Corporate Social Responsibility

Introduction

The Trifast Main Board and Operational Management teams remain focused on delivering "Continuous Improvement" in relation to the Group's objectives and "performance measurables" that is, how we as a business approach CSR – both for individual business teams, locations and for the Group as a whole.

Our key Group topics embrace health & safety, energy consumption within our properties, fleet vehicle fuel consumption and emissions, wasteful packaging, personnel travel, flexibility for staff compassionate leave (combined with pastoral care), ethical sourcing and supply chain freight logistics.

As we indicated last year, there is an increasing number of multinational customers who now include CSR audits when inspecting and validating potential new suppliers; therefore, our responsibility to further develop our own CSR activities is continuing and extending beyond business ethics, environmental and community to include essential major customer compliance.

Did you know?

  • The introduction of video conferencing systems around the business by our Operations Director has significantly reduced costs and 'lost time' from staff travel needed in a multi-site operation involving 31 business teams located in 16 countries

At local level, we are encouraging "loaning" of staff, vehicles or other relevant Company resources to for example, local charities, youth organisations, and hospices in order to assist and support them with their community activities. We feel that it adds more value, appreciation and satisfaction to all involved to give our time and "gifts in kind" wherever possible, rather than indulge in "cheque book charity".

TR has also been successful in re-building former close links with local schools and colleges in order to promote opportunities for work experience, classroom seminars, pupil and staff visits and to generally foster a better level of understanding between us as potential employers and the future providers of possible applicants for employment. This in turn has been our main resource for recruiting school leavers into our new Apprenticeship scheme, which by March 2012 resulted in five youngsters being employed under a two-year NVQ Business studies programme at TR Uckfield. Jim Barker, our CEO established the UK Apprenticeship scheme last year in conjunction with Uckfield Community Technical College-together we identified students (who had completed 'A' levels but could not or would not be seeking a University Degree course) and gave them the opportunity to join TR and undertake an Apprentice Scheme. We fully subscribe to the Government initiative that aims to support and encourage businesses to offer apprenticeship schemes, especially at a time when the financial and career prospects for graduates continues to be tough for young people. Whilst TR is proud of its very low staff turnover there remains the need to ensure that we encourage a steady inflow of "new blood" into our Company that can be trained at an early age to learn our systems, ethics and business culture.

Business Ethics

We expect all of our business activities to be conducted in accordance with high standards of ethical conduct and full compliance with all applicable national and international laws. We, in turn, apply these standards to all dealings with customers, suppliers, employees and other stakeholders. Our Code of Business Ethics and Responsible Behaviour provides a guide to the way we achieve our business goals, helping us to behave in an open and ethical manner. This extends to provisions for "whistleblowing" whereby employees may report suspected wrongdoings in confidence. Appropriate ethical behaviour is reviewed as part of the Group's performance appraisal process.

We have extended this Code to our vendors/suppliers. This requires our key strategic suppliers to work towards achieving, as a minimum, standards covering such issues as the environment, employee health & safety and the prohibition of child labour, which through business reviews and visits, encourages compliance and good practice within our supply chain. We will do our utmost to contract only with sub-contractors or suppliers who themselves adhere to international human rights and environmental laws and practices. Trifast commits to monitor the ethical performance of its key suppliers and to taking immediate steps in cases where the ethical performance of its key suppliers comes into question.

All key suppliers to the business are required to agree and sign our comprehensive "Quality and Sustainability Agreement" before entering into a trading relationship with TR. This agreement fully covers the suppliers Business Ethics, Health & Safety and Environmental Management with regard to national and international laws (including labour and ethics) along with submission of their written policy and contact details of the persons responsible within their organisation. We also encourage suppliers to support their local communities and expect evidence of this to be available on request, plus we require all suppliers to sign a separate CSR Statement.

Health & Safety

The Managing Directors/General Managers appointed by the Board have responsibility for the health & safety and environmental performance of their operational areas. They are assisted by the Health & Safety Manager. Trifast is committed to meeting all relevant health & safety legislation, regulation and Codes of Practice.

The Group Health & Safety Policy places responsibility for the management of health & safety on the individual business unit management who are supported by Health & Safety Advisers where necessary.

All business units provide employees with relevant comprehensive health & safety training and a written health & safety policy.

The Managing Directors/General Managers ensure regular inspections and annual internal audits of health & safety performance and also have regular designated health & safety training. These audits have been successfully reinforced by the use of the British Safety Council.

