Novus Responsible Business Report PROUD OF OUR PROMISE 2022
Section One – Meet Novus
Who are we?
Chief Executive Officer’s Review
Section Two – Our Responsible Business Approach
Our Strategy and Commitments
Section Three – Our Workplace
Our People Wellbeing
Training and Development Inclusion and Diversity Attraction and Retention
Section Four – Our Marketplace
Novus in the Marketplace
Residents and End-Users
Our Digital Transformation Supply Chain
Section Five – Our Environment
Protecting the Future Sustain
Our Environmental Actions Supply Chain Sustainability School
Waste and Recycling Moor Trees
Section Six – Our Communities
Build Back Better
Section Seven – Going Forward
Novus Responsible Business Report - Section 1
Who are we? Chief Executive Officer’s Review Our Values
Who are we?
We are Novus and we are building a legacy where people can live, work, and thrive.
Novus is a family owned award-winning property maintenance, refurbishment, compliance, and decarbonisation retrofit company, and for over 125 years we have operated with family values at our core.
We pride ourselves on doing business responsibly, valuing customers, creating great teams, and building a future together. These values underpin everything we do and how we act as a business.
Building a legacy where people can live, work, and thrive.
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Chief Executive Officer’s Review
At Novus, we know exactly what type of business we want to be – a family owned one that we can all be proud of, one that is inspiring and respected within our marketplace and one that is an employer of choice. Through our business values and innovative thinking, we aim to exceed expectations through our high-quality service, which is safely completed by a professional, experienced, and well-trained workforce.
While delivering projects that our clients – and their customers – can be proud of, we are accountable for minimising the negative impacts of our operations. As a forward-thinking business, we have a responsibility to respond to the concerns of our clients, customers, communities, and wider environmental issues, all while remaining profitable and competitive.
We want to do the right thing, always; and so it isn’t surprising that we place a huge emphasis on our responsible business goals. Our service offerings, combined with the way we do business, help contribute towards these goals, allowing us to work towards a more sustainable and inclusive future for generations to come.
Steve Davies Chief Executive Officer
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At Novus, our values underpin everything we do. From our Board of Directors to our operatives on site, every Novus colleague embodies ‘The Novus Way’, ensuring we work together to create a strong and successful business.
These six values help to give focus on how we behave and how we work together to deliver projects that meet our client’s and their community’s needs.
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A responsible attitude is very much part of the Novus DNA. We all strive to make a positive contribution and help to improve people’s lives to achieve a long-term sustainable future.
• Protect the health, safety, and wellbeing of everyone we come into contact with.
• Contribute to activity that is honest, accurate and with the best intentions.
• Enhance the lives of individuals within the communities in which we work.
• Ensure all activity promotes a positive and sustainable environment.
• Make decisions in the long-term interest of the business.
Get it Right
Everybody understands how their contribution plays a part in Novus’ success and takes responsibility for their own performance – striving to achieve realistic solutions that are fit for purpose, aligned to best practice and support future development.
• Demonstrate a positive, can-do attitude.
• Manage expectations to ensure that commitments are fulfilled.
• Deliver results to budget and on time.
• Plan and communicate effectively.
• Take pride in all that we do.
We operate in an ever-changing marketplace and to stay ahead of the competition we need to have a finger on the pulse, anticipate changes and have a relentless desire to respond quickly to drive improvement.
• Challenge current thinking and express our views, but respect decisions.
• Continually look for ways to improve.
• Understand that change is necessary for success and embrace it.
• Demonstrate a proactive, forward-thinking approach.
• Embrace opportunity.
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In addition to our duty of care to each other, we have a real commitment to the value of developing people and building successful relationships. We believe that everybody should demonstrate a focus on personal and professional growth to drive success.
• Recognise and manage individual and team performance.
• Create an environment for our people to develop and maximise potential.
• Create long-term and sustainable relationships.
• Inspire, empower, and motivate individuals to make a difference.
• Prepare individuals for future opportunities.
Across the business we foster working cooperatively and enthusiastically within a team, supporting and encouraging others and making a full personal contribution. We understand that working together as one team gives us the strength to achieve greater success than each team member operating independently.
• Acknowledge the efforts and contributions of others.
• Ensure everyone’s voice in our teams is heard.
• Seek opportunities to develop and promote cross-team working.
• Encourage team members to take action, make decisions and learn from their mistakes.
• Reward and recognise those who make Novus great.
Being authentic is all about doing what you say you are going to do and being true to yourself. Authentic people are self-aware, focus on their own development and use past experiences to shape their actions. They stay grounded, build a support team, and practice their values and principles. Respect and loyalty are gained through authenticity.
• Act with respect and professionalism.
• Understand the value of ownership and accountability.
• Demonstrate a values-driven approach.
• Ensure our actions are sincere to earn the trust of others.
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Our Responsible Business Approach
Novus Responsible Business Report - Section 2
Our Strategy and Commitments
Our Strategy and Commitments
Being a responsible business has always played a defining role in how we operate. We work closely and collaboratively with our employees, clients, customers, and supply chain in all aspects of sustainability and social value, striving to integrate environmental, economic and social considerations into all our strategic decision making.
In the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, the way of working has been drastically altered across all industries worldwide. This, combined with changes brought in by Brexit, has meant businesses have had to adapt their approaches to remain successful. But it’s not just about delivering projects and being profitable. In the wake of all these changes, those communities up and down the country that were already struggling, now need our help even more.
Ensuring we have the greatest possible impact, we take a lead from wider global initiatives to help guarantee that our actions add to the ‘bigger picture’. Our strategy is built around the United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goals which were adopted by all UN member states in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and improve the lives of people everywhere.
Taking direction from these overarching global goals, we held a workshop at our 2020 Management Conference where we asked managers to identify three key focus areas for our responsible business actions. ‘Good Health and Wellbeing’, ‘Climate Action’ and ‘No Poverty’ were the areas selected, and these have since been incorporated into our wider Build Back Better initiative as:
Good Health & Wellbeing Environmental Action
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Business in the Community
As testament to our commitment in raising the standards in our responsible business approach, we are members of Business in the Community (BITC), which is a unique business movement committed to transforming businesses and communities.
Adding to this commitment, our Head of Social Value and Client/Customer Service, Kevin Rhone, is part of the Business in the Community’s (BITC) West Midlands Regional Leadership Board which provides strategic guidance and support in achieving the BITC’s agreed objectives for their specific region. By doing this, the board can influence local debates, shape the agenda for action, and work with other leaders to identify how businesses can help innovate and create more sustainable livelihoods and prosperous communities.
“I’m honoured to be a member of the largest business-led movement, addressing community issues and working collectively to tackle some of the wider challenges our society faces. My involvement in BITC will further strengthen Novus’ social value plans and help us provide quality service, commitment, and sustainability to communities throughout the UK.
In creating our responsible business approach, we have adopted a holistic model which encompasses the four key areas that are affected by our operations – the workplace, marketplace, environment, and communities.
The ethos to care is prevalent throughout Novus and our colleagues are enthusiastic and committed to making a positive contribution to our communities. I’m proud of the impact our Build Back Better initiative – launched in February 2021 – has had so far and look forward to delivering on our responsible business commitments as we grow and evolve.”
Kevin Rone Head of Social Value & Client/Customer Service
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Section 3 Our Workplace
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Safety Our People Wellbeing Training and Development Inclusion and Diversity Attraction and Retention
We are committed to supporting the highest levels of health and safety across all our sites and offices. Our dedicated SHEA (Safety, Health, Environment and Assurance) team work tirelessly to advise, implement and improve our performance.
We have a duty of care to ensure that our colleagues are kept safe at work, and that their health is not impacted as a result of their employment. The health, safety and wellbeing of employees and contractors is our primary concern and a key priority for everyone throughout the business. Any safety incident is one too many and we continually work to improve our performance through effective policies, standards, procedures and training.
We liaise regularly with the Health & Safety Executive, Build UK and safety groups throughout the UK to ensure we continuously improve our health and safety performance.
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Regional SHE (Safety, Health & Environment) Committees
We engage extensively with our colleagues on health, safety and wellbeing (HSW) topics through our Regional SHE Committees, identifying key best practice and new innovation. We also conduct annual surveys which include our HSW related initiatives.
Our Regional SHE Committees give us the opportunity to consult on policy introductions or changes to our management systems, for example our drug and alcohol policies, and the introduction of random screening amongst other items. Meetings are held quarterly dependent on the focus.
Our management systems form the direction for an implemented HSW management system, which includes an Incident Management System (IMS) and our governance arrangements. Our management system requirements are applied across the business, as applicable, and are relevant to our own colleagues and to our subcontractors.
The management system has been developed to meet our regulatory requirements, enhanced by best practice arrangements to deliver continual improvement. The overall management system is not certified to a recognised management system standard, although certain elements are.
