At the heart of our business and culture is responsibility, to our staff and their families, to our customers, our communities and ultimately to our investors. This has never been more important than now, as we support our colleagues, communities and customers across all our territories during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this is just an extreme example of how we normally do business every day of the week.
Our operational purpose of delivering Availability, Reliability and Ease is backed up by taking responsibility in everything we do. Being responsible helps deliver the trust that makes our business function - trust that the equipment we provide will arrive on time, trust that it will do what we say it will, trust that it will be well maintained to make sure it works and trust that it is compliant with all health and safety requirements.
We take great pride in always seeking to have a positive impact on our local communities and the environments in which we work. Being active, engaged members of the communities where we operate is enormously important to our staff. Our customers trust us to provide better service than our competitors. Our employees trust us to help keep them safe, reward them well for their efforts and look after them in the most difficult of circumstances. Investors trust us to deliver good returns throughout the economic cycle, in good times and bad.
Being responsible means many things to many people. However, what is most important to us is the health and safety of our team members and customers, the development of our people, our impact in the communities we serve, minimising our impact on the environment, ensuring that we behave ethically at all times and being cognisant of emerging risks and opportunities for the business. We discuss each of these aspects of our business in detail, assessing why each matters, how we have performed and our objectives. The world is changing and the impact of climate change and other unprecedented events such as the COVID-19 pandemic, require attention and action. Ashtead has a good story to tell on ESG (environmental, social and governance) with rental being positive for the environment as it leads to the more efficient use of equipment and the manufacture of fewer assets. Significant carbon emissions and consumption of earth’s natural resources take place during the manufacture of a piece of equipment. At the end of its life, that equipment requires disposal. Fewer, better designed pieces of equipment utilised as part of a sharing economy are better for our planet.
|What is material to us||What is important to us|
|Health and safety||Without a good reputation for health and safety our business wouldn’t exist.||We report on why health and safety is crucial to our success, how we monitor performance, safety initiatives and training, health programs and our COVID-19 response.|
|Our people are the key ingredient that makes our business possible.||We report on how we recruit, train, develop, retain and reward the very best people, and ensure a diverse, equal opportunities workforce.|
|Our communities are an extension of our people and their families. We strive to always have a positive impact.||We report on how we contribute to our communities through job creation, community initiatives and investment, and emergency response.|
|As we grow, so also does our impact on the environment and we want to limit any negative effects as much as possible.||We report on how we use resources efficiently, control of hazardous substances, reduction of waste, our greener fleet and our GHG emissions.|
|We want to be sure we comply with regulations, but most importantly, just do the right thing.||We report on maintaining regulatory compliance, our anti-corruption and bribery efforts, our modern slavery and human trafficking policy, training and supply chain sustainability and diversity.|
Looking to the future
We look ahead to evaluate future issues so we ensure we can remain a responsible business.
|We report on how we are evaluating the potential risks and opportunities of climate change, emerging technology and innovation, and potential cybersecurity issues.|
Monitoring our work
The obligation for ensuring Ashtead remains a responsible business rests with the Group’s board of directors. The board is assisted in this function by the Group Risk Committee, which is chaired by Michael Pratt.
The Group Risk Committee provides the Audit Committee, and through them the Board, with a comprehensive annual report on its activities including new legislative requirements, details of areas identified in the year as requiring improvement, and the status of actions being taken to make those improvements. It also facilitates the coordination of the environmental, health, safety and risk management activities in the US, Canada and the UK so that best practice and new initiatives in one business can be shared with, and adopted by, the others.
Our commitment to the highest ethical standards means that the Group Risk Committee also works to ensure these continue to be communicated and upheld throughout the business. Our group-wide ethics and entertainment policies are communicated directly to employees through dedicated communication and training programmes. Whistle-blowing arrangements, in place in the US, Canada and the UK, allow employees, in confidence, to raise concerns about any alleged improprieties they may encounter.