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We all know that ESG and sustainability have become strategic imperatives for businesses and organisations seeking to thrive in an increasingly complex and interconnected world. By embracing these principles, companies can build resilience, drive innovation, and create value for all stakeholders while contributing to a more sustainable and prosperous society. Our ESG & Sustainability Showcase is an excellent opportunity to learn about the latest products, technology and services that can support you in your professional capacity. 

This event will be on the 25th and 26th of September 2024 but all showcase slots will be available to view on demand afterwards as well. This event is free to attend you just need to register. There are lots of brilliant reasons to register and attend – 

  • Gain insights from experts on the latest trends, best practices, and innovations in ESG and sustainability.
  • Connect with professionals, thought leaders, and like-minded individuals in the field, fostering valuable relationships and collaborations.
  • Attend from anywhere in the world without the need for travel, making it easier to fit into your schedule.
  • Save on travel, accommodation, and other expenses associated with attending in-person events.
  • Hear from a wide range of speakers and panelists, providing a comprehensive understanding of ESG and sustainability issues from various angles.
  • Obtain access to presentations, white papers, and other resources that can be valuable for your personal or professional development.
  • Keep abreast of regulatory changes, market trends, and new technologies affecting ESG and sustainability.
  • Understand how incorporating ESG principles can enhance your organisation’s reputation, improve risk management, and attract investors.

Join the official LinkedIn networking group here.

JCB, a global leader in the construction and agricultural equipment sectors, is delighted to announce a new strategic partnership with Beeswift for workwear supply to UK and European markets effective from the 1st  July 2024.

The JCB Workwear brand has been established in the market since 2008. This new partnership combines JCB’s extensive knowledge of construction, agriculture, and manufacturing, and Beeswift’s forward-thinking expertise in safety equipment and workwear. The result of this new partnership will be a wider range of premium, innovative and rigorously tested JCB workwear and safety products manufactured and distributed via Beeswift.

Matt Seal, Director at JCB Consumer Products Ltd, commented on the partnership: “The collaboration with Beeswift aligns with our mission to deliver best-in-class products that enhance safety and performance at work. Beeswift’s excellent reputation for quality and innovation is well recognised in the workwear industry, and we are pleased to partner with them to expand our product offering and broaden the distribution of JCB Workwear in both the UK and Europe.”

Darren Washbourne CEO at Beeswift, shared his enthusiasm about the agreement stating: “We are excited to be chosen as the exclusive partner for JCB in this venture. JCB’s strong brand reputation and our workwear manufacturing expertise combine perfectly to bring to market product innovation based around design, technical functionality and sustainability.”

For further information, please contact:

Beeswift Limited 

Email: jcbworkwear@beeswift.com

Phone: 0121 524 2313

This partnership marks a significant milestone in the expansion of JCB’s brand into the workwear and PPE sectors, leveraging both companies’ strengths to deliver superior products and services to customers in the UK & Europe.

 

Report identifies 10 key trends across general health and safety, fire safety, asbestos and legionella management

New legislation and an increased focus on best practice are leading to heavier workloads and excess pressure on property and facilities managers, according to a new report from health, safety and property compliance firm William Martin.

When compiling its first annual property compliance report, the firm examined data from 20,000 risk assessments and survey reports that were uploaded to its compliance management software, Meridian, between April 2023 and March 2024.

Figures showed almost 327,000 health and safety actions were raised across all disciplines, a 22% increase on the previous year.

Commenting on the increase, Phil Jones, Managing Director at William Martin said: “The property and facilities management industry shoulders a huge responsibility when it comes to upholding the highest standards of health and safety. Alongside the introduction of recent laws such as the Building Safety Act 2022, we’re undoubtedly seeing a far greater focus from organisations on ensuring best practice and continuous improvement, rather than just compliance.

“I’ve always believed that abiding by legislation should be the minimum benchmark rather than the final goal, so this positive step towards safer working environments is something I welcome. However, the downside is the extra pressure this is putting on those responsible for health and safety, due in no small part to the increased reporting that’s required to demonstrate high performance. But because abandoning best practice is not an option, this is something the industry needs to find a way to deal with.”

