We are committed to ethical and sustainable business – for the environment, our people, our customers, our suppliers and the communities we operate in. This is evidenced by our vision and values.
The Group is dedicated to being environmentally responsible through our commitment to eliminate waste and wasteful practices. Initiatives to reduce the Group’s impact on the environment include the recycling of manufacturing waste, reducing carbon emissions and utilisation of recyclable packaging materials.
The Group will continue to recycle its main waste streams: off specification product, plaster of Paris moulds and cardboard, as appropriate. We take our environmental responsibilities seriously and, where possible, work with customers and accredited ecological bodies to reduce potential environmental impact.
Over half of the energy used at Wax Lyrical’s production site in Cumbria during 2018 was provided by wind turbine, supplying 572,130 kWh of “green” electricity and preventing generation of 249 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. Wax Lyrical is an active member of the Furness Waste Consortium. The Consortium members represent a wide range of industries within the Furness and South Cumbria area committed to sustainable waste management.
Portmeirion UK’s commitment to reducing its carbon emissions is evidenced by having been subject to a Climate Change Agreement since 2000. During 2018, it continued to meet the challenging targets on energy efficiency set as part of its ongoing membership of this agreement. Portmeirion UK has reduced the specific energy consumption (SEC) in each of the previous reporting periods and is committed to reducing this again in the period 2019 to 2020.
The Group’s performance and its success within our marketplace are directly related to the effectiveness of our people, who deliver the high quality products and provide the exceptional service that we are renowned for. Our focus is to create a high performance culture through effective employee engagement, excellence in people development and diligent resource management.
We recognise and value all forms of diversity in our employees and endeavour to promote diversity in our workplace to enhance the success of our business. To demonstrate our commitment to this, we have adopted a formal Diversity Policy complementing our Equal Opportunities Policy.
As a Group we strive to eliminate any gender bias in our pay and employment policies and practices and understand that equal pay and treatment of males and females is both a moral and legal obligation. We have a robust recruitment policy which stipulates that the Group will recruit, train and reward based on merit.
See our latest Gender Pay Gap Report for more information.
The Group provides a number of learning and development opportunities across all areas of the business to ensure that our employees have all of the necessary skills to competently perform their roles. In June 2018, Portmeirion UK and Wax Lyrical achieved the Investors in People Gold accreditation which demonstrates our progression in leading, supporting and improving our teams.
Investment in our people stretches beyond their careers to their wellbeing generally. Portmeirion UK is accredited for the Workplace Wellbeing Charter.
Key to the retention of our employees is recognising and rewarding their hard work. Our reward strategy aims to provide a package that offers competitive pay and distinctive benefits. We are committed to paying in excess of the National Living Wage. Within the UK, we operate employee recognition schemes including discretionary incentive schemes, length of service and 100% attendance awards, Christmas gifts, VIP “family and friends” Christmas shopping evenings and retirement afternoon teas.
The Group promotes a positive health and safety culture throughout the business to ensure that all of our people consider health, safety and welfare issues while at work and make an effective contribution towards maintaining and improving health and safety standards.
In October 2018, Portmeirion UK’s efforts were recognised at the British Ceramics Confederation Health and Safety Pledge Awards for achievements in “implementation of a Comprehensive Management System”.
Community and social
The communities where our sites are based are important to us and every employee has the opportunity to make a difference within our local communities through our charitable programmes.
Portmeirion UK for the third year supported the Douglas Macmillan Hospice as its employee-chosen Charity of the Year for 2018, with over £18,000 being raised. In addition, 268 volunteering hours were delivered by Portmeirion UK, which authorised at least two employees per month to have a paid day off to volunteer for the Hospice. Volunteers helped with activities such as gardening, coin counting and the very popular mobile lithography workshop for inpatients at the day therapy unit.
In 2018, St Mary’s Hospice, North West Air Ambulance and Ostley House Dementia Unit were Wax Lyrical’s chosen charities. A total of over £6,000 was raised through the dedicated support of Wax Lyrical’s employees.
Portmeirion UK and Wax Lyrical also support other fundraising initiatives delivering well received support to other charities and fostering employee team work and community spirit. Both Portmeirion UK and Wax Lyrical provide support to their local schools through staff presentations supporting science curriculums, careers advice, CV writing and interview techniques.
Ethics and relationships
Our strategy and business model, as well as mitigation of our principal risks and uncertainties, relies on positive relationships with our stakeholders. To ensure the maintenance of these relationships in line with our corporate culture, the Group has a suite of measures in place.
The Group has a formal recruitment policy and comprehensive employee handbook which contains information on issues such as working hours and grievances. The Group also has policies for dealing with gifts, hospitality, bribery, corruption, modern slavery, whistle-blowing, conflicts of interest and inside information.
The Group is committed to putting its customers at the heart of everything it does by providing safe, value for money, high quality products and developing and maintaining positive relationships. All employees are expected to behave respectfully and honestly in their dealings with customers and the general public.
The Group expects its suppliers to adhere to business principles consistent with the Group’s own and to adopt and implement acceptable health and safety, environmental, product quality, labour, human rights, social and legal standards in line with the Group’s product supplier Code of Conduct. The selection of new suppliers will continue to be subject to them meeting high international standards of compliance. Conformance to these standards is assessed by on-site audits at the supplier’s premises. All suppliers are requested to complete pre-prepared compliance declarations.
The Group does not make political donations and charitable donations are made only where legal and ethical according to local law and practices. The Group has policies for dealing with gifts, hospitality, bribery and corruption.