Before the introduction of the internet, and particularly the increasing popularity of Social Media, consumer choices were made by asking friends for recommendations, and it was difficult to know whether products were ethically sourced or whether the environment was harmed during the supply of a product or service.
Thankfully, through the internet and the information it enables us to access, we are now able to find out whether suppliers of a product or service have a social conscience by searching online. In this article we discuss some considerations to make should you be keen to ensure you employ an ‘ethical’ company to undergo damp, timber, waterproofing or structural repair works in your property..
1) Is the company committed to sustainable practices and is this reflected by the organisation’s values and attitude?
One way of checking this is by enquiring as to whether the company has an ISO BS:14001 2015 accreditation. This accreditation is an Environmental Management System (EMS) which shows that the company:
- Has an Environmental Policy which is supported by senior management.
- Is committed to preventing pollution.
- Complies with the legal environmental standards.
- Continually tries to improve environmental performance and constantly works to reduce environmental impact.
Companies with this accreditation will recycle wherever possible and where waste is non-recyclable they use licensed skips and waste providers. They make a commitment to use resources efficiently and in an environmentally friendly manner.
2) Does the company have a social conscience?
Companies that have a social conscience may show this in a variety of ways. They may be partnered with a charity, or perhaps they sponsor local events; Why not look on their Facebook or Twitter feed and see if there is evidence that they give back to society?
Modern slavery is also an issue that affects the building industry. Although smaller companies may not be required to have a modern slavery policy its worth asking what their stance is on Modern Slavery. Even if they don’t have to have a policy in place they should be aware of the issue and know what to do if they suspect that they are on site with someone affected by this issue.
3) Does the company value its employees?
Companies that value their employees will invest in them by, amongst other things, ensuring that they have received the correct training for their jobs, are equipped with the correct Protective Personal Equipment (PPE) to do their jobs safely and are supplied with company vehicles which are road worthy. A good indicator that a Company has made these commitments is if they are CHAS approved and/or a member of the Property Care Association (PCA), in which case they will be proudly displaying the appropriate logos on their websites, vans and email signatures.
In order to become a PCA member or to qualify for CHAS, companies have to demonstrate that they are committed to the lifelong learning of their employees and that they have auditable systems in place to ensure that every aspect of their business meets stringent health and safety guidelines.
If you are committed to ethical and environmentally sustainable resourcing these tips should help you find a waterproofing/damp and timber company that reflects your values.