Corporate Social Responsibility
Acumen’s Corporate Social Responsibility
Acumen has long held the belief that as a company it has the responsibility to promote Good Citizenship within and without the company.
At Acumen, a sense of responsibility for the environment and the communities in which we work has been part of our culture throughout our trading history. We always work in compliance with the highest environmental principles and fully embrace the concept and practice of sustainability in terms of economic, environmental and social responsibility.
We are committed to being a best practice exemplar of ethical and sustainable initiatives and are committed to maintaining high corporate social standards and minimising the adverse environmental impacts of all the waste management and industrial services we carry out on behalf of our customers.
Acumen will always;
- Respect people, their local community and the local environment in which we work.
- Observe our Corporate Social responsibility by supporting the economy of the communities where we work.
- Establish objectives and targets according to the nature of our activities, business and other legal requirements.
- Monitor, measure and review our performance against agreed targets and benchmarks to facilitate continuous improvement.
We monitor all new legislation for any potential impacts on, or requirements of, the company. As a “non-quoted” company, our statutory duties regarding sustainability under the Companies Act 2006 are that the directors must have regard to “the impact of the company's operations on the community and the environment.” We believe that our accreditation to ISO 14001 gives evidence of our compliance; and is, of course, externally audited and reviewed.
Equality and Diversity
Acumen is an Equal Opportunities Employer.
It is the Company's policy not to discriminate against its workers or any applicants for employment on the basis of their: race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion, age, political beliefs, gender including transgender, sexual orientation, marital status, family circumstances, disability, appearance, HIV status or membership of a trade union or the fact that they are a part-time worker or a fixed-term employee.
All employees will be given equal opportunity for training and advancement and encouraged to progress within the organisation.
Acumen will not tolerate discrimination within the workplace.
Acumen recognises the freedom of association.
In terms of diversity and equality, we adhere to all statutory requirements and our terms of staff engagement are clearly set out in our Staff Handbook, which is issued to all personnel. Our procedures and the Handbook are regularly reviewed and re-issued when updated.
Health and Safety
Acumen believes in strong health and safety principles. Acumen will promote health and safety within and without the company to prevent fatalities, work place injuries and impairment of employees, customers, sub-contractors and the general public.
As part of Acumen’s OHSAS 18001 accreditation, Employee Occupational Health and Safety is taken very seriously. Any incidents or even potential hazardous are identified though our Non Conformance and Near Miss reporting procedure.
Acumen has a duty to provide a workplace that does not put at risk the health of our employees. The aim of this service is to provide health assessment, advice, awareness and education for all employees. Management of work related illness or injury will be achieved by;
Compliance with statutory requirements (RIDDOR, COSHH Regulations, noise at work regulations etc)
Occupational Heath Questionnaires for every employee
Work place / station assessments
Risk Assessments for all operations undertaken by operational employees
These procedures ensure that;
The causes of all accidents and ill-health that may arise in the workplace or out on site are identified, understood, and either prevented or controlled.
Health problems are managed through early problem recognition and monitoring.
Return to work after sickness is managed and, wherever possible, support rehabilitation after prolonged illness.
Employees are provided with information and services to help them take personal responsibility for maintaining and improving their own health, safety and wellbeing at work,
Acumen will always;
Challenge unsafe behaviours.
Promote continual improvements in safety, health and environmental performance.
Meet, and where appropriate exceed the requirements of health, safety and environmental legislation, policies and other commitments to which we subscribe.
Acumen Sustainability initiatives
Being a specialist waste management and industrial services contractor, our largest potential contribution is in the way that we manage the high volumes of industrial and commercial wastes generated by our clients. We have always reviewed each new waste stream/recyclate that we encounter and employed the highest available technique in the waste hierarchy as laid out in our sustainability policy.
REDUCE – REUSE - RECYCLE
Although this is now more widely practiced and indeed will be monitored through the latest waste regulations, our independence has always allowed us to prioritise the most appropriate option for our clients.
With regard to our own waste generation: the largest volumes that we produce are from our tank cleaning activities. Often aqueous in nature, we will always attempt to utilise our clients’ own effluent treatment plant or sewer discharge consents for on-site discharge (and hence minimise transport requirements). Where off-site disposal is called for, we will utilise the most appropriate, local facility to where we are working.
