reserve to fund the purchase of an Automated External Defibrillator for use at this isolated location in Norfolk.

Employees

The business remains focused on investing in the training and development of employees, delivering effective communications and facilitating staff engagement, and providing opportunities for career progression.

Training and Development

Bespak's training team has been working with managers to conduct a Skills Gap Analysis for their teams to define training / development requirements. By defining the skills required for the roles and assessing the current competencies, skills gaps and areas of risk are identified. Good Skills Gap Analysis helps to ensure the training budget is targeted correctly and supports the business in delivering its objectives.

Apprenticeship Scheme

Our aim is to develop high quality, well trained and motivated individuals with externally recognised qualifications and Bespak specific knowledge, skills and competencies. Two specialised apprenticeships commenced at Bespak in January 2013, one in Technical Engineering and the other in Maintenance. The former will be working with the Moulding and Metrology Engineering team supporting the team with Moulding Engineering project activities. The latter will work with the Devices Maintenance Team supporting the team with maintenance activities. Both apprenticeship training programmes will be completed by August 2013. We have been running the scheme for a number of years and are committed to continuing the engineering apprenticeship programmes. Recruitment is currently in progress for four new apprentices to commence in August 2013 to cover the following pathways: technical support; toolmaking; maintenance and plastic injection moulding.

Health and Safety

This past year has seen the continuation of all the proactive approaches to prevent harm to any persons who work at or visit Company sites. With Bespak's diversification programme, we are now shifting into new areas including handling active drugs in some of our products. This brings a complete new education programme at all levels involved in these exciting new opportunities. We have made good progress with a team that is keen to learn and who are adapting quickly to new ways of working.

We are entering a phase where site development will bring in a substantial amount of construction. This year more than ever we have scrutinised the safety credentials of the tendering companies, with Health and Safety playing a more prominent part of the selection decision.

Across the business we are fortunate to have had a good safety record. There is a determination in the Company to keep our focus on Health & Safety and ensure we do all we can to prevent harm to our employees, and the people who enter our sites. Health & Safety remains a key priority in the business and is the first reported item at both the Company and divisional Board meetings.

Environment

The Group continues to prioritise the management of environmental performance specifically in the areas of energy, waste management, and water efficiency.

Environmental Management

Bespak was accredited to ISO14001 in March 2010 for environmental compliance and was successfully re-accredited in February 2013. During the first certification period the business has embedded the principles of environmental management within the organisation. In the next phase Bespak will need to further demonstrate its commitment to preventing environmental pollution.

The focus of ISO14001 is to ensure that the business has the systems and processes in place to ensure 100% compliance to applicable environmental legislation. Going forward our drivers are to manage waste, reduce energy consumption, together with the consumption of natural resources e.g. water, and maintain compliance to legislation. These not only reduce our environmental impact they make good business sense. In order to achieve these objectives engagement with our employees, through education and involvement is key to success.

Waste

Bespak continues to work to reduce its waste generation with less than 10% of waste being sent to landfill. This has been driven by a focus on waste minimisation and segregation at source, supported by a number of quality initiatives.

A current example of a segregation at source initiative which has significant business benefits is the waste disposal cost reduction project. Over the last 12 months Bespak has sent more than 280 tonnes of general waste to a waste management company with approximately 80% of this general waste recycled. Segregation at source by Bespak provides a significant opportunity, not only in terms of reducing costs of disposal but in realising the benefits of recycling. The net benefit to Bespak is estimated at more than £50k per annum. Segregation can also positively influence behaviour which is essential in the quest to reduce waste at source.

A good example of a waste reduction initiative emerged from the world class manufacturing pre-pilot initiative in a localised area of our valve manufacturing. Work undertaken identified that by changing the vessel used to hold silicone emulsion, the quantity consumed and consequently disposed of per year was reduced by approximately 50% or 1.8 tonnes.

Energy

There has been ongoing improvement to reduce energy consumption at Bespak despite the pressures of a growing business. This has resulted in a net reduction in consumption of 12% relative to the FY2011 baseline figure. Continued focus on further energy consumption reductions will be driven in the next financial year by the introduction of a new energy management system and the appointment of an Energy Manager.

