Our sustainability commitment
We are committed to ensuring we act responsibly in managing our impact.
Our purpose is to create value for all stakeholders whilst also addressing environmental and social issues to minimise our impact on the planet.
The RO Group have four distinct objectives:
Progressively improve sustainability of developments, assets, and operations.
Provide a progressive, healthy and diverse working environment across the RO Group.
Positively contribute to the communities that support and are impacted by RO Group activities.
Find, realise and scale investment opportunities to improve environmental, social and economic impacts.
Our Capital Partners business acts as a catalyst to identify innovation and actively invests in business opportunities with positive environmental and social impacts to help support our sustainability goals. Capital Partners also facilitates the deployment of innovative solutions across our real estate portfolio and other Group activities to support our net zero strategy.
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 (pictured above). Once built this renewable energy project should create enough electricity for more than 1,800 homes and a reduction of more than 2,300 tonnes of carbon emissions annually.
As part of an ongoing commitment to improving our sustainability approach to property / facilities management, we have appointed the following suppliers:
Green Zone offers commercial cleaning solutions with sustainability at the core and without the need for chemicals that harm the planet.
Element Four are a specialist sustainability and wellbeing consultancy who have helped us to achieve Fitwel Certification for a number of developments within our portfolio.
We have deployed at GNR8, Watford, measurable.energy’s solution of power sockets designed to eliminate ‘Small Power’ waste, that is energy not required by devices that are plugged in or directly wired, which are often left fully on or in standby mode. We are also proud to have invested in this solution through our Capital Partners arm.
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.
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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:
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 almost 20 years that has raised over £65,000 for various local causes.
Our Fitwel Certification
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.
We have formed a sustainability committee covering all aspects of our business operations.
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.
We have entered two of our commercial, multi-tenanted developments; One Dorset Street, Southampton and GNR8, Watford into the CUBE competition, which is designed to bring landlords and tenants together to deliver energy savings in commercial buildings. Other participants include Land Securities, Stanhope, Savills, The Howard de Walden Estate, The Office Group, Workspace, plus more.
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.
We have engaged with sustainability experts to produce an action plan for 2023. With our four objectives in mind and as part of our ongoing commitment, we will be further assessing our:
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
Provision of electric vehicle charging points
Supply chain and working with other businesses that value diversity and sustainability
Board level reporting and assessment
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.