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RO Group Potash Farm

We are committed to assessing, measuring, and responsibly managing our impact.

RO Group Sustainability

Our purpose is to create value for all stakeholders whilst also addressing environmental and social issues to minimise negative impact on the planet, people and communities we engage with. 

We are proud to have obtained and retained Planet Mark certification for 2 years. This has enabled us to measure and assess our carbon footprint at an office operational level as well as quantify our social impact.  We are committed to continued reduction of carbon emissions and look to take further action in our journey to Net-Zero.

In business to do good

The RO Group have four distinct sustainability objectives, aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals:​

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Progressively improve sustainability of developments, assets, and operations.

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Commitments

As part of our ongoing commitment to improve the sustainability approach to property/ facilities management, we have engaged with leading suppliers who embed sustainability principles at the core, including Green Zone commercial cleaning solutions.​ We have invested in and deployed Cleantech solutions to enhance sustainability performance and energy efficiency of our buildings, while radically reducing CO2 emissions i.e. Measurable.Energy. ​We have worked with experts to achieve Green Building certifications in several of our assets. ​​We have committed to ensuring our buildings place health and wellbeing at the core by obtaining Fitwell certifications for a number of developments within our portfolio. ​​We have entered multiple developments on the Cube competition, the UK wide competition set to deliver energy savings in commercial buildings. As a testament to enhanced efficiency and landlord/tenant engagement, our building, GNR8 Clarendon Road in Watford won 2ne place in the Absolute Value Ranking in the first ever Cube Energy Efficiency Competition. ​As part of our commitment to improve occupant health and productive, we have obtained Fitwell certification across five of our Real Estate assets.

Goals

Establish Net-Zero pathways for all existing assets and reduce operational and embodied carbon. ​​Promote deployment of Capital Partners investee technology and solutions within our Real Estate portfolio and in Metis Homes when practical and relevant. ​​Deliver tenant engagement programme and issue the first Sustainability Survey. ​​Through extensive collaboration between our tenants, facilities/ property management teams and utility broker, continuously monitor energy performance of our assets and enhance efficiency, while striving for CO2 reductions. ​​Sustain Renewable/ Zero Carbon tariffs across our entire Real Estate portfolio. ​​Ensure renewable tariffs are explored for construction activities at Metis Homes. ​Continuous monitoring of waste across all our sites to set KPIs and optimise results on recycling and achieve zero waste to landfill.  Develop a sustainable procurement framework for all our operations, across the supply chain. Enhance provision of electric vehicle charging points. Deliver sustainability related, knowledge sharing webinars, content, thought leadership to raise awareness, education and collaboration with key stakeholders impacted by or impacting our developments, assets and operations.

Provide a progressive, healthy and diverse working environment across the RO Group.

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Commitments

Our employees are our most valuable asset, which is why our core principles and values are built with them in mind. We are committed to collaborative working by enhance communication, sharing ideas and experiences, listening and supporting each other to achieve our goals together. We have supported employee mental health through the development of Mental Health Framework for the group. By the end of 2023, we have 7 inhouse qualified Mental Health First Aders. We have established a Well-being committee and programme to support employee physical and emotional wellbeing through regular engagement and activities. We are committed to promoting diversity and inclusion and providing opportunities for all to thrive. Through continuous assessment and monitoring, we provide and encourage learning and development opportunities. We have enhanced communication through the launch of a regular circulation of employee Sustainability newsletter. We proactively encourage staff to take advantage of the opportunity to give back to the communities through volunteering and charity initiatives. We continuously assess our policies and governance processes to ensure our commitment to act responsibly, ethically and with integrity in all our business relationships is fulfilled. Attracting and retaining a diverse, happy, and healthy workforce is a key objective for the RO Group. We are proud to sustain an average length of service at an incredible 13 years!

Goals

Develop and deliver a Green Skills programme of webinars, podcast series and ensure knowledge sharing through various learning initiatives. Conduct regular RO Group People Sustainability Surveys to enhance collaboration and engagement. Assess and launch the EV Salary Sacrifice scheme for employees Incorporate Healthy Building principles in any future refurbishment of our operational offices spaces. Ensure our approach to optimising our office spaces is supported by Green Building Certifications. Develop CPD programme for employees on Sustainability related topics. Deliver activities/ challenges throughout the year that enhance employee engagement, collaboration and physical/ emotional wellbeing. Carry out employee surveys periodically to track and monitor engagement, wellbeing and satisfaction.

Positively contribute to the communities that support and are impacted by RO Group activities.

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Commitments

We are committed to proactively supporting a variety of organisations that help the lives of those most in need locally. Through the Graham Rowlandson Foundation, the family charity, we have supported almost 100 charities across Hertfordshire with individual grants that address our three broad charitable themes of education: disability and social deprivation. Our company run charity quiz has been running for over 20 years and raising over £75,000 for various local causes. We work closely and support the Hertfordshire Community Foundation to enhance positive social impact in our local region. We are committed to providing our people with the opportunity to join a corporate charity ream challenge once a year and we support employees toto dedicate a day a year to a charity of their choice.

Goals

Continuous monitoring of community impact and enhance engagement with Social Housing providers to implement support strategies. Assess and measure social value of Metis Homes and RO Land developments. Implement a WELL Certified strategy across our Real Estate Portfolio to enhance health and wellbeing of people in our buildings and the communities surrounding them. Establish a sustainable supply chain engagement strategy and run CPD, workshops and seminars to enhance collaboration with sub-contractors, service providers and across the entire supply chain.