HSW skills and competency form a key part of our management system and are fully integrated into a broad range of training and competence assessments through our core training matrix.
A fundamental element of the HSW management system involves hazards and risks being identified within each business area, using our documented risk assessment procedures. These assessments are used to identify appropriate controls that form part of the overall HSW management system. In addition, safe working procedures have been developed to provide additional controls and guidance which supplement the assessments that have been completed.
Our SHEA team prepares a HSW plan that sets out key priorities for the year. The plans promote action to improve performance in areas of higher risk, or to enhance existing management approaches to introduce best practice.
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Our management arrangements include our accident and incident reporting requirements. These set out the criteria and process for the internal reporting of different levels of accidents, incidents and safety observations which are tracked and follow up by our SHEA team.
In 2022, we launch our ‘Safety First’ campaign, which supports any colleague in stopping a job or challenging a colleague if they believe a task is unsafe. In 2022 so far, we’ve had a 146% increase in the number of safety observations reported compared to our 2021 figures.
Early in 2022 we delivered a number of Safety First Roadshows, designed to reaffirm the importance of safety practices. During the sessions we welcomed both Novus colleagues
and subcontractors for half day events in Warrington, Basingstoke and Stoke-on-Trent that detailed how we can all stay safe on site and the significance of managing risks correctly. Hosted by CEO Steve Davies, and supported by Executive Director Lee Hartley and Head of SHEA Ed Hawksey, the presenters spoke about our mission to achieve zero Riddor incidents on our sites, and how our organisation and individual colleagues need to work together to influence our workforce to continue to endorse safe behaviours.
Attendees were also put to the test with quizzes on fictitious on-site scenarios, which highlighted where health and safety practices could be improved. Many colleagues commented on how the activities gave them more confidence in reporting risks.
“I attended the Safety First Roadshow held in Stoke. It was extremely informative, and it was definitely very useful to be refreshed about the health and safety risks and procedures on our sites. The activity really confirmed what I already knew about providing a safe environment and I am confident it will now help others make our workplaces safer.”
Gary Clay Head of Operations
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Our Board of Directors promote our HSW culture through what we refer to as ‘SHE Moments’. SHE Moments are delivered on a monthly basis and provide the opportunity for Directors to promote a particular topic to our colleagues. SHE Moments are delivered at the start of all meetings and are also cascaded to our operational colleagues via toolbox talks.
Measuring Our Health & Safety Performance
Novus measures HSW performance through a combination of leading and lagging indicators. Accident Incident Rate is one of the core KPIs of the business. Our metrics relate both to colleagues and contractors, and we have been increasing our focus on leading indicators as we try to proactively reduce the risks of incidents occurring. Key metrics are reported monthly to our Board of Directors.
Our Response to Covid-19 – Keeping Our Colleagues Safe
Our commitment to being a responsible business was the governing principle behind our response to the Covid-19 pandemic. From the outset, our focus was on ensuring colleagues were regularly briefed on the actions being taken to keep them safe, whether working on site or from home.
We developed risk assessments, safe working procedures and checklists in line with government, HSE, Build UK and Construction Leadership Council guidance. We are also members of a number of certification bodies, including the National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC), whose guidance we also reviewed. Our Covid-19 documentation was developed in conjunction with our operational teams.
In addition, Covid-19 was and still is a topic on the agenda of our Regional SHE Committees. We have arrangements in place to limit any touchpoint areas, and where there is a touchpoint, there is provision of hand sanitisers and anti-bacterial wipes.
Our internal SHEA department carry out regular inspections on our sites, and as part of these inspections, Covid-19 adherence is checked. In addition, all site supervisors and site managers complete a weekly Covid-19 checklist.
Health & Safety Monitoring
Safety monitoring is an important element of our safety management system and is carried out to assist with the improvement of our safety performance. SHEA inspections are completed by our SHEA coaches and identify both good practice and areas for improvement.
All inspections are rated based on the following levels: excellent, good, satisfactory, unsatisfactory, and poor. Where areas for improvement are identified, our operational teams must provide evidence of their close out actions.
In 2021, 70% of site inspections achieved a ‘good’ rating or above. Over a 12-month period upwards of 9500 individual checks were completed during these inspections.
In addition to these SHEA inspections, several other inspections are completed including leadership tours, senior management inspections and weekly site inspections.
For our gas and electrical works, we complete regular assurance visits and also involve third party auditors, including Morgan Lambert, to carry out checks.
In a 12-month period through 2021, we were 98.25% compliant – with an industry average of 91.12%. This placed us 13th out of 123 contractors.
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Investing in Our Colleagues
Responsibility towards our colleagues also means training them and (re)skilling them for the evolving needs of our businesses.
The safety and competence of our operational colleagues is fundamental to Novus being able to deliver a safe and reliable service. Having a skilled workforce also ensures we are compliant with our legal obligations. Our internal training department manages our training and competency matrix which ensures that we provide specialist technical, safety, refresher and new starter onboarding programmes.
Our methods of training delivery have changed primarily due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but also as a result of a shift to digitised learning.
Throughout the performance year, our employees receive ongoing actionable, continuous performance feedback.
In our Assurance arm of the business,
2021 saw us deliver 120 hours of Passive Fire Protection Workshops to our FIRAS Supervisors. This outlined our process to provide clients with compliant certification for fire safety works.
We also supported 24 colleagues through training with the Association of Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP), working towards level two and level three certificates with the Institute of Fire Engineers. Across both levels, 912 hours of training were delivered.
Additionally, 15 colleagues – including installers and administrators - completed the ASFP’s online introduction to passive fire protection which acts as a generic awareness course. This equates to 60 hours of training.
Health & Safety Accreditations and Memberships
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We understand that our people are the key to our success. Across the business our teams live and breathe our values, to ensure we work responsibly, accurately and as a team to uphold the Novus brand.
We always place a strong emphasis on our people, whether it’s ensuring they feel valued and respected, are equipped with the tools to successfully deliver their role or have a meaningful benefits package to reward their hard work and efforts.
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We are fully invested in the professional and social wellbeing of our team through initiatives and support tools. We want to ensure our colleagues have the right work-life balance to help them succeed not only in their roles, but in their personal lives too. Both physical and mental wellbeing are of vital importance to us, and so we invest in helping our team be the best versions of themselves.
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Supporting Better Mental Health
The mental wellbeing of our colleagues is a top priority. We understand how much of a life impact poor mental health can have, and we want to ensure our colleagues feel supported, with access to relevant help should they need it.
We understand that the pressures of work may be challenging for some colleagues, and so all our team have access to our Employee Assistance Programme with Health Assured. Health Assured has an incredible range of resources in place including an interactive weekly mood tracker, wellbeing videos and support information. If one-to-one support is need, colleagues can contact them 24/7 via their confidential helpline or receive video call support from qualified counsellors via the My Health Advantage App.
However, we know that in some instances, colleagues may prefer to speak to a friendly and familiar face, and so we also have a number of trained Mental Health First Aiders across the business.
Having qualified Mental First Aiders in the workplace provides a point of contact for colleagues who are experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress. This interaction could range from having an initial conversation through to supporting the individual to get appropriate help in a crisis. Mental Health First Aiders can spot the signs of mental ill health and are valuable in providing early support for someone who may be developing a mental health issue.
At present we have 10 Mental Health First Aiders spanning each region of the business.
In 2022, we increased our monthly paid colleagues’ annual entitlement allowance by and extra day – giving them 26 days in total. We encourage all colleagues to use their entitlement throughout the year to ensure they have the recuperative time they need to maintain good overall health. Colleagues can also buy up to an additional five days of holiday, giving them the opportunity for additional ‘me time’ should they need it.
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Mental Health Campaigns
Throughout the year, we run various campaigns which relate to mental health and wellbeing. In 2021, we enlisted the help of Danny – a professional fitness coach and director of the Shropshire-based training centre, The Body Barn. Since then, a number of our campaigns have included helpful tips, exercise and mindfulness sessions and information to help better the mental wellbeing of our team.
In January 2022, we ran a three-part ‘Live Well’ series aimed at beating the January blues. Our communications provided colleagues with helpful advice surrounding relaxation and how to be fighting fit for winter, plus a Pilates session for better overall health. The Body Barn kindly provided us with videos for each topic to give our team a more interactive experience.
Mental Health Awareness Week
For Mental Health Awareness Week 2022, we ran a week-long campaign covering the topic of Loneliness. Each day, colleagues received email communications surrounding a different area of mental health, from support services to guidance on our Mental Health First Aiders and virtual exercise classes. On the Thursday, we held virtual coffee mornings with members of our Board, giving everyone the opportunity to catch-up with colleagues over a cuppa. The coffee morning was a
chance to share, chat and meet new people. Each group had no formal agenda, giving colleagues the opportunity to check in on each other and have fun. Just over 50 colleagues joined the coffee morning, which proved a great success.
