The P & M Group

Working together to support people, profit and planet – P&M’s staff survey gives everyone input into sustainability interventions

The P & M Group is on an exciting journey embedding sustainability across the organisation and reaping the benefits of being an ethical and responsible business. Yet we know we can’t do it alone. Our staff are our greatest asset, and our recent Sustainability Survey provided the perfect opportunity to gauge understanding of ESG issues and seek feedback from the people who will help shape our future strategy. From highlighting key environmental concerns to sharing views on solutions to the climate crisis, staff have made an invaluable contribution to our ESG drive and will play a key role in shaping positive interventions.

Building on strong foundations

Since the launch of Project Acorn and the development of our robust Sustainability Strategy, The P & M Group has been leading the charge in reducing negative impacts and finding new ways to serve the triple bottom line of people, profit and planet. The pressure is on across the construction sector to reduce our significant carbon footprint and the group is determined to lead the way in embracing more sustainable practices.

We are delighted with the progress we have made over the last couple of years in setting goals and monitoring progress as a sustainable business. From developing a waste management strategy to identifying ways to reduce emissions, we are starting to deliver on our ambitious Action Plan. Yet we understand that meeting our goals will be challenging and it is critical that we are inclusive and take all stakeholders with us on our journey.

Conducting an employee survey seemed a great way of engaging with our people, discovering what they understand about sustainability and offering them a platform to share their views.

Survey findings

We asked staff to complete an anonymous survey and were encouraged by the level of participation and willingness to share knowledge and opinions.

The leadership team at The P & M Group is passionate about sustainability and we are working to ensure that is embedded in our culture. The survey highlighted that our staff value businesses committed to developing those ESG credentials. We asked when choosing where they work, how much it matters that the company takes its responsibilities seriously. Two thirds said it was an essential or important factor.

When asked what sustainability means to them, the top three answers were “taking care of the environment for the future”, “making sure we grow economically while being good to people and the planet” and “using resources wisely so everyone now and later can have what they need.”

This focus on more responsible resource management was reflected in the responses to Question 5 which asked about solutions to the climate crisis. High scoring answers were using greener and alternative energy, changing lifestyle (reducing consumption) and better resource management.

The effect of climate change respondents are most concerned about was deteriorating ocean environments. The P & M Group will use this feedback to inform our strategy and feed into our future philanthropic work. As part of Zero Waste Week 2023 we held a cake sale for local Community Interest Company (CIC) Beach Guardians who are committed to clearing waste [JS1] from our coastline and raise awareness about the impact of pollution. This type of intervention is clearly dear to the hearts of our internal community, and we will continue lending our support to these types of causes.

When asked to state what other climate change effects staff were concerned about responses included, “managing waste”, “the short-term view of governments and large corporates” and

“the ineffective collaboration of countries not to act multilaterally to work together to tackle the issues.” At The P & M Group we are collaborating with supply chain partners to support sustainable practice and better resource management. These survey comments will make us even more determined to drive positive change through collaborative efforts.

Positive interventions

We are also taking on board what staff had to say about how we might solve these challenges. Raising awareness was a key theme through the responses in challenging misconceptions and providing “more education on what everyone can do to help the situation.” In 2024 we will respond to the challenge by offering sustainability training to our workforce to equip people with the knowledge they need to make more ethical informed decisions and support the group in meeting the needs of people and planet.

The survey highlighted how much staff are already engaged in sustainability issues at home and how committed they are to tackling them. Everyone who responded said they recycle all or most of the time and 90% indicated that they were willing to consider making significant changes to their lifestyle, including changing their diet.

The survey has proved enlightening, and we intend to repeat the process to keep our finger on the pulse and capture the changing needs and attitudes of our people. They are after all the beating heart of our organisation and our greatest resource on our sustainability journey.