Specific activities which have led to a reduction in energy consumption include managing of compressed air and associated losses across plant/equipment; optimising clean room air handling and specifically reducing the number of air changes; focusing attention on area shutdowns over weekends and holiday periods together with lighting improvements in defined areas. Focus in the last 12 months has been on consolidation of experiences and knowledge gained through the initiative to date together with the integration of eSight energy management software. It is intended to install energy display monitors locally into production areas, to capitalise on the use of the energy management system. In addition discussions have been held with Carbon Trust, to assist the business with identifying new areas where further savings and optimisation can be achieved.

Water

Progress has been made to reduce water consumption, primarily from Integrated Aluminium Components Ltd (IAC) operations, which accounts for 92% of all water consumed by the Bespak division.

Specific focus in FY2013 has seen a reduction of more than 25% consumption relative to FY2011 resulting in significant cost savings. Specific water saving initiatives contributing to this reduction have included:

  • installation of flow alarms to monitor water entering the waste effluent treatment plant;
  • fixing of leaks from tanks and valves on site (13% of all tanks and valves demonstrated some form of loss);
  • improved control and metered flows into all anodising tanks and some rinse tanks on the anodising plant;
  • increased "dwell time" on non-critical stages of the manufacturing process thereby improving water recovery; and
  • recycling of water into processes for less critical steps in the manufacturing process.

Ethical Standards

We continue to operate to the highest ethical standards across the Group. It is our policy to uphold all laws relevant to prevention of bribery and corruption in all jurisdictions in which we operate. The Company has in place policies covering Anti-Corruption and Bribery; Gifts and Hospitality; Business Ethics and Whistleblowing procedures and ensures that these are reviewed on a regular basis.

Group Values

The Group values are integrity, customer focus, results driven, transparency and accountability. Following the introduction of the values three years ago the Group has initiated an employee led review to enhance employee engagement.

Divestment of King Systems

King Systems was sold during the year. Prior to this divestment King Systems completed a number of CR related initiatives, including the introduction of an engagement council; more focused internal communications and integration of the Group values.

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

CR Achievements and FY2014 Goals

The following is a summary of the Group's CR achievements for the year and goals for FY2014:

Community

Achievements in FY2013

  • Bespak continued its involvement and sponsorship of the GEAR, providing annual support
  • Bespak donated £10,000 to the National Lung Foundation
  • Twelve Bespak employees spent a total of 249 hours working with local schools

Goals for FY2014

  • Continued involvement and sponsorship of GEAR
  • Identification and funding of local and regional charities in support of the communities in which we operate
  • Increasing Bespak employees' engagement and work with local schools to approximately 300 hours per year

Employees

Achievements in FY2013

  • Bespak increased the total number of apprentices from four to six
  • Bespak completed a Skills Gap Analysis
  • All employees undertook internal and/or external training courses totalling over 600 days

Goals for FY2014

  • Focus on increasing diversity within workforce with the aim to increase the total percentage of females in the business
  • Conduct an employee satisfaction survey
  • Travel to work — conduct a survey to establish current travelling to work arrangements and introduce measures to reduce the number of car journeys per employee by 2% during the year
  • Establish a sixth form work experience programme
  • Increase training for employees to a target total of 1,000 days
  • Bespak to increase total number of apprentices from six to eight
  • IAC, the component subsidiary of Bespak, to increase its total number of apprentices from two to four

Environment

Achievements in FY2013

Ongoing reductions to:

  • Energy consumption — approximately 12% reduced consumption from FY2011 baseline
  • Waste recovered — increased recovery from 77% to greater than 90% pa from FY2011 baseline
  • Reduced water consumption — 25% reduction relative to FY2011 baseline

Goals for FY2014

  • Establish energy management review / focus as an integral component of our ways of working
  • Targets for FY2014:
    • Energy Consumption — 367.5 KWH/£000 (reduction of 15% against FY2011 baseline)
    • Waste to landfill < 8% (reduction of >15% against FY2011 baseline)
    • Water 2.21 cubic metres / £000 (reduction of >30% against FY2011 baseline)
  • Appoint Bespak Energy Manager

Ethical Standards

Achievements in FY2013

  • Anti-corruption and bribery training embedded into induction training for all relevant new employees

Goals for FY2014

  • Ongoing review of opportunities to engage with suppliers on ethical performance
  • Undertake Group wide review of values

Longer-term CR Targets

In recognition of our longer-term commitment to Corporate Responsibility we are in the process of developing longer-term commitments across each of our pillars. This will include activities to 2020, committing to targets for the reduction of energy, waste and water and increased community investment.