Using our planning and design skills to develop our quality land holdings into thriving communities is fundamental to our strategy and continued success.
Over the past 40 years or so we have completed hundreds of new communities setting our high quality and distinctive homes within attractive landscaped spaces. Creating great places to live has become part of our culture and we are proud to develop communities that will leave a lasting legacy. We continue to take an expanding and leading role in the delivery of a new generation of Garden Villages with self-contained communities that include schools, amenities and homes set within a network of streets and accessible green spaces. Our Woodford, Ledsham, Amington, Ebbsfleet and Plasdwr Garden Villages are all under construction and the first families have now taken up occupation. These new communities provide an exciting benchmark for the quality of new large-scale communities across the country.
The Government has introduced a number of initiatives to tackle the under supply of homes but in doing so, they have made it clear that the standard of design must not be compromised. Government has also reaffirmed its commitment to placemaking in the new draft NPPF which promotes early and effective engagement throughout the planning process with a focus on quality design. At Redrow we are well-placed to respond positively to this new agenda and have recently finalised our own set of placemaking principles. “Redrow 8” draws on our many years of experience of delivering high quality distinctive places. We have distilled the key elements that make our much-loved communities so successful to create a scorecard to benchmark the quality of the places we design. A "Redrow 8" design manual will be launched this year which will communicate our placemaking approach to customers, local authorities and other stakeholders. The principles contained in "Redrow 8" will ensure that all of our developments continue to meet high placemaking standards. One of these principles, “Streets for Life”, has been applied effectively at Woodford Garden Village to design a network of attractive ‘shared surface’ community streets. “Homes for All” is another of the eight principles: at our development at Wilton Hill, we are providing a wide range of house types together with 44 homes for former service personnel, the first time in the UK that a development has been built to specifically address the needs of veterans by supporting them into independent living in an integrated way.
In 2015, Redrow acquired a significant 59 acre brownfield development site in Bedfordshire.
This former vehicle storage facility, which was owned and operated by General Motors, had all of the components required to create an inspired and ambitious development of new homes. Great transport links through road and rail, proximity to an urban centre while maintaining a softer more rural feel, and an aspirational setting all informed the decision that this was a great site for Redrow.
From the very start, the principle of ensuring a lasting legacy to the community who had lived and worked alongside the development was key. Redrow worked closely with key stakeholders such as Central Bedfordshire Council, General Motors, and the local community to evolve the designs and add value through the principles of placemaking and urban design. Redrow selected the Heritage Collection to use at Caddington, building on the site’s existing rural feel and providing a sense of longevity to this important local site.
One of the foundation stones of the Caddington Woods development was the community trust, CASE (Caddington And Ship End). CASE is a registered charity created by the key stakeholders, specifically for the Caddington Woods scheme. This incredibly innovative concept harnesses rent values of the affordable homes to provide benefit to the community. 46 of the affordable homes have or will be permanently endowed by Redrow to the trust, and the properties will then be rented to local authority tenants in the usual way. The key difference with this scheme however is that the revenue derived from this will be invested back into the community through CASE.
The CASE community trust will deliver some specific objectives, including the provision of a bespoke bus service. Instead of a one off contribution by a developer through the standard Section 106 mechanism, the CASE community trust will support projects like the bus service in perpetuity, in turn helping to assist local authorities in their objectives, delivering vital local services, and building thriving communities.
Redrow will also be constructing a state-of-the-art community centre, which will be handed to the trust to run, with the intention that this building will be at the heart of a thriving community.
The income derived from these properties is in fact substantial, over a 20 year period the trust will deliver:
- £2.6m investment into bespoke bus services;
- £1m investment into the woodland and landscaping;
- £1.25m into on-site community development through youth work;
- £400,000 into grants to the local community/parish;
- Full operation of a community centre; and
- Leaving a sinking fund after 20 years of £1m for continuously upgrading and improving the CASE community trust properties, community centre, play area and open space.
These costs are net of all management costs. Discussions have already taken place with Central Bedfordshire Council to look at the opportunity to expand schemes like this one across the county and beyond.
The Group acquired 7,455 plots with planning permission during the year to add to our owned and contracted land holdings, which more than replenished our 5,718 record legal completions. After land sales and the impact of replans, we ended the year with 27,630 plots in our owned and contracted land holdings, a 6% increase on the preceding year closing position (2017: 26,100).
Forward land again made a healthy contribution comprising 37% of the 7,455 additions across 17 sites, backing up its c.60% across 22 sites contribution in 2017. The Group was very successful in the year in securing new forward land opportunities and we increased our forward land holdings by 16% ending the year at 30,700 plots (2017: 26,400 plots). Approximately 40% of our forward land holdings are allocated for housing in Local Authority Plans.
