Corporate Social Responsibility

Sovereign Group Limited have grown to be one of the largest manufactures and installers of PVC-u windows and composite door suppliers within the public sector which spans 44 years of continued success.

The company continues in providing our clients with a full range of products and services to enable them to provide the best options for each individual project or scheme, which now includes aluminium window systems, timber windows, roofline products, in-house manufactured composite doors and fire doors and the very latest PVC-u products, profiles and colour ranges available.

At Sovereign we take our Corporate Social Responsibility very seriously. Here you can view our complete CSR policy in sections.

1: Vision and Values

Commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility

Sovereign Group Limited is owned and managed by its Directors and operates for the benefit of its Clients, staff and the communities that we work within and as such we recognise our responsibilities to all our stakeholders – employees, customers, suppliers and sub-contractors, as well as shareholders.

We are equally well aware that our responsibilities extend to the communities in which we operate and the wider environment as a whole.

To ensure that we provide a framework for the delivery of our corporate social responsibilities, we have established an Environmental Corporate Responsibility Committee. The Committee is primarily focused on developing and delivering on our environmental and community commitments, as well as overseeing our wider strategy to achieve best practice in terms of corporate social responsibility.

However, Sovereign Group considers that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) issues are a matter for the Board as a whole as they are an integral part of the success of the company delivering on our responsibilities to all our stakeholders.

Sovereign Group is a success story founded on the basic principles of Customer Service. The results of the company’s success were noted and rewarded when the group was awarded ‘Partner of the Year’ by the LHC for the second year, ‘Supplier of the Year’ at the Housing Excellence awards and ‘Social Housing Project of the Year’ award.

2: Current Goals

Achieving Our Current Goals

Sovereign Group is committed to delivering on corporate social responsibility issues and has analysed the business in terms of its impact on all stakeholders, both internal and external. Whilst recognising our obligations in terms of financial performance to our stakeholders, we believe we also have to respect our responsibilities to others- to ensure that Sovereign Group delivers genuine benefits to everyone concerned.

In each aspect of our business we have identified significant steps to improve our performance on corporate social responsibility issues.

We aim to:

  • Make Sovereign Group an employer of choice to attract good quality people and reduce staff turnover by offering all our employees the opportunity to enhance their learning and development. We deliver this through our own in-house training, as well as providing a competitive pay and benefits package.
  • Further improve awareness of health and safety issues and reduce our accident rates through the continuing work of our dedicated in-house Health & Safety Team, which reports directly to the Managing Director.
  • Deliver a higher standard of customer service having introduced new procedures to improve the quality of the service provided to our customers..
  • Improve our performance on corporate social responsibility issues by continuing to work with our supply chain in areas of ethical sourcing, health & safety and environmental issues.
  • Continue to provide quality environments in which people can live and work, through sustainable development, investing in the local community and having specific regard to the environment in which we operate.
  • Improve our performance in terms of environmental management and impact and are introducing new waste management procedures on all new sites to improve the recycling of materials and reduce landfill usage.

3: Employees

Investing in our Employees

We realise that our workforce are our biggest asset and investment in people is a core element of our business philosophy. This commitment to our employees will help to ensure that we retain existing staff and attract new employees of the highest calibre.

Pay and Benefits

Sovereign Group provides clear and fair terms of employment, as set out in the appointment letter we send each new employee and in the Sovereign Staff Handbook given to each member of the team.

  • The Sovereign Group provides an Annual Appraisal for every full-time employee, during which individual performance is discussed, training needs assessed and future goals established.
  • The remuneration of all employees is reviewed annually by the Directors, in light of national and industry trends, as well as the performance of individual employees.
  • As an exclusively UK operation, The Sovereign Group complies with all UK legislation regarding the minimum wage, working hours and under age staff.
  • The maximum hours any Sovereign Group employee is required to work is in line with current legislation. All employees are entitled to at least 20 days’ holiday a year, in addition to the eight statutory days’ holiday.
  • There is a formalised grievance procedure in place for employees to use if they consider they are not being properly treated.

Learning and Development

Training has always formed a major part of the Sovereign philosophy. We provide training opportunities across our entire work place; this has empowered our employees giving them the confidence to make critical business decisions at the ‘front line’ We also have a Local Employment & Training Policy which offers real opportunities to the communities we work in.