Resources were also shared on our social media platforms throughout the week to ensure our clients, suppliers and customers were also able to benefit from the information.
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Our Mental Health First Aiders How they can help Join our Board for a virtual coffee morning! Sit down and catch up over a cuppa Reach out Looking after yourself and charities to support you #WellnessWednesday The Power of Staying Active
Health Awareness Week 2022
One area that often lacks attention is financial health. In March 2022, we partnered with Schroders Personal Wealth (SPW) to provide access to educational content focussing on how to look after your financial wellbeing. As we all know in these challenging times, our personal finances are undoubtably one of the major causes of stress and anxiety impacting our daily lives.
Throughout our Financial Health Week, the team at SPW hosted a series of webinars where they explored the importance of financial wellbeing, why it’s important to look at our finances on a regular basis and why asking yourself questions at any age can be key to happiness. The advice covered all areas of our finances and future - from how to put practical everyday budgets in place, through to ensuring we have taken the right steps to enable our families and loved ones to fully benefit from our assets once we have passed on.
To support our colleagues even further with their financial health, we are continuing to work with SPW throughout the year to provide an online resource where they can ask questions, talk about their personal circumstances in more detail and see if financial advice would benefit them and their family.
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Training and Development
We believe everyone should have a future to look forward to, and that means looking after our people. At all levels of the business, we provide opportunities to help our colleagues grow, develop, and progress their careers with us.
Learning and development are fully integrated within our employee experience through comprehensive inductions, mandatory training, apprenticeship programs and continuing professional development. We always seek to upskill our workforce and ensure a consistent approach to training is taken across all departments.
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Delivered to you by the People Team
Training and Development
In 2021, we began completing competency frameworks for each role in the business to provide clarity on the knowledge, skills and behaviours required, and to enable us to offer relevant career growth and progression opportunities.
Our competency frameworks cover off four key components:
Behavioural: Built on our values and integration of the Novus Shield, the behavioural competencies provide consistency across our national locations and determine the Novus difference.
Leadership & Management Behavioural
Leadership & Management: Having a clear leadership blueprint allows us to guide leaders to act in line with our organisation standards, but it also supports them in understanding their accountability as role models to drive quality, consistency, and innovation.
Core: Our core competencies provide assurance that we have defined a Novus minimum standard for each role. These are non-negotiable competencies and help to provide clarity during the recruitment process.
Technical: The technical framework identifies role specific competencies needed to succeed.
By mid-2022, we achieved 100% competency framework role completion throughout the business.
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Training and Development
Throughout the year, our colleagues complete mandatory training courses to keep them up to date with good working practices, health & safety, general wellbeing and more.
Training is delivered in a variety of ways, from face-to-face workshops to self-driven e-learning sessions.
In 2021, a total of 3205 mandatory courses were completed throughout the business, equating to approximately 2954 hours.
Upskilling Our Team
In addition to the mandatory training given to all our colleagues, we also run several training sessions throughout the year to further develop members of our team.
Across all workshops, we had a total of 817 participant attendance.
We are proud to have also invested in 57 employees, 26% of which were female, in further education to develop new apprentices and support existing staff with their technical knowledge. Examples include Bid Writing, Decarbonisation, RICS Contract Law and Passive Fire Protection.
Workshops delivered in 2021 & 2022 so far included:
• Delivering Effective Feedback: This provided our leaders and management with an easy to apply feedback model for use across their teams. It also had a focus on enhancing listening and questioning techniques when delivering effective feedback.
• Action Planning Feedback: This session challenged attendees to develop a clear action plan to improve employee engagement and provide their teams with regular feedback. It allowed leaders to share their experiences and work through any challenges in a nurturing environment.
• Leading People Through Change: A two-day workshop aimed to equip managers with the fundamental knowledge and skills to manage people through change.
• Mentor Development: To care for our most recent apprentice intake, we developed our mentors with the knowledge and skills to guide and support their apprentices. This workshop focused on how to bring the Novus values to life and provide feedback to the apprentices to keep them on the right track.
• Money Matters Workshop: This session was hosted by Lloyds bank to provide our apprentices with financial awareness surrounding areas such as budgeting and saving.
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2022 marks our 85th consecutive year of nurturing and developing apprentices. Our apprentices play a big role in helping to deliver and exceed our customers’ expectations whilst bringing fresh and innovative ways of working to our teams. Each year we are pleased to offer individuals the opportunity to start their career with us and we have a robust programme in place to ensure they have everything in their power to succeed.
Working closely with the leaders across business divisions, we determine the scope for apprentices based on workstreams and their ability to support the apprentices within their teams. This ensures our apprentices receive the right exposure to produce evidence for their apprenticeship standards and gives them an outstanding experience with their local team.
In 2021, over 700 applicants applied for our trade apprenticeships. After a rigorous selection process – including telephone interviews and virtual assessment banks – we welcomed 15 new apprentices to the Novus family.
In addition to our trade apprentices, we also welcomed a Business Administrator Apprentice and a HR Support Apprentice for teams in our Stoke-on-Trent central office. In 2022, we are recruiting even more apprentices across a number of office and site-based roles.
Each of our apprentices are assigned to a mentor for the duration of their training. Before taking on the responsibility, all mentors receive development training to ensure they are equipped with the knowledge and skills to guide their apprentice through to completion.
As our apprentices are located throughout Great Britain, we work with local colleges and build strong relationships to ensure the apprentices have access to a nearby college and that the course is right for them. Line managers and mentors will often take part in their college reviews and support the apprentice to succeed in their apprenticeship.
By completing an apprenticeship with Novus, our colleagues can experience a varied and rewarding future. They can feel confident in receiving the help and guidance they need from all levels of the business, giving them a great opportunity to combine their learning with hands-on working experience.
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Why our apprentices love working at Novus… Training and Development
Amber Leese – People Team Apprentice
“I really enjoy working for Novus as the team are always so supportive and ready to help! Across the whole business, everyone is keen to welcome you and learn more about you as a person. This is fantastic for a new starter and helps you to easily begin building relationships to assist your career.
So far, my apprenticeship has already offered me many new opportunities, and I’ve been able to quickly apply the things I’ve learnt to my everyday role. For the better, I have been pushed out of my comfort zone and discovered many new skills which I’m extremely thankful for.
My confidence has grown a lot since starting with Novus, and I definitely feel that I’ve made the right step for my career – from Retail Supervisor to People team member.”
Taylor Williams - Apprentice Administrator
“I’ve really enjoyed my time working for Novus so far, mainly due to the friendly warm welcome provided from all the team! I was immediately considered as part of the family and from day one, my contribution was appreciated. It is easy to see the family values embodied by the whole team - all colleagues are happy to help you, regardless of the department they work in.
As a new starter I’ve been provided with a range of opportunities already, which are helping to accelerate my career journey. I’ve learnt a significant number of skills while also having the chance to develop and improve on skills I already had.
I’ve experienced such help and guidance so far, and the current progression I’m making through my apprenticeship is fantastic.”
Xander Potts – Apprentice Carpenter
“Novus has a really caring workforce who are always happy to offer a helping hand when I need it. My Mentor, Willie, is fantastic, and is constantly showing me new tips and tricks to help me progress – plus we have a bit of fun too!
Every day at work I learn something new from one of the team, and it’s great being able to transfer what I’m taught at college into my tasks on site.”
Levi Unwin - Apprentice Painter
“Since joining Novus I’ve learnt a lot of new skills –such as preparation techniques and exterior skillswhich are really helping me to develop my career.
Overall, I’ve noticed a big increase in my confidence which is testament to the fantastic team I’m a part of, and over the coming months, I can see this confidence increasing further as I build on my industry knowledge.
I really enjoy being a part of such a strong team dynamic, and I always feel supported by those around me in the business.”
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Training and Development
Apprentice Residential 2021
Early September 2021 saw our new cohort of apprentices attend Mount Cook Adventure Centre, Peak District, for a three-day residential.
Over the three days our cohort met various leaders in the business, including our CEO Steve Davies and Seddon Family Shareholder, John Seddon. The event stretched and challenged the apprentices in team activities, with feedback captured to support their ongoing development.
The three-day programme was aligned to our core values and aimed to give the apprentices the skills to succeed in their apprenticeships. The apprentices were initially tasked to create a list of the top 10 qualities of a high performing team, and once they were agreed, they were measured against this list during their stay.
Feedback from our apprentices was then captured and acted upon to ensure we develop an enhanced programme year on year.
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Company Accolades Training and Development
Since 2020, we are proud to have been awarded the following accolades:
• Winner of the Community Impact Award at the EEM Building Community Awards 2020.