Owned and contracted land by geography (plots)
Given the ongoing importance of forward land to the business, Harrow Estates has been restructured during the year and has assumed responsibility for overseeing and strengthening further the Group’s forward land holdings.
Bringing Benefits to the Local Community
Last year our developments delivered significant value to the wider community: building education facilities, community centres, transport infrastructure and health centres. In total we committed £184m to local communities through infrastructure and affordable homes and provided c93 hectares of public open space. At Badbury Park, Swindon for example, in addition to funding the construction of a school and community centre, we are also setting land aside for allotments. On our Bloxham Vale development in Banbury, in addition to creating play areas, allotments and public open space, we are making significant investment in education allocating c£3m for primary and secondary school facilities.
Creating Healthy Places to Live
Pressing health challenges such as obesity, mental health issues, physical inactivity and the needs of an ageing population, are strongly influenced by our physical environment. New housing developments, if planned and designed correctly, can provide an opportunity to encourage healthier behaviours, reduce ill health and encourage greater independence and self-care. “Placemaking for Wellbeing” is an increasingly important part of our strategy. Health and urban design is a complex issue so we have been supporting the UPSTREAM research project, funded by the Wellcome Trust, to explore how those responsible for urban development can factor long-term health outcomes into their decision-making.
We have also become members of the newly formed NHS Healthy Towns Network. The purpose of the network is to explore how new housing developments can achieve better health outcomes. This follows on from the Healthy Towns Programme where the NHS are working with ten demonstrator sites across England to shape the health of communities. We are currently building homes on the Ebbsfleet development, Kent which was one of those ten developments. When completed the Ebbsfleet Green development will have a wealth of health, leisure and community facilities ranging from a new park, including sports pitches and tennis courts, community allotments, a local shop, community facilities and a community hall.
Our Herne Bay development, Kent is another fantastic example of designing a development to encourage active and healthy lifestyles. At the heart of the development is a sports hub of around 15 acres which includes multiple sport pitches and tennis courts. The site will include a doctors surgery, health centre and also a residential care home. Cycle routes and footpaths inter-connect the development with the local area and the coast.
We are also working, as a business, to support local, regional and national events that help to foster positive behaviour change around living healthier lifestyles. We were proud to be the main sponsor of three cycling events; Bike Chester, Bike Oxford and Bike Bath which encouraged people in those areas to get on their bikes. Over 3,000 cyclists took part in the three events, raising thousands of pounds for local charities.
Nature for People
Careful protection of species and habitats has always been a key part of our development activities. We also know that enhancing existing and creating new natural spaces on our developments is good for wildlife and also provides valuable opportunities for people to enjoy and connect with nature.
Our new placemaking design principles have Nature for People at their heart, with a focus on designing communities with blue and green infrastructure, accessible natural spaces, use of native species and which strive to achieve biodiversity net gains.
During the year we were delighted to be awarded one of CIRIA’s Big Biodiversity Challenge Awards for the creation of hedgehog highways at our Glenwood Park development, Barnstaple. Several more of our developments have since followed suit and we’ve also delivered our ‘Give a Hog a Home’ campaign across several divisions, creating hedgehog highways and donating hedgehog homes to schools and new home-owners to help this struggling, beloved species.
Achieving Gains for Nature
During the year, we commissioned consultants to undertake a pilot project examining how our current design approach is impacting biodiversity at several of our existing developments. The project gave us good insight into the key considerations for achieving biodiversity ‘net gain’ and will inform the development of our new biodiversity strategy, which is being developed in partnership with the Wildlife Trusts and the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.
The aim of the strategy will be to enrich biodiversity – leaving nature in a better condition than when we found it - and connecting communities with nature.
We are proud to continue our longstanding partnership with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, helping to provide habitats for these important pollinators and to raise awareness among customers and the communities in which we build. For example, at our Saxon Brook development, Exeter we have created large areas of colourful wildflower meadow as well as providing bee-friendly planting throughout the development. The Trust has been providing training to the landscapers and the management company to ensure maintenance of these natural spaces results in a positive legacy for the future. We are also working with the new community to create a new Bee Group to survey and advocate for bumblebees locally.
As we develop our new biodiversity net gain strategy, we are collaborating with DEFRA and Natural England, sharing our experiences and are discussing partnering on several projects to establish the financial implications of biodiversity net gain for developers and examining wider outcomes for people as well as nature. We are also members of the Greater Manchester Biodiversity Net Gain Task Group, working to develop and implement a roadmap for net gain in Greater Manchester.
