Corporate and Social Responsibility ("CSR") is at the very core of our Company's culture and values. The environmental impact of the main automotive retail business is comparatively low, however, our focus on responsible policies with regards to Health & Safety, Energy and the Environment is high. As part of our CSR strategy the Group has an active strategy to support a number of charitable and community initiatives.
A consistent Company-wide approach is taken with regards to Health and Safety and Environmental matters. The Health and Safety policy laid down by the Board in 2007 provides the core framework for our standard processes. This policy is regularly reviewed and updated if required. All managers within the business have received training.
There are clear lines of responsibility which are communicated to all colleagues. The General Manager is the main responsible individual at each business for all Health and Safety matters supported by a site Health and Safety Co-ordinator. As the company is growing a decision was made near the end of 2009 to strengthen the Health and Safety internal organisation by appointing a full time Health and Safety Manager. The Health and Safety Manager's responsibilities include; monitoring compliance to our Health and Safety systems, providing support and advice to the General Managers as well as continually assessing the quality of our systems, outputs and recommending improvements. The Health and Safety Manager also reports monthly into the plc Board.
We continue to be committed to the care and protection of our colleagues and the local environments close to our operational businesses. Our responsibilities are carried out in the following ways:
A great deal of importance is placed on Environment matters during the due diligence process for acquisitions with external environmental consultants reviewing and assessing environmental risks. Assessments may include site and soil surveys, reviews or environmental management systems, compliance with laws and regulations. In addition, Health and Safety compliance and processes are considered. Appropriate warranties and indemnities are then sought from vendors.
The licences required to operate the businesses are obtained from the relevant authorities and controls are in place in relation to substances that may harm the environment including:
Energy management and reduction: As a large company, Vertu Motors plc will be participating in the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) programme which commences in 2010. In preparation we have been collecting our gas and electric usage data via smart meters from October 2008. To date 85% of our dealerships are equipped with smart meters, and the programme is ongoing due to the acquisitive nature of the Group. In addition we have been able to reduce our energy usage by 10% across the board.
5 key senior managers from across our business are receiving off-site energy consultancy training and we will use the knowledge gained to share best practice across the group. Our aim is to continue to monitor and reduce our energy usage and make cost savings and investments where appropriate.
Health Screening and Monitoring: Annual and Bi-Annual screening/ monitoring of colleagues working within workshop and bodyshop environments.
PAS 125 and Bodyshops: Vertu Motors plc welcomed the industry initiative to raise standards across the accident repair industry and as of November 2009 is one of the first franchised dealer groups to achieve 100% PAS 125 BSI Kitemark accreditation.
Sourcing Policies: Vertu Motors plc seeks to establish long term partnerships with a small number of like -minded core suppliers who can provide evidence that they hold all of the relevant licences/ accreditations required to operate their business. Suppliers must also be able to demonstrate their CSR policies and internal processes to support such.
The objective of the Purchasing Department is to deliver "Best In Industry" value with regards to supply arrangements. This will be measured by quality of internal service along with direct supplier service, total cost to the company and the provision of ongoing flexible supplier relationships. As a department we will aim to recognise supplier excellence and reward that commitment and excellence with a long term sustainable relationship with our company.