• Community Engagement Silver Winner at the National Building & Construction Awards 2021.
• Winner of the Best Contractor Marketing Campaign and Best Stakeholder/Internal Communications Categories at the Construction Marketing Awards 2021.
• Shortlisted in the Outstanding Tenant Engagement Category of the TPAS Awards 2021.
• Community Engagement Finalist at the National Building & Construction Awards 2021.
• Most Innovative Contractor and Best Repairs & Maintenance Innovation Finalists at the Housing Digital Innovation Awards 2022.
• Best Approach to Diversity & Inclusion and Best Digital Transformation Finalists at the Northern Housing Awards 2022.
• Inspirational Colleague of the Year Finalist in the Housing Heroes Awards 2022.
• Woman of the Year, Employer of the Year & Best Talent Management Initiative Finalists at the Women in Housing Awards 2022.
• Excellence in Social Value Finalist at the Construction News Specialist Awards 2022.
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Inclusion and Diversity
We want our teams to thrive and recognise that all our colleagues are unique and add value to our business through their diversity. As part of our business strategy, it is important that all our people feel valued and belonging in our business.
Providing equal opportunities is something we are incredibly proud of - it’s what makes us who we are. We have made a clear commitment to becoming an organisation that is reflective of the societies we work in. We want to create an environment where all our colleagues are given opportunities to thrive, and we have clear ambitions to become an employer of choice for future colleagues looking for a like-minded organisation to progress their career.
We are implementing and creating a robust inclusion strategy that will tangibly improve our workforce diversity and we are including diversity metrics in our organisational KPIs.
Whilst a lot of our actions to improve diversity are yet to come, we are proud of some of the steps taken so far, including pay auditing and harmonisation, and reviewing our People policies, with changes such as introducing enhanced maternity, paternity and adoption/surrogacy pay.
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Inclusion and Diversity
Women in Novus network
Formed in 2021, the Women in Novus (WiN) network provides a discussion space for women across the business to collaborate – meaningfully addressing the lack of female representation within the industry.
During its first year, the network had a significant impact in advocating for better working conditions for women at Novus, from clarity around flexible working to ensuring clothing and PPE are suitable for both men and women, including those who are pregnant.
The group has over 40 participants of mixed genders, enabling both women and their allies to have representation. In addition to ensuring we retain our talented female colleagues, the group also discusses and plans attraction strategies to support increasing talented female recruitment into Novus.
The advancements being made as part of the WiN network’s creation tie into the company’s overarching four-point plan to be a more inclusive employer, with specific actions put in place around the Women in Novus (WiN) network, Increased Belonging, introduction of a Diversity and Inclusion strategy, plus a complete Pay and Benefits review.
Sam Lindsay-Smith, Inclusion Lead
Employee feedback and suggestions have been at the heart of our drive for greater inclusivity, and we have set a target to increase our ‘Belonging’ levels, part of our regular engagement surveys, by at least 5% in the coming year.
Working towards this goal, in 2021, our People team undertook a review of our HR policies - with 14 policies updated to ensure compliance and best practice. Our updated policies include the family friendly policy which provides enhanced benefits for maternity, paternity and adoption leave, and our flexible working policy which saw flexible and hybrid working introduced as standard for certain roles.
In addition, new policies were introduced; the menopause policy, to support colleagues experiencing perimenopausal, menopausal and post-menopausal symptoms, and a bonus policy, to ensure transparency and fairness in bonus payment.
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“This network creates a space for female colleagues and allies from across the business to collaborate for the better of all, supporting us to #BreaktheBias and to identify strategies to support the movement internally for women’s rights.”
Inclusion and Diversity
Our Pledge to Better Diversity
Representing our Board of Directors in our WiN network is one of many roles for Executive Director Lee Hartley, our Board Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Sponsor. In addition to driving forward our internal diversity goals and commitments, in 2021 the Novus Board publicly committed to the following commitments by signing up to the Inspiring Women in Construction Industry Pledge which covers:
• Attract, develop and promote more women in our company and industry, and do this in a fair way.
• Close our Gender Pay Gap.
• Champion and recognise the achievements of women.
• Work collaboratively to create an environment that welcomes and helps retain women.
Lee Hartley - Executive Director
Gender Pay Gap
The construction and maintenance industry is traditionally male dominated. In our 2021 Gender Pay Gap report, we reinforced our determination as a business to reduce our Gender Pay Gap. To support this pledge and to demonstrate our commitment, we developed and shared our three year People Plan.
We have met our previous commitment to reduce our Gender Pay Gap to a 17% mean and 12% median. Our 2021 Gender Pay Gap report shows a considerable reduction in our pay gap from the reported 2020 figures32% mean and 25% median.
The aim of this industry-wide campaign is to champion a fair representation of gender in senior positions across construction through empowering individuals to overcome barriers.
Our Head of Business Development, Claire BaileyJones, sits on the Women in Social Housing Northwest Board, where she advocates for opening the door to more women in the industry.
Claire Bailey-Jones - Head of Business Development
We are also a signatory of the Armed Forces Covenant which recognises that former service personnel deserve the same career opportunities as everyone else, regardless of injuries or mental health difficulties as a result of their time in service.
Our aim is to ensure we are engaging with a diverse pool of talent, and we have begun to proactively target female talent through our events and communications. We ensure all third parties in the supply chain are aligned to our goals and ambitions to increase female representation across the business. Managers are supported with ongoing inclusive recruitment learning and development.
Looking forward, the next step will be the launch of our Diversity and Inclusion strategy, which will aim to further reduce our Gender Pay Gap, increase diversity in roles at leadership levels and increase belonging levels within the business.
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Attraction and Retention
We understand that to attract diverse talent we need to continue to drive initiatives that support our workforce in totality, as well as identifying opportunities to move the dial on diversity related matters. We commit to continuing to engage with our workforce on these matters and to create meaningful partnerships with other organisations to share ideas and best practice.
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Attraction and Retention
Our Benefits Package
Based on colleague feedback plus external and internal market trends, we have completed a thorough review of our colleague benefits to understand and determine how we should enhance these to increase the ability to attract talent, retain colleagues and introduce a fair and consistent pay and benefits system.
Our support and lifestyle benefits include:
The first tranche of these updates was implemented in January 2022 and comprised the following:
• Creation of five leadership and management grades within the business.
• Enhanced family friendly terms, supporting colleagues to start their families with better payment terms for maternity, paternity, surrogacy, and adoption leave.
• Increased annual leave for all monthly paid colleagues to 26 days base entitlement.
• Increased sickness entitlement for managerial and leadership roles to a minimum of three months full pay and three months half pay.
• Identified additional funds to support pay increases across the business for both weekly and monthly paid colleagues, removing inconsistencies.
• Construction of a bonus policy, providing fairness and transparency for all colleagues on expectations.
• Restructured pay review process, removing automatic entitlements to cost of living, and introducing structured pay review conversations that are evidence based.
• The inclusion of our trade colleagues in the annual flexible benefits process.
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Receive up to £1,000 when you refer a friend or family member to work or Novus Prope y Solut ons! erms ondit ons App Please mail the Resourcing eam more in orm on on rec uitme vussolut ons o.uk.
Attraction and Retention
Through the pressures and worries of the pandemic, many colleagues have greatly valued the flexibility of how, where and when they work, gaining more time for their families, health and other commitments.
However, we also recognise that the office will remain an important place for connection, collaboration and learning, both with clients and with each other. By setting this benchmark for post-pandemic operations, we hope to give our colleagues the flexibility to design a working pattern that suits them, their working colleagues and our clients.
We have embraced the new world of hybrid working by implementing our own scheme for roles which best suit the hybrid working model. Unlike some companies, we haven’t stipulated the number of days split between office and home, and instead, have opted to allow colleagues to determine where they work based on the needs and outputs of their role. We have seen a positive uptake in this approach with many colleagues reporting that they now have a better work life balance than pre-pandemic.
We have and continue to protect the earnings of colleagues who become unwell with Covid-19. Until the UK Government’s self-isolation changes earlier in 2022, all colleagues required to self-isolate were paid in full. We have now adopted a risk-based approach which sees colleagues and their line managers assess the potential risk of attending work with Covid-19 or Covid-19 symptoms. For situations which mean social distancing is difficult, and it is deemed unsafe for a colleague to attend their place of work with symptoms, we have committed to continue paying all colleagues full pay where they are required to isolate.
Rewarding Our Teams
We like to acknowledge teams and individuals who have gone above and beyond in their roles. In 2021, we held our Covid Hero Awards which celebrated colleagues who had stepped up and made a difference during the Covid-19 outbreak, whether within the company or their local community. Almost 100 people were nominated by their colleagues, with suggestions coming across the length and breadth of Great Britain and at every level of the business. Ten winners were chosen by a panel of colleagues, with winners receiving prizes and certificates at a ceremony held in our central office.