Office staff Car Share Scheme
At Acumen’s office locations, staff are encouraged to take part in the car share scheme. The scheme is very popular as not only is it environmentally friendly it is also economically advantageous to all the staff involved. At the Wolverhampton office we have reduced car journeys to and from work by 20%.
Vehicle Tracking Initiatives & Vehicle speciation
We utilise the “Navman” satellite tracking system to enhance the routing of our commercial vehicles and therefore minimise unnecessary mileage. When procuring new vehicles, we ensure that the engines meet the “Euro 5” specification. In the past, this has entailed the use of “ADD Blue,” for certain manufacturers, but now the cleaner engines can be acquired without the need for additives, such as with a “MAN” unit that we recently purchased.
Staff Personal Development, Training and Job Creation Opportunities
Staff Development & Training
It is our policy to provide training for all employees to improve their present abilities and prepare them for promotion so that they achieve their maximum potential. Our ongoing aim is to develop a well-trained, motivated workforce, and to keep these skills in-house through providing a desirable working environment.
The Company Policy is also to ensure that no employee receives less favourable treatment re training or promotion on the grounds of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion, political belief, age, sex or marital status or disability.
Acumen is keen to promote the personal development of staff members and believe training is key to the success of the business and the wider economy.
Induction Training - All new employees receive induction training and ongoing training to develop skills to enable vacancies to be filled within the Company, whenever possible, created by promotion.
Staff reviews are carried out on a regular basis and training needs are identified. Informal assessments are ongoing throughout the year also taking into account any changes in the workforce and market/contract conditions.
Our aim is to help individuals reach their potential and feel confident in their work, and to enable them to deliver the right service to our customers. Training is also important to our succession planning, ensuring that we are able to continue meeting our customers’ needs in the future.
Type of Training - Training is provided in many ways as a combination of on-the-job training, external courses and where there is found to be a common need, in-house courses. All employees are encouraged to maximise their potential by receiving relevant and suitable training.
Identifying Training Needs - Employees are assessed upon starting with the company and/or when assigned to a particular project.
Current Training Opportunities for Acumen Employees:
Trainee CIMA at Head Office
Apprentice AAT at our head office in Knottingley.
ADR driving courses offered to our HGV drivers to enable them to be legally allowed to carry waste materials which are ‘Dangerous for Road Transport’.
Industrials Services operatives all undergo training in; Full working BA and Rescue techniques, Confined Space Entry , High Pressure Water Jetting, Safety passports, First Aid, CMPE.
Additional training offered to other key staff members include; First Aid, DGSA, WAMITAB, CSCS and CPCS.
Professional Qualifications and assistance with Continuous Professional Development
All staff training is recorded and reviewed by HR and refresher / renewal courses are booked as and when appropriate.
Flexitime Working Hours
Acumen where practicable offers staff flexi-time working hours to help parents with young or disabled children and carers of certain adults the opportunity to work flexibly to enable them to care for their children or that adult. Acumen believes the key to its success is through the nurturing and training of its experienced and committed staff members. Flexi-time allows valued employees of Acumen to continue bringing their experience and knowledge to Acumen, regardless of fixed working hour’s constraints.
Supply Chain Management
Supplier Relationships and Communication
Acumen recognises that our ability to deliver the best value and performance driven results on the projects we undertake is linked to the performance of our supply chain. Over the last 20 years we believe we have built a supply chain that we have confidence in, have good relationships with and who have a good delivery record on the services we purchase form them.
Every supplier is audited prior to inclusion on out database and in addition Acumen’s Directors and Managers meet with our key supply chain partners on a regular basis to discuss performance, relationships and continuous improvement. This approach supports our Corporate Social Responsibility, Environmental/Sustainability policies.
Acumen’s supply chain is governed by our ISO 9001, 14001 and OHSAS 18001 accreditations. This ensures that our supply chain fully reflects our commitment to the environment and sustainability.
All aspects of Quality, Environmental and Health and Safety are taken into account when selecting approved suppliers.
Corporate Social Responsibility is also a key factor in working with, managing and maintaining our supply chain. Acumen will always;
Act legally, honourably and ethically at all times.
Trade and compete fairly, within a framework of applicable competition law.
Seek to be fair and honest in our relationships with suppliers and subcontractors.
Take all reasonable and practical steps to ensure that the goods and services are procured from reputable organisations and manufactured ethically in accordance with local pay and conditions.