  • Head Office training facilities
  • Dedicated Training Manager
  • We employ Personnel Development Consultants to monitor and measure the Career Development of our workforce
  • Lunchtime seminars including a number of speakers from Local Consultants to National Suppliers
  • Customer Care Workshops and Staff Consultative meetings
  • Rewards and incentives for good ideas are by way of remuneration, or “employee of the month” status

Continuing Staff Development

We encourage an entrepreneurial and innovative approach to our business and welcome our staff’s input to company structure, policies and working procedures. Staff are given the confidence to promote their “creative side” however small their input might seem.

As the Sovereign Group benefit from having a highly trained and motivated workforce, we like to encourage training and personal development at all times. Training and development plans and records are created and opportunities for promotion and training are open equally to all employees.

Specific and detailed training for our site operatives, and anyone who may come into contact with a construction site, consist of regular ‘tool box talks’ which cover subjects such as equipment, PPE, safe working practices, personal welfare, asbestos and scaffolding awareness etc.

Continuing Professional Development

We at the Sovereign Group encourage our staff to further their careers at every opportunity. This covers all backgrounds, disciplines and working environments, as well as ages and stages of their careers depending on their needs and circumstances.

We understand that professional development is about improving our staff’s chance of achieving their career aims, being successful in their current job and keeping themselves ‘up-to-date’. Whatever the intended outcome, the use of a planned and focused approach with help them release their potential. We find that encouraging our staff to create a structured plan, the effectiveness of their development is enhanced.

Work-life Balance

Work-life balance is about people having a measure of control over when, where and how they work. It is achieved when an individual’s right to a fulfilled life inside and outside paid work is accepted and respected as the norm, to the mutual benefit of the individual, business and society.

Our staff training and continual development is aimed at the employee and benefiting them. An added benefit is the satisfaction of our staff’s work-life balance, which in turn leads to benefits to our business:

  • Increased productivity
  • Improved recruitment and retention:
  • Lower rates of absenteeism:
  • National average – 1.7%, Sovereign Group average 1.2% per days worked
  • Reduced overheads:
  • An improved customer experience
  • A more motivated, satisfied and equitable workforce.

Health & Safety

The Sovereign Group is committed to achieving and maintaining high standards of health and safety and recognises that the Health & Safety of all employees and those within the supply chain is essential to our business. This is not only in respect of its employees but also visitors, contractors and all others – including the general public that may be affected by our activities.

We take appropriate actions to comply with Health & Safety best practice and legislation throughout our organisation.

  • Reporting directly to the Group Managing Director, our dedicated in-house Health & Safety Department monitors compliance with external Health & Safety legislation and the Company’s own policies.
  • A clearly defined Health & Safety policy is provided, relating to all our operations, both on development sites and within our offices. All employees receive a copy of our Health, Safety & Environmental Policy on their first day of employment and are required to positively adopt its principles.
  • Training is provided to sub-contractors through on-site toolbox talks and site inductions
  • Specific Health & Safety standards are applicable to all areas of the business, including the safety of customers visiting our sites.
  • Compliance with Health & Safety legislation on-site is monitored through regular site visits from our in-house Health & Safety department.
  • The Sovereign Group provides monthly management reports, including a monthly report to the Board on compliance with best practice and the incidence of accidents.
  • All persons on site are inducted by Site Management and required to wear the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment.

Respect for People

Rethinking Construction identified ‘Respect for People’ as one of five drivers for change. The Respect for People programme sets out to demonstrate to industry and its clients that ‘people’ issues are fundamental to business success.

We have recently started to use the Respect for People toolkits to access our processes and policies. We were pleased with the results from our first assessment. However, we realise that there are areas that we can improve upon and also with constant use of the toolkits will assist us in measuring that improvement.

Equality & Diversity

The Sovereign Group is an equal opportunities employer and will not tolerate discrimination on grounds of gender, marital status, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, disability, sexual orientation, religious belief, trade union membership, or any other non-job related criteria.

  • The Sovereign Group has a full policy documented in the Staff Handbook relating to bullying, victimisation and sexual harassment
Investor in People

The Sovereign Group shows a commitment to the Investor in People accreditation and has recently attained this award.

