Corporate Social Responsibility

NCC Group takes its corporate social responsibilities very seriously and recognises the important contributions to the business made by the wider community of stakeholders, in particular investors, employees, clients, suppliers and the local communities in which it operates. It recognises that by acting responsibly it can deliver a sustainable business, while contributing to the community and preserving the environment.

The Group supports the UN Declaration of Human Rights and this underpins its policies and actions.
The Board takes into account social, environmental, human rights and ethical issues in its discussions and decision-making, as well as the health and safety of employees.

Stakeholders

Investors. The investors in the Group need to be comfortable that their capital is being responsibly used to provide them with sustainable returns. The Group communicate regularly with the investors in meetings and road shows to keep them up to date with both the opportunities and challenges faced by the Company.

Employees. People are at the heart of the Group’s business and the support and involvement of the talented individuals who form its team is vital to the continued success of the Group overall. The Head of HR reports directly to the CEO, Rob Cotton, to ensure high level visibility and control of all employment related issues.

The Group aims to attract and retain the brightest and best people in its industry and to make sure they are given the opportunity to develop their talents. The Group is committed to providing a productive working environment and recognises the importance of training and career development.

Each employee has a training record and is positively encouraged to up-skill. All roles where an additional professional qualification can be achieved are actively supported and rewarded. The Group employs a training manager who ensures all relevant staff has the necessary training plans in place.

On a daily basis the Group provides relevant technical, administrative and sales training. Most of the training is provided in-house although external courses and trainers are used where it is appropriate so to do.

A considerable amount of training support is through on the job side-by-side coaching, internal workshops or as part of a research team. It is not possible to directly quantify the total amount spent on training within the Group, as this is part of the normal working week.

The Group has a policy of keeping employees informed of, and engaged in, its business strategy through the Intranet, regular employee briefings and divisional meetings. Information is cascaded from the Board downward to ensure that relevant Group targets are communicated, as well as ensuring that cultural values are aligned.

Comments and suggestions from employees on the Group’s performance and management are actively encouraged and a free flow of information between the Directors, managers and employees ensures that everyone has an opportunity to contribute. Direct access to the senior management team is actively promoted and encouraged.

Modern Slavery. The Group recognises that modern slavery is a crime and a violation of fundamental human
rights. The term modern slavery includes not only slavery but also servitude, forced and compulsory
labour and human trafficking, all of which have in common the deprivation of a person’s liberty by
another in order to exploit them for personal or commercial gain.
The Company has a zero-tolerance approach to modern slavery and is committed to acting ethically and with integrity in all of its business dealings and relationships and to implementing and enforcing effective systems and controls to ensure modern slavery is not taking place anywhere in its business or in any of its supply chains. The Company communicates its zero tolerance approach to all its suppliers, contractors and business partners at the
outset of the relationship and regularly thereafter. It expects high standards from all of its contractors,
suppliers and other business partners, and also expects that its suppliers will hold their own suppliers to the same standards.

Diversity. The Group is committed to diversity and offers equal opportunities to all. No employee or potential employee receives more or less favourable treatment due to his or her gender, age, race, national or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, sexual orientation, or marital status. As part of this we work to ensure that all employees, whatever their personal circumstances receive the same opportunities for training, career development and promotion.

Approximately 81% of our employees are male and 19% female. In our senior leadership team, approximately 89% of the team are male and 11% female whilst on our Board, 71% of the Directors are male and 29% female.

The Board recognises the need to positively support gender diversity in a technology business, which has traditionally and historically attracted more men. Whilst this is desirable, the root cause stems from the teaching of IT and Technology in our schools and colleges where it is historically seen as an all male preserve. The Group is endeavouring to engage with local schools to help educate and instil the benefits and opportunities of careers in IT and cyber security for all genders.

The Group is committed to its employees and actively attempts to improve their health and wellbeing and morale by encouraging fitness based activities and taking part in charitable events.

The Group has its own football team that plays weekly and organises charitable football tournaments every year involving teams from the local business community. NCC Group also has a very active track cycling club, cricket team, running club and triathlon club.

The Group takes Health and Safety in the work place seriously and complies with all relevant legislation and best practice. There have been no work place fatalities since the Group was formed and no reported workplace accidents in the year.

Clients. NCC Group values each and every client and is proud of the long-standing nature of its client relationships. Continuing client satisfaction is central to its on-going success and is regularly measured and monitored through the ISO 9001 certified quality programme. This includes written and telephone satisfaction surveys each month.

Rare instances of negative feedback are treated with the utmost seriousness and dealt with swiftly by management through to resolution. Each Operational Director takes direct responsibility for customer satisfaction, with the CEO investigating directly if a Division’s performance fails to meet the 75% threshold. No investigations were required in the year reported on.

The Group recognises and understands that its relationships with those with whom it deals are the key to its success and, as such, takes its obligations and commitments to those people and organisations very seriously. The Group’s independence, reputation as a supplier of quality services and the trust of its clients are all key assets that it aims to protect at all times. It aims to engender in its employees principles of honesty and integrity and the desire to work to the best of their ability. To ensure best service for the Group’s clients all employees are required both to comply with the Company’s Code of Ethics and to undergo annual anti-bribery and competition refresher training.

