“The Committee is focused on monitoring the impact of the Company’s operations on the environment, its communities and all employees and ensuring that the Group’s initiatives are aligned with the three strategic themes of: Developing Thriving Communities, Building Responsibly and Valuing People.”
I am pleased to present the Placemaking and Sustainability Committee Report for the 52 weeks ended 27 June 2021.
During 2021, 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, its communities and its colleagues.
During the year, the Company has been focusing on its Environmental, Social and Governance ("ESG") improvement project and to assist with driving this project forward, there have been changes in the leadership of sustainability within the Group, which include the appointment of the Group Communities Director, who also joined as a member of the of the Executive Management Team, and a new Head of Sustainability.
An external consultancy firm was engaged during the year to undertake an ESG performance disclosure review, considering how ESG performance is currently measured and reported both internally and externally and including recommendations for improvement. Following the review, the Committee has been overseeing the following:
- introduction of the ESG Scorecard, found on pages 6 to 15, which comprises key metrics relevant to stakeholders and which will help drive business performance, supported by an external assurance statement to provide independent assurance over the integrity of the data;
- creation of a new climate change working group to report to the Committee, led by the Group Communities Director and comprising senior representatives from Sustainability, Finance, Governance, Technical, Commercial and Construction, to develop the Company’s climate change strategy, including the Redrow Zero Carbon Roadmap, carbon reduction targets and climate related financial disclosures; and
- progress made on sourcing alternative forms of low carbon home heating as a substitute for traditional gas boilers.
In October 2020, we welcomed the Group Communities Director, Rose Sandell, as a Member of the Committee. Rose Sandell is responsible for placemaking and the sustainability framework, ensuring that these functions align with the Group’s long-term objectives and targets. We are delighted that she 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 HR Director, Rose Sandell, Group Communities Director and Will Heath, Group Development Director. The Company Secretary acts as Secretary to the Committee.
Will Heath stepped down as a Member of the Committee on 31 October 2020 and was replaced by Rose Sandell with effect from the same date.
The Committee met three times during the 2021 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 on page 124.
Table of Attendance
|Name||Role||Attendance at Meetings|
|Sir Michael Lyons *||Chairman||3/3|
|Nick Hewson *||Member||
|Will Heath 1||Member||1/1|
|Rose Sandell 2||Member||2/2|
1 Will Heath stepped down from the Committee on 31 October 2020 and attended the meeting held between the beginning of the 2021 financial year and the date he stepped down from the Committee.
2 Rose Sandell was appointed as a Member of the Committee between 31 October 2020 and attended all meetings that were held from 31 October 2020 and the end of the 2021 financial year.
*Member considered to be independent. Throughout the 2021 financial year, the Committee was made up of 40% independent Members.
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, the 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 ensure that any initiatives and objectives are aligned with the Company’s three strategic themes of: Developing Thriving Communities, Building Responsibly and Valuing People.
The Committee regularly reviews its Terms of Reference; these were last reviewed in October 2020 and are published on the Group’s website (redrowplc.co.uk).
Main Activities During the Year
During the 52 weeks ended 27 June 2021, the principal activities of the Committee were as follows:
Related principle activities of the Committee
- assessed the implications of the Planning White Paper on Design, Layout and Placemaking, including the risks, opportunities and benefits following implementation and considered both representations to be made and the Company’s strategy for responding to a National Model Design Code;
- reviewed the National Model Design Code and supported the Group’s engagement of a third party to undertake a survey of homeowners and Local Authorities;
- reviewed and approved the Landscape Manual;
- reviewed and approved the Plotting Manual, a practical guide to efficient plotting and the delivery of great streets and places that complements the Landscape Manual to be distributed to the Divisions; and
- received an update on the Biodiversity Net Gain Pilot Projects being undertaken across the business.