Already providing a lasting legacy, for example, is Heathlands, a development on a former claypit at Buckley, North Wales which won the Landscape Institute’s 2017 Award for Science Management and Stewardship. Working with North East Wales Wildlife and an ecology consultancy we designed and implemented a detailed restoration scheme to enable the infilling of the unsafe lagoon, the re-vegetation of the landscape and conversion to a multi-pond nature reserve. Long-term sustainability of the nature reserve was secured through the financing of a warden and management plan.
We continue to manage our resources efficiently as we grow, working closely with our suppliers and subcontractors to deliver increasing numbers of our quality homes.
Growing Our Business Responsibly
It is important that as we grow, we do so in a responsible and sustainable manner. During the year John Tutte took a seat on the newly formed Council for Sustainable Business. This council has been established to provide a sounding board on how businesses can help achieve the aims of the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan. It will focus on building positive momentum inside the business community and acting as a bridge between government and industry.
Gold Award from NextGeneration
For the third year running we achieved a Gold Award from NextGeneration, moving up a place into third position in the UK’s top 25 housebuilders. NextGeneration are an independent organisation which benchmarks housebuilders on their sustainability performance. Our high score of 80% is up 3% on last year and was calculated by assessing the environmental and societal impact of our homes and developments.
The Group’s revenue continues to grow, reaching £1.92bn this year (2017: £1.66bn), an increase of 16%. The sale of homes accounted for all but £20m of revenue, which was attributable to land sales in 2018 (2017:£12m).
Revenue has increased by 122% since 2014 and profit before tax by 186% in the same period. The Group has 14 homes operating divisions at present and these have further growth potential to deliver c£2.5bn of turnover per annum. We have announced the launch of a new Thames Valley division to further underpin our future growth.
We delivered a new record of 5,913 legal completions (including our Joint Venture) in 2018, a 9% increase on 2017 levels (2017: 5,416).
Social housing accounted for 19% of legal completion volumes, in line with the previous year. Apartments represented 21% of private legal completions excluding our Joint Venture and 22% of private sales revenue. This compares to 16% and 19% respectively in 2017. This increase reflects the increased contribution from Greater London, notably the first completions from our Colindale Gardens development in North London. All the 195 completions from our Joint Venture development Morello in Croydon were apartments.
The Group had 124 active outlets on average through 2018, which was in line with 2017 levels and we closed the year on 132 (June 2017: 132). Site openings in total were in line with forecast but site closures were slightly higher than forecast due to better than expected sales rates.
Responsible Sourcing and Procurement
We look to bring social and economic benefit to communities by creating sustainable business opportunities with local enterprises. 92% of the goods and services we procure are local to our developments.
We are committed to procuring goods and services in a sustainable and responsible manner, working with our supply chain to deliver long-term mutual benefit. We continued our partnership with Supply Chain Sustainability School (SCSS), an initiative providing free learning and development to our supply chain partners. We are actively encouraging our subcontractors and suppliers to sign up and participate in the school. During the year, with the support of the SCSS, we carried out a gap analysis of our procurement practice against the international sustainable procurement standard ISO 20400. During the analysis session an action plan was developed with responsibilities assigned across Redrow to continually improve our approach to procurement.
The World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) have once again awarded us ‘Three Trees’ status for the third assessment period in a row for our use of sustainably sourced timber. At present our responsibly sourced and credibly certified timber stands at 99.94%. The accolade places Redrow among the top 40 companies in the country using Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified and other responsibly sourced timber and paper products.
Valuing and Developing People and Partners
During the year we expanded our Human Resources Department to create a dedicated Engagement Team. The team will specifically focus on evolving our engagement with employees, suppliers and subcontractors and the wider community together with a focus on health and wellbeing.
We again undertook a major employee engagement survey in 2018. This was delivered on our behalf by Employee Feedback Ltd with individual responses being completely confidential. This survey achieved an extremely pleasing 90% response rate (2017: 88%) and provided much useful feedback which we shared across our business via workshops in all our divisions and Group departments. 95% of respondents were proud to work for Redrow.
Communication is key in any business and we have recently launched a new Redrow intranet “Engage” which is mobile compatible and facilitates the use of video content to make communication more dynamic and efficient.
During the year we undertook a major initiative to better understand the health and wellbeing risks of our employees and subcontractors. The results will help shape our strategy going forward.
