Corporate Social Responsibility Statements
The Group recognizes that it has responsibilities to all stakeholders which include the interests of employees and their families; the need to foster the Group’s business relationships with partners, customers, suppliers and others and the impact of the Group’s operations on the local communities and the surrounding environment where it operates. Employees are highly regarded and valued, and their employment and other rights are respected. The Group is committed to the important principle of equal opportunity which is reflected in the Group’s recruitment, graduate recruitment, disciplinary and grievance policies. The Group is dedicated to supplying products of top quality to meet its customers’ requirements in a manner that is consistent with high environmental and ethical standards. The Group makes a contributions to local communities charities and communities in the areas which it operates its business.
Relations with Shareholders
The Group actively encourages open communications with shareholders. Principally through the Board, the Group endeavours to establish and maintain healthy relationships with its institutional shareholders by holding regular meetings throughout the year, particularly after the announcement of full and interim results. Shareholders can register to receive the Group’s press releases via the internet and any queries from individual shareholders are answered promptly by a nominated person.
The Group is involved in a weekly dialogue with private shareholders, the comments and concerns from these shareholders who participate in this forum are circulated to management within the Group at the end of each week.
The Group gives shareholders at least 21 days’ notice of the AGM. At the AGM, the Directors make a full presentation to shareholders to explain recent and future developments in the business, followed by an open question and answer session which provides shareholders with the opportunity to ask Directors and senior employees questions about the business. The Group prepares separate resolutions on each substantially separate issue and a schedule of proxy votes cast is made available for inspection at the conclusion of proceedings. The AGM is held at the Group’s headquarters in Kings Langley where shareholders can visit demonstration rooms displaying the Group’s technology in Group or partners’ products and Pure products with senior divisional employees available to give in-depth detail of the Group’s technologies and products. The Board makes itself accessible to meet with shareholders on an informal basis.
The Non-Executive Directors have access to independent feedback from shareholders after results presentations which, supported by periodic attendance at analyst and shareholder presentations, provides them with an understanding of the views of major shareholders. The Senior Non-Executive Director is available for dialogue with major shareholders if required.
Consulting with Employees
The Group understands and appreciates the importance of effective communication with its employees worldwide. Where there are matters arising in the Group which could impact staff there is an appropriate consultation process. This is mainly achieved through monthly divisional meetings where employee-related items are initially discussed. Divisional Vice-Presidents and/or General Managers will in turn consult their employees and feedback any constructive responses before the Group proceeds in making decisions. The Group is re-developing its Headquarters in Kings Langley to create a state of the art building providing substantial improvements in the working environment for employees and the Group will continue to have a dialogue with employees to ensure their views and observations are taken into consideration in the re-development process.
The Board understands and recognizes the increasing importance of environmental issues, although it has limited direct impact on the environment since it is not involved in heavy industry or any direct manufacturing activity. Group premises are offices, with the main activity in the Group being the development of hardware and software designs by employees working on computers, involving neither the use of hazardous substances or complex waste emissions.
The Group is redeveloping its Head Office facilities in Kings Langley and the buildings are being designed along the principles of sustainable design and will exceed the building regulations requirements for buildings of this nature; the aspiration is for the building to achieve a BREEAM rating of ‘Excellent’. In addition to reducing the building’s energy consumption a sustainable approach has been adopted when approaching other issues which will contribute towards a truly sustainable building. Such issues include the selection of materials; construction technologies; and the operation, management and maintenance of the completed building. The main methods by which a fully sustainable building with the aspired BREEAM rating of Excellent will be achieved are:
- Introducing the sustainable aspects of the construction process at an early stage of the design and collaborating as a team to achieve the sustainability goals.
- Considered and intelligent design of fenestration. The main emphasis in the design and specification of the glazing and solar shading devices will be to reduce operational energy usage in terms of heat loss and solar gain whilst maximizing levels of daylight within the office space, thus reducing reliance on artificial lighting.
- The provision of facilities such as secure bicycle storage and changing facilities to encourage staff to use sustainable modes of transport.
- Water saving technologies (such as flow restrictors, low flow rate water fittings, etc.) will be applied to the building to minimize potable water demand and to achieve further CO2 emissions reductions while saving a precious natural resource.
- Selection of construction materials and technologies that minimize site wastage.
- Using locally sourced materials where possible.
- Responsibly sourcing materials used in structural and non-structural elements. Third party certification will be required to show that the timber has come from a sustainability managed source e.g. Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
- Using the Green Guide to Specification to ensure that where possible materials have ‘A’ rating.
- Recycling construction waste using off site sorting including a dedicated space for recyclable materials on site.