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Attraction and Retention
Employee Engagement Surveys
Each year, all colleagues are asked to participate in an Employee Engagement Survey which allows them to feedback on their experience of working for Novus.
Your employee engagement survey is here!
Following the results of our 2021 survey we implemented a number of actions, including:
• Enhancing our benefits package.
• Setting up local engagement groups across regions and departments.
• Improving key information in our monthly internal newsletter, Novus Now.
• Developing new polices to support everyone in feeling they belong at Novus – including our menopause policy.
• Completing competency frameworks for each role.
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Novus Responsible Business Report - Section 4
Novus in the Marketplace Our Clients Residents and End-Users Our Digital Transformation Supply Chain
Novus in the Marketplace
In our marketplace, we aim to deliver – in both the public and private sectors – services that are sustainable and customer focussed. We achieve these objectives through liaison and engagement with customers and suppliers, and by ethically delivering continuous improvement through best practice.
Within the broader marketplace we want to ensure we’re a contractor of choice, and one whose values are shared and supported by those we work with –be it our clients or supply chain partners.
Across our daily operations we aim to be at the forefront of innovation. To support this, we are currently on a digital transformation journey which not only helps us reduce our carbon footprint but also enables us to streamline processes across the business to deliver activities into the marketplace in a way that benefits all parties involved.
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We know our clients want to work with a business they can trust. In 2021, we set out ambitious plans to double our profits within five years. To deliver these growth plans we have streamlined our market offering with our ‘house of brands’ known as Interiors, Maintain, Assure, Projects and Sustain. We have also restructured several of our internal teams as well as building new ones to revolutionise the way we win work. Our aim is to secure higher value and longer-term contracts, while maintaining a market leading partnership-based approach across all contracts by providing excellent customer service and project delivery.
In January 2022, we revealed that 2021 was our most successful year for securing new contracts to date, with our highest ever pipeline of £176 million. Underpinning all our activities, we remain focussed on bringing a personal touch to each interaction and taking pride in each project - a strong legacy which is firmly embedded in our commitment to being a national business built on family values.
Across the business, we are dedicated to continually providing an outstanding experience for both clients and customers alike, whilst delivering value-driven and quality-centred projects.
Ensuring Client Satisfaction
We fully acknowledge the multiple benefits of collaborative working. We seek to operate in an environment where the qualitative aspects are a significant part of the selection criteria, proving the best opportunity for us to demonstrate our credentials and deliver added value.
Our Business Development team complete annual or bi-annual Net Promoter Surveys (NPS) across our larger contracts, to help us analyse the success of our project delivery and give us an enhanced opportunity for relationship building across our client base.
Our overall NPS information and key trends from the surveys are reported back to our Senior Management Team and from here, we develop client action plans to help us better our relationships. We feedback the information gathered from these surveys to our clients alongside the overall action plan and a ‘You Said, We Did’ document.
Not only do these surveys give us an opportunity to improve our services client side, but they also help us to develop best practice within our own teams.
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Interiors DYNAMIC STREAMLINE D SOLUTI ON S Sustain PRO PR O T E C T NG OU R TOMORROW TOMORR OW
Residents and End-Users
Whether dealing directly with clients or their residents, delivering a great customer experience and client satisfaction is at the top of our priorities. Above all else, Novus is a people business, and when you deal with us, you’re dealing with real people who are truly committed to providing great service.
Working across all regions of the business we have a friendly and dedicated Customer Care team who are the first port of call for customers - assisting with any questions, concerns, and compliments they might have. In addition to this, our team of Customer Liaison Officers (CLOs) work with residents to ensure projects run as smoothly as possible and that any issues are resolved in an amical way.
Our CLOs host regular coffee mornings to enable residents to meet the Novus team and ask any questions they may have regarding the works being completed. Not only is this a great way to keep everyone informed, but it also provides a fantastic opportunity for residents to socialise and get to know each other better – something that is invaluable after the Covid-19 pandemic.
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Residents and End-Users
It’s Our Job
We believe that by building on our customer focused culture, we will increase repeat business and reinforce our position as a contractor of choice for consistently providing the best customer experience in the marketplace. Making sure our customers are happy with every aspect of our work underpins our core operating values and demonstrates our family-driven ethos.
In 2021, we re-launched the ‘It’s our job’ initiative, ensuring we continue to achieve high levels of customer satisfaction. Far from being a gimmick or campaign, ‘It’s our job’ is linked so heavily to our company values that it permeates throughout the business and our colleagues.
In essence ‘It’s our job’ is a promise that every person within Novus puts the customer at the heart of everything they do, every day. We make all decisions, at all levels of the company, with the customer in mind.
Every month we recognise a winner of our ‘It’s our job’ award, which rewards outstanding colleagues across the business, acknowledging those who go above and beyond their day-to-day duties. Anyone who works for Novus - whether as a direct colleague or a subcontractor - can be nominated for the award, and winners receive a £50 voucher.
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Residents and End-Users
Once work is completed on a property our CLOs leave a customer satisfaction questionnaire for the resident to complete. This helps to improve best practice and ensure we continue to deliver projects to the highest standard for clients and residents alike.
In quarter one of 2022, our national customer satisfaction score stood at 98%.
We are pleased to see the number of customer satisfaction questionnaires completed increasing month on month since January 2022 - from only 21 at the start of the year to 270 completed in March alone.
We received 348 customer compliments in quarter one of 2022.
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Our Digital Transformation
Helping to improve the overall service we deliver to our clients and their customers; we have committed to investing in and using technology to exceed our reputation. A huge part of this was the launch of our innovative Oneserve system in 2021.
Oneserve was designed both for and with Novus, to maximise its effectiveness and flexibility of use. Through various technologies, Oneserve provides us with a single space to create, plan, deliver and follow up on planned and reactive maintenance, void, and compliance appointments. Designed to replace a time-consuming and resource heavy call centre system, the solution automates the task-logging process and keep residents up to date on their appointments. Not only is Oneserve accessible by Novus, but by our clients too – always putting the customer at the heart of the project.
Striving for continuous improvement, we complete regular feedback sessions with our clients and end users. The feedback from these sessions allows our systems team to continually develop Oneserve and ensure it is being used to the best of its ability across our residential projects.
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An efficient, flexible, and committed supply chain is an essential part of our business, and our aim is to develop strong long-term relationships that are mutually beneficial to both parties.
All potential supply chain partners undergo a comprehensive vetting and selection process to confirm their qualification and competency.
Novus Responsible Business Report - Section 4
Our Partnership Approach
We have preferred supplier agreements with a number of our supply chain to ensure we optimise the delivery programmes for all stakeholders in a project, and that innovative and cost-effective solutions can be delivered to the highest safety and quality standards.
When selecting companies as our preferred suppliers, considerations go further than just pricing and product quality. As a business, we choose to work with companies who share our values and strive to better the world we live in. We take into account suppliers who have strong carbon reduction actions, ethical sourcing of materials, environmental commitments and more.
Our preferred supplier agreements last for 12 to 24 months, and wherever possible, we forge these relationships with local providers in each region to contribute to the growth and development of local enterprise – although in some instances, nationwide suppliers may still be the most appropriate.
When partnering with Novus, we want to be sure our supply chain feels valued and respected. We want to help ease any struggles our SME supply chain partners may face, and so we currently offer our pricing frameworks with Travis Perkins, Jewson, Wolseley, City Plumbing and Grahams Plumbing to these businesses. Supplier performance is continuously benchmarked to ensure Novus and our
subcontractors receive high quality products and services at affordable rates.
We also provide our supply chain partners with access to training and health & safety resources in key subject areas to improve their skill set and promote competency.
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Each year we produce a preferred supplier guide for our operational colleagues to ensure all regions take a consistent approach to the purchase of goods and materials.
Working to alleviate costs and the environmental impact of printing, in 2022 we adapted the format of our preferred supplier guide for predominantly digital use. For colleagues who have limited access to electronic devices, we completed a small print run of physical copies with all other colleagues encouraged to access the guide via our company Intranet. Where printing was used, we opted to work with a company who have environmental considerations at the heart of their operations. SBS Print Group are working towards a more sustainable future and will be fully carbon neutral in 2022.
Building Our Supply Chain
Supply chain engagement is encouraged at a strategic level to maximise knowledge sharing and value generation. Supply chain activities are co-ordinated and monitored by our highly competent, directly employed managers at all times to ensure quality and consistency. We are known throughout the industry for our favourable payment terms and for fair treatment of supply chain partners.