At Redrow, Valuing our People and Partners is important to us. This is evidenced by us recently setting up a new engagement team within our HR function with a dedicated resource to focus on Health and Wellbeing. We already offer a range of benefits, services and initiatives to our employees and intend to carry out a comprehensive review of our Health and Wellbeing offering. In order to do this, we wanted to understand the health risks of our employees and supply chain, looking at the whole picture around physical, mental, social and financial. This would enable us to develop a Health and Wellbeing offering which was evidenced based so that future initiatives were much more targeted, their impact could be more measurable and that would enhance the relationships with our supply chain partners.
The challenge for us was that having no data on the current health risks of our employees or supply chain, how were we going to get this valuable information. We worked with a specialist consultant to explore various ways of how we could do this and ultimately agreed that to be able to reach as many people as possible, the best approach was to have health kiosks in our divisions and sites which would provide a snap shot of the current health risks for our employees and supply chain.
Over a 4 week period, health kiosks were strategically located at our divisions and sites supported by a Redrow lifestyle questionnaire which was available at the kiosk. A mobile app was also developed that included the online lifestyle questionnaire that was available for those who couldn’t attend the kiosk and was sent as a link to our supply chain partners.
As well as our employees and supply chain partners getting involved with the initiative, we went a step further to enable them to register onto a digital platform which provided their own dashboard, set their own health and lifestyle goals, communicate and set challenges with friends and colleagues and access lots of resources and information to help improve their health and wellbeing.
We enjoyed a fantastic response with 51% of our employees and 461 of our supply chain getting involved either by using the kiosk or completing the online questionnaire. 96% said they would recommend the kiosk to a friend with 83% saying that using the kiosk would inspire them to make lifestyle changes to improve their health.
The initiative focused on a wide range of health points: physical exercise, emotional wellness, sleep, smoking, nutrition, alcohol, chronic health conditions as well as health metrics such as heart age, blood pressure, BMI and body fat. Our key health risks from this process have been identified as smoking, indications of poor nutrition as well as very low levels of physical activity. These risk factors were reflected in the cardiovascular risk and health metrics taken at the kiosk.
We now have a fantastic robust data set to work with and, along with our other data such as absence, we have now developed a 2 year road map which outlines what we will be doing to focus on all health and wellbeing areas, in particular focusing on the high risks identified by this project.
We will be undertaking a communication campaign to our employees and supply chain to raise awareness of what we will now be doing to support them and how they can get involved with initiatives that we will be offering.
Improving mental health in the construction industry is an area that we are already working to tackle through developing partnerships with like-minded organisations and one way in which we have already committed to is to train Mental Health First Aiders within the business.
To support our supply chain, we will be working with our benefit providers to see what benefits we can extend to our partners. The Employee Assistance Programme is one that we will be extending in September.
Improving our Systems and Processes
We are continually striving to increase our effectiveness by improving our systems and processes to better support our business as it continues to grow, evolve and adapt to change.
We have a dedicated team of in-house Systems Accountants and IT specialists including a digital team, systems analysts, software developers, IT security officers and help desk experts at our Head Office led by our Chief Information Officer. The team work closely with Group and the operational business to deliver improved management information and systems improvements. Major systems improvement projects are sponsored by a member of the Executive Management Team.
An example of this is the Quality Review of Construction undertaken during the year sponsored by Matthew Pratt, a Regional Chief Executive.
We pride ourselves on ensuring the highest quality of our new homes. Providing a first class product and excellent levels of customer service goes to the heart of what we strive to achieve.
In order to provide excellent levels of service we must first provide a quality product and it is important that this is delivered at all stages, so the customer has confidence that it is not just what they see as a finished product but also that we have taken pride at achieving this level at every stage of the build.
Site management has changed dramatically over the last few years with a strong emphasis on health and safety, accurate programming, build quality and customer service, all of which needs to be sustainable for the future.
With the ever evolving tasks of a site manager, we conducted a review of the role with a target on increasing the amount of time our site teams have to review quality and the benefits that has. In order to achieve this we needed to review what tasks we could remove, improve or simplify.
Following the review of the role of the site manager, we removed any work that we felt was not adding any benefit to the business, or had simply become a redundant task. We then wanted to reduce the time our teams were taking to complete simple tasks.
We work with a constant moving factory base on a building site, therefore we wanted our site managers to have the ability to work from any part of the site when inspecting quality or safety matters. We also wanted the teams to have the ability to instantly deal with issues whilst communicating the greatest amount of detail of the issue and the required solution quickly, with the ability to track and monitor the process.
We felt the solution involved an increased use of technology. We therefore rolled out the use of a new ipad based system to all of our site managers and assistant site managers last year, a significant investment by the Group.
