Overview

We manage our environmental and social impacts because there are business benefits in doing so. These benefits include increased ability to secure planning consent, improved marketability of assets to prospective tenants, reduced operating costs of assets, mitigating the risk of future legislation and regulation, and enhanced corporate reputation.

Below is a summary of Helical’s attitude toward Corporate Social Responsibility but a more detailed report on our progress in relation to our Corporate Responsibility impact areas can be found in our most recent annual report.

Employees

Helical employs a small team and our aim is to develop and retain motivated and talented people. Our performance against our key metrics is as follows:

  • Our average length of employee service is 7.6 years (2015: 7.6 years)
  • Our average staff turnover is 6% which reflects 2 people leaving the Company (2015: 3% turnover, 1 person).
  • Our average annual number of days spent on training and personal development per employee is 5.3 days (1,148 hours in total across the Company).
  • 92% of our people are on permanent contracts (2015: 97%).

Our staff retention levels not only reflect competitive remuneration and benefits packages but also our commitment to enhancing the professional and personal skills of our team.

We continue to enforce our equal opportunities, harassment and sexual discrimination policies. The gender diversity of the Board and the Company at 31 March 2016 was as follows:

–                                      Male                                    Female
Board                              92%                                      8%
Executives                      56%                                      44%
All employees                 47%                                      53%

We also continue to monitor compliance with our whistle blowing policy. There have been no incidents to report against this policy to date.

Communities

Helical takes a strong interest in community issues. Community engagement is an on-going concern throughout the development process, from planning until development completion and operation. As part of our commitment to the regions in which we operate, we regularly support community initiatives.

Fair treatment of suppliers remains a key priority for Helical, particularly in challenging market conditions where smaller suppliers in particular may rely on our payments for balanced cash flow. The company’s policy is to settle all agreed liabilities within the terms established with suppliers.

Environment

Our high-level corporate commitment to environmental issues is outlined in the Group’s Environmental Policy which can be found on this website. The Policy details our commitments across a range of impact areas and our development and property management activities.

Helical has set itself 30 targets for 2016-17 to guide the Environmental element of its Corporate Responsibility programme over the following 12 months. These targets addressed a range of impacts arising from our development and property management activities, including resource use and waste production, pollution, biodiversity, tenant engagement, flood risk and sustainable design and construction. A full list of these targets can be found on this website.

Health and Safety

Our health and safety statistics for the past two financial years across our property portfolio are as follows:

Health and Safety Statistics

For the year ended 31 March 2016 Helical delivered over 2.5 million man hours of construction, with no fatalities and only 13 RIDDOR reportable or lost time accidents.

Our Accident Frequency Rate has dropped from 1.26 to 0.90 for RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013) reportable events, representing an improvement of 28%.

In line with changes to the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2015, during the year ended 31 March 2016 we have worked with our construction and delivery teams to introduce changes to health and safety management across all of our projects.

We have arranged for a guidance note to be provided to all our Project Directors and conducted refresher training for our development and property teams.

We worked to ensure that all our Principal Contractors have some occupational health provision, either through an occupational health nurse visiting sites on a regular basis or through occupational health initiatives.

We recognise that we have a responsibility to protect our employees’ health and wellbeing and in December 2016 we provided Health & Safety training to all staff at our head office.

The Health and Safety Committee meets at least annually to contribute to the provision by Helical plc of a safe and secure environment for work, to ensure that the company’s reputation is of the highest standing relative to its strategic intent. A copy of the latest minutes from this meeting can be found here.

We are currently undertaking an independent external review of our current policies and procedures.  The key findings of the review will be presented to the Board and will be implementing revised policies during the year ending March 2017.

Community Investment & Engagement

Helical takes a strong interest in community issues. Community engagement is an on-going concern throughout the lifecycle of our properties, from planning until development completion and operation. As part of our commitment to the locations in which we operate, we regularly support community initiatives.

The following are examples of our approach:

  • Community initiatives as part of developments
  • Educational initiatives
  • Repurposing vacant space
  • Charitable giving

Community Initiatives as Part of Developments

Helical is a member of The Aldgate Partnership (TAP) formed in 2014 to help drive a positive agenda for change. Membership of the Group currently includes landowners, commercial occupiers, and developers. TAP works in partnership with its members to develop Aldgate as a ‘One location’, delivering a range of initiatives to support community development and build a premier business hub with high quality public realm and an environment that produces a safe, convenient and inspiring destination for all employees, residents and visitors.

Our Section 106 agreements also form part of our community investment and are a standard requirement of our developments.

Educational Initiatives

Helical believes in encouraging and supporting people, particularly from underprivileged backgrounds entering the property and construction industry. Examples of initiatives undertaken by our construction partners on our development schemes include:

  • Apprenticeships and work experience;
  • Engaging with local schools including on site tours.

Repurposing Vacant Space

Helical strives to make good use of vacant space, engaging and supporting the local community wherever possible. As an example, at our site in Cardiff, vacant shop space has been donated to the following projects:

  • Space was donated to a project known as “Trading Places” working with the University of South Wales and several six form colleges, introducing students to the world of business. Trading Places have been given use of space for a week each year for the last five years;
  • A vacant shop was converted to exhibition space for “Artes Mundi” of the Cardiff Contemporary Arts Festival in 2013, 2014 and 2016;
  • A vacant unit was used as an alternative venue for the Cardiff Comedy Festival in August 2015 and as a hub for Cardiff Pride in August 2016;
  • The Hi Jinx Theatre Company was given space as their Hub in June / July 2015;
  • In 2013, space was donated to The Cardiff Met (30 September – 5 October 2013), Cardiff Design Festival (1 – 7 October 2011), Carmarthen College Art Exhibition (4 – 18 August 2013), Cardiff Cycling Festival Hub (15 to 30 June 2013) and to the RIBA Design Exhibition (15 – 30 June 2013); and
  • Space is also regularly donated to facilitate regular requests from both under graduates and post graduates to use the scheme for their project work.

We also work with our tenants in order to facilitate their engagement with their local community. At Churchgate and Lee House in Manchester, all of the tenants supported a scheme set up to donate Christmas presents to children in a local hospital.

Charitable Giving

In 2016 Helical staff raised funds for numerous Charities, most particularly LandAid, The Property Industry’s charity. LandAid works with young disadvantaged people in the UK who are living on the streets, or who are at severe risk of homelessness, to provide them with accommodation and training as well as working to tackle the root causes of homelessness. Seven members of Helical’s staff participated in the 10k LandAid Run and five employees took part in “LandAid Day” (touring around London raising over £17,000 in donations from local businesses). In 2016 one Helical staff member participated in the “Source to Sea”, a non-stop relay race from the Source of the River Thames in London to the Sea stretching 237 miles, averaging more than 33 miles per runner and raising over £9,000 for LandAid.

Helical has been a sponsor of the Property Race Day every year since it started in 2006 raising funds for LandAid, SOS Children’s Villages, Hope & Homes, Starlight, Daktari Bush School, Plan UK, Project Hope UK, The Children’s Trust, WellChild and Sebastian’s Action Trust.

Helical was a sponsor of the LandAid Debate in February 2016 attended by almost 300 members of the Property Industry and raising more than £44,000 for LandAid.

Helical are proud to sponsor Sociable Surveyors; the only established all-expenses paid, global internship scheme in the property industry opening up the industry to those who are unable to pursue unpaid work experience.

For the last 10 years Helical has run a work experience package comprising a two-day intensive introductory program into London Real Estate run by Helical’s Chief Executive with support from the senior members of the Property team. The package is available to 8-10 students studying either a BA or Masters in Real Estate or equivalent qualification.