The Community. NCC Group believes in supporting good causes and encourages its staff to get involved too with considerable success to date.

The Group has donated £200,000 to good causes this year, with Children in Need, The Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, Cancer UK and Macmillan all benefiting. Additionally the Group provided security consulting services on pro bono basis to Comic Relief and has supported a number of employee related smaller charity initiatives. A similar policy has been introduced in North America where the Group is looking to donate up to $100,000 to charitable causes.

The Group believes in community and as importantly likes to encourage its staff to do the same. Again this year the Group has continued to sponsor five local junior football teams by buying their football kit and trophies to encourage children to take an interest in sport and keeping fit. The Group also has co-sponsored a newly formed cycle team BikeHaus who are based in Manchester and race throughout the UK and Europe.

Every year NCC Group staff members have participated in and organised football tournaments, silent auctions, raffles, bake days and sport days and many more fund raising activities.

NCC Group is supporting GCHQ’s CyberFirst Girls Competition in a bid to encourage young women to consider cyber as a career. The competition, aimed at 14 and 15 year olds girls is part of the National Cyber Security Programme and is designed to inspire a new generation of females. A team of female security consultants from the Group have been working on the initiative, producing videos with tips on how to avoid becoming a victim of a cyber attack and also speaking at roadshows in Universities up and down the country.

The Group is apolitical and does not support any political party in any jurisdiction nor has it ever made a political donation.

Suppliers. The Group’s policy is to pay suppliers in accordance with terms and conditions agreed when orders are placed. Although the Group does not follow any code or standard on payment policy, where terms have not been specifically agreed, invoices dated in one calendar month are paid close to the end of the following month. At 31 May 2016, the Group had an average of 42 days purchases outstanding in trade creditors (2015: 52 days).

An Ethical Supplier’s Policy has been adopted to ensure that all suppliers to the Group comply with Health and Safety law, have an environmental policy, an anti-bribery policy and behave ethically towards their employees.

Environment and sustainability

As a service provider with no manufacturing facilities the impact of the Group’s operations on the environment is limited compared with other industries, however it recognises its responsibility to respect and limit damage to the environment in every way it can.

The Group sought third party advice for initiatives that could be implemented and followed as well as for staff education to ensure that they are thinking about the environment both in work and at home. In the coming year the Group is planning to make the selection of a hybrid or electric vehicles considerably more attractive to all company car drivers.

Presently due to the size of the group, external audit is not practical but once the organisation’s size becomes such that a significant impact can be made, it will be introduced to verify achievements made.

Accordingly the Group’s Environmental Policy aims to reduce the energy our business uses by:

  • Conserving energy and other natural resources and improving efficient use of those resources;
  • Improving the efficiency of materials used;
  • Reducing waste and increasing reuse and recycling wherever possible;
  • Encouraging the use of alternative means of transport, for example, via the Cycle to Work scheme and car sharing; and
  • Providing all staff with relevant environmental guidance.

Initiatives that have been put in place

  • Energy efficient lighting in the newly refurbished areas and lighting which switches off automatically;
  • Expanding the use of recycling in all offices - there are paper recycling bins throughout the offices and bottles, cans and plastics recycling bins in the kitchens;
  • On demand boiling water and cold water taps have been introduced into the kitchens to reduce wastage of water and power;
  • Dual flush cisterns have been installed in the WCs as part of the refurbishment to reduce excess water usage;
  • Cycle to work scheme;
  • Re-cycling of printer cartridges in all offices;
  • Printer replacements featuring double sided printing as standard;
  • Re-cycling of redundant IT equipment;
  • Addition of low emission car options into the company car scheme;
  • Video conferencing facilities available in main offices. This reduces the need for travelling so helping the environment and improving productivity;
  • Teleconferencing facilities available for all staff;
  • Printer review to enable more double sided printing; and
  • Increase staff awareness of environmental issues.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

This section includes our mandatory reporting of greenhouse gas emissions pursuant to the Companies Act 2006 (Strategic Report and Directors’ Report) Regulations 2014 (“The Regulations”).

The greenhouse gas report period is aligned with our financial reporting year and so runs from 1 June to 31 May for each reported year.

The method we have used to calculate GHG emissions is the GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard (revised edition), together with the latest emission factors from recognised public sources including, but not limited to, Defra, the International Energy Agency, the US Energy Information Administration, the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Intergovernmental panel on Climate Change.

The reported emissions cover all our offices globally but exclude the recent acquisition of Accumuli plc in April 2015. Our emissions cover scope 1 and scope 2 and we have used revenue as the intensity ratio as it best reflects the size and scale of the business. Our aim is to reduce the overall carbon intensity for the group by at least 10% over the next three years.

Global Greenhouse gas emissions data:

 

2016

2015

2014

Absolute carbon emissions (tCO2e)

2264

1449

1194

Group Revenue (£m)

209.1

129.8

110.7

Carbon intensity for whole Group

10.8

11.2

10.8

Year on year carbon intensity change

(0.4)

0.4

(3.0)

Cumulative % change

(22)%

(18)%

(22)%

 

Total tCO2e by emission type:

total tCO2e by emission type

FTSE4Good

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NCC Group is a constituent of the FTSE4Good Index series.

The Index Series is designed to measure the performance of companies demonstrating strong Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) practices.