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 Corporate Social Responsibility progress in relation to our Corporate Responsibility impact areas.  Further commentary can be found in our most recent annual report.

People

Helical has a small core team, working closely with trusted partners in multiple disciplines. Our success is built on the skills of our staff so finding, developing, rewarding and retaining our people is a key element of our corporate strategy.  Our performance against our key metrics is as follows:

A high level of staff retention remains a key feature of the business. Staff turnover is low at 5.7% (representing two permanent employees leaving in the year). Helical has retained a highly skilled and experienced team and the table below shows a breakdown of staff by length of service:

  Total number of staff as at 31 March 2017 Average length of service (years)
Executive Directors 4 19.5
Executives 15 5.7
All employees 30 8.0

Helical’s staff retention levels not only reflect competitive remuneration and benefits packages but also its commitment to enhancing the professional and personal skills of its team by supporting employee training and development, by means of training courses, seminars, and mentoring.

As in previous years, Helical continues to evaluate training needs in line with business objectives. Collectively, our people spent 1,148 hours on training and development during the year, an average of 5.3 days per employee.

We continue to enforce our equal opportunities, harassment, and sexual discrimination policies. The gender diversity of the Board and the Company at 31 March 2017 was as follows:

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:

  Male Female
Board 90% 10%
Executives 67% 33%
All employees 50% 50%

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

As Helical operates with a small team, our ability to establish excellent long-term relationships with our advisers, agents and other suppliers is very important. As part of this, fair treatment of suppliers remains a key priority for Helical and the Group’s policy is to settle all agreed liabilities within the terms established with them.

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:

  Year ended 31.3.16 Year ended 31.3.17
Number of Lost Time accidents 13 10
Number RIDDOR reportable 23 7
Number of fatalities nil nil
Number of hours worked 2,557,524 2,104,085
Accident frequency rate for Lost Time accidents 0.90 0.48
Accident frequency rate for RIDDOR reportable 0.51 0.33

For the year ended 31 March 2017 Helical delivered over 2.1 million man hours of construction, with no fatalities and only 7 RIDDOR reportable or lost time accidents.

Our Accident Frequency Rate has dropped from 0.90 to 0.48 for RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013) reportable events, representing an improvement of 46%.

In line with changes to the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2015, during the year ended 31 March 2017 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.

 

Charitable, Community and Social Initiatives

 

Helical takes a strong interest in charitable, community and social issues. As a group, we recognise that the buildings that we own and develop have an impact on the local environment and the communities that live and work there and we believe that engagement with those communities is an important part of our activities. Community engagement is an on-going concern throughout the development process, from planning until development completion and operation.

Over the past year Helical has set up social media accounts on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram in order to communicate more effectively with our tenants and other stakeholders. A quarterly online newsletter, City Life, has also been introduced which circulates articles on the Group’s projects, occupiers and contributing partners. These can all be accessed through the Helical website.

As part of our commitment to the regions in which we operate, we regularly support community initiatives. Some examples from the year to 31 March 2017 include:

The Morgan Quarter, Cardiff, team worked with Cardiff Pride last summer to provide a hub for the LGBT community for a week in the run up to the Pride Festival. They have also been shortlisted for a Cardiff Life Award in the Property category;

A number of charity fundraising events have been held at The Shepherds Building, London W14, over the last 12 months, many of which tie into high- profile national charity campaigns;

At Churchgate & Lee House, Manchester, the team held several events for our tenants that have involved partnerships with local businesses, organisations and musicians;

Helical continues to be a member of The Aldgate Partnership (“TAP”), formed in 2014 to help drive a powerful 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 ‘One Location’, delivering a range of interventions to support community development and develop a premier business hub with high quality public realm and environment that produces a safe, convenient and inspiring destination for all employees, residents and visitors;

During the year Helical staff raised funds for numerous charities, most particularly LandAid, the property industry’s charity. In addition to raising funds for LandAid, Helical has been a sponsor of the Property Race Day every year since it started in 2006, raising funds for a number of national charities

Alongside the Group’s formal charitable activities, Helical employees raise funds for charities on a personal basis and, where appropriate, the Group will make donations to help the staff reach their fundraising goals; and

To help encourage young people to enter the property industry, for the last ten years Helical has held a work experience event comprising a two-day intensive introductory programme 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.

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