Helen Emerson, our H&S Incident Prevention Executive, told us about her role in the risk and compliance team and safety community. Helen shared how working together we use data-driven insights and expertise to continuously improve our safety performance.
There have been many questions surrounding the best practices in creating a more inclusive and involved workplace throughout businesses, especially regarding the LGBTQIA+ Community. We have experienced major leaps and made progress throughout these last few years, however as with anything, there is, and always will be, room for improvement.
From a personal point of view as a member of the LGBTQIA+ Community myself, I would always remind colleagues that identities are complex and that we should always be encouraged to participate in open-minded discussions. I often find that people are too afraid to ask questions, no matter how well-intended, because they are afraid of saying the wrong thing or accidentally coming across as offensive. To those people I say: There’s no way forward unless we are prepared to make a mistake or two, learn from it, and move on.
Sincere, unbiased curiosity makes for wonderful conversation and if you happen to stumble over, or get someone’s pronouns wrong, the acknowledgement of that along with a genuine attempt to get it right the next time is worth more than a thousand apologies. Learning to say Spouse or Partner instead of assuming Husband or Wife is easy. The comprehension of (and respect for) the fact that some struggles surrounding certain individuals are deeper than they appear will allow for the safe space people need to be engaged and productive members of their work team.
Unfortunately, many LGBTQIA+ workers aren’t open about their sexual orientation or gender identity at work because they’re worried about hearing homophobic jokes, being stereotyped, and feeling excluded. According to an important survey conducted by the Trade Union Congress with LGBTQIA+ people, “of the 68% who said they had experienced sexual harassment, 66% did not tell their employer, sometimes because they were afraid of being “outed” at work”.
At Bidvest Noonan, our ED&I Council has defined the ED&I policy to ensure all employees comply with our core values and respect our valuable differences. We also have developed some guidance documents to raise awareness about the best practices throughout the organization regarding Gender Reassignment and Sexual orientation. We want to make sure that our people are equally valued as employees and individuals. To be an ally to the LGBTQIA+ community, we strongly encourage everyone to actively call out discrimination in the workplace, report to managers or higher management, and let individuals know what they are doing is not right and that we, as a business, will not tolerate hate crime.
But it is not all doom and gloom. It has progressed massively over the years, and the LGBTQIA+ community has become more accepted worldwide than ever before. Even countries that have never approved of it are looking at sanctioning bills that protect the LGBTQIA+ community. More and more individuals and companies are embracing pronouns, PRIDE, and educating employees in the workplace on stonewall, how to be a good ally, setting up ED&I councils, etc. The more we talk about it, and the more it is a part of everyday life, then I believe we are continuing to head in the right direction.
As Jason Collins, the first openly gay athlete in the U.S professional sports, once said – “Openness may not completely disarm prejudice, but it’s a good place to start”.
“Push your boundaries beyond the ordinary; be that “extra” in “extraordinary.”
In the years before the pandemic, cleaning teams were often unnoticed as they quietly went about their work. In some sectors such as Life Sciences and Agri-foods, cleaning has always been critical and essential to business continuity. In many other industries cleaning less likely to be considered in a risk management strategy.
The pandemic has transformed perceptions about cleaning services. Management teams want to show their investment in cleaning to reassure their people that workplaces are both clean and safe. As a result of this, today, businesses want their cleaning teams to more visible.
We are living in a world where cleaning is more valued and prioritised than ever before. This brings added pressure on the industry to continuously offer more dynamic and efficient solutions. However, the industry has proven itself to be equal to this challenge. In recent years, we have seen the implementation of new cleaning strategies, the introduction of specialist sanitisers and chemicals, and new technologies.
At Bidvest Noonan, we stepped up our training programmes to ensure our people are ready to lead the way today and in the future. There is a great quote from author Roy. T. Bennett that says to “push your boundaries beyond the ordinary; be that “extra” in “extraordinary””. I believe our cleaning teams are that extra. The work they do is extraordinary.
We have also made big investments in our structures and resources to support our clients, and we continuously invest in innovation. Earlier this year, Bidvest Noonan launched Edge, our new innovation programme. The programme was designed to enable us to innovate faster and share ideas and lessons across our group. Edge is helping us to evaluate solutions across a wide range of domains, ranging from robotics to green cleaning solutions.
The growing demand for greener cleaning solutions has also become a driving force in our industry. More and more companies employ cleaner chemicals and products with a lower carbon footprint. At Bidvest Noonan, this been a motivation for many years. We champion environmentally-friendly products and practices and recently signed a pledge to cut our carbon emissions dramatically.
These changes are helping our industry to grow and develop. I have every confidence that it will continue on its strong trajectory. It will continue to serve our economy and communities and to provide stable employment and opportunities for all the dedicated people who have committed themselves to the industry.
Bidvest Noonan has appointed Simon Giles as Chief Finance Officer for its business in Great Britain. The appointment strengthens the company’s senior management team following its recent acