Corporate Social Responsibility
The role of business is constantly changing and evolving
It is now widely agreed that business must do more than simply make a profit. It must also take responsibility for driving change, both environmentally and socially.
As a family company, we recognise that we have responsibility to our staff, customers, local communities, our suppliers and their workforces. Our ethos is to hold fast to social, ethical and environmental values making sure we are the best we can be to those who work for us, both directly and indirectly, and the environment and communities around us.
Here are some of the things we do:
Our priority is to understand the needs of our customers and offer them solutions in a way in which they would like to be contacted. We aim to provide quality products at a fair price and exceptional customer service. Read our full policy statement here.
We work with many different types of customer, ranging from the home hobby and DIY user to large industrial organisations, and schools and colleges.
We aim to tailor our offering and service to suit each of these customer groups, supporting them in ways they want to be supported, whether online through our website, by email, face-to-face in one of our stores, at exhibitions or by a member of our field team visiting them in their workshop or place of work.
By listening to and taking notice of feedback from our customers, we want to market only relevant products to them and at a time when they want this communication. Our ultimate goal is to be the company of choice for quality, service and price in the supply of tools, machinery and accessories. Alan Styles (Managing Director)
We know that if we attract, retain and invest in the best people, we will deliver the best results for our customers. We strive to be a highly inclusive and diverse organisation (read our full Diversity and Social Mobility statement here), creating an engaging environment where our people can develop to their full potential. We do this in a number of ways:
Staff have benefitted from our investment in training and development through internal and external courses. Courses offered range from HR skills to manual handling, forklift truck driving to health and safety, plus management skills and professional qualifications. Staff are encouraged to gain qualifications through their personal development plans.
We want to ensure that all staff share in the success of our business. Each December staff are rewarded with a discretionary payment based on how the company has performed.
We introduced our 'Aspire' programme to develop talented staff and identify managers and team leaders for the future.
A Wellbeing programme is in place promoting a healthy lifestyle and being active with health checks, free fruit Friday, free annual flu jabs, and preferential rates for gym membership and sports massage.
Those who car share, cycle or walk to work receive a small thank-you in their pay packet each month as they are also helping to reduce our carbon footprint.
We are an accredited Living Wage employer which has a positive economic impact on our staff and the surrounding community. We became the Living Wage Champion South West in 2016.
If our people are happy at work they are more likely to be loyal, stay longer and be ambassadors for us, while also taking greater care of our company's resources as well as those of our planet and communities Jane Boulton (Human Resources Director)
We are always looking for ways to improve things and carry out an annual staff survey to keep in touch with how staff feel and think about the way the company is run.
It is important to us that our staff are happy and comfortable in the workplace. We provide a safe, healthy and pleasant working environment for our staff and are certified to BS OHSAS 18001:2007. Read our full Health and Safety Policy Statement and Responsibility Charter here.
Supporting our Communities
We are committed to supporting our local and the wider community through a variety of schemes:
Our charity work involves choosing a local charity each year to support and raise funds for. Charities we have supported include Devon Air Ambulance, Hospiscare, HALFF (health and local food for families) and local dementia charities.
Staff have organised or taken part in events, for example Ax-Pedition (a major cycling sportive working with the local Axminster Rotary Club), Royal Marines Commando Challenge, Axe Vale Festival, raising funds for charity. In many instances we support both our staff and the charity by contributing towards entry fees.
We have worked with and donated tools to the charity Tools for Self Reliance. These tools are either sent to development projects in Africa to help local communities affected by poverty with the development of sustainable livelihoods and income diversification, or used in the charity's workshops throughout the UK to prepare tools for sending to Africa.
Working with local schools and colleges, we are able to offer apprenticeships, work experience, mentoring and attend career events
Resources from a pension fund have been utilised to build a new leisure facility which can be used and enjoyed by the local community.
Three of our directors are Corporate Liverymen for the charitable organisation The Furniture Makers' Company, helping to promote and develop the British furniture industry by working with schoolchildren, students and young professionals and nurturing young talent through training opportunities, sponsorship and networking. The Furniture Makers' Company also has a welfare programme, supporting those connected to the furniture industry and assessing each case individually.
One of our directors is an ambassador for Devon Delivers, promoting what's great about Devon through events, information distribution, social media and networking, all designed to help businesses thinking of relocating to the area understand what it's really like to be based here.
Managing our Environmental Impact
We are deeply concerned about the world we live in, greenhouse gases, destruction of the rain forests and what kind of planet we will be leaving to our grandchildren and great grandchildren. For this reason we want to do everything we can to reduce our carbon footprint and the impact we are having on our environment.
In 2017 we bought an electric car which can be used for local journeys, helping to reduce emissions and fossil fuels
Our aim is to reuse, recycle or upcycle as much as we can and we have been operating on a 'zero to landfill' basis since 2014. We recycle paper, cardboard, magazines, polythene bags and wrappers, polystyrene, metal waste, wood waste, plastics, electrical items, chemicals and oils, batteries and light bulbs, and food waste. In 2015 we recycled 37.1 tonnes of cardboard and in 2016 this increased to 64.5 tonnes. Read our full Waste Disposal and Recycling Code of Practice here. We are moving towards LED lighting in all areas and lighting that only comes on when someone enters the area.
In 2016 we introduced a car sharing scheme, incentivising staff to travel together, walk or cycle to work, and in so doing contribute in a small way to reducing the number of cars on the road, fuel being used and level of emissions.
We know that you want to make informed decisions about what you buy, and that you're interested in the origin and sustainability of products. Local sourcing of products plays a part in that and, as a British retailer, we're proud to support British design and quality.
We are working with a number of UK suppliers in celebration of the nation''s skills and craftsmanship, and we'll be marking home-grown brands with the Union Jack flag logo to help you see which are made in the UK, whether you're browsing here on the website or visiting our stores.
What's more we even manufacture some of our own products in our Axminster engineering facility. We take great care to sort and recycle any waste metal, old cutting tools and tips; plus waste oil is sent for safe disposal.
Our Supply Chain, Ethical Trading and Human Rights
We believe in respecting human rights across every aspect of our operation. To ensure our products are ethically sourced, we make regular (yearly) visits to our suppliers in China, Taiwan and India. We have local agents in China and Taiwan who audit the suppliers we use. We are constantly reviewing our policies and procedures so we can be sure that the workforces in the factories we use in these countries are not subjected to unsafe working conditions, forced labour or human trafficking. Read our full Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Act Statement here.