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Results for the six months ended 31 December 2016 have officially been released.
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Sustainability
Health & Safety
Social & Ethics Policy
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Sustainability

Accéntuate views sustainability within the context of the well-being of the company and the environment within which it operates over the long-term. It encompasses the concept of stewardship and the responsible management of resource use. We understand and respect our responsibility towards transformation of the organisation and the society within which we operate and where we have influence. The communication of our governance, social and environmental performance to all stakeholders is thus of critical importance and this sustainability report offers us the platform to advise stakeholders of our performance to date as well as the aspirations that we hold for the organisation in a context broader than just shareholder value.

Accéntuate continues to view itself as a “good corporate citizen” and to this end we are committed to not only complying but striving to a leadership position within the realms of responsible business practices. Our commitment is to transparently disclose information that is material and relevant as part of the company’s reporting process, in addition to this and wherever practical and affordable to obtain independent assurance in an integrated manner. Currently we aim to grow off the foundation that was laid in our first sustainability report published last year.

Transformation

Accéntuate understand and endorses the concept of transformation of the South African business environment and to this end we have embarked on a number of initiatives and programmes aimed at transforming the organisation at all levels. The transformation program within Accéntuate was launched over 11 years ago in order to redress the imbalances that exist because of the historical inequalities in the South African society. Effective transformation of ownership is an area that we are committed to and with the help of Thebe Investment Corporation and other empowerment partners; we have ensured ownership of HDI’s remained in excess of 26%. Accéntuate has also been rated in terms of the B-BBEE scorecard and has achieved level 4 status across the group.

Broad based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE)

Accéntuate views itself as a responsible employer and is committed to transformation at all levels of society and therefore all employment practices are regularly evaluated and aligned to these principles. To this end we will not allow discriminatory practices and all employment needs to be conducted within a framework of giving preference to suitably qualified and skilled employees from a disadvantaged background without compromising on quality and deliverables. Wherever possible, preference is given to employees within the group when a position becomes vacant. Accéntuate realises the value to be gained from a diversified workforce and is fully committed to affirmative action at all levels of the company. All vacant positions are targeted and preference is given to PDI’s of black origin. In addition, Accéntuate also targets persons with disabilities for positions where they can be accommodated. At FloorworX, more than 5% of our workforce consists of black persons with disabilities and one of our departments is made up predominantly from persons with disabilities.

Skills development and training

The development and maintenance of the identified and required skills base has always been a leading priority within Accéntuate and to this end formal structures have been established to monitor progress in this regard. Management, together with the Employment Equity Committees, strive to uplift staff, by ensuring that they are equipped with the necessary skill and competence to perform at their best. In addition to this there is an active program to identify and eliminate the effects of past discriminatory practices, should they exist within the group, in order to move towards an organisation that adequately reflects the racial demographics of the various regions in which we operate.

Accéntuate is a learning organization, relying heavily on the collective human capital of its workforce to respond to a highly competitive and dynamic environment. Its learning culture starts at the top of the organization, permeating through the various echelons of management down to shop floor level.

FloorworX falls within the domain of the Metals and Engineering Related Services Seta (MERSETA), which, guided by the National Skills Strategy, has identified critical skills shortages within the industry, such as management, engineering, financial and sales. FloorworX focuses many of its skills development initiatives around these disciplines, thereby not only satisfying the business need for specific skills, but also contributing to the economy at large.

As an accredited Chartered Institute of Management (CIMA) training provider, FloorworX has contracted its second learnership, registered through this internationally recognized institution. In addition, FloorworX also has finance staff studying through the widely respected Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB) and the Institute of Credit Management (ICM). During the period under review, two apprenticeship contracts were successfully completed. Previously unemployed and unskilled, these two individuals have been trade tested and are now a qualified fitter and electrician respectively. In association with Walter Sisulu University, FloorworX also facilitated the practical training of eight students in completion of their National Diploma in Mechanical Engineering. The FloorworX sales force is kept abreast of the latest sales techniques and market trends through continuous training and development initiatives.