Related principle activities of the Committee
- reviewed the results of HS&E Assurance Inspections and COVID-19 Compliance Inspections on the Group’s sites and supported the implementation of the COVID-19 ‘See Something/Say Something’ text number for residents/personnel to utilise if they wish to report a COVID-19 concern;
- approved the COVID-19 Secure Risk Assessments, ensuring that they were aligned with the latest Government guidance;
- supported the business in achieving a full re-accreditation to ISO14001, the international standard for environmental management systems;
- reviewed the progress made on the Waste Minimisation Project and discussed the ‘Reduce the Rubble’ campaign;
- supported the Group in signing up for the Government’s scheme for Lateral Flow Testing;
- received updates on the health and safety performance of the Group;
- supported the launch of RedHSE, being an online accident/incident reporting system and HS&E audit platform allowing for the automation of significant HS&E data collection and analysis to help focus and target initiatives in support of continuous improvement;
- reviewed the introduction of the HS&E Internal Audits designed to check and measure Divisional understanding and compliance of the Group’s existing HS&E Management Systems by all functions;
- received an update on Construction matters, including the Construction Quality Reviews, the usage of the Considerate Contractors Scheme, the NHBC RI/BRIs/Awards and labour matters on site;
- reviewed the Group’s Customer Excellence Report together with the developments in customer engagement mechanisms, including the new three-stage complaints process, the extension of the My Redrow platform with a Homeowner Support area and the opening of the new Customer Experience Suites;
- reviewed the progress made against the annual sustainability targets;
- received a report from the Group Communities Director and an external specialist consultant setting out an ESG improvement project plan, following which an agreed action plan to close the identified gaps and exploit opportunities was approved;
- assessed the progress made with the ESG improvement project and approved the introduction of the ESG Scorecard as part of the ESG improvement project;
- reviewed the Group’s climate change strategy and short and medium work to be undertaken; and
- reviewed progress made on sourcing alternative forms of low carbon home heating in substitute for traditional gas boilers.
Related principle activities of the Committee
- reviewed the procedures surrounding the return to work of colleagues from furlough and assessed the impact that the ‘stay at home’ measures had on colleagues;
- assessed the business actions taken in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of colleagues throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and the engagement mechanisms used to keep all colleagues informed;
- assessed the progress made in terms of mental health and wellbeing matters following the signing up of the business to the Building Mental Health Charter in October 2018;
- approved the introduction of ‘Engage Lite’, a condensed version of the Group’s intranet which was available to all employees on furlough to allow colleagues access to important business updates and health and wellbeing resources for themselves and their families;
- received an update on the recruitment of colleagues through the Company’s New Entrant Programmes and supported the business in signing up to the Talent Retention Scheme set up by the Construction Leadership Council to investigate whether the business can help any apprentices who had lost their jobs;
- supported the business in opening up the Redrow Construction Management degree programme, in partnership with Liverpool John Moores University and Coleg Cambria, to post A-Level school leavers, resulting in the successful candidates joining various Redrow Divisions;
- considered the initiatives proposed to be implemented across the business as part of Redrow 2025 and reviewed the feedback received from the colleague survey, senior leadership interviews and colleague focus groups;
- explored the work undertaken by the Group to achieve the Living Wage Foundation accreditation, which was received in February 2021, including the update of subcontractor agreements to ensure that the Group’s supply chain also pay in accordance with these rates;
- reviewed the Company’s Future Leader Programme;
- reviewed and approved the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policy and training programme, including an e-learning module for all employees;
- reviewed the work undertaken by Nicky Dulieu in her capacity as designated Non-Executive Director for workforce engagement;
- considered progress and results of the Redrow 2025 initiative and approved the introduction of a truly agile working approach, which allows colleagues to work from wherever they are most efficient; and
- assessed the results of the 2021 INsight survey.
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:
|ESG Scorecard||See page 6 of Strategic Report|
|Greenhouse Gas Emissions||See page 157 of Directors’ Report|
|Research and Development|
|Task Force on Climate-related Disclosures||See page 163 of Directors’ Report|
|Placemaking||See page 158 of Directors’ Report|
|Diversity and Inclusion Policy|
|Learning and Development|
|Health, Safety and Environment|
|Charitable and Political Donations|
|Code of Conduct||See page 161 of Directors’ Report|
|Stakeholder Engagement||See page 84 of Strategic Report|
|Group Non-Financial Information Statement||See page 79 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, as well as the formal internal evaluation undertaken last year. In line with Provision 21 of the Code, the Board shall be engaging an external evaluator to facilitate the evaluation of the Committee in 2022.
After reviewing the 2020 self-evaluation report, a questionnaire was created and tailored, taking into consideration comments made in the previous year's assessment as well as the current market. The Members of the Committee, as well as those people who regularly attend the Committee meetings by invitation, 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 quality of discussion and debate during Committee meetings was consistently rated highly and it was agreed that the meetings were chaired in a meaningful and considered way with a healthy level of questioning and interrogation. The informal discussions between meetings held between Members of the Committee were deemed to be helpful. Increasing the time and resources spent on expanding the focus on environmental matters from an operational level to a strategic level, ensuring that such matters are embedded even further into our business model, shall remain a priority for the Committee for the coming year.
SIR MICHAEL LYONS
Chairman of the Placemaking
and Sustainability Committee
14 September 2021