At NorthEdge we take our responsibilities and commitments to build better businesses seriously, which is why we are delighted to see a number of initiatives to improve ESG credentials being introduced by businesses across our portfolio.
Here’s a few examples of portfolio businesses who are continuously working to improve the impact they have on the environment, their people and their communities:
As one of Europe’s largest home furnishings designers and manufacturers, Belfield have taken responsibility to source and use sustainable raw materials in all their products. They’ve also committed to send zero waste to landfill during the manufacturing process and are increasing the number of products they manufacture that are not only made from recycled materials, but that are able to be fully recycled.
In addition to this, the business has committed to improving colleague health, safety, and wellbeing – starting with improving their facilities, increasing the level of training and enhancing benefits.
Clearly are a soft drinks manufacturer, specialising in sugar-free flavoured spring water products. On investment we recognised that Clearly Drinks was playing a key role in supporting the UK to reduce its obesity rate by providing tasty and healthy sugar-free products, however we also recognised the negative impact that it was having on the environment through its use of single use plastic, energy and water.
We have worked closely with the team to introduce several ESG initiatives, including supporting their objective to eliminate 640 tonnes of plastic from their packaging by 2022. They managed to achieve 211 tonnes of this in 2020 through redesigning their bottles and packaging, and have recently invested £5m into a canning facility – further supporting a reduction in plastic usage as the business continues to scale.
Clearly has also championed several initiatives to support their people and community, including becoming a Disability Confident Employer, training mental health first aiders and encouraging diversity in manufacturing through education programmes with local schools.
Finding the best people can always be a challenge, but this is becoming more apparent in the increasingly competitive technology market. In order to maintain their culture and status as a great place to work as the business grew, CTS got the team together to collectively define their core values. They then introduced a fully flexible working culture, enhanced parental leave and provided various mental health support services for their colleagues.
The cloud transformation business has also set up dedicated DEI, Environmental, Charity & Culture working groups, as well as partnering with dedicated organisations, such as Wagora, to encourage diversity and inclusion in their business and their sector.
Specialising in innovative technology and data services, Correla’s aim is to help to create a less complex and more sustainable energy sector. Correla is the only technology service provider with end-to-end visibility of the UK’s gas network, and enables access to this data through a real-time, visual and interactive analytics dashboard on its Data Discovery Platform (DDP) – enabling customers to monitor the impact of Carbon reduction programmes and drive efficient energy usage.
With our support and investment, Correla is well-placed to support the UK’s emerging Hydrogen economy through working with stakeholders across the UK gas network, helping them to decarbonise the UK’s gas infrastructure.
In addition, Correla is also committed to supporting its people. Earlier this year they became signatories to the mindful employer charter, implemented gender neutral parental leave and trained mental health and grief first aiders. And, to help their people help the planet their company car list now only includes electric vehicles and plug in hybrids.
Lights4Fun, a direct-to-consumer decorative lights business, have a proven track record of delivering products that are loved by their customers. Having achieved stellar growth over the last couple of years, and launching its direct proposition in the US market in May, the business recognised it had an increasing responsibility to reduce its impact on the environment and an opportunity to positively impact the communities it operates in. In the last 18 months all packaging has been simplified and reduced in size, all non-recyclable materials have been removed from packaging, and the business has increased the number of solar products in its range to provide a more sustainable offering.
Lights4fun is also a supporter of the Starlight Children’s Foundation, regularly raising money, giving customers the opportunity to make a donation at the checkout and donating products to brighten up the children’s heart ward and Paediatric Intensive Care Unit in Leeds. This year they have also supported Mind mental health charity, donating money from every purchase of their ‘Be Kind’ neon light, and Friends of the Earth, donating money from every purchase of their Bee Lanterns.
For us, responsibility means building better businesses that are both sustainable and diverse – firstly because it’s the right thing to do, and secondly because we know it makes businesses more valuable for all stakeholders.
Click here to learn more about why we see responsibility as a core lever for value creation.