We also developed our own internal applications to be used on the ipad to allow the site managers to record inspections instantly. The use of this technology, with simple to use apps, allows our site managers to highlight any areas of quality or safety concern and instantly provide photo evidence which is then directed to the subcontractors and
the trade on site. With the use of a simple photo, a brief description and a targeted subcontractor portal, faults are recorded and action is required via the portal to evidence the rectification of the works.
Works can be monitored to ensure remedial action is carried out and data showing common issues can be highlighted and addressed with the contractors.
We also record areas of good quality and completed works that can be referred back to by our customer service teams, also helping the customer understand what has been put into the fabric of the building.
The initial results are showing that more time is now available to our site teams to proactively deal with faults and we have a system that will help us review the data for common faults. Drawings are also stored on the cloud and can be instantly e-mailed to the contractors own device, again significantly reducing the amount of time involved.
We use the data produced, together with that of any external audits, to allow us to target our training for our teams and close the loop to ensure repeated problems are identified. A bi-monthly quality panel meets to discuss the issues with a target of closing the loop through training, changing materials, general alerts or changing our details.
Over time it is expected that this investment in technology will improve our communications with our trades, give us a fully monitored system identifying common faults, and ultimately reduce the number of faults that can occur with a new home.
The team also supported the business to comply with the increasing levels of statutory reporting requirements providing information for example for Gender Pay reporting and Payments reporting introduced in the year.
Also from a reporting perspective we produced, completely in-house, our online half-yearly report for 2018. Our digital, marketing and finance teams worked together to enable Shareholders and other stakeholders to more easily access key information. We are building on this achievement with our interactive online 2018 Annual Report.
In order to meet the need and demand for new homes, the construction industry must work with Government and the wider community to inspire the next generation to build.
Inspiring the Next Generation at Redrow
At Redrow we are committed to training and development and are evolving our learning and development programmes to better support our business as it continues to grow and evolve. During the year we were pleased to launch the first housebuilding degree course in the UK in conjunction with Liverpool John Moores University and Coleg Cambria.
In 2018 Redrow launched the first Housebuilding degree with Liverpool John Moores University and Coleg Cambria.
The programme was launched in February 2018, with 14 Redrow employees embarking on the programme. At present the degree is only open to Redrow employees. Redrow are hoping to open the degree out to the housebuilding industry moving forward.
The three year degree gives candidates a full overview of housebuilding skills including housebuilding quality, surveying, land purchase, Health & Safety, law and project management.
Six modules will be delivered over each year using a variety of assessment methods including examinations, coursework and a final year dissertation project. Each year there are six block weeks of classroom learning which will be taught in partnership between Coleg Cambria, LJMU’s department of the built environment and Redrow business experts with additional time through virtual learning, site visits and practical learning.
Any Redrow employee with a level three qualification or five years’ experience in the housebuilding industry can be nominated to the programme, Redrow are hoping to have around 15 employees each year on the programme.
The first two years will form a foundation degree with the final year topping up to become a full degree in BSc (Hons) Construction Management – Housebuilding.
We have also developed a careers app designed using augmented reality to show the housebuilding environment and career opportunities available in housebuilding. It was launched at the Careers Live shows in Birmingham and Liverpool in March 2018.
We again maintained our proportion of our workforce on structured training programmes at 15% and have been listed as a Top 100 Apprentice Employer in the National Apprenticeship Service awards for a fifth successive year.
This year our focus was on further improving the quality of our training course days rather than the quantity of attendees and as a result we delivered c6,500 training days, a small reduction on the 6,800 in 2017. A significant proportion of our training is delivered at our Tamworth Training Centre, at dedicated training facilities at our Colindale and Daresbury offices or at our Head Office.
We created c100 new directly employed jobs in the year, ending the year with c2,300 employees. Our business benefits many more employees throughout our supply chain.
We became Gold Leaf members of the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) in 2018 reinforcing our commitment to building sustainable homes and communities. UKGBC is part of the World Green Building Council network, a global network of over 70 national Green Building Councils transforming the built environment.
Building homes can be impactful on the areas surrounding a development. As part of our commitment to creating considerate working environments we became corporate members of Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS), a non-profit-making, independent organisation founded by the construction industry to improve its image. Regular scored assessments are carried out, by CCS monitors, to assess if sites are being run in accordance with the Scheme’s code of practice. At our Lyon Square development, Harrow, we achieved an exceptional score of 45 out of 50. The site team was praised by the CCS Assessor for its innovative multi-purpose illuminated signage board which promoted the credentials of the company while portraying the industry in an extremely positive light.
