Good Governance

Alan Long: Building the Most Socially Responsible Business in Scotland

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I am pleased to announce to all of our colleagues that we have launched our first-ever Scottish Responsible Business Charter. The Charter is a recognition that we need to take a separate approach to our successful Scottish Business as the legislative framework is very different to England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

This is also a good time to celebrate our Scottish colleagues who have made our whole business so successful. As well as doing fantastic work with schools and health partnerships, FM have also worked with Thenue/Govan Hill Housing Associations looking after 6000 properties in Glasgow, many of which are in Nicola Sturgeon’s constituency. Our partnership with North Lanarkshire goes from strength to strength with a re-bid coming up this year. Our care and supported living teams provide recognised dedication to our service users. MPS is doing ground-breaking work on energy in Aberdeenshire and our hard-working asylum colleagues have the huge responsibility to house every asylum seeker in Scotland.

The Charter includes commitments that I hope you will see truly reflect the values of these teams and as part of our consultation on it, I have met with several MSPs who have all responded very warmly to our proposals. The Charter has also been developed by all of our heads of services in Scotland.

Our charter commitments include:

  • Paying the Scottish Living Wage, including fair work principles in our operations
  • Having resident and tenant representation as part of our scrutiny arrangements and service design
  • Improving the Environmental, Social, Governance, and economic well-being of the area in which Mears operates
  • Paying small businesses on time
  • Making it simple, straightforward, and easy for local SMEs, social enterprises, and supported businesses to access supply chains opportunities
  • Making firm and achievable commitments to support Scotland’s target of Net-zero emissions by 2045
  • Having a social responsibility to pass on skills to local communities
  • Being transparent in our financial and business reporting
  • Working harder to address equality and diversity and submitting to an independent audit of all policies and procedures to enable fair access for all
  • Having a balanced board

It is with great pride that I can say that the Charter has received official acknowledgment from the Scottish Government - Minister for Just Transition, Employment and Fair Work, Richard Lochhead said:

As you know, the Scottish Government encourages all businesses in Scotland to adopt Fair Work principles and practices, such as the Fair Work First criteria. To that end, I very much welcome the approach Mears Group are taking, which aligns with both our Fair Work First criteria and Scottish Business Pledge elements.

Alongside the Charter, you can also view our dedicated web page which highlights all of the great work our colleagues in Scotland do. From employing 23 new apprentices in North Lanarkshire, FM picking up awards for their work and the community impact that our asylum teams are delivering in communities – please have a look – there is so much to be proud of. The link is available here

For our colleagues in the rest of the UK please lookout for a further charter with our commitments to you later this year.

Alan Long, Executive Director