4: Supplier Relations

Supply Chain

  • The Sovereign Group trades with suppliers and sub-contractors who clearly set out their terms and conditions of trading.
  • All sub-contractors receive a copy of our customer service policy and procedures, with which they agree to comply as part of the basis of our order.
  • The Sovereign Group pays suppliers and sub-contractors in accordance with the terms and conditions set out in our order.
  • We undertake surveys of our business operations to assess the performance of key suppliers and sub-contractors. The results of these surveys are discussed at meetings with our suppliers and sub-contractors, and at internal meetings with our procurement teams.
  • We also undertake surveys of the supply chain to review the performance of our operations in their dealings with suppliers and subcontractors.

Ethical Sourcing

  • Where possible, The Sovereign Group specifies products and materials that generate the least environmental impact, including timber from managed plantations, aggregates from the closest quarries and non-toxic paints.
  • The Sovereign Group seeks to deal with suppliers and sub-contractors able to demonstrate their commitment to the environment through their own codes of practice.
  • Our internal procedures require an ethical relationship with suppliers and subcontractors, by forbidding the exchange of payments or substantial favours between the two parties.

Efficient Use Of Resources

The Sovereign Group has long standing relationships with a number of suppliers and sub-contractors, which means that we can develop a shared understanding of how to improve the efficiency of our operations and reduce environmental impact.

The Sovereign Group will look to partner with businesses to reduce the environmental impact of its operations.

Human Rights

The Sovereign Group does not knowingly deal with suppliers who use child labour and has written to its principal suppliers requesting them to confirm they do not use child labour in their production facilities.

In accordance with the Human Rights Act, The Sovereign Group will not knowingly source goods or services from nation states which condone torture, slavery, illegal detainment, or which do not respect the civil rights of its citizens.

It is our policy that The Sovereign Group employees, suppliers, sub-contractors and customers shall be treated without discrimination on any grounds including sex, race, colour, sexual orientation, language, and religion, and politics, national or social origin.

5: Protecting Our Environment

Sustainable Development

At the heart of Sovereign Group philosophy on delivering sustainable communities is our Local Employment Policy. This policy has been developed to run across our entire business not just our Partnered works. We believe that we have an opportunity to make positive changes and assist the improvement of the communities we work in. The help we can give takes different forms depending on the type of project that we are involved in and more importantly the length of time that we are involved.

The Sovereign Group, keeping in-line with our Social Inclusion Strategy, are involved with “Insight for Industry” a scheme run by a local education. The aim of the scheme is to highlight career opportunities to all Senior School Pupils.

Environmental Management

The Sovereign Group takes its responsibilities seriously regarding the impact of developments on the environment. We have recent gain ISO14001 the environmental management standard. The Sovereign Group have no environmental prosecutions and no abatement notices. Also, there has been no Breach of Condition Notices.

Waste

  • The Sovereign Group is introducing a standard waste management system across new sites, to increase the amount of material recycled both on and off site and reduce the level of landfill waste.
  • Surplus material is re-used on our developments wherever possible in order to reduce transportation and eliminate the environmental impact caused by its disposal.
  • As part of the policy we intend to audit performance through site visits and collecting and monitoring data on waste created, re-cycled and removed.

Biodiversity

The Sovereign Group seeks to protect and establish natural habitats for wildlife within its developments.

6: Investing in the Community

Supporting Educational Provision

  • The Sovereign Group works with schools to explain the construction industry, inviting schoolchildren to spend a day on site learning about the industry, the materials used and environmental, health and safety issues.
  • Members of the construction and health and safety teams regularly visit schools local to our projects to educate children on the dangers associated with construction sites.
  • As The Sovereign Group upgrades its IT hardware, suitable surplus hardware is often donated to local schools to enhance their IT facilities.

Sovereign Group considers it our responsibility to be committed to making a positive contribution to the community. We have been achieving this via adopting initiatives such as local employment schemes, social events and resident liaison projects, all aimed at improving the opportunities for the communities in which we are working.

Charitable Work

We have a number of charitable events organised through the business focusing on the areas that we work in. Charities that sovereign have helped in 2006:

  • Horses & Ponies Protection Association (HAPPA) Barnoldswick
  • Colne and Earby Royal British Legion Welfare Sections
  • Pendle View School
  • Intergrationalle (Charity helping disabled adults with computer skills)

7: Conclusion

The Sovereign Group’s activities are wide ranging and we look to embrace the CSR agenda in each aspect of our business.

Our commitment to being a responsible constructor and employer, a company that makes a positive contribution to the communities in which we operate, is matched by our determination to give customers high levels of service and satisfaction.

