Following our full year results, we wanted to take a look our progress against our responsible business ambitions, set out in December 2019. Despite the challenges of the last 12 months, we’re proud to have made a real difference across our six key areas and, with the appointment of Fran Leedham as Head of Responsible Business, we now have a clear pathway for how we can deliver into 2021 and beyond.
So, what did we achieve in 2020 – and what’s next?
Across all six of our responsible business ambitions, we can be proud to have made a positive impact on society and the environment.
Net Carbon Reduction
In 2020 we reduced our carbon footprint by 30% vs 2019, developed roadmaps for our net zero carbon journey, and in St. Modwen Homes, 21% of new homes were built using modern methods of construction (MMC) – an approach that is known to reduce CO2 emissions.
What’s next? We’re targeting a 10% increase in the number of new homes built using MMC, preparing ourselves for the Future Homes Standards (which have a major focus on sustainability), and are targeting 60% of our logistics units to be built to BREEAM Excellent or Very Good.
Biodiversity & Sustainable Environments
In 2020, we reduced waste by 15% on our homes building sites – a fantastic achievement by the St. Modwen Homes team. In addition, we carried out 16 biodiversity net gain assessments on key sites across the country.
What’s next? We’re aiming to deliver a biodiversity net gain of more than 10% on all 2021 developments, as well as introducing a biodiversity code to set the standard for how we will deliver sustainable schemes moving forward.
Diversity & Inclusion
In our ambition to achieve the National Equality Standard by 2025, 46% of our line managers have received diversity and inclusion training. In addition, we have built diversity and inclusion into our people policies and competency framework – putting it at the heart of everything we do.
What’s next? We’re looking to identify our gaps in diversity and inclusion and build plans for how best to close them. We’re embedding diversity and inclusion in our recruitment processes and setting D&I targets that will help us work towards achieving the National Equality Standard.
Education & Future Skills
In a year when many learners were home-based and education visits were out of the question, we managed to continue delivering education initiatives across the country. From our pilot virtual work experience programme with Women into Construction to our first virtual careers presentation to students of Pathways CTM, we continued to promote skills and careers in property and construction. We put our apprenticeship programmes in place, forged partnerships with Women into Construction, Ahead Partnership and the Armed Forces Covenant.
What’s next? In our drive to invest 1% of our cash profits into education partnerships and make a positive impact on over 20,000 young people by 2025, we need to look at all the fantastic education and skills engagement happening across the business and quantify our current impact. Moving forward, we need to build long-term plans to help us achieve our target.
Health & Wellbeing
In a world that saw communities rally around each other to support those most vulnerable in society, we launched our Community Impact Fund – supporting grassroots charities and community groups that were tackling the impacts of Covid-19. From foodbanks to virtual youth clubs, our £150,000 fund provided grants to 21 charities across the country.
We also reached 40 Mental Health First Aiders within our business – a major milestone in our goal to have Mental Health First Aiders at all our sites and offices.
What’s next? We’re developing community engagement plans for all major schemes, with a key focus on health and wellbeing, as well as building on our employee health and wellbeing programmes – driven by our recent health and wellbeing survey.
Responsible Operating Practices & Partnerships
In 2020 we had two big hitters: achieving the RoSPA Gold Health & Safety Awards across all three business units and developing our supply chain charter, ensuring our partners are aligned with our responsible business ambitions.
What’s next? We want to launch our supply chain charter and set three to five-year targets to bring our partners on our responsible business journey.