Beyond this headline increase, the report identifies 10 key health and safety trends, which include:

  • It is frequently taking too long to remediate top priority actions from risk assessments, with the average time to complete a Priority 1 action being 42 days.
  • Fire safety actions rose by 53% when compared to the previous year, with new fire safety legislation a key driver for this increase.
  • 32% of fire actions related to fire and smoke spread, with 60% of these relating to inadequate fire doors.
  • Half of all asbestos-related actions required its removal – with a 29% year-on-year increase in the overall number of actions. This indicates the poor condition of asbestos in many UK buildings.
  • Almost a quarter (22%) of all Priority 1 health and safety actions last year related to passenger lift safety, with many of these due to poor documentation and record-keeping.
  • Around 17,000 actions were raised relating to legionella, demonstrating that the threat of a major outbreak has not gone away.

Phil Jones added: “Workload burdens are undoubtedly contributing to some of the more worrying trends identified in our report, such as the unacceptable length of time it’s taking to address Priority 1 actions, and poor record-keeping around lift safety.

“Tech and AI can form part of the solution, by reducing the scope for human error, and reducing the chances of risks being missed or reports being misfiled. Using tech to work smarter rather than harder also frees up time to focus on the activities that will actually drive change and reduce risk.

“The key trends and insights contained in this report will hopefully inform property and facilities management professionals on what should be the key focus areas within their own businesses. We are already planning to publish this data annually, which will enable longer term industry trends to be identified.”

The full report is available to download from the William Martin website here.

We create next-generation property compliance by fusing clever consultancy with smart technology, so our clients can grow.

We go beyond the usual and add value at every step. Our technology fits around you, and we get you up and running in no time. With easy configuration and insightful reports, you can track your risks in real time and gain total visibility of your supply chain. It’s compliance like you’ve never seen it before.

Family photo

The UK telecommunications giant Openreach has been fined £1.34m after one of its engineers was swept away by a flooded river.

Alun Owen died in October 2020 after being sent to work on a customer’s telephone line in the village of Abergwyngregyn near Bangor. The village had been flooded in the days before his death, after the River Aber burst its banks.

Openreach pleaded guilty at Llandudno Magistrates’ Court to breaching health and safety laws for staff working near water. Llandudno Magistrates’ Court heard how the 32-year-old father-of-two was called out to a customer’s home in the village after a fault was identified on lines crossing the river.

Mr Owen attempted to wade into the river to throw a new line to the other bank, with water up to his calves. But the court heard he slipped and was swept away. A huge search operation was launched, and the body of Mr Owen was found that evening, about 270 metres (0.16 miles) downstream.

An adjourned inquest heard Mr Owen, who was from Bethesda, Gwynedd, had died from drowning. The court was told that while Openreach had policies in place for working near water, they were not followed in this case. Nathan Cook, for the Health and Safety Executive, said no engineer should have been working alone near water, and specific safety procedures should have been agreed with managers. The court heard Mr Owen had also not taken an online training course about working on water.

Mr Owen’s wife Ceri told the court that her husband’s death was a “huge loss for everyone”. “The loss of Al had a huge impact on the whole family. It was very traumatic,” she said.

She said her health had suffered, with panic attacks and weight loss. She said her two daughters had separation anxiety and wanted to know where she was. “They get very worried that something might happen to me as happened to their father,” she said.

“Our family will never be the same.”

A statement on behalf of Mr Owen’s mother Cathy was read out by his sister, Lowri Owen.

“Losing Al has changed me as a person. I think of him every single moment of every single day,” she said. “I am and always will be heartbroken.” Dominic Kay KC, for Openreach, said the company wanted to express its “genuine and sincere remorse for what happened”.

