Investing in our 2012 Paralympians
Grainger is extremely proud to be sponsoring and supporting three briliant young people headed for the 2012 Paralympics.
Each of our three medal-hopefuls hail from the North East, just like Grainger.
You can read more about Stephen, Eleni and John and lend your support by following their journey.
Cleaning up Vauxhall City Farm
Grainger recently took part in helping out at a project close to its London offices.
The Vauxhall City Farm provides an oasis in the heart of a noisy and vibrant part of London. It gives locals and visitors a much appreciated chance to escape the city grind (if only for a few hours) and to connect with nature and animals.
You can read about how our team supported this valuable project in an unforgettable one-day clean up...
Redeveloping Aldershot Barracks
Grainger was appointed by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation of the Ministry of Defence and the Homes and Communitities to redevelop part of the old barracks site in Aldershot, Wellesley.
The project will take up to 25 years and will comprise up to 4,500 new homes. Over the summer of 2011, Grainger hosted a stall at the Aldershot Garrison Show during which locals were invited to learn about the project.
Fighting tooth and nail for local improvements
Grainger is rightly proud of its national coverage of on-the-ground, locally based property managers. This access to local knowledge and expertise is key to getting the maximum value out of our properties.
When local senior property manager Ian Lawson faced opposition on his submission to upgrade a set of Mariners Cottages in South Shields, he fought tooth and nail to get the improvements approved.
Give & Gain day in Altrincham
Grainger continues to show its support for local projects through its Give & Gain days.
Members of our Altrincham office recently gave up their time to carry out some much needed improvements at a local primary school.
As well as rejuvenating the children’s play area, the team worked hard to improve the garden area so the children can grow and nurture their own plants. Staff and pupils love the fresh new look.
Pedal2Africa - 24 Hour Cycling Event
Three Grainger employees took part in a 24 hour cycling event in October to raise money for UK charities Save the Children and the Maasai Heritage Preservation Foundation.
Pedal2Africa challenged itself to cover the distance from Edinburgh to Africa in non-stop pedaling in one 24-hour hour period. The Grainger team managed to contribute over 100 km, between them, in just one hour of cycling.
Grainger is also proud to have contributed a Gold Sponsorship donation to the cause.
Grainger plc is the UK’s largest specialist residential property owner, manager and developer traded on the London Stock Exchange. Over the last 100 years we have built up our residential property portfolios across the UK and Germany to over £2 billion. We fund, asset and property manage a further c.£900m of residential property assets for our clients. 84% of our properties are located in the UK and the remainder in Germany.
The primary activities of the company are investment, management and development of residential assets throughout the UK and Germany. Further information is available on our website www.graingerplc.co.uk.
“As the largest business in our sector and a publicly listed company, Grainger has a duty to act responsibly and to be seen to be doing so... Our future tenants will be able to vote with their feet, and we need to focus on providing housing choices and services that meet their aspirations and needs across a range of economic levels.” Andrew Cunningham, CEO
Grainger is making strides towards being a Corporate Responsibility leader in the UK residential sector.
An interview with Grianger CEO, Andrew Cunningham
How has Corporate Responsibility at Grainger evolved in the last year?
There is greater investment in our Corporate Responsibility performance at the highest levels. Each executive director now takes responsibility for the achievement of a subset of targets. Demonstrating leadership by the executive team is key to embedding Corporate Responsibility into the fabric of the business. Our chairman, Robin Broadhurst, is also active in this area, both in demonstrating a personal interest in Granger’s CR activities and in recognising our CR successes. I think that he puts our commitment very well when he says that, as well as being a successful business, Grainger is and should continue to be a “good-hearted” organisation.
Why do you think it is important for Grainger to invest in Corporate Responsibility?
Our customers are individuals and families rather than the corporate clients of most UK real estate companies. As the largest business in our sector and a publicly listed company, Grainger has a duty to act responsibly and to be seen to be doing so. Historically, that has meant taking special care to consider the needs of our elderly tenants who have little housing choice. In the next 10-15 years, Grainger’s tenant base will become more market based. Our future tenants will be able to vote with their feet, and we need to focus on providing housing choices and services that meet their aspirations and needs across a range of economic levels.
