The Trifast Main Board and Operational Management teams continue to focus on delivering 'Continuous Improvement' in relation to the Group's objectives and 'performance measurables', that is, how we as a business approach CSR – both for individual business teams, locations and for the Group as a whole.
Our key Group topics embrace Health & Safety, energy consumption within our properties, fleet vehicle fuel consumption and emissions, wasteful packaging, personnel travel, flexibility for staff compassionate leave (combined with pastoral care), ethical sourcing and supply chain freight logistics.
As stakeholders are aware an increasing number of multinational customers now include CSR audits when inspecting and validating potential new suppliers; therefore, our responsibility to further develop our own CSR activities is ongoing and extends beyond business ethics, environmental and community to include essential major customer compliance.
At local level, we continue to encourage 'loaning' of staff, or other relevant Company resources to, for example, local charities, youth organisations, and hospices in order to assist and support them with their community activities. We feel that it adds more value, appreciation and satisfaction to all involved to give our time and gifts 'in kind' wherever possible, rather than indulge in 'cheque book charity'.
TR has developed close links with local schools and colleges and actively promotes opportunities for work experience, classroom seminars, pupil and staff visits so as to generally foster a better level of understanding between TR as potential employers and the future providers of possible applicants for employment. This has for the second year running been our main resource for recruiting school leavers into our new Apprenticeship scheme and NVQ Business studies programme at TR Uckfield. As a business, we subscribe to the UK Government initiative that aims to support and encourage businesses to offer apprenticeship schemes, especially at a time when the financial and career prospects for graduates continues to be tough for young people. Whilst TR is proud of its very low staff turnover, there remains the need to ensure that we encourage a steady inflow of 'new blood' into our Company that can be trained at an early age to learn our systems, ethics and business culture.
We expect all of our business activities to be conducted in accordance with high standards of ethical conduct and full compliance with all applicable national and international laws. We, in turn, apply these standards to all dealings with customers, suppliers, employees and other stakeholders.
Our Code of Business Ethics and Responsible Behaviour provides a guide to the way we achieve our business goals, helping us to behave in an open and ethical manner. This extends to provisions for 'whistleblowing' whereby employees may report suspected wrongdoings in confidence. Appropriate ethical behaviour is reviewed as part of the Group's performance appraisal process. We have extended this Code to our vendors/suppliers. This requires our key strategic suppliers to work towards achieving, as a minimum, standards covering such issues as the environment, employee Health & Safety and the prohibition of child labour, which through business reviews and on-site visits, encourages compliance and good practice within our supply chain.
We will also do our utmost to contract only with sub-contractors or suppliers who themselves adhere to international human rights and environmental laws and practices. TR commits to monitor the ethical performance of its key suppliers and to taking immediate steps in cases where the ethical performance of its key suppliers comes into question. All key suppliers to the business are required to agree and sign our comprehensive 'Quality and Sustainability Agreement' before entering into a trading relationship with TR. This agreement fully covers the suppliers Business Ethics, Health & Safety and Environmental Management with regard to national and international laws (including labour and ethics) along with submission of their written policy and contact details of the persons responsible within their organisation. We also encourage suppliers to support their local communities and expect evidence of this to be available on request, plus we require all suppliers to sign a separate CSR Statement.