He also said that apology came from the chief executive of Openreach, Clive Selley. In a statement, Mr Selley also apologised for failings after the death of Mr Owen, including withdrawing a staff discount for the family’s broadband services because Mr Owen no longer worked for Openreach. In another incident, the company used a wedding picture of Mr Owen as part of a case study in new health and safety training, without seeking permission from the family.

“I am deeply saddened that Openreach added to the grief and suffering,” said Mr Selley.

District Judge Gwyn Jones said the level of fine needed to have a real economic impact on the company, so health and safety was not seen as an optional add-on. He said he recognised that there were mitigating factors, including a guilty plea, and remorse shown by the company. He ordered Openreach to pay a fine of £1.34m and costs of £15,858.

He added: “The punishment will not take away the pain or trauma suffered by the family of Alun Owen.”

Speaking after the court hearing, Mr Owen’s family said no financial penalty would give them “any sense of justice”. “The fine imposed is inconsequential and does not diminish the pain, nor does it lessen the void that has been left since Al was taken away from us,” they said in a statement read outside the court. “There was never any doubt that Openreach was entirely culpable for causing Al’s death – a death that was preventable and a death that resulted in the loss of a precious and cherished member of the family, who was also dearly treasured by his wide circle of friends.”

The family said it felt the company had displayed “a lethargic approach” to training and equipment for those working near water.

“We recognise that Openreach has now been forced to address some of their health and safety inadequacies, hopefully ensuring that no other family endures the pain and distress that has been caused by Al’s death,” they added.

Openreach admitted it “could have done more” to make sure engineers had the right guidance, processes, and training when working on, or near water.

UL Solutions releases powerful new features and content on its UL 360 software ESG Disclosure module, which help companies navigate the EU’s disclosure requirements and prepare for audits and verification.

UL Solutions, a global leader in applied safety science, today announced new UL 360 software features and content that help companies comply with the European Union’s (EU) new sweeping sustainability reporting requirements, known as the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD).

These are the first new software features and content launched under the ULTRUS™ brand, UL Solutions’ software portfolio designed to help customers worldwide improve safety and sustainability.

CSRD reporting can be a significant undertaking, requiring extensive, complex and costly data analysis for companies and their supply chains. The new CSRD features and content in UL 360 and its ESG Disclosure module track companies’ environmental, social and governance (ESG) data points against the CSRD’s requirements in an audit-ready way, helping customers save time and money and preparing them for the CSRD’s mandatory verification requirements.

“Sustainability reporting is evolving, and many companies must now adapt to the shift from voluntary to regulated disclosure,” said John Genovesi, executive vice president and president of the Software and Advisory group at UL Solutions. “Our new CSRD disclosure features and content in UL 360 and its ESG Disclosure module are designed to help companies make this transition and successfully navigate new and emerging sustainability challenges, expectations and requirements.”

Companies around the world are increasingly facing new regulatory requirements, including CSRD, a mandatory and complex regulation for many companies that conduct business in the EU. The CSRD applies to many EU and non-EU companies that have significant business in the EU. It widens the scope of sustainability reporting, requiring detailed information about sustainability risks and opportunities and increasing the number of companies that must disclose.

The CSRD expands on previous sustainability regulations outlined in the EU’s Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD). Approximately 11,700 large companies already within the scope of the EU NFRD will be required to file disclosures for the 2024 financial year. It is estimated that, by 2028, over 50,000 companies with significant business in the EU, regardless of the location of their headquarters, will be obligated to disclose under the CSRD.

Learn more about UL Solutions CSRD advisory, software and verification services.

About UL Solutions

A global leader in applied safety science, UL Solutions (NYSE: ULS) transforms safety, security and sustainability challenges into opportunities for customers in more than 100 countries. UL Solutions delivers testing, inspection and certification services, together with software products and advisory offerings, that support our customers’ product innovation and business growth. The UL Mark serves as a recognized symbol of trust in our customers’ products and reflects an unwavering commitment to advancing our safety mission. We help our customers innovate, launch new products and services, navigate global markets and complex supply chains, and grow sustainably and responsibly into the future. Our science is your advantage.

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