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Sustainability seeks to develop and implement the methods and behaviours that balance the consumption of resources with the impact of that consumption on the environment in an economically viable manner that also enhances the quality of life. The Group believes this is a matter of common sense that has been embedded into the values of all our component divisions for many years. As an amalgamation of family businesses we have been practicing the sensible values of sustainability for many years.

The Group recognises that we are part of a much wider community and our key focuses in our sustainability activities are our people, customers, suppliers and investors, the environment and our local communities.

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We ensure we've a sustainable business by giving the necessary focus to the following stakeholder groups.
Sustainability

SUSTAINABILITY

Icon People

Our people

Customers

Customers

Environment

Environment

Icon Supply Chain

Suppliers

Community

Community

Investors

Investors

Our people

Gender diversity – % female at 31 December 2016

Gender diversity

Employee retention

Employee retention

Our employees are our greatest asset and are trained to meet our requirements of efficiency and service to customers and suppliers. The Group recognises that its performance and ongoing success are directly related to the quality and effective performance of employees. It is the policy of the Group to ensure that employees are able to improve their performance by having appropriate access to effective training, development, coaching and counselling facilities. Induction training sets the foundation for all employees and introduces the Group's operational best and required practices which are documented in comprehensive Standard Practice Instructions. This is followed by specific on-the-job training. Where the demands of the business allow, flexible working is encouraged. FTB have worked with employees this year to implement changes to flexible working to maximise efficiencies in the call centre and distribution centre whilst accommodating work life balance.

The Company is an Equal Opportunity Employer. This means that the Company's established policy is to ensure that no unlawful discrimination occurs, either directly or indirectly, against any person on the grounds of colour, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, race, religion, nationality, ethnic or national origin or age. The Company's policy covers direct and indirect discrimination and failure to make reasonable adjustments for disabled employees, victimisation and harassment.

Health and safety

Health and safety is taken very seriously by management at all levels in the Group and our accidents rates are very low with no RIDDOR incidents during the year and only 4 days lost due to minor incidents across an average workforce of 291. During 2017 we will be looking to standardise procedures across the Group.

Apprentices

Primary Fluid Power have a long tradition of apprenticeships with two engineers from the team of 34 having come through the programme. Primary are focused on ensuring new trainees are fully trained in the field of hydraulics at the National Fluid Power Centre. This year, FTUK has also started a scheme which covers various disciplines including business administration and customer care.

No. apprentices
Dec 16Dec 15
Primary Fluid Power54
FTUK40

Diversity

We recognise and value all forms of diversity in our employees and endeavour to promote diversity in our workplace to enhance the success of our Group.

Flowtechnology Benelux

The female force behind Flowtechnology UK

In line with our philosophy of Excellence and best fit, it is notable that Flowtechnology UK have six of their departments now run by five female employees.

Combined they have over 90 years' experience. Their drive, imagination, determination, accuracy and attention to detail is highly respected by myself, the business and our customers.

John Farmer

Managing Director FTUK

(back left to right) Luci Barrow, Supply Chain Process Manager, Cheryl Philbin, Communications Manager, Karen Tucker, Creative Services Manager (front left to right) Jane D'Silva, Commercial Centre Manager, Lynne Yates, Data Manager

Customers

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The ongoing support and enthusiasm from FTUK has been a breath of fresh air.

FTUK customer

The Group values each customer regardless of size and is committed to develop mutually beneficial relationships at local, national and international level. All divisions have a customer-centric approach and it is vitally important for to us to work closely with the customer base to understand the underlying drivers in their marketplace. Continued dialogue has enabled the Group to develop its product offer and so match these changing requirements. One such product offer is the ability of Nelson Hydraulics to supply hose printed with the customer's name and part number due to investment in state-of-the-art automated hose machinery.

Flowtechnology Benelux undertook a customer survey with a very positive result; "This resulted in a powerful 8.0 average mark from our customers. On the question 'how do you rate Flowtechnology Benelux as a supplier ' 99,2% of respondents stated to be satisfied (6-8), or even very satisfied (9-10). These are numbers we are proud of!"