Home energy use is responsible for over a quarter of UK carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. At Redrow we build energy efficient homes that not only reduce the environmental impact of carbon emissions but also save our customers money. Our homes are designed and constructed to optimise the performance of the building fabric as part of a ‘fabric first’ approach. This minimises heat loss through floors, walls, roofs and windows. Energy performance in homes is measured using the Standard Assessment Protocol (SAP) rating, which shows the energy performance of a property on a scale of 1 to 100, with A to G. The average SAP rating for a Redrow home this year was 84 (B Rating), compared to the national average of a UK home of 59 (D rating).
Redrow are one of the partners supporting Barclay’s bank ‘Green Home Mortgages’ offering which provides lower mortgage rates for new Redrow homes in the energy efficiency bands from B – A. This scheme is part of the Energy Efficient Mortgages Action Plan (EeMAP) which is intended to incentivise and channel private capital into energy efficiency investments.
Managing Resources Efficiently
As well as ensuring our sites are safe and operate in a manner that is considerate of the local community, we are mindful of our responsibilities in caring for the environment. In our work protecting and enhancing biodiversity on our developments, and reducing our use of energy, waste and water in our activities, we are striving to become environmentally net positive. We have maintained our ISO14001 certification this year, with regular audits by the British Standards Institute, as we continue to reduce our environmental impact across the business.
Waste and Recycling
We are producing 10.63 tonnes of waste per 100m² of build (2017: 10.65 tonnes/100m²). We are strengthening our focus on reducing waste with the commencement of a new waste minimisation project, investigating the root causes of waste and taking steps to tackle these.
Ensuring we minimise the amount of waste going to landfill remains a priority for us, with the amount diverted from landfill increasing again this year to 96.8% (2017: 95.4%). At our North West division, the appointment of a new project engineer focusing on management of soils and excavated materials has resulted in c93,000 tonnes of materials being re-used and diverted from landfill.
We continue to work with our suppliers on increasing recycling rates, with c.23,000 paint cans being recycled in 2018, and we have been sharing our experiences of this successful project with the HBF to help increase recycling rates across the whole industry. We also continue to work with Community Wood Recycling – a social enterprise who collect and reuse waste timber at the same time as providing jobs and training for disadvantaged people.
The issue of packaging waste has been high on our agenda for a number of years and we have arranged numerous take-back schemes, where suppliers take responsibility for recovering and recycling packaging waste from our sites. This year we have gone back to our suppliers and re-engaged them on the issue of single-use plastic waste. We are looking to work with them to develop resource efficiency programmes which embrace the principles of the circular economy as a means of eliminating avoidable plastic waste. We are also active members of the HBF Waste Forum, working in partnership with other leading housebuilders to tackle waste across the sector.
Each year since 2010 we have disclosed information about our carbon emissions, carbon strategy and reduction programmes to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). In our most recent submission we have been awarded a ‘B’ grade which reflects our positive management of climate-related issues, including awareness and taking actions to reduce our impacts.
We are working to further reduce our carbon emissions, of which a significant contributor is use of diesel for site activities. Our diesel generator project is currently reviewing use of diesel generators on sites, including reducing the length of time they are required on site, ensuring they are sized correctly for their required purpose and examining hybrid generators. In addition, in our Yorkshire division we have been trialling new energy efficient site cabins, coupled with new eco-heaters and solar photovoltaics. Early results indicate significant energy and carbon savings will be achieved by rolling the system out across the business.
Our 2018 Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions expressed in relation to the quantity of build we have undertaken are 2.48 tonnes of CO2e per 100m² (2017: 2.5 tCO2e/100m²). Our GHG emissions are independently verified to a limited level of assurance.
Health and Safety
Redrow remains committed to improving our overall Health, Safety and Environmental (H,S&E) performance. During the year we significantly restructured the teams, both increasing resources and reorganising into two distinct areas of responsibility: Assurance & Compliance and Development to better support this commitment to improvement.
A new Group Health, Safety & Environmental Director was appointed during the year to facilitate the restructure and to build on the positive work already achieved by the existing team. The Assurance & Compliance side of the new structure is a dedicated set of H,S&E inspectors whose primary objective is to ensure that all live developments receive an internal scored inspection that identifies both areas for continued improvement as well as areas achieving recognised operating standards.
The Development side provides the divisions with dedicated H,S&E Managers who will provide more front end engagement and support in terms of pre-planning of H,S&E issues on future developments. They also provide assistance and guidance on the practical application of recognised operating standards and the sharing of best practice.
