“The key priorities of the Committee are: strengthening the connection between people and places by Developing Thriving Communities; monitoring the Company’s impact on the environment and the communities it creates by Building Responsibly; and ensuring that the Company supports and develops its people by Valuing People.”
I am pleased to present the Placemaking and Sustainability Committee Report for the 52 weeks ended 28 June 2020.
During 2020, the Committee maintained its focus on developing and monitoring the Company’s approach to placemaking and sustainability and monitoring the impact of the Company’s operations on the environment and its communities. A description of the main activities undertaken by the Committee during the year is outlined below.
This year, we welcomed Will Heath as a Member of the Committee. Will Heath is the Group Development Director of the Company and is responsible for the strategic management of the Group’s land holdings. The Sustainability and Master Planning teams report into Will Heath and he is responsible for driving the placemaking and sustainability strategy of the Group. We are delighted that he has joined the Committee as a full Member.
Committee Membership and Meetings
The Members of the Committee during the financial year comprised myself, as Chairman of the Committee, Nick Hewson, Senior Independent Director, Matthew Pratt, Group Chief Executive, Karen Jones, Group Human Resources Director and Will Heath, Group Development Director. The Company Secretary acts as Secretary to the Committee.
Will Heath joined as a Member of the Committee on 9 October 2019.
The Committee met three times during the 2020 financial year. For all meetings, papers were circulated sufficiently in advance to allow proper consideration of all matters for discussion. Details of the meeting attendance can be seen in the table below.
Table of Attendance
|Name||Role||Attendance at Meetings|
|Sir Michael Lyons||Chairman||3/3|
*Due to unforeseen circumstances, Karen Jones was unable to attend one meeting of the Committee, however she was fully appraised of the matters discussed therein.
**Will Heath was appointed as a Member of the Committee on 9 October 2019 and attended all meetings that were held from 9 October 2019 to the end of the 2020 financial year.
Responsibilities and Terms of Reference
The key responsibilities of the Committee are:
- to develop and monitor the Company’s approach to sustainability and to review and approve the sustainability targets proposed by management;
- to assess the impact of the Company’s operations on the environment and communities affected by its activities, including the consideration of policies to enhance the benefits of those activities and mitigate any negative impact of those activities;
- to monitor the Company’s approach to environmental corporate social responsibility and community issues, including environmental management systems, waste and recycling management systems and energy and carbon management;
- to develop and monitor the Company’s approach to placemaking, including monitoring of the Group’s adherence to the Redrow 8, being the placemaking principles for designing sustainable communities;
- to ensure that the Company is continuing to create great places to live and making social, economic and environmental contributions to local areas by setting well-designed homes and amenities within attractive shared spaces;
- to review, in advance of each meeting, a sustainability performance scorecard provided by the Sustainability team, which assists the Committee to more clearly evaluate the relationship between the sustainability initiatives in place, or being considered, and the related performance levels being achieved;
- to ensure that the Company supports its people on a learning and development pathway to deliver high quality products and services;
- to ensure that there is sufficient encouragement and support given to Company employees so that they can realise their capability to contribute to the social, environment and economic health of our communities and having regard to promoting and maintaining the highest degree of physical, mental and social wellbeing in the workplace;
- to ensure that the Company continues to be an employer of choice in the industry, valuing and respecting its diversity; providing both advantage, and equality of opportunity in recruitment, development, recognition and reward;
- to review the Company’s policies and reporting with regard to personnel recruitment, development and succession planning to ensure a sustainable and engaged workforce;
- to review the Company’s involvement in the community, and the Company’s policy on charitable donations and activities;
- to monitor the Company’s developments in customer engagement and service to ensure its values are upheld; and
- to adhere to the Company’s three key principles of sustainability: Developing Thriving Communities, Building Responsibly and Valuing People.