Our health & safety performance and significant risk exposures are reviewed regularly by management and the Board. We have now introduced a reportable accident free target period of one million working hours as a result of being encouraged by our current excellent safety record.

Health & Safety is a standard agenda item at all Main Board Meetings.

Did you know?

  • That our UK van fleet has reduced from 41 to 30 since March 2009 – this has delivered significantly reduced mileage, costs and carbon emissions reduction

Environment

Good environmental practice and the impact that our operations have on the environment are of great importance to Trifast. The main aim of Trifast's Environmental Policy is to comply with all relevant legislation in all areas in which we operate and to adopt responsible environmental practices. We have established a process for monitoring legislation and acting upon it where necessary. Business units are required to comply with Group policy and local statutory regulations and are committed to setting their own environmental targets such as improving energy efficiency, reducing waste and increasing recycling in conjunction with Group objectives.

  • In respect of waste management specifically, we use the services of an external professional agency to manage and monitor activities using health check compliance audits and advice on data collection systems. Promoting recycling, we follow the agency's recommendation for appropriate waste disposal.
  • Group performance and risk reviews are undertaken via Management Review on a regular basis and reported directly to Jim Barker, Chief Executive who has Main Board responsibility for the Group's Environmental Risk Policy. Trifast will communicate any significant environmental impact with third parties on request.
  • Our Fleet Manager focuses on manufacturers who can supply vehicles with below average carbon emissions.
  • Our Logistics Managers are also continuously reviewing the efficiency of our van delivery routes in conjunction with customers in order to examine opportunities to reduce delivery frequency, and where appropriate, to outsource 'far flung isolated' routes to daily delivery freight specialists. This has resulted in our UK van fleet being reduced from 41 to 30 since March 2009 — this has delivered significantly reduced mileage, costs and carbon emissions reduction.
  • The Bellbrook Park office and warehouse facility completed the part-overhaul authorised last year of its 22-year old heating and air conditioning plant; this was completed on budget and as we indicated last year the capital cost will be recouped in energy savings within four years, greater than first anticipated.

The Business and the Community

Trifast recognises the role local communities play in our businesses. We aspire to be a responsible partner in the communities in which we operate around the world. We encourage all our businesses to support the particular needs of their communities by contributing to local charities and community initiatives.

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Most of our financial contributions to charities come from the effort and personal involvement of our staff around the Group with tangible support from the Directors with regard to allowing flexible working and auctions, dressing up days and the use of Company vehicles and premises for fund raising. Not only does this provide real benefits to local communities but has the distinct advantage of further enhancing team spirit amongst our staff.

Employees

Trifast continues to aim at attracting, retaining and motivating the highest calibre of employees within a structure that encourages their development and initiative. Employees are provided with ongoing learning and development opportunities that are aligned to the Group's strategic and business units' objectives and formal personal development programmes operate where linked to the Group's objectives. All of these processes are reinforced with appropriate remuneration incentives and are on recognised systems.

As investors are aware, since 2009 our staff have endured reorganisation in management and changes within some of our business teams to help regain profitability and productivity with extreme resilience and positivity. This underlines the Directors' admiration and confidence in the quality of character of so many of our people. This in turn, has seen us enhance our HR resources including professional managers and the investment in an IT system dedicated to providing an all round HR tool to each staff member for their future training, personal development and support services.

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"Good environmental practice and the impact that our operations have on the environment are of great importance to Trifast"

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Communications

We aim to maintain a productive and open dialogue with all interested parties in our business including shareholders, customers, suppliers and employees. We have established customer relations, conduct customer satisfaction surveys, monitor and develop supplier performance and undertake regular employee surveys. We maintain our investor and commercial websites as one of the main routes for providing information to interested parties and for contacting us.

The Board is dedicated to investing time and effort into further improving all aspects of TR's internal and external communications by prudent use of digital media to supplement verbal interaction with supporting materials.

During the year, the Chief Executive, Chairman and other Main Board Directors undertook "The TQM Tour", re-introduced last year.

The TQM initiative involves a visit to each English-speaking business location at least once a year in order to interact with the staff and to update them on the progress of the Group by explaining the Board's objectives and the business performance in some detail, and encouraging open dialogue, questions and feedback on all aspects of the business and its plans.

From this once again we have been able to work with our staff and ensure that as a team we create the right environment to develop our people and overall productivity.

To find out more go to www.trfastenings.com/pages/TR+Sponsorship

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