Safic belongs to the Services Seta where a strong focus is on improving skills of all individuals in the services and related industries. A well prepared training matrix identifies the various skill requirements and forms the basis of manpower planning. Training requirements are integrated into management performance measures and include continuous identification of needs managed and recorded for WSP, ATR, ISO and B-BBEE purposes.

Succession planning has been identified as a key performance area and currently systems are being developed to monitor progress against predetermined objectives.

Our learning culture starts at the various echelons of management and permeates throughout the organisation. As well as being responsible for building the capacity of their various departments, management is actively encouraged to enhance their own knowledge and skills through continuous learning. Personal development plans are in place, resulting in most managers being involved in learning, whether studying towards a formal qualification in their field of expertise, post-graduate studies or through attending continuous professional development programmes.

Accéntuate also recognises that the legacies of the past have resulted in many PDI’s not undergoing formal education up to senior certificate level. Employees are able to improve their literacy levels through Abet electronic learning, which is offered on at the Floorworx site and during working hours.

Over the past financial period, six ABET learners progressed to the next level, thereby achieving a 70% pass rate in the first year of facilitation. Inspired by their colleagues’ successes, additional learners have now joined the ABET classes and look forward to improving their literacy levels and mathematical skills.

In addition to the internal training initiatives, Accentuate contributes greatly to the upliftment of skills broadly within the industry. A number of initiatives are embarked upon whereby our customers and their staff are trained on the efficient and effective use of our products. This training is conducted to the highest international standards and within a framework embracing quality, safety, environmental awareness and ultimate customer satisfaction and service. A fully operational training centre has been established at our Steeldale facility that constantly trains and uplifts skills of floor fitters within the Southern African region.

Attracting and retaining talent

Accéntuate attracts the desired quality of employees by ensuring that the company offering is set competitively coupled with a range of added benefits, such as medical aid and opportunities for further studies.In terms of our succession planning policy, several PDI’s have been identified for fast tracking. Some have undergone psychometric assessments to establish their suitability for target positions and are now being developed through formal training and mentorship for management positions.

The remuneration strategy has two objectives: Firstly, to attract the very best employees and secondly, to retain them. The former is achieved through rigorous selection techniques, including targeted selection and approved psychometric testing, while the latter relies on personal development opportunities, a competitive compensation offering and a supportive organsational culture.

Preferential procurement

Accéntuate views preferential procurement as an effective tool to facilitate transformation of society and to this end Accentuate has developed effective preferential procurement strategies that are implemented at divisional level. These procurement policiesare integrated as part of the ISO 9001 system. A number of factors is evaluated before awarding orders which included price, quality, customer service and B-BBEE status. The availability of certain raw materials from a single source does however impede the effectiveness of our preferential procurement initiatives around many of our high value spend items. Continuous improvement in this critical area of the business is encouraged and monitored on an on-going basis.

Safety, health and the environment

Huge emphasis is placed on the safety of our staff, our customers and the communities within which we operate. As a responsible corporate citizen the issues of health safety and environmental responsibility are core to the way in which Accéntuate operates. Divisions within Accéntuate have a proud history of compliance and best practice in the areas of health and safety as well as environmental awareness. All divisions must ensure that they comply with all relevant legislation and wherever possible best practice. Statistics are kept by the divisions to measure the impact of health and safety initiatives as well as environmental initiatives.

Key drivers of our Health and Safety philosophy include:

All business units will comply with Legal Compliance Health and Safety management system as a minimum standard.
Continuously identifying and assessing Health and Safety hazards with a view to implementing measures to mitigate or control these elements.
Establishing on-going communication and training programs to increase individual awareness levels of Health and Safety issues, responsibilities and accountabilities.
Promoting responsible actions to exercise a high level of Waste Management.
Performing internal and external audits on the business processes to ensure stated performance levels are achieved and maintained.
Ensuring that sub-contractors and service providers to our company conform to laid down requirements in line with the principles of the Legal Compliance Health and Safety management system.
Providing adequate financial and physical resources to achieve Health and Safety management objectives in an effective and productive manner.