Main Activities During the Year
During the 52 weeks ended 28 June 2020, the principal activities of the Committee were as follows:
- considered and approved action plans for the three sustainability themes (Developing Thriving Communities, Building Responsibly and Valuing People) and measured progress against each;
- regularly reviewed the placemaking and sustainability scorecard which measures progress against the sustainability targets of the Company;
- considered and approved action plans for ensuring consistent implementation of the Redrow 8 placemaking principles across sites;
- discussed and agreed the adoption of the Landscaping Design Code of the Company to ensure consistent high quality landscaping schemes across the Company’s developments, having particular regard to the biodiversity gains of landscaping;
- reviewed and discussed the progress on resource efficiency projects, including the Company’s approach to action on climate change and supporting a waste minimisation campaign, including the Oxford Waste Project (a project to identify the root causes and audit of the wasted materials from a typical home of the Company);
- discussed the Company’s membership of the NHS Healthy New Town Network, with the Redrow 8 principles incorporating and reflecting those of the 10 NHS principles relating to spatial design;
- monitored the work of the Biodiversity Working Group and its progress on biodiversity strategy for the Company, including educating all Divisions of the Company, reviewed the biodiversity objectives and discussed the Group’s partnership with The Wildlife Trusts;
- monitored and regularly reviewed the Group’s health, safety and environmental performance;
- regularly reviewed the prospective developments in the legislative and regulatory environments;
- monitored and reviewed the Company’s response to environmental legislation and regulation, ensuring the appropriate risk mitigation controls were being implemented, monitored and evaluated;
- reviewed the 2020 Social Impact Review of the Company;
- reviewed the work undertaken by the Learning and Development team with particular reference to skill development;
- discussed the progress made by the Company with the ‘Mind your Head’ campaign following its signing up to the Building Mental Health pledge;
- reviewed the work undertaken by the Women’s Network, including mentoring to females across the business and providing a network and support for women within the Group;
- discussed the results of the 2019 INsight Employee Engagement survey and reviewed the employee benefits and initiatives to ensure they remain fit for purpose;
- monitored and reviewed workforce engagement mechanisms, with particular focus on the communications with employees whilst on furlough;
- reviewed and evaluated the Group’s collaboration with education partners, which is aiming to positively impact people and communities.
- supported the business in registering with the Living Wage Foundation to become an accredited living wage employer;
- engaged a specialist consultant to perform an independent review of the Company’s ESG disclosures and scoring and agreed an improvement plan to enhance ESG reporting over the coming years;
- reviewed the NextGeneration Benchmark status and discussed key areas of focus to improve upon in the coming year;
- discussed and supported the renewal of the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System certification;
- reviewed the work undertaken as a result of COVID-19 from shutting down sites safely to putting in place COVID-19 measures including protocols and safe distancing measures on site, in the sales offices and in the Regional and Divisional offices; and
- undertook a performance evaluation of the Committee.
Within this Annual Report, there are a number of key disclosures and policies which relate to the work and scope of the Committee. The table below sets out where key information relating to items falling within the remit of this Committee is located within this report:
|Greenhouse Gas Emissions||See pages 104 to 105 of Directors’ Report|
|Research and Development||
|Resource Efficiency (including low carbon homes)||
|Task Force on Climate-related Disclosures||See pages 111 to 115 of Directors’ Report|
|Considerate Constructors||See page 22 of Strategic Report|
|Social Value Calculator||See pages 105 to 109 of Directors’ Report|
|Diversity and Inclusion Policy||
|Learning and Development||
|Health, Safety and Environment||
|Charitable and Political Donations||
|Code of Conduct||See pages 109 to 110 of Directors’ Report|
|Group Non-Financial Information Statement||See page 46 of Strategic Report|
During the year, a formal internal evaluation of the Committee was carried out to build upon the progress made by the 2019 evaluation which was externally facilitated by Independent Audit.
After reviewing the evaluation report prepared by Independent Audit last year, a questionnaire was created and tailored, taking into consideration comments made in the previous years’ assessment as well as the current market. The Members of the Committee were invited to participate in the evaluation.
Following completion of the questionnaire, an anonymised effectiveness report was compiled and presented to the Members of the Committee. The findings of the evaluation were discussed and the Committee was found to be effective, concluding that it had fulfilled its remit and had in place appropriate Terms of Reference.
The evaluation highlighted that the Committee benefits from a good Chairman and has engaging and focused discussions. It also found that the Committee was particularly strong in overseeing the Company’s health and safety and social and moral responsibilities and maintaining focus on the concerns of the Committee. The review offered a number of suggestions for the future shape of the work of the Committee, which will be considered further by the Committee. Further enhancement of the Company’s ESG disclosures, obtaining independent assurance over environmental performance and controls and reviewing the remit of the Committee will remain priorities for the coming year.
SIR MICHAEL LYONS
Chairman of the Placemaking
and Sustainability Committee
15 September 2020