How do you view the value of Corporate Responsibility to the business?
Ove Arup made a speech to his staff in 1970 that articulates well my personal understanding of the main aims of a business, which include social usefulness, straight and honourable dealings, and humanity. These, plus delivering value for shareholders and quality services and products, lead to satisfied customers, satisfied staff and a strong brand or reputation. Grainger has frequently been successful at putting these principles into practice For example, part of the reason that we were awarded the development programme at Aldershot was because we took different approach to our competitors and focussed on our history of place-making, our understanding of “Grainger in the community.” These things are part of how we do business and are the practical demonstration of the business value of our Corporate Responsibility programme.
What achievements are you proudest of over the last 12 months?
I am particularly proud of our giving, organised by Grainger’s new charity committee, which I chair though the work is done by others. As part of our centenary activities, Robin Broadhurst set everyone a challenge of raising £25,000 for charity, about £100 per member of staff. We met this target within 9 months as well as meeting our regular volunteering target of 30% of our staff giving a working day to charitable activities. The 2012 centenary celebration was a positive driver for this but every year our people give very generously of their time and money to help others.
Our new complaints handling processes are another important step forward in ensuring that we handle tenant issues effectively. Our analysis of recent complaints has identified improving communication as an issue that we will focus on going forward. We have also invested tremendously in the personal development of our staff at all levels which is a key value for me as CEO as well as a practical investment in the future of the business.
What is your vision for 2012/13?
We have recently spent a significant amount of time focusing on risk management, which is at the heart of future proofing the business and of our CR objectives. I intend to see risk management integrated even more closely into the way we do business.
In thinking about CR Targets for 2012/13, these should set the direction for Grainger to assist us to implement the principles underpinning our CR strategy (ETHOS), without being an end in themselves. I would rather set stretch targets and see 50% of them achieved, than 80% tick-box completion. As CR becomes ever more embedded in the way we do business, then the more staff we can involve in setting and delivering our CR objectives and targets and the more we will be able to demonstrate the business value.
Taken from an interview with Andrew Cunningham conducted by Jones Lang LaSalle, Upstream Energy and Sustainability Services JLL Upstream on 21st August 2012.
“Grainger continues to mature in its approach to Corporate Responsibility. A two year push to embed CR throughout the business is starting to bear fruit with a notable increase in executive commitment and management coordination. Additionally, a wider cross-section of employees at all levels have been involved in the CR programme through charity activities and the CR Innovation Day. This is reflected in a near doubling of target achievement since 2010/11.” Lora Brill, Senior Consultant, Jones Lang LaSalle, Upstream Sustainability Services.
We are proud to have fully achieved 73% of our targets set for 2011/12, as well as 100% of the 2010/11 targets that remained outstanding at the end of last year. Each of these initiatives addressed business critical risks and opportunities through our Corporate Responsibility programme.
Influencing the future
Influencing the future of housing through the publication of the Grainger Rental Review and Making the most of equity release.
Protecting assets & income
Increased transparency for our investors through a new Sustainable Investment Policy that articulates how we consider CR risks and opportunities in our property acquisition process.
Customer service improved and communication identified as a further improvement opportunity by a more robust tenant complaints system, including monthly reviews by our CEO.
Environmental performance of our managing agents and contractors assessed by adding environmental criteria to our audits.
Environmental management embedded into new areas of business and EMS aligned with best practice ISO14001 standards.
CR Innovation Day radically increased engagement and buy-in for integrating Grainger’s CR programme into the business strategy. 100% of respondents to the feedback survey expressed interest in continuing to contribute to the development of Grainger’s CR strategy.
Investing in communities & places
Ten young people gained professional training through partnership to place apprentices with contractor organisations.
69,411 given to charitable causes through staff volunteering and fundraising, as well as individual and corporate donations.
Responsibility to stakeholders
Increased benchmarking of our CR approach through participation in additional investor surveys, including GRESB, Carbon Disclosure Project and EIRIS (FTSE4Good index).