Subcontractor engagement remains essential to promoting a positive health & safety culture. We continue to support our supply chain by organising and hosting events during the year in our divisions.
Our all accident figure for 2018 was 3% lower at 382 than the previous year (2017: 393) despite a 9% increase in legal completions. There was however a small increase in reportable accidents resulting in an increase in our accident incident rate to 0.35 (2017: 0.30).
In 2018 Redrow received five commended and one highly commended safety awards from the NHBC. The NHBC H&S Awards are the UK’s only health and safety awards scheme for home builders and provides us with external acknowledgement of our commitment to improving our overall H,S&E performance.
Build handovers increased by 12% in the year as the Group continues to improve and smooth our productivity to meet our growth targets. We work closely with our suppliers to manage pressures, notably this year in the material supply chain.
Colindale Gardens remains the largest single development within the Group and delivered its first legal completions in the year whilst continuing to make excellent progress on further phases. There are currently c650 homes under construction there and on an average day a workforce of c600 is on site.
At Redrow we have a reputation for building award winning homes.
On-line to On-site
Redrow’s sales and marketing strategy combines traditional, proven sales and marketing methods with the very latest techniques in targeting prospects based on analysis and insight.
Extensive research into the demographics and behaviours of our target segments results in finely tuned marketing campaigns that generate high volumes of quality traffic to our website.
The resultant campaigns are extremely cost effective and utilise those channels which our customers increasingly choose as their preferred method of communication. Often this will be a social media channel, however traditional forms of media are still used to ensure that we always invest appropriately in our brand where it is cost effective. This strategy is reaping significant rewards.
A Consistent Experience
The vast majority of our customers’ first contact with Redrow is through our consumer website www.redrow.co.uk and their experience when they arrive is carefully designed to ensure consistency of service across all channels and devices with almost 60% of website visitors now being generated from mobile devices. This ‘Redrow experience’ is very important in communicating the strength of our product ranges and conveying our brand purpose ‘To create a better way to live’.
Features on the website include augmented reality floorplans and 3D development layouts to assist people in visualising the Redrow lifestyle. Further tools within My Redrow help customers choose their options and upgrades to personalise their Redrow home. Our My Redrow system has been shortlisted as a finalist in the BESMA awards (The British Excellence in Sales Management Awards) in the category of “Award for Innovation in Sales".
Intuitive navigation through the website ensures that our customer experience is enjoyable and helpful and our ambition is to encourage the maximum number of people to visit our developments as well informed as they can be on our products, brand and communities.
In the same way our technical team has created our Lifestyle Homes in response to the evolving needs of our customers, our interior design team has undertaken extensive research to ensure the Show Home interiors are also in tune with how our purchasers want to live.
Our Lifestyle Homes have evolved the layouts of some of our most popular Heritage Collection designs to feature a smaller number of larger bedrooms, each with its own en-suite, and other luxurious features such as dressing areas to master bedrooms.
Having launched the collection a year ago – driven by our findings that not all home buyers want a ‘traditional’ family home – we’ve now been able to analyse exactly who has been buying the designs.
Our research suggests that the average Lifestyle purchaser is in their late 40s, either with no children or children who are older or have left home.
Additional research into the interior design preferences of those customers has further informed how we create our Show Homes.
Meticulous research and planning by Emma Brindley, Head of Interior Design and her team has arrived at the personas of the purchasers who would choose to live in the homes. “It’s really about understanding our customers – their jobs, interests and consumer behaviour – and reflecting their aspirations and needs in the interiors we create,” says Emma.
“We’re discovering that many people aren’t precious about bringing pre-loved items of furniture from their previous homes; they are generally making a completely fresh start, buying everything new, and opting for a contemporary look and feel.
“We know our target audience is style conscious and trend aware, with exacting standards, so bedrooms and bathrooms are luxurious and reflect boutique hotel styling. Some of the designs, such as the Leamington Lifestyle, feature vast master suites with generous en-suite bathrooms and dressing rooms, and the look we create is extremely high-end with a focus on opulent fabrics and elegant furniture.
“We don’t style any bedrooms specifically for children in the Lifestyle Homes range but we do create desirable guest bedrooms as we know our customers like to have family and friends to stay.
“By ensuring our Show Home interiors are in line with our customer research we can capture the imaginations of potential purchasers and make them feel instantly at home as soon as they walk through the door.”
It is a process that is proving very successful and one of the reasons why the Lifestyle Homes have been so popular since their launch.
Once our customers arrive at a Redrow development they can truly experience the Redrow lifestyle.
