SUSTAINABLE AND RESPONSIBLE BUSINESSTHE CONTINUATION OF OUR JOURNEY
In 2020 we launched our ESG strategy which is aligned to our Group purpose, values and our Group strategy. At the outset we emphasised that as a market leader we have the ambition to lead the sector in driving positive change within the upholstery market and we also recognised that we were unable to address our entire ESG agenda at once. In 2020 we made a conscious effort to prioritise sustainability in our ESG strategy and in 2021 we have both expanded our sustainability approach whilst placing a greater emphasis on social factors.
Why is this important to us?
As our Group purpose states, we want to bring great design and comfort into every living room. But we want to do it in an affordable, responsible and sustainable manner. This means making sure our business is built on the right ethical foundations - to ensure that, with our sofas, people feel more comfortable - in every way. Therefore, we have put significant time and effort into developing our approach to ESG and have a strategy for our Group that builds on the values already established across all our businesses.
Opportunity, rather than obligation
We believe that the initiatives we are putting in place will help differentiate our brands from the competition by appealing to a growing customer base that want to ensure the products they buy are sourced through responsible and sustainable methods. We also believe the initiatives will help to mitigate risks and reduce our relative operating costs over time.
It’s the way we do business
It all adds up to our belief that we can meet our customers’ expectations and continue to grow our business while embracing our social and environmental responsibilities. We know sustainability is essential to our business, and ESG is an integral part of our growth strategy. That’s why everyone in the senior leadership team is involved and accountable in some way for the ESG strategy. It’s all part of putting our customers and colleagues - and planet - at the heart of everything we do.
We bring our whole selves to work, our point of view is valued and we are encouraged to have our say. We respect each other and as a family are driven by our purpose.
We always treat customers as we would our own family. We keep them front of mind because they are the heart of our business.
We are ambitious and play to succeed at our shared family ambition. We are bold, brave; we see challenges as opportunities to be innovative and lead by example.
Our Environmental Strategy
Our strategy follows a circular approach, based on the life cycle of a sofa. All the way from the raw materials we source, the manufacture, sale and delivery of the sofa, right through to the end of the sofa’s life.
The aim is to capture the complex and interlinked aspects of a sofa’s life in one place, and ensure we build in sustainability wherever we can. For example, through ensuring we source FSC-compliant wood for the frames, or by planning the most efficient drop-off route for customer deliveries to minimise carbon emissions.
The Sofa Cycle
Our thinking follows the concept of the circular economy, which aims to keep products in use for longer, by reusing, recycling, or remaking; so any waste becomes the beginning of another process or a recovered resource. This approach is in contrast to the traditional linear economy, which takes materials from the earth, makes something, and then disposes of it.
Overview from the chair of the Responsible and Sustainable Business Committee
Twelve months ago we launched our ESG strategy which is aligned to our Group purpose, values and our Group strategy. At the outset we emphasised that as a market leader we have the ambition to lead the sector in driving positive change within the upholstery market and we also recognised that we were unable to address our entire ESG agenda at once.
How we embed ESG, our focus and our targets
We believe that driving sustainable business behaviours is best achieved when it is embedded throughout the business. To help achieve this all colleagues are encouraged to share ideas and consider the environmental and social implications relevant to their decision-making; from capital investments to procurement decisions and product development to recruitment.
Supply chain, sustainable Sourcing and our products
Some 95% of Group sales currently relate to upholstery products. We currently work with a total of 29 upholstery finished goods suppliers across the UK, Europe and China. Our top five suppliers, with whom we have deep and long-standing relationships, supply 82% of our upholstered finished goods. Upholstery supply chain transparency and traceability is centred upon the key natural materials: timber and leather.
Energy and Waste
We deliver over 800,000 upholstery orders per year and our objective is to minimise the energy consumed across the product life cycle and reduce waste. We produce 19,620 TCO2e of Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions across our internal manufacturing operations, sales channels, warehouse and delivery operations and head offices.
We employ over 5,000 people across our head office, manufacturing, warehousing, logistics, sales and service teams. Attracting, developing and retaining colleagues with the appropriate skill sets, behaviours, attitudes, motivation and from a variety of backgrounds is crucial to the success of the business.
Our Customers and Communities
To ensure we deliver the highest levels of customer service we make significant investment in training and developing our colleagues and we are proud to be part of hundreds of communities across the UK and we are committed to helping each community thrive.
We are committed to conducting all of our business in an honest and ethical manner, acting professionally, fairly and with integrity in all our business dealings and relationships. We implement effective systems to counter the risk of bribery and corruption. We apply our policies across all of our operations, and also require all of our suppliers to commit to apply the same or equivalent policies.
Protecting our colleagues, communities and business