Safichas obtained the prestigious international OHSAS 18001 certification and FloorworX is currently embarking on this certification. As an accredited OSHAS 18001 company, strict control is exercised in order to ensure that the health and safety of our employees comes first and all incidents and accidents are reported and recorded. Annual check-ups take place on all employees who work with the chemicals and one on one consultation’s are held with a medical examiner.

FloorworX operates within a concept of legal compliance and has commissioned the Health and Safety programme from SEIFSA to assist in monitoring and auditing of the systems in place. There is a central committee set in place by the relevant managing directorto ensure that procedures are established and conformed to. All employees are 13 provided with training which has included: Basic Fire, Health and Safety principles for managers, Health and Safety for Safety Representatives, Incident Investigation, Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment, First Aid, Forklift procedures. Safety induction is presented annually to all staffas well as on and ad hoc basis to new employees entering the organisation.

Accéntuate places emphasis on the following health and safety issues:

Legal compliance
Elimination and prevention of risks
Protection of employees and communities
Maintenance of a clean and healthy workplace
Developing, enhancing and maintaining a health and safety culture.

Environmental issues

Much attention is also paid to environmental issues. This has become a critical issue for the group for a number of reasons including the need for conservation of energy as well as the focus on “green building”. Accéntuate has for many years taken the lead in the area of responsible manufacturing and the development of environmentally acceptable products. Safic was voted the Mail & Guardians “Greening the Future” company for two consecutive years and has developed an environmentally acceptable range of chemical products that comply with the highest EU environmental directives.

In order to ensure a culture of environmental awareness and responsibility, all companies within the Accéntuate group currently comply with the highest international environmental certification, this being ISO 14001. A number of other awareness initiatives are currently supported by Accéntuate including the World Wildlife Fund(WWF), Arbor Day and the 1 billion tree campaign.

HIV / AIDS

FloorworX is part of the Siyakhana project, which provides regular HIV/aids awareness programmes and voluntary counselling and testing on site annually. Employees are also able to visit the Siyakhane clinic for testing, counselling and guidance. Through this project, HIV positive employees also receive access to a network of doctors and anti-retroviral medication at no cost to them. In addition, FloorworX has seven trained HIV peer educators who are responsible for creating awareness and distributing HIV information at their department meetings and also for counselling HIV infected and affected employees.

A number of other HIV initiatives are conducted at the various divisions and it is our intention to raise the level of awareness of HIV and Aids within the group even further during the coming year.

Labour relations

Accéntuate recognises the right of employees to collective bargaining arrangements and work hard towards creating harmonious working relationships between organised labour and the company. Employees at the FloorworX factory in East London belong to the Metals and Engineering Bargaining Council and relations with the unions are regulated by this body. Strikes are prohibited during the period of any wage agreement, which is normally for a period of three years. Currently Safic employees are not unionised.

Third party certifications

Throughout the group we have obtained a number of third party accreditations and certifications:

DIVISION CERTIFICATIONS ACCREDITATIONS AWARDS
FloorworX ISO 9001
ISO 14001
SABS Marks
WWF
50 Years SABS
Safic ISO 9001
ISO 14001
OHSAS 18001
SABS Marks
CAIA Responsible Care
WWF
Greening the Future
Chemical Safety Award
Mail & Guardian

Accéntuate’s sustainability strategy

Accéntuate’s strategy on sustainability is outlined by our commitment to the 8 e’s:

Earnings and shareholder value
Employment of resources
Excellence in products and services
Empowerment of individuals and communities
Enforced corporate governance
Ensured sustainability
Equitable individual development
Engaging stakeholders and the value chain

 
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