In support of our approach we also highlight the following:
Full use will be made of our existing local supply chain - Our supply chain for subcontracted non-hazardous waste collections focuses entirely on ‘local’ suppliers and their to the waste producer and consists of local SME's. We do not utilise the larger players for “blanket coverage.” Our experience has been that this not only minimises the vehicle mileage and associated costs, it also ensures the local economy and local businesses are supported by work going on in their local area.
Our supplier approval process where possible embraces the requirement for ISO 14001 accreditation and where possible we are supporting and encouraging members of our supply chain to become accredited.
For tier one suppliers we require the following information and accreditations; in addition to the legal requirements such as Insurances, Licences etc.
Full annually Duty of Care audit carried out by an Acumen Director or Divisional Manager
Health and Safety Policy
Policies on Corporate Social Responsibility & Sustainability
Other trade body certificates / accreditations
Prosecution or enforcements details
Job creation in deprived area of Wolverhampton
In 2010 Acumen with the help of a grant through Advantage West Midlands formed a new company; Acumen Energy Ltd, this company now employs circa 20 extra people from the Wolverhampton area. This area is a key area for unemployment in the West Midlands and Acumen are pleased to be able to create jobs for local people.
Charity /Fund Raising Events - News Feed
Movember - November 2013
In November 2013 male members of staff got involved with Movember. We helped to raise vital funds and awareness for prostate and testicular cancer and mental health.
Missing People Cycle Challenge – July 2013
In July 2013 one of Acumen’s key customers, Places for People took part in the Missing People Cycle Challenge. As well as this cycle Places for People also held a number of events including a golf day, comedy night and ladies night together with dress down days and sponsored lunches.
Acumen was keen to get involved with such a worthy cause and was able to contribute enough money to keep the search alive for a missing child for a whole year.
Half Marathon in aid of CORPAL – September 2013
In September 2013 Acumen’s Dry Waste Divisional Sales Manager, Nicky Smith completed a half marathon in aid of CORPAL. CORPAL helps adults and children with the ACC and Acacardi syndrome. The condition is called complete agenesis of the corpus collosum (Limomas on the brain). Nicky raised an impressive total of £200 for the charity which is a huge achievemen
Children in Need - November 2013
Ash Johal of Acumen Energy got involved with a local school to help raise over £1,500.00 for Children In Need. Ash set up a chocolate fountain stand with marsh mallows and shortbread, which was most popular on the day!
Ride High Donation - 2013
Acumen is proud supporters of this charity for disadvantage children in the Buckinghamshire area.
Donation to Women’s Refuge in Grimsby – 2013
With the help of a chemical manufacturing client of Acumen’s we were able to donate a large selection of cleaning products to a Women’s Refuge in Grimsby.
The Refuge was extremely grateful for such a practical donation and Acumen has planned to do the same again next year.
Birmingham Children’s Hospital – Sponsor for fund raising event in 2013
Acumen helped to support a local primary school where one of their year one pupils was diagnosed with Leukaemia at just five years of age. She had spent a considerable amount of time at the Birmingham Children's hospital as she was receiving chemotherapy and other treatment for her condition.
The ward at Birmingham children’s Hospital where she was staying is in urgent need of refurbishment but the hospital do not have the funds to do this.
The school, amongst other fund raising activities, sold wristbands to pupils and staff to raise awareness of the condition. Acumen where pleased to be the sponsor for the supply of the wristbands and support this fantastic hospital and all the good work it does for children of the greater Midlands area.
Community Regeneration / Events
Acumen are proud to supply waste management services to many ‘decent homes projects’ which provide new kitchens, bathrooms and gas central heating to many homes in deprived areas in need of regeneration.
Bellamy Road Fun Day – Aug 2013
On one particular project to celebrate all the good work at Bellamy Road in Mansfield Acumen’s Client held a ‘Celebration/Fun Day' ,
Acumen were pleased to be able to support this fun day by providing free of charge waste management services for the event. The day was a great success and it helped bring together the client, contractors and members of the community to celebrate a job well done.
Acumen is one of the proud 2013 sponsors of Dearne Valley Bulldogs ARLFC.
Dearne Valley Bulldog’s are a great local sports club open to all ages of children and adults. It is a great facility within the community and is accessed by many local supporters.
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