On 1st February 2022, Construction Management – the official CIOB magazine – published its analysis on payment practices in the construction industry. We are proud to be highlighted on this list with average payment terms of 33 days. Improving our payment process and as part of our wider digital transformation, in summer 2022 we are launching an option for suppliers to be paid via credit card if they are visa approved.
Since the beginning of 2022 we have been exploring the option of partnering with a professional body to support a less labour-intensive onboarding process. This will see us adopt the Common Assessment Standard which has been developed to reduce the administrative burden required to trade with each contractor involved. Rolled out by Build UK, with the support of the Civil Engineering Contractors Association, the standard is an industry-wide pre-qualification system which improves efficiency and helps to reduce costs in the sector.
Build UK has worked with a wide range of clients, contractors, and supply chain companies to develop the standard which includes an agreed set of questions and assessment standards for a more effective pre-qualification process for everyone. There are a number of recognised assessment bodies that are able to certify companies against the Common Assessment Standard including Achilles, CHAS, Contructionline and CQMS.
There are currently 21 contractors using the standard, and we will be proud to join this list later in the year.
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2022 Preferred Supplier Guide Sustain Interiors
Since September 2021, we’ve hosted these days up and down the country, with events held in:
Supplier Engagement Days
Throughout the year we host a number of Supplier Engagement Days where we invite companies, in particular SMEs, to discuss joining our subcontractor database. These events have proven a great success, helping to get local workforces involved in projects while assisting in the growth and development of smaller businesses.
During these events, members of our operational and commercial teams discuss the history of Novus, our company values, our business practices, and the opportunities available for subcontractors within their region. The main presentation is wrapped up with a Q&A session, followed by one-to-one discussions with all attendees to learn more about their businesses and how they are best placed to become long-term partners to assist our contract delivery locally.
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1 2 3 4 5 76 8 9 10 12 13 11
Section 5 Our Environment Novus Responsible Business Report - Section 5 Protecting the Future Sustain Environmental Accreditations Our Environmental Actions Supply Chain Sustainability School Waste and Recycling Moor Trees
Protecting the Future Sustain
We’re proud of our commitments to protecting the planet, playing a leading part in the battle to arrest climate change and its expected future impacts.
As a forward-looking organisation, we believe there is an obligation for our employees, supply chain and clients to seek out and utilise solutions that avoid causing further harm to our planet. We understand that every contribution we make, no matter how small, will have a positive influence in reducing any adverse effects on our climate.
In 2018, the IPCC – the intergovernmental body of the United Nations – gave major industry 12 years to radically reduce environmental pollution before our climate change hit an irreversible tipping point.
During this, the UK alongside several other countries, made a commitment to move to a ‘Net Zero’ emissions economy by 2050, as climate science showed that to halt climate change, carbon emissions must stop - reducing them is not good enough.
This goal is a catalyst for how we do business. We are determined to be a leading partner in the facilitation of positive measures that help our clients to reduce the impact future environmental challenges will have on their built assets.
Our Sustain service directly contributes to the UK’s net zero goals, by providing clients with a one-stop-shop to achieving zero carbon targets across their portfolios.
Through our Centre of Excellence, our expert team of in-house professionals and external specialist partners offer an end-to-end solution for clients. This includes assessing portfolios and recommending the ideal solutions to achieve carbon targets with available budgets, undertaking all funding requirements and compliant delivery of the works including all measurement and verification of the solutions.
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Environmental Accreditations Our Environmental Actions
We are committed to ensuring our actions as a business do not adversely impact upon the environment and recognise that protecting the environment now, for the wellbeing of future generations, is of prime importance.
We are proud to have achieved the following environmental accreditations and memberships, and we continue to strive towards eliminating or reducing any negative impacts on our environment.
• Bureau Veritas 9001
• Bureau Veritas 14001
• Painting & Decorating Association
• NAPIT & Green Deal Energy Efficiency Measures
• PAS 2030
• Supply Chain Sustainability School Silver Members
Internally, we are committed to measuring our own carbon footprint and reducing this annually. We want to eliminate the risks of our activities and prevent pollution through the implementation of enforceable control measures, whilst maximising positive benefits to the environments and communities we work in.
Working to Reduce our Carbon Footprint
We aim to be carbon neutral by 2024, and net zero by 2030. Working towards these goals, over the next five years we are adopting a number of reduction targets to continually drive progress.
1. We will reduce travel emissions by 30% - including grey fleet and hired vehicles.
2. We will reduce the total emissions from energy use at our branch offices by 30%.
3. We will promote a circular economy, identify waste by activity stream and reduce total construction waste by 45%.
4. We will reduce office paper use by 60%.
5. We will recycle more than 80% of paint cans.
Building on our environmental and social value actions, we are actively working with Business in the Community (BITC) to further develop our strategies with regards the circular economy, nature stewardship and climate action, ensuring we remain true to our company values and the principles of inclusivity, integrity, stewardship and transparency.
We benchmark ourselves against the industry using the BITC Responsible Business Tracker, which assesses our sustainability maturity against a set criteria based on the wheel above.
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Our Environmental Actions
Hybrid Working Our Fleet
We have implemented policies and initiatives to help us reduce our transport emissions, mileage, and costs. Such steps include increased homeworking opportunities and enhancing our digital transformation so our teams can successfully work from any location.
Across our fleet, vans are speed limited and we continue to increase the number of Euro 6 compliant vehicles. Alongside this, we are also introducing more hybrid vans to better reduce our carbon footprint. Sustainable travel planning has been implemented via work scheduling software and we continue to invest in our colleagues to ensure we have a high number of multi-trade operatives – reducing the number of repeat trade person visits, and thus milage.
We currently have:
1 fully electric van being used on our contract with Manchester University.
15 mild hybrid vans.
3 mild hybrid cars.
We are working to roll out a new company car offering, with electric and hybrid options across all available bands.
As part of our driver risk management and fleet sustainability program, colleagues also complete mandatory e-learning modules around Eco Driving & Speed Awareness, provide by our partner DriverMetrics.
Going green with Shell
In November 2021, we signed a new agreement with fuel giant Shell to offset our carbon emissions to become carbon neutral. The contract required all our fleet drivers to be provided with fuel cards, helping to drastically cut the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The agreement is enabling our fleet to offset its carbon emissions by tracking our overall fleet fuel consumption to calculate the associated CO2e lifecycle emissions.
Developed exclusively by Shell scientists, FuelSave Diesel reduces black smoke significantly, meaning less burnt fuel is being emitted from the exhaust of vehicles. From this we are proud to have removed 620 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere already, helping our company’s fleet transition to a lower emission future and improving the air quality of local communities and wildlife.
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Our Environmental Actions
Environmental Awareness Training
We have launched environmental awareness training to all colleagues. This ensures a standard level of knowledge in which to grow initiatives and increase our colleagues’ energy awareness to help reduce energy consumption.
Our SHE coaches are in the process of completing IEMA Certificates in Environmental Management.
Actions in Our Offices
Across each of our offices, we have adopted green energy tariffs while also completing LED lighting upgrades. In addition to this, we have modified our Building Management Systems to achieve energy savings.
We have also removed bottled water facilities in all offices where fresh water sources are available. We will continue to undertake energy audits on our premises to ensure we remain efficient and to upgrade equipment.
Unlock Net Zero
Solidifying our commitment to a net zero future, we are proud partners of Unlock Net Zero – a knowledge portal focusing on the practical reality of the transition to net zero.
To continue our progress in achieving net zero, we are adopting carbon reduction targets and predict that our carbon emissions can decrease to 1400 tCO2e by 2026. This is a reduction of 62%.
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Supply Chain Sustainability School Waste and Recycling
As part of our continual improvement plan and environmental commitments to upskill our staff, we have engaged with The Supply Chain Sustainability School and currently hold silver membership status. The school offers free access to sustainable learning opportunities and a wide range of resources for Novus employees. This helps us deliver a more sustainable environment, supporting our ambitious targets. We will engage with key supply chain members and promote use of the school to collectively upskill and assist SMEs on their sustainability journey.
The initiative reduce, reuse, and recycle, is at the heart of our environmental commitments and is carried out by all colleagues across the business.
Wherever possible, we ensure that the items we use on site are given a new lease of life, with disposal to landfill seen as the last possible option.
Recycling in Action
In March 2022, members of our Wrexham team supported client Wrexham County Borough Council by sponsoring their Environmental Action Day.
During the day, several our team were out and about on local streets collecting unwanted large or bulky domestic items from residents’ homes, who were otherwise unable to recycle their unwanted goods. Others were on hand at Poyser Street Church, where members of the community were invited to bring unwanted items. As a part of the event, we had a popular ‘Reuse Area’ where residents were encouraged to take items that had been collected, or to donate their own for others to benefit from.
As part of our sponsorship and support, we produced an Energy Saving Tips booklet that residents were able to pick up and take home for future use.
