Our work in sustainability

As an employee owned company, we are structured to support and improve the wellbeing of our employees. That includes supporting the future of our colleagues, as well as the future of the planet. In 2023, we developed and expanded multiple Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) initiatives to do exactly this.

Earlier this year, the Sustainable Facilities Management Index (SFMI) acknowledged our work by presenting Churchill Group with a silver award accreditation, as well as the Rising Star award for our social value schemes. These achievements highlight both our progress and the sustainable project work we will develop throughout 2024.

The SFMI  

The SFMI is run by Acclaro Advisory and was created to assess FM providers across 23 criteria relating to ESG initiatives. 2023 was the second year Churchill Group was assessed by the scheme, and we retained our silver award status.

Beyond assessing individual organisations, the SFMI also benchmarks organisations against other FM companies, as well as providing guidance for their future in sustainable initiatives. Churchill Group is one of eleven partners with the organisation, helping to develop ESG strategies and benchmarks for all FM providers.

The Rising Star award

In addition to our silver win, the SFMI presented Churchill Group with the Rising Star award, recognising the social value initiatives embedded throughout the organisation. Churchill Group has developed a social value framework to support individuals who face employment barriers – including veterans, care experienced young people and refugees.

Last year, we put our people first by becoming an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT). This means that just over half of Churchill Group’s shares have been transferred to an EOT, held to benefit our employees. Full-time employees are also able to volunteer twice a year, so they can support communities they’re passionate about.

As an EOT, our staff will shape the future of Churchill Group. We also understand the need to provide catered and focused support to employees of different backgrounds. We deliver wellbeing through our WellMe programme, have a CommunityMe intranet and a social value framework which provides workshops, employability sessions and mentorships for employees.

We also recognise that some people require more specific support at work. Churchill Group became a Disability Confident employer in 2021, as part of the government scheme to provide additional support and adjustments to disabled job applicants. This includes those with visible and non-visible disabilities and staff so that they can thrive in their roles.

In 2023, we also signed on to the Neurodiversity in Business charter, a scheme that ensures greater workplace inclusion for neurodivergent people. Our guest service business On Verve provides technology support for neurodiverse colleagues as requested, including screen masking software to reduce distractions for those that may have ADHD.

The SFMI also praised our work throughout our supply chain and client contracts. For example, we developed aspiration packs for school children. These range from mock interview packs and workshop resources for students’ real-world skill development to nature packs for primary school children.

Additionally, we support menopausal workers through our menopause-friendly accreditation, which is part of our support for over 50s employees. Our educational company-wide policy destigmatises menopause and offers guidance on adjustments employees may require, including flexible working hours and access to facilities. These support initiatives resonated well with the SFMI, who praised our strong internal ESG roll out and people-focused company ethos.

What’s next

We’re delighted that our work is being acknowledged by specialists like the SFMI, and appreciate the recommendations given for the next stage of our sustainability journey.

The SFMI identified how we could expand on our current work, especially externally. With its recommendations, we plan to identify new interested parties across our supply chain to promote further dialogue with our external stakeholders. Applying our strong internal ethos to our clients is a top priority for this year.

The SFMI also recognised our work on apprenticeship development and onboarding, our participation in the Care Leavers Covenant to help care leavers live independently, and our engagement in local employment programmes. It recommended further data collection on these schemes and their progress so we can effectively measure their impact.

We’ve already taken on the SFMI’s advice to develop our ESG initiatives further, and our Rising Star win shows the promise of our work. Next year, we’ll aim for gold.

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