Corporate Social Responsibility

Our relationships with stakeholders

The Board recognises that, in managing the Group’s activities, it has responsibilities to a broad range of stakeholders including our clients and suppliers, our people, the community and our shareholders.

It also understands the importance of overall corporate social responsibility and aims to ensure this is reflected in our business practices. On this page, we outline how we seek to meet the responsibilities mentioned above and measure the Group’s performance, now and in the future.

The Group has had no human rights issues and has issued no policies during the year that need to be disclosed for an understanding of the development, performance or position of the Group’s corporate and social responsibility.

Clients and Suppliers

All subsidiaries report on how they manage their relationships with key clients.

What we are doing:

Their CEO or Managing Director, as the case may be, has signed up to the Group’s Anticorruption and Bribery Policy which, together with the Ethical Trading Policy, is publicised to all employees. The Group is committed to building strong working relationships with its suppliers, ensuring that they are aligned on quality, delivery, innovation, risk, and compliance.

For key operational suppliers, this starts with a rigorous onboarding process, including signing a contract, which involves the completion of an in-depth questionnaire covering financials, conflicts of interest and other relevant information. They are also required to adhere to our security standards, environmental standards, and Group’s Anti-corruption and Bribery Policy.

Suppliers are required to substantiate their insurances and accreditations where applicable, and the Group is focused on a continuous programme of procurement governance, underpinned by a robust and fully auditable supplier performance management framework. Visits to suppliers’ production facilities are also carried out periodically to provide further reassurance.

Payment terms granted to clients are negotiated according to the amount at risk and the financial strength of the client concerned. It is the Group’s practice to agree payment terms with all suppliers, which will be adhered to, provided that they perform in accordance with the agreed terms. It is a disciplinary offence for any employee to breach the Group’s Anti-corruption and Bribery Policy.

How we are performing:

The average creditor days outstanding at 29 July 2016 for the Group was 86 days (2015 – 76 days). The Company Secretary maintains a Bribery Risk Register which is refreshed annually and then reviewed by the Board together with a report from the Head of Internal Audit and the Company Secretary on how the Group’s Anti-corruption and Bribery Policy has been applied during the year. The Internal Audit function will follow up on any high risk areas identified from this exercise.

Our People

All our employees are central to the Group’s success. As at 29 July 2016, we employed 3,246 people including 2,998 full-time and 248 part-time employees. The Group is an Equal Opportunities Employer and no job applicant or employee receives less favourable treatment on the grounds of age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital or civil partner status, race, colour, nationality, religion or belief. Employees who become disabled during their working life will be retained in employment wherever possible and will be given help with necessary rehabilitation and retraining. Wherever practicable, the Group will modify procedures or equipment so that full use can be made of an individual’s ability.

What we are doing:

The Group seeks to pay its employees competitive remuneration packages and incentives. We operate a Dignity at Work Policy to ensure that the Group provides a working environment free from harassment and bullying, and where employees do not behave in a manner which may be offensive to others. By gender, the Group’s employees are made up of 2,217 males and 1,029 females (68% and 32% of employees respectively) (2015 – 2,131 and 957, 69% and 31%); and its senior management is made up of 60 males and 31 females (66% and 34% of senior management respectively) (2015 – 54 and 32, 63% and 37%). The Board is made up of six males (86%) and one female (14%). Employees are regularly consulted by local managers and kept informed of matters affecting them and the overall development of the Group. This is supplemented by regular emails and other communications from the Chief Executive Officer on how the Group is performing, plans for the future and how individuals can contribute to achieving the Group’s aims. Details of the Group’s pension schemes are set out in note 27 to the financial statements.

How we are performing:

We measure: gender split, overall, within senior management and at Board level; voluntary employee turnover; sickness absence and absence from work due to accidents or work-related illness. Each subsidiary applies appraisal systems relevant to their business and identifies training needs, as they arise.

Charitable Donations

In addition to focusing on one or two themes or projects each year, the Group favours making donations to a broad range of charities. Donations are usually made in cash but may include the provision of time and materials to provide added value services for charities.

What we are doing:

The Group supports charities in three ways: by setting and then donating an annual budget to charities serving communities in which the Group operates or to which employees or clients have a particular affinity; matching the total contribution made by the Chairman from foregoing a proportion of his fees and supporting fund-raising events for charities nominated by employees.

How we are performing:

During the year the Group made donations of varying sums to a wide spectrum of charities including: the Brain Tumour Charity; the Pulmonary Vascular Research Institute; SUDEP Action (which is dedicated to raising awareness of epilepsy risks and tackling epilepsy deaths); the British Heart Foundation; Macmillian Cancer Support, Helping the Burmese Delta (a charity which the Company has previously funded and which focuses on improving villagers’ quality of life in the Irrawaddy Delta region in Burma); the Back Up Trust (that supports people with spinal cord injury); Children with Cancer and the Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago.

Shareholder Relations

The Board attaches considerable importance to maintaining good relationships with shareholders. Effective two-way communication with institutional shareholders and analysts is established through regular presentations involving the Chief Executive Officer and the Chief Financial Officer.