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90.27% 94.74% 95.29% 87.00% 88.00% 89.00% 90.00% 91.00% 92.00% 93.00% 94.00% 95.00% 96.00% 2019 2020 2021 % waste diverted from landfill Total By doing this, we diverted over 95% of our project waste from landfill in 2021, helping to conserve natural resources, landfill space and energy. Helpingyoutolivebetter EnergySavingTips
Paint Can Recycling
One of our key environmental actions is to increase the number of paint cans recycled across the business every year.
In 2021, we recycled over 10,000 paint cans and we are on track to beat this number by the end of 2022.
We have paint can recycling schemes with Dulux, Johnstone’s and Crown, where the manufacturers collect empty cans from our sites free of charge. Extending this service, we are now part of Crown’s ‘Kick out the can’ offering which enables teams to recycle paint with the supplier as well as the cans themselves.
Before we dispose of any unused paint, we are now utilising a ‘Hierarchy of Paint’ to ensure as much of the products are used up as possible. This not only saves money on disposal costs, but it also improves traceability and can benefit local communities in different ways.
Our Hierarchy of Paint includes:
• Restock – suppliers taking back overordered paints.
• Donate for touch-ups – the paints get left with the end-user for future use.
• Charity donation or volunteering – the paints are used on social value projects.
• Free paint days – our Customer Liaison Officers arrange free or charity paint days where tenants can take any unused paints.
• Kick out the can.
• Community RePaint – the schemes accept left over paint for members of the local community to use.
Only once we’ve exhausted the options above do our teams then move on to general hazardous waste disposal and can-back recycling schemes.
All the wood we use throughout our projects is FSC or PFEC compliant. Where possible, we try to donate any unused wood to initiatives such as Community Wood Recycling.
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Combining our charitable commitments and our work to protect the environment, 2021 saw us complete a Build Back Better challenge for Devonbased charity Moor Trees. Moor Trees is dedicated to recreating native woodland across Dartmoor and the wider Devonshire County.
The charity grows trees from locally collected seeds in their own nurseries; nurturing the saplings with the help of local volunteers before planting them to recreate and restore natural woodland.
As part of our work with Moor Trees we funded the planting of hundreds of trees across the region, while also providing a team of volunteers to maintain the saplings being grown at the Moor Trees nursery ready for planting.
We have estimated that the trees funded will offset hundreds of tons of carbon emissions, equalling the carbon footprint of our Devon operations - including the energy used by our office in South Brent, the waste produced, and vehicle usage.
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Section 6 Our Communities
Novus Responsible Business Report - Section 6
Build Back Better
We have set a vision to be a force for good. Throughout our projects we are committed to supporting and working with local communities. Building long term relationships with the communities in which we operate is a key element to our success, and we are proud to be making a positive difference nationwide.
Building on our robust Corporate Social Responsibility and Community Engagement programme, we are partnered with Business in the Community (BITC) to support their Build Back Better campaign. Our key responsible business actions of Reducing Poverty, Good Health & Wellbeing and Environmental Action make up our wider Build Back Better initiative, influencing every action we take at Novus.
1 Reducing Poverty
We continually identify activities and opportunities where we can help reduce the impact of poverty within our local communities. Whether this be through charity fundraising, donating to food banks, or providing support for the homeless.
Alongside our company-wide Corporate Social Responsibility scheme, we also implement social value strategies for each contract we complete. We are extremely proud of our community actions up and down the country, and since the beginning of 2021 we have…
of social value actions delivered.
projects completed in the communities we work in and beyond.
food banks supported through the donation of warm clothes and food.
We know that our colleagues and customers are the heartbeat of our business. Therefore, we are committed to looking after their wellbeing, ensuring that each and every person remains mentally and physically healthy.
Good Health & Wellbeing Environmental Action
Since the Covid-19 pandemic we have dramatically reduced our carbon footprint through working smarter and more efficiently. Now, we are keen to continue this progress by working with local communities on positive environmental initiatives and towards ambitious sustainability targets for our own business.
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£1.87m 197 20 5100
Build Back Better Challenge
One of the key elements of our Build Back Better initiative is our large-scale ‘Build Back Better Challenge’ which sees our colleagues, clients, supply chain partners and the wider communities we work in nominate an individual, charity or organisation to be the recipient of up to £5000 of support. Any project can be nominated, as long as it aligns with one of our key themes, and the winner is chosen by a panel of Novus colleagues based on where the contribution will have the biggest impact.
The first challenge winner was Coffee4Craig – a homelessness charity based in Manchester. The charity provides hot food, showers and emergency provisions to the city’s homeless community. Thanks to the Build Back Better challenge, it now offers its users a much-improved environment. Collaborating with our subcontractors and supply chain partners, we were able to transform Coffee4Craig’s communal area into a Wellbeing Zone complete with a salon corner, seating area, and new storage space, alongside improved washing and changing facilities and two new kitchen units.
“My wife Risha and I established Coffee4Craig in 2013 after sadly losing my brother-in-law, Craig, who found himself homeless and living on the streets through mental health challenges.
Our experience made us realise that this can happen to anyone, and that more support is needed for individuals facing homelessness.
Coffee4Craig has continued to grow from initially handing out food in Manchester City Centre, to now providing individuals facing the harsh realities of living on the streets with a safe place to meet and receive support – and we couldn’t have done this without the support of our staff and volunteers, as well as businesses like Novus.
Thanks to Novus’ support, we have been able to improve the function of the building for our guests, providing them with a better overall service and in turn, improving their wellbeing.”
Hendrix Lancaster, Coffee4Craig’s CEO and Co-Founder
Three months later, Moor Trees – as highlighted on page 56 - was announced as the second winner, helping us to fulfil our promise of taking environmental action for the benefit of the community.
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Build Back Better Challenge
“Mosaic LGBT+ Young Persons’ Trust is a small charity with extremely limited resources, which is why we’re so grateful that Novus is serious about Corporate Social Responsibility and aiming to make a real difference in the community. These repair works would have been close to impossible for us to fund given the current climate and considering the health and safety risks we would have had to close the centre – but thankfully Novus came to the rescue.”
Lukasz Konieczka, Executive Director Mosaic LGBT+ Young Persons’ Trust
In late 2021, we supported our third challenge winner, Mosaic LGBT+ Young Persons’ Trust, a Greater London charity offering a range of services to support members of the LGBT+ community and their families. As a charity, they are committed to building an LGBT+ community that is strong and cohesive, where people feel safe, free from prejudice, and have space to thrive. This in turn will help build a community where every LGBT+ young person feels empowered, inspired, and proud to be who they are.
Novus supported the charity by providing the labour and materials required for a much-needed urgent repair and redecoration of the Mosaic Trust’s community centre, after a leak caused the facility’s ceiling to collapse. After our supply of materials and labour, the community centre was completed and re-opened to members.
In spring 2022, we completed work for our fourth challenge winner, the Edinburgh Tool Library, in partnership with Places for People. The Tool Library provides the local community with a facility where they can access and borrow tools, as well as hosting a range of classes and workshops where members of the community can learn and take part in nontool related sessions including for mental health. Alongside this, the Tool Library runs an employability programme, a number of volunteer builds and a programme for young people.
Supporting the charity, our Scotland team completed the repainting and decorating of the library’s new, expanded premises – donating labour and materials, with the refurbishment completed in March and a launch event in April. As part of our ongoing work in the area, we are continuing to work with Edinburgh Tool Library in the future by hosting workshops for users.
“The Edinburgh Tool Library is extremely grateful to the team from Novus, who worked tirelessly to a very tight deadline to ensure the new library was looking fantastic in time for our launch. Our goal to make sharing a mainstream activity is only enhanced by spaces where people want to spend time and feel welcome, and our new Meadowbank Tool Library really looks the part.”
Chris Hellawell, Director Edinburgh Tool Library
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Additional Community Highlights
As well as these challenge winners so far, our Build Back Better initiative has already benefitted several other communities through various projects spanning our three core themes.
1 Reducing Poverty
In 2021 we donated materials and labour to the value of approximately £10,000 to the refurbishment of the Poets Pantry food centre in Podsmead, Gloucester. The Poets Pantry provides food to those in need in the area – which is ranked as the most deprived in Gloucestershire – as the impact of Covid-19 resulted in more families requiring its service. The food bank takes pride in its healthy and sustainable approach to food, as well as its provision of financial advice for service users – meaning the project encompassed all three of our Build Back Better themes.
Since the refurbishment of the larger space for the Poets Pantry, it has been able to support more families in the area in line with demand through increased storage space. Our team is also continuing to support the Poets Pantry in various ways, including food donations and a commitment to the provision of further improvements to the centre in the future.