Find, realise and scale investment opportunities to enhance positive environmental, social and economic impact.

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Commitments

We proactively identify innovation and actively invest in business opportunities with positive environmental and social impacts. Through RO Capital Partners, we are an active investment partner with prime focus on CleanTech/ ClimateTech solutions addressing the challenges of environmental sustainability and the transition to a low carbon economy. We have created an RO Energy division and gained planning consent for a 5MW solar park to be situated on 20 acres at our development, Potash Farm. We have deployed innovative solutions such as Measurable.Energy, one of our investments through RO CP, on two of our Real Estate assets. The power sockets are designed to eliminate small power waste, reduce CO2 emissions and improve energy efficiency in buildings.

Goals

Potash farm to create enough electricity for more than 1800 homes and a reduction of more than 2,300 tonnes of carbon. Increase deployment of all investee technology across our existing assets and through our tenant network. Enhance industry engagement to explore opportunities for future responsible and sustainable investments.

Our plans

With our four objectives in mind and as part of our ongoing commitment, we have been focusing on the following areas:

  • Net zero pathways for all existing assets

  • Deployment of Capital Partners investee technology and solutions within our Real Estate portfolio

  • Workplace culture, training and green skills development through various learning initiatives and staff surveys

  • Procurement and ethical sourcing of office supplies

  • Community impact and engaging with Social Housing providers and implementing charity support strategies

  • Energy consumption through monitoring and efficiency

  • Recycling and waste management

  • Water management

  • Provision of electric vehicle charging points

  • Supply chain and working with other businesses that value diversity and sustainability

  • Board level reporting and assessment

RO Group as a responsible, sustainable business

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RO Capital Partners is an early stage investor with a clearly differentiated offering that draws on the extensive entrepreneurial experience of the RO Group. ROCP focuses on solutions addressing the challenges of environmental sustainability and the transition to a low carbon economy.

Our sustainability journey

2023/24

  • Retained Planet Mark Business Certification

2022/23

  • Achieved Planet Mark Business Certification

  • Aligned our focus areas to the UN SDGs 

  • Hired first Head of Sustainability to develop and execute our strategy

2022

  • Reviewed our operations in the context of Sustainability

  • Launched a Sustainability Committee

  • Set core sustainability objectise across the Group

Professional Memberships and Certifications

We have joined the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) whose aim is to improve the sustainability of the built environment by transforming the way it is planned, designed, constructed, maintained and operated. Through this membership, we gain access to sustainability news, policy, and best practice as well as e-learning, networking opportunities and insight into new innovations and solutions.  

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We are proud to have obtained Planet Mark certification in 2022. This has enabled us to understand our baseline carbon footprint at an office operational level as well as identify our social impact. We now look to take further action in reducing our impact. By virtue of our certification, we are delighted to have protected an acre of rainforest with Cool Earth.

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We are delighted that our building, GNR8 Clarendon Road in Watford has won 2nd place in the Absolute Value Ranking (for buildings that have been re-developed or have no historical data) in the first-ever CUBE Competition Energy Efficiency Competition.

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Fitwel building certification is a set of guidelines on how the design and operations of a building can improve occupant health and productivity. All Fitwel strategies are evidence-based practical solutions that impact occupant’s daily routines to promote physical, mental and social health.

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Six of our Real Estate developments are Fitwel certified:

 

Silbury House, Milton Keynes
GNR8, Watford
One Dorset Street, Southampton
One Suffolk Way, Sevenoaks
Waterside Place, Southampton

Admiral House, Windsor

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See the Silbury House sustainability story.

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Our people

Our employees are our most valuable asset, which is why our values are built with them in mind.

  • Supporting employee mental health through a Mental Health Framework and a dedicated Wellbeing Team with 7 qualified Mental Health First Aiders.

  • Promoting diversity and inclusion and providing opportunities for all to thrive.

  • Providing and encouraging learning and development opportunities.

  • Circulating a regular employee newsletter reporting on sustainability efforts.

  • Giving staff the opportunity to give back to the community through volunteering and charity initiatives.

​We have a number of policies and values that together address our commitment ensuring we act ethically and with integrity in all our business relationships. 

RO Group International Womans Day
RO Group International Womans Day

Our average

length of service

is an incredible

13 years!

Celebrating International Women’s Day

We believe it is imperative that we work together to make the RO a great place to work, by communicating, sharing ideas and experiences, listening and supporting each other so we can achieve our goals together. 


Below are some of the ways we support our people:

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Our community

Supporting and getting actively involved with a variety of organisations that help the lives of those most in need locally is a core value that we intend to build on and develop year on year.  

We positively encourage this as follows: 

  • The Graham Rowlandson Foundation, the family charity, has supported almost 100 charities across Hertfordshire with individual grants that address our three broad charitable themes of education, disability and social deprivation.

  • We work closely with Hertfordshire Community Foundation to provide support where it is needed most.

  • We endeavour to provide our employees with the opportunity to join a corporate charity team exercise once a year.

  • In addition to this, we wholeheartedly support our employees who wish to dedicate a day a year to a charity of their choice.

  • A company organised annual quiz has been running for over 20 years raising over £70,000 for various local causes.

GNR8 Watford
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There is a clear recognition that the commitment to improving our environmental impact across all our businesses is a long term objective and therefore will remain under constant review.

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Sustainability Contact

Ana Bajri

Head of Sustainabilty

Email: ana.bajri@rogroup.co.uk

January 2024

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