A proactive and responsible approach
NWF Group is committed to delivering long-term sustainable value across each of our divisions. Our sustainability strategy has been developed and isbeing shared with all our key stakeholders with the aim of promoting responsible practices.
At NWF Group we focus on creating value with an ongoing and increasing sense of responsibility towards the wider society, environment and communities around us. The development of our sustainability strategy underpins our commitment to think differently and recognise our progress in this
area. Across each of our divisions we have many examples, from small improvements in working practices to major investment in clean, modern and efficient fleet and facilities.
NWF Group employs over 1,200 members of staff across our divisions and throughout the UK. We recognise that embedding sustainable values at the core of our business is critical to attracting, developing and retaining the best talent.
Our strategy consists of four strategic objectives that reflect our values and are designed to ensure that we take a proactive and responsible approach to the way we operate.
Responsibility for the implementation and future development of our sustainability strategy rests with the Board of Directors, which is responsible for:
- reviewing, endorsing and achieving the sustainability policy’s aims;
- ensuring each of the divisions are working towards achieving the Group’s long-term sustainability objectives;
- communicating the policy and promoting the strategy to key stakeholders;
- driving continual improvement performance across the organisation; and
- developing and rolling out the supporting strategies.
In order to deliver on our sustainability ambitions, we rely on the support of our customers, suppliers, employees and other key stakeholders.
Create a culture of safety
The health, safety and welfare of our employees and the wider community are a top priority in our operations across all of our divisions. Our safety practices are overseen by Health and Safety Officers and are assisted by the engagement of specialist external advisors. Regular audits are undertaken as well as internal monthly and external annual reporting to the Board.
Implement a safety-first approachWe implement a safety-first approach in all activities with the ultimate aim of having no accidents or injuries. In articular, road safety for our employees and the general public is of significant importance, due to the number of miles completed by our fleet. We investigate thoroughly any incidents involving our fleet and seek to continually improve our safety processes with our distribution centres, depots, manufacturing sites and offices.
The following initiatives are examples of the progress we have made in championing safety across the Group:
- 360-degree cameras fitted to all new vehicles within Feeds;
- external driver assessments in Fuels on 123 drivers with 100% pass rate;
- Fuels division is working towards the ISO 45001 accreditation;
- regular health and safety audits of key locations by both internal and external parties; and
- monthly reporting to the Board with an annual review by external advisors.
The Group monitors accidents and injuries in line with the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013, and the number of reportable incidents across the Group in the year ended 31 May 2021 was 12 (31 May 2020: 17).
Invest in our people
Our long-term success is dependent on our employees. We are committed to building a workforce for the future where our people bare healthy and happy and can fulfil their potential. We recognise that engaged employees, who feel valued, are crucial to our business, and it also means they continue to be motivated and deliver the best possible service to our customers.
Promoting personal and professional developmentWe achieve this by promoting a range of personal and professional development, and investing in people. We want to empower future generations by providing them with a place where they can learn and grow; this is essential to securing our talent pipeline
To ensure our employees have all the tools to reach their potential, we have invested in a number of wellbeing initiatives.
The following initiatives demonstrate the commitment we have made towards investing in our employees across the Group:
- During FY20 the Feeds division launched a Sales Training Academy to recruit and train the next generation of nutritionists. The first year’s intake consisted of 18 trainees across 2 cohorts; all 5 of the first cohort have graduated and are now part of our established salesforce, contributing an additional 20,000 tonnes of retail volume in their first year. A further 6 members will join the Academy in September 2021.
- Employees at our main site in Wardle have access to a regular weekly timetable of free fitness classes which take place in our on-site studio. During FY21, these classes were continued via video conferencing to ensure colleagues working from home could still access the service.
- Each division has a handful of people completing leadership and development programmes. Within Food, several warehouse workers have taken the opportunity to go through training to become a driver, providing them with more job opportunities and flexibility.
- The Fuels division has invested in a purpose-built new Head Office environment, which increases office space from 3,500ft2 to 10,000ft2. It provides employees with a modern, spacious workplace, with plenty of amenities such as parking and cycle storage, as well as capacity to expand.
- Across the Group we have 371 employees with over ten years’ service, equivalent to a third of our employees.
Build strong partnerships
The strength of our partnerships is at the heart of every decision we make. We continue to seek new ways to collaborate and innovate with our customers and suppliers to deliver long-term sustainable value.
We want to gain a deeper understanding of our customers’ needs so we can continue to offer them more choice, better quality and improved standards, as well as great value.
To achieve this, we must focus on the way we interact with customers and continually monitor and improve performance.
Our partnerships with our suppliers are also vital; we expect our suppliers to conduct their business in an ethical and sustainable manner.
The following initiatives demonstrate how we are building partnerships with customers and suppliers across the Group:
- Within Fuels during the peak of Covid-19, we extended customer terms as well as negotiating extended credit terms with two of our biggest suppliers.
- Fuels has partnered with Esso Petroleum Company Limited to distribute its lower carbon part-renewable HVO30 product to commercial and agricultural customers, on a trial basis, with no financial benefit to Fuels.
- Fuels is also making use of Trustpilot to allow customers to give feedback through another channel.
- Feeds is working with suppliers to create a range of compound feeds which do not contain soya or palm kernel, as well as working with farmers to help measure the carbon footprint of their farm.
Respect the environment
We strive for continual improvement when it comes to our environmental performance, monitoring carbon emissions and waste across our supply chain and promoting a healthy environment.
We recognise that we operate in industries that can have a significant impact on the environment and that we have a responsibility to minimise it. Across all divisions we promote sustainable logistics, investing in clean fleet and energy initiatives to achieve this. In addition, our strategy to maximise fleet capacity to ensure no empty running miles provides the best environmental solution, across all our divisions.
Mitigating our carbon emissions
We are challenging ourselves to think differently, and by driving efficiencies across our operations we aim to minimise the amount of waste and plastics we produce, use resources more responsibly, and ultimately protect the natural environment.
Our current environmental initiatives include:
- efficient LED lighting installed in >50% of our fuel depots;
- optimisation of fleet capacity through use of longer trailers in Food;
- investment in clean, modern fleets; in Fuels, the average age of the fleet has reduced from seven years in 2017 to five years in 2021;
- trialling different brake horsepower (BHP) engines in Feeds to reduce fuel usage;
- driver training programmes; in Feeds, miles per gallon (MPG) has improved from 7.9 in 2020 to 8.4 in 2021; and
- gas powered road truck trials are being undertaken in Food.