Our 2022 Food Bank Appeal has seen support for over 20 food banks across Great Britain already,
with colleagues continuing to help local services throughout the year. From Devon and Cornwall to Bangor, and all the way up to Scotland, local food banks have been helped, with colleagues making food and monetary donations.
In Plymouth, a total of £5,000 has been donated to food shelters across the region, with £1,250 going to community causes in Plymouth and Cornwall, and £2,500 donated to our client, The Guinness Partnership, to support the work it does with partners to provide access to food for those that need it. We estimate that this donation will have helped to support approximately 250 individuals or around 80 families.
Spreading some Easter joy, in spring 2022 we held an Easter Appeal where colleagues donated chocolate eggs and fresh fruit hampers to local food
banks and charities. Colleagues all over the country got involved, with our Midlands team even hosting a family fun day for local residents in partnership with our client Bromsgrove District Housing.
As homelessness is one of the biggest factors impacting people in poverty, in 2021 we ran skills workshops alongside Forum Housing to help boost the employability prospects of the local homeless and vulnerable community.
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Additional Community Highlights
Health & Wellbeing
Helping to delivering additional social value during our work at North Manchester General Hospital, our healthcare team created a landscaped garden for staff and patients of the Intensive Care Unit. When our team saw the garden, they knew they could make a difference to it. It needed clearing and brightening up so the NHS staff and patients could better enjoy the area. In addition to carrying out their ‘day jobs’, the team gutted the garden and set about creating a neat and tidy area for patients and staff to use.
The area was landscaped with gravel and paving to make it more accessible. The team then started
to add a floating bench and planters as staff and patients are keen to utilise this area more. It is hoped that providing this new landscaped area to relax, have a break and enjoy some fresh air will benefit hundreds of NHS staff and patients each year.
Our East Midlands Office are working in partnership with Trent and Dove Housing carrying out kitchen, bathroom and roof replacement works to their properties. Helping better the local area, the team have completed an internal redecoration of Burton Addiction Centre, including all bedrooms and bathrooms to create a nice, relaxing environment for the residents.
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Additional Community Highlights
Always looking to better the communities in which we work, in 2021 colleagues from our Wrexham office planted a wildflower meadow on Tan Y Dre Road, Wrexham.
While completing several contracts for Wrexham County Borough Council, it had been necessary for the team to build a large site compound for the storage of heavy plant and materials. Constructing this compound involved using an area of green space usually enjoyed by the local community.
Once the compound was relocated the team wanted to give back to the residents as a ‘thank you’ for their cooperation. Following discussions with the residents, local Councillor Ronnie Prince and the council, it was agreed that planting a wildflower meadow in the area would not only make it more pleasant but would also create a welcoming environment for local wildlife – tying in with the council’s ‘Green Infrastructure Project’ initiative.
Once agreed, the Wrexham team enlisted the help of the North Wales Wildlife Trust, who came along to advise how best to prepare and plant the area, and then carry out the works - the rest was left up to Mother Nature! We paid for the preparation, seeding and two-years of maintenance for this wildflower meadow.
In keeping with our environmental commitments and Carbon Reduction Plan, our Burton office took the lead in piloting a bike transportation scheme for one of their Customer Liaison Officers, Michelle Eden. Michelle predominantly works on our Trent and Dove roofing contract in and around the Burton area, keeping all residents and stakeholders up to date and engaged throughout each stage of the project.
A keen environmentalist, Michelle is passionate about helping to reduce her personal and corporate carbon footprint. As a solution to the emissions caused by Michelle’s need to travel throughout the area, she came up with the initiative to swap to pedal power to carry out her duties.
From November 2021, Michelle has been cycling from the site cabin to the various properties where we are carrying out roof replacement works, doing pre-works inductions and CLO visits. In addition to reducing emissions, Michelle has noticed the switch to two-wheels has also helped with her physical and mental wellbeing.
We are proud to be supporting an initiative which is not only benefitting our community of colleagues but is also providing support to various communities across Great Britain – helping the country to Build Back Better from the impact of the pandemic by supporting society’s most vulnerable.
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Build Back Better Badge Employing Local People
In December 2021 we introduced our Build Back Better Badge which acknowledges teams that have played a key part in helping us in our responsible business actions. To earn this badge a region or team must demonstrate having delivered one initiative for each of our Build Back Better focus areas.
In May 2022, we proudly announced our first Build Back Better Badge winner as our Midlands region. Led by Head of Operations Gary Clay, the Midlands team successfully delivered a social value project in all three of our focus areas across both sub-regions, North Midlands and South Midlands.
We are committed to employing locally – be it direct employees or subcontractors and suppliers - through our ‘Think Local’ approach, which is a core ethic and value of our business. We always aim to recruit and employ people living within a 30-mile radius of our operational offices and the contracts we deliver.
The University of Manchester is among the largest single-site universities in the UK, with one of the biggest student communities, reaching over 40,000 students. In total, Novus has provided the city centre campus of the university with a reactive and planned maintenance service for over 30 years.
In our relationship with the university, we have been involved with the ongoing care and repair of everything from lecture theatres, laboratories and refectories to recreational facilities. While carrying out this work we always aim to add value.
Also in the Manchester area, we are working on the Miles Platting Estate for Jigsaw Homes. As part of our social value pledge, in January 2022 we employed a local labourer, who lives just 2.5 miles from the estate, as a tiler on our kitchen contract.
Further helping the employment of local people, in March 2022 Head of Social Value and Client/ Customer Service, Kevin Rhone, helped out for the day at the Sheffield Job Centre, offering career advice to job seekers. Kevin was there to talk about the benefits of working within the maintenance and construction sectors and the exciting opportunities we have to offer. We are thrilled to have 25 employees working on the University of Manchester contract, with 23 of these living within the Greater Manchester postcode.
This means that 92% of employees on this contract are local, with 100% living within a 25-mile radius. This employment is delivering an additional £647k worth of social and local economic value through the contract.
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Volunteer Hero Scheme
In 2021, we launched a new Volunteer Policy –also referred to as our Volunteer Hero initiative - which gives all colleagues access to eight hours of volunteering time to use during work hours. Colleagues have the freedom to choose any community project, charity, or good cause that they feel would benefit from their skills and volunteer time.
To launch the campaign, a team of 16 volunteers from our Stoke-on-Trent office travelled a short distance to the Scotia Valley area where they volunteered their time to help clean up the environment between Pitts Hill Pools and Scotia Brook. This litter pick and clean up formed part of our CSR commitments with Unitas, and after consultation with the local council the volunteers got to work.
The team estimated that they managed to fill a tipper vehicle with well-in-excess of 32 bags of waste (at least two bags per person) and other items that were too large for the bags.
Since the launch of the scheme, many colleagues have got involved in volunteering activities in their local area – from helping out at school charity events, to youth football clubs and boxing classes.
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Section 7 Going Forward
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We are committed to continually improving our business and challenging all departments to be sustainable and responsible. In 2023 and beyond, our aim is to be better than ever, with key targets set across our teams.
• Align our Health & Safety Management System to achieve ISO45001 requirements for certification.
• Introduce new efficiencies through active digital SHE reporting and monitoring solutions.
• Enhance the clarity and ownership of our SHE management system and company SHE expectations.
• Develop and embed sector-leading SHE engagement practices.
• Achieve a positive employee engagement score of at least 80%.
• Have a gender pay gap of less than 10% and be transparent on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion metrics.
• Support 10% of our colleagues in apprenticeship roles.
Our Environment (achieve by 2026):
• Move to an ultra-low emission vehicle provider to encompass all commercial and personal use fleet vehicles.
• Promote the circular economy, identify waste by activity streams and reduce total construction waste by 45%.
• Recycle more than 80% of paint cans purchased.
• Achieve Business in the Community’s Responsible Business Benchmarking Accreditation.
• Lower the carbon footprint across all offices by switching to renewable energy suppliers, installing energy efficient technologies and using smart devices where possible. Our goal is lower office emissions by 30% as soon as possible.
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• 100% of our contracts will have a social value plan.
• Deliver 1% social value impact against business turnover.
• Annually Increase the number of social value projects supported.
These goals and targets will provide even more focus, and act as a benchmark that we can use to appraise our performance. We hope the best practice captured through this report can then be shared and adopted by all parts of the business, providing us with a great platform to build upon year after year.
The early steps we have taken, as outlined in this report, set out our recent actions in our journey to becoming the best responsible business we can be. Naturally, we realise this is an organic process and one that we will never complete. As we reach each annual target, we will raise the bar accordingly to ensure we are constantly working towards being a greener, more philanthropic business that values its people and rewards them appropriately.
Our targets will be reported and evaluated on an annual basis, with the findings communicated to our employees, clients, and customers in the form of this Responsible Business Report, demonstrating to the marketplace our progress and ongoing commitments.
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PROUD OF OUR PROMISE