- The provision of dedicated recyclable waste storage facilities.
- Aiming to improve the site’s ecological impact through considered landscaping treatment.
- The provision of an area of brown roof to encourage and increase the site’s levels of biodiversity.
- Incorporating SUDS (Sustainable Urban Drainage) such as permeable paving on the surface car parks and water attenuation to control surface water run-off and minimize water course pollution.
The Group continues its promotion and support of practices for the use of resources in an environmentally friendly manner. The Group has energy saving measures in place for recycling components, such as printed circuit boards, toner cartridges, surplus packaging and paper. The Group discourages company vehicles with only a small number of vehicles throughout the Group.
Pure remains committed to ethical and environmentally sustainable design and manufacture as encapsulated within EcoPlus (www.Pure.com/ecoplus). Pure recognises that its main environmental impact comes about through the products themselves in manufacture, transport and predominantly in use by consumers, and so it continues to reduce the power consumption of its products, with a programme in place to exceed the requirements of the tightened Energy-Using Products (EuP) Directive which comes into place in January 2013.
Pure has made particular strides with reduction in the power of internet radio with the introduction of ONE Flow – the first internet radio to meet the stringent requirements of the EST specification for digital radio. In total, Pure now has fifteen EST accredited radios, with more to come. During the peak trading period of 2010, Pure’s “Make a Difference” trade and consumer campaign promoted the sale of these EST recommended radios.
Pure have met their obligations under the EC Directive on Batteries and Accumulators and Waste Batteries and Accumulators (2006/66/EC) through their membership of the compliance scheme eBatt.
With respect to the Group’s sub-contract manufacturing activities, all facilities are regularly SEDEX audited to ensure that good employment standards and practices are in place, and the Group has taken the necessary action to comply with the provisions of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical Equipment Regulations 2005 (RoHS) and Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE). The Group is a member of the compliance scheme REPIC to meet our obligations as a producer of WEEE and are members of the Distributor Takeback Scheme run by Valpak to meet our obligations as direct sellers. The Group complies with EC Regulation on chemicals and their safe use (EC 1907/2006), known as Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemical substances (REACH). The Group also complies with The Energy Using Products Directive (EuP) 2005/32/EC which sets out the minimum requirements for eco-design for energy using products.
The Group continues to provide information to shareholders electronically and make documents available through the website rather than via paper copies. The Group can report that with support from shareholders less than 1% of shareholders now receive paper copies, thereby providing significant environmental and cost benefits. The Group has a Ride 2 Work scheme for employees which provides benefits to the environment.
Graduate Recruitment Programme
The Group runs a Graduate Recruitment Programme (GRP) with universities and colleges throughout the UK having developed strong relationships with a number of universities including the University of Southampton, Imperial College of London, the University of Bristol and the University of Manchester. We sponsor PhD studentships, undergraduate and Masters of Science projects as well as running an active recruitment calendar at our top universities. As a direct result of our GRP we have had 40 undergraduates on internship during the year. In 2012/13 we have a much higher target for the GRP and will continue to expand the number of universities and colleges who can participate with placements and/or internship, as well as graduate recruitment. We have linked up with universities which reflect our technical skillset and are supporting and developing these into centres of excellence for students in line with our intellectual property activities around the Group. One of our key objectives is to encourage academic institutions in the UK to support the research requirements of UK industry. In addition to this, we are also building collaborations with other European universities outside of the UK.
In 2012 the Group will sponsor the EPSRC UK ICT Pioneers Event which was open to all second and third year PhD students in the UK. The Event was created to showcase and reward research with exploitation potential in the UK with cash prizes available. The Group is increasingly working closer with funding bodies such as EPSRC to support and contribute to research in the UK.
Scholarships, Sponsorships and Apprenticeships
The Group offers a wide range of other incentives to young people varying from the sponsorship of electronic courses at local schools; giving scholarship awards to students at University to promote career opportunities at our Group and financial awards to successful internships with the intention that the students come to work for the Group in the future. The Group continues to run an apprenticeship programme for 16 year olds, and also invites around 20 young people annually for structured work experience to learn more about and experience some of the careers available in our sector. The Group is in the process of building regional hubs at its 4 UK sites to promote electronics to the school age population.
Charitable work in the Community
The Group gives charitable donations both locally and nationally. Every year employees are consulted to ensure that the donations given by the Group represent all the interests and locations where employees are based. A list of charities which are selected by the Group and employees of the Group are asked which percentage of the Group charitable donation pot is to go to each of the charities. If employees raise money for a charity on the Group selected charity list the Group will double the amount of money raised by the employee.