Mark Richardson

Managing Director,

Flowtechnology Benelux

The environment

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As an import and distribution business, visiting the factories abroad has significantly improved our ability to control quality, and should reflect in fewer time consuming issues.

Andy Newham

Managing Director Hydravalve

The Group is mindful of the impact that its operations have on the environment and is committed to reduce its carbon footprint. Amongst the measures in place are:

  • We recycle as much 'waste' as possible in the form of plastic, paper, metals and cardboard. In Benelux they are proud to achieve 100% recycling on all paper and plastic.
  • The Group fleet utilises the BMW Efficient Dynamics range whenever possible and encourages employees to share the benefits through a salary sacrifice scheme for personal use.
  • Reducing energy use through low energy lighting and utilising motion sensitive lighting in our warehouses.
  • Encouraging cycle use through local government initiatives in both the UK and the Netherlands.
  • Wherever possible orders and invoices to suppliers and customers are sent via Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) with a consequent reduction in the use of paper.
  • In the Service Centre, paper usage and storage has been reduced by the introduction of scanning with the aim of achieving a paperless system. Use of Dropbox is being implemented wherever possible to speed up data sharing and communications.
  • Financial reports are issued to the majority of Shareholders as an interactive report on our website.

Suppliers

The Group nurtures its relationships with its OEM suppliers whilst developing its complementary Exclusive Brands. We have a dedicated team in Shanghai to manage relationships with our Far Eastern suppliers, ensuring we can overcome local cultural and language barriers. During the year, our Shanghai team completed over 30 Far East manufacturer inspections for both current and new potential manufacturers.

Representative from all business units in the Group have attended trade shows in 2016 including ASIA PTC, 120th Spring Canton Fair, China's largest import export fair, ISSA Interclean in Amsterdam, Valve World and Tube Dusseldorf.

Community

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Over 70% of the team live in the local community and there is a real family spirit within the business. This year has demonstrated that the team love to work hard and play hard.

John Farmer

Managing Director FTUK

  • Employees are encouraged to participate in regular fundraising events for national charities such as dress-down days. This year employees have bungee jumped, run through mud and dashed in Santa costume to raise money for charity.
  • Local football sponsorship is encouraged to support junior teams in the community and with both PFP and FTUK management actively involved with playing and coaching for local teams including Quarry Green FC, Skelmersdale United Youth Academy and Wigan Ladies Football Club.
  • The Indequip team are keen golfers and sponsor a local course, Huyton and Prescot.
  • FTUK extended the Christmas spirit to employee families with an afternoon party for their children.

Football team

Recognition

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As a Group we are absolutely delighted to win the coveted top spot in the regional business awards and also to be recognised strongly in the manufacturing category. As the Group grows we still harness the same family culture and values in promoting an open-working environment, that was instilled in the original core business. This recognition by our peers and the sponsors is therefore testament to the teams' hard work and commitment which provides the solid foundation for our accomplishments to date and into the future.

Sean Fennon

Chief Executive Officer

Nominated for two categories, Flowtech Fluidpower plc (Flowtech) was delighted to be recognised in the regional business awards event which was supported by executive sponsors DLA Piper, KPMG and Lloyds Bank.

The Company successfully pipped Liverpool John Lennon Airport and Bullens Healthcare to the award for 2016 Business of the Year and also was runner-up in the award for Manufacturer of the Year (Lloyds Bank). The Echo RBA event was attended by over 500 representatives from the North West's local pool of business talent.

Investors

The Board presents to our investors twice a year and are always available for meeting with existing and new investors.

Human rights

Our respect for human rights is implicit in our employment practices; the rights of every employee are respected and every employee is treated with dignity and consideration. Our employment practices are designed to attract, retain, motivate and train people and to respect their rights. We do not use child labour, nor do we use forced labour. We make regular supplier visits to ensure our supply chain maintains the same standards of integrity and is free from modern slavery. We recognise freedom of association by permitting our employees to establish and join organisations of their own choosing without our permission, and we recognise collective bargaining where required by local laws.

The Strategic Report has been approved by the Board.

Yours sincerely

Bryce Brooks

Chief Executive Officer

Bryce Brooks

Chief Financial Officer

4 April 2017