Therefore we must balance the needs of all our stakeholders – by managing our environmental impacts, investing in communities, developing employees and pioneering innovative new schemes – to achieve sustainable development.

The scope is huge, but so too are the benefits to our environment and our society.

The Sovereign Group aims to play its part in helping to shape a better future.

8: Environment

At Sovereign, we are committed to supporting green initiatives as part of our enviromental policy. Our commitment to this is embedded into our everyday business activity through our brand values.

The environment is a very important aspect of our policies so we actively support recycling programmes and sustainable waste management. We aim for ecological sustainability by using where possible, renewable and efficient energy with sustainable natural products.

We actively promote the recycling of products and materials, as well as reducing the amount of packaging associated with our product deliveries.

Our Suppliers

VEKA Recycle was launched by VEKA to prevent reusable uPVC being taken to landfill. VEKA is also the world leader for the environmentally responsible use of uPVC in all its building products. One of Europe’s leading recyclers of uPVC windows, the company is committed to minimising their environmental impact at every stage of the of the product’s life:

  • Manufacturing
  • Fabrication
  • Energy efficiency in use
  • Recycling

VEKA works with fabricators, installers and waste companies across the UK to ensure that valuable uPVC material is not sent to landfill. We at Sovereign Group are proud to be part of the VEKA Recycling initiative as it supports our own commitment to minimising our impact on the environment wherever we can.

VEKA Recycling is the UK’s biggest initiative of its kind. Its goal is to collect and pre-process post-consumer frames and recycle this material into brand new quality windows at their purpose-built facilities across the country. This is the VEKA Infinity range.

VEKA Infinity

The VEKA Infinity window system combines sustainability with performance and style through recycled content, aesthetics and the reassurance of the VEKA brand – the most specified in the world.

VEKA Infinity is available across many different window profiles offered by Sovereign. Made from up to 80% recycled content, VEKA Infinity profiles are Matrix 70 compatible and extruded to BS EN 12608. The VEKA Infinity System is ideal for the environmentally conscious – Quality windows needn’t cost the Earth.

VEKA Recycle was launched by VEKA to prevent reusable uPVC being taken to landfill.

9: Investors in People

The Investors in People standard recognises companies’ commitment to people management. The world-class framework and performance model provides a pathway to future progress and a journey for continuous improvement.

Leading

Leadership is essential for creating purpose, providing motivation and delivering all-round outstanding results. The Investors in People accreditation looks at three aspects of leadership:

LEADING AND INSPIRING PEOPLE

Leaders make the organisation’s objectives clear and inspire and motivate people to meet these objectives. Leaders are trusted by everyone within the organisation.

LIVING THE ORGANISATION’S VALUES

Leaders and people act in line with the organisation’s values at all times, and they have the support and courage to challenge inconsistent behaviours.

EMPOWERING AND INVOLVING PEOPLE

People feel empowered and trusted to make and act on their own decisions, in line with the company values and objectives.

Investors in People

 

Supporting

Constant change is now often the norm for many organisations. Flatter business structures allow for faster decision making, agility and customer focus – leading to reduced overheads, better service for customers and greater overall success.

MANAGING PERFORMANCE

Performance is measured and feedback provided.

RECOGNISING AND REWARDING HIGH PERFORMANCE

People are motivated to perform at their best through clear recognition and reward for high performance.

STRUCTURING WORK

Roles are designed to meet organisational objectives and create interesting work for people. Roles are structured to deliver the organisation’s ambition, while collaborative working is encouraged.

Improving

Organisations are constantly looking for opportunities to improve and understand that every small improvement contributes to the ability to continually outperform.

BUILDING CAPABILITY

People are managed and developed to help them realise their full potential. This also ensures organisations have the right people in the right roles at the right time.

DELIVERING CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT

Within the organisation there is a focus on continuous improvement, whereby people are encouraged to use internal and external sources to suggest innovative new ideas and approaches.

Sovereign Group – Investors in People

Having carried out the assessment process in accordance with the guidelines provided for Investors in People Specialists by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, the Specialist was satisfied beyond any doubt that The Sovereign Group Limited had met the requirements of the Investors in People Standard. On behalf of Investors in People North of England the Specialist would like to congratulate The Sovereign Group Limited on its achievement.

Sovereign Group Ltd, Vale Street, Nelson Lancashire, BB9 0TA
01282 618171