What we are doing:

The Board receives an investor relations report at each of its regular meetings. The Chief Executive Officer and the Chief Financial Officer conduct bi-annual analysts’ briefings and, where appropriate, meet with the Company’s major shareholders to further explain the Group’s investment proposition. A number of major shareholders have accepted the opportunities to meet with the Non-Executive Directors.

How we are performing:

The Company’s top 20 shareholders hold approximately 68% (2015 – 67%) of the Company’s issued share capital. Those which have an obligation to notify the Company of their voting interests are shown on page 53. The Annual General Meeting is regarded as an opportunity to communicate directly with shareholders and the chair of the Audit, Nomination and Remuneration Committees will each be available at the meeting to answer shareholders’ questions.


St Ives is committed to continuous improvement in its environmental performance and accepts that its responsibilities with regard to environmental protection rank equally in importance with other key business objectives. The Board is responsible for setting the Group’s Environmental Policy.

What we are doing:

We continually monitor and work to reduce the Group’s carbon emissions, waste sent to landfill and water consumption.

What we report: 

We report our CO2 e emissions in line with the requirements of the Companies Act 2006 (Strategic Report and Directors’ Report) Regulations 2013. In doing so we have adopted the following methodology:

a) An operational boundary approach has been applied on Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions in the UK using DEFRA’s Standard Set conversion factors for 2015.

b) Where actual energy consumption data cannot be obtained we have estimated emissions, pro-rata, based on the data recorded by similar sites in the Group. Using this methodology, the estimated emissions from these sites equate to 0.4% of the Group’s total emissions.

c) Scope 3 Emissions are not reported on as they are outside our operational control. The Board will, however, keep this under review.

d) This reporting year’s emissions from The App Business (‘TAB’) are excluded as we have yet to finalise the processes required to obtain reliable data for this newly acquired subsidiary

How we are performing:

The charts show the Group’s Scope 1 and Scope 2 CO2 e emissions and our CO2 e intensity measure (which is grams of CO2 e per £ of revenue). The CO2 e emissions performance of each reporting segment – Strategic Marketing, Marketing Activation and Books – are also disclosed.

The Group chart shows improvement, year on year, which is driven by an improved performance in the Marketing Activation segment. This is also due to the exclusion of the Burnley site in the year as it was a vacant property with very minimal consumption (nine months manufacturing consumption data was shown in 2014/2015).

The Books segment shows a reduction in emissions due to change on the DEFRA conversation factors. The Strategic Marketing segment shows a year on year increase in emissions. This is due to the year on year growth of the division due to acquisitions of new businesses and this year includes Solstice and Fripp, Sandeman and Partners (‘FSP’) for the first time.

Two further charts show that the Group’s waste sent to landfill and water consumption has continued to fall. This is attributable to a better and more accurate data capture of the waste to landfill and the water consumption.

The Group’s Environmental Policy and further information about the Group’s environmental performance during 2015/2016 can be viewed here.

Health and Safety

The Board regards the health and safety of the Group’s employees while they are at work as a preeminent duty.

What we are doing:

The Board ensures that responsibilities for Health and Safety are properly assigned, accepted and fulfilled within the organisation. A Statement of the Board’s approach to Health and Safety is publicised at all of the Group’s sites and each subsidiary company’s CEO or Managing Director, as appropriate, has formally acknowledged their role in ensuring that managers and employees at each site are adequately conversant with their legal duties under health and safety legislation.

The first item on the agenda for each parent Board meeting is to receive a report on Health and Safety-related KPIs, selected to measure and manage the Group’s Health and Safety performance, which are as follows:

  • monthly and cumulative statistics on near misses, all accidents, all lost time accidents, total days lost, and Reportable Accidents; the Group’s Accident Frequency Rate, the Group’s Injury Incidence Rate and a report on employment liability insurance claims;
  • the circumstances of any lost time accidents and Reportable Accidents and management action taken as a result are also considered; and
  • Group initiatives for improving Health and Safety performance.

The Group operates a bespoke online Health and Safety Management System for:

  • reporting accidents and near miss incidents;
  • hosting a Health and Safety document library; and
  • applying standards of accreditation to contractors who apply for consent to work at our sites.

A driver safety awareness programme is in place throughout the Group which is an important part of managing Tactical Solutions’ motor vehicles which are driven by its field marketing staff.

How we are performing:

The total number of accidents at the Group’s sites for the period ended 29 July 2016 which resulted in at least seven days’ absence each was three (2015 – three) and the number of days’ work lost from all accidents at work was 472 days (2015 – 282).

This increase is attributable to three accidents totalling 427 of the 472 lost days. Two of the accidents occurred at Clays Limited and one of these occurred at Service Graphics Limited. All accidents resulted in a review of the causes and action was taken in order to reduce the likelihood of any further accidents arising. We recorded 1,410 ‘near miss’ events during the year (2015 – 1,347).

A copy of the Group’s Health and Safety Policy and performance data for 2015/2016 is available here.


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