Corporate Responsibility

  • Photo credit: Norsworthy Photography

Environmental Social Governance (ESG)

The Board is committed to adopting best practice, where possible and appropriate, in its reporting of ESG issues. ESG issues fall under the remit of the Audit and Risk Committee of the Board but the board may introduce a separate Sustainability Committee over time. The Directors recognise that ESG reporting will be developed over time but have already begun the collection of data to enable the process to commence and to report data along the SASB framework. The board expects to provide ESG disclosures in the annual report and audited accounts of CGL for the year ended 31 December 2020.

The Board is ultimately responsible for overseeing the Group’s efforts on all ESG efforts and is reviewing risks and opportunities on a quarterly basis. Suzanne Packer, COO, is the ESG champion within the Group, in charge of the Board oversight as well as driving change throughout the organisation. Suzanne will liaise with internal project managers and specialists in all areas of the business to improve the material ESG issues as identified by the Group. The board, together with senior management and in collaboration with specialists at all levels of the Group will develop medium- and long-term ESG goals for the Group, such as goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and increase employee engagement and diversity. The Group will report on its progress and goals through its annual reports as well as ad hoc press releases and on investor roadshows.

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The Group operates two warehouses/distribution centres and three offices. The lack of retail stores the electricity and energy consumption of the Group is already much lower than a comparable brick and mortar building materials retailer. The Group uses electricity that is 100 per cent. generated from renewable energy and is aiming to further reduce its greenhouse gas footprint in other areas such as the fuel consumed by corporate travel and use of corporate vehicles within its efforts to follow the recommendations of the TCFD.

The Group treats the health, safety and welfare of its staff as a priority and is proud of its high safety

standards as evidences by the low number of accidents. The ultimate goal of the Group is a zero incident rate. To support these efforts, the Group has developed its own in-house training programme MergimAcademy and the company also provides its own employee assistance programme for employee health and wellbeing.

Labour practices: The Group has committed itself to paying salaries that are higher than the living wage in the UK and significantly above minimum wage. The Group does not discriminate by gender, ethnicity, age and other diversities in its hiring, remuneration and promotions. The Group actively strives to hire more women in its labour force and promote more women into leadership positions. Currently, one third of all employees, as well as one third of the executive team and the board of directors are female.

Data security: As an online retailer, the Group collects, stores and processes valuable client data as well as internal data that can be valuable to hackers and other third parties. The management of the Group is committed to developing, adopting, and maintaining appropriate information security policies, standards and procedures to ensure integration of information security with the Group’s mission, business strategy, risk posture and in accordance with applicable regulatory guidelines. This will be accomplished by active board and management oversight, effective management and monitoring of information security risks, delineation of clear accountability for information security and establishing appropriate organizational processes to ensure that information security risks are appropriately and regularly identified, monitored and controlled. The Group had developed and implemented a new company-wide information security policy.

In addition to the description of corporate governance, the Audit and Risk Committee will also be responsible for all matters ESG until a separate Sustainability Committee is formed under the leadership of Suzanne Packer. In doing so ESG will be embedded in the governance procedures from the outset. The committee will be responsible for oversight of all processes, controls and disclosures associated with the Group’s financial reporting and accounting requirements, as well as moving beyond this to consider the non-financial disclosures and commitments, including those related to all aspects of ESG and climate risk. The Group intends to adopt the framework outlined in the TCFD.