Our sales centres are carefully designed to showcase the Redrow collections and our unique, immersive, virtual reality development plans enable people to make the most informed decision about their ideal house style and position on the development.
Redrow sales staff are highly experienced and undergo regular refresher training in product specification and understanding who our key suppliers are. Sales excellence and customer service skills are honed through frequent mystery shopping surveys and each year our very best consultants will be awarded the prestigious title of Sales Consultant of the Year in their division.
Sales Excellence Champions regularly meet to develop new customer initiatives and many beneficial ideas are also generated at the Annual Sales Conference where approximately 450 sales staff come together to explore ways in which the customer experience can be enhanced.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Timely, empathetic and compliant communication is essential in an increasingly crowded media world. Redrow has committed thousands of man-hours into ensuring that all communications are GDPR compliant and has also invested in sophisticated CRM systems to personalise dialogue with prospects and customers.
In addition, our sales and build management system has been extensively re-engineered to enable sales staff to service the specific needs of our customers more effectively. Great care has been taken to ensure that the user interface is as intuitive and responsive as possible so that the specific needs of our customers are always satisfied.
Award Winning Show Homes
Redrow show homes set a benchmark that is the envy of the industry. Redrow have an in-house dedicated team of professional interior designers who meticulously design and create show homes that are truly inspirational. Customers often comment on the exceptional interior design and independent commentators recognise Redrow as the leader in the field. This has been reflected through more than eight interior design awards in the year and glowing comments from customers.
These show homes perfectly showcase the product and transform our customer’s dreams into reality. This is the point where most people fall in love with a Redrow home.
Many developments now feature show villages such as Woodford Garden Village, Cheshire where there are seven house styles on show.
We are committed to providing customer service comparable with the very best from the retail and services sectors.
We are proud of our reputation for designing attractive homes that meet the modern-day needs of our customers. Outside Greater London, our divisions continue to focus on our award winning Heritage Collection and this year it contributed 72% of the Group’s private sales revenue (2017: 75%). We appreciate that homebuyers’ needs and aspirations differ which is why we have added the Lifestyle Collection to our Heritage range. Lifestyle Collection homes are just as spacious as our family homes but have been redesigned with fewer yet larger bedrooms and have proved a popular addition to our product range.
The Heritage Collection is complemented by bespoke product which represented 28% of private sales revenue in the year (2017: 25%). Bespoke product features more strongly in the South and Greater London uses bespoke product exclusively as each development is specifically designed to reflect the sites constraints whilst preserving the best of its individual character. The contribution from Greater London increased this year representing £296m of our homes sales revenue (2017: £218m) with the first completions from our flagship Colindale Gardens development in North London.
Reservations and Order Book
The Group secured £1.7bn of private reservations in the year (2017: £1.6bn) and ended the year with a total order book including social of £1.1bn (2017: £1.0bn).
Private reservations per outlet per week were 0.67 excluding PRS, in line with the previous year on a 52 week like for like basis. This 2018 rate increased to 0.70 with PRS included. The cancellation rate remained consistent with the previous year at 15%.
We achieved a 89.1% HBF customer recommend rating in 2018 (2017: 88.9%), a modest improvement in a year during which our legal completions increased by 8%. Our current recommendation level is trending at over 90%.
Customer Service training is an integral part of our induction programme for new starters. Our Customer Service Culture course is accredited by the Institute of Customer Service. We are committed to providing customer service comparable with the very best from the retail and services sectors. To achieve this we are constantly improving our customer experience, a recent example being the addition of a customer “Hard Hat” tour.
“My Redrow” is our online members area designed specifically for customers. It provides a secure personalised dashboard supporting their customer journey. “My Redrow” option choices and upgrades enable our customers to personalise their new home and these extras accounted for £20m of sales in the year, in line with the previous year.
Hard Hat tours are an exciting opportunity for Redrow homeowners to view their property, quite literally from the inside out. They are arranged just after the first fix stage of the housebuild. This is when the property is watertight and cables and pipework for the various services have been installed, but before the internal walls have been plastered.
At this point, customers can begin to appreciate the layout and room sizes, really understand what goes into building their new home and check the placing of all their optional extras and upgrades.
Hard Hat tours have helped to further improve the positive relationship between our customers and their site and customer service managers, who personally lead the tours.
This open dialogue has given us more opportunity to better manage customer expectations throughout the home buying process.
Ultimately, our commitment to continual improvement, and the introduction of Hard Hat tours, has helped to deliver happier customers with improved customer recommend and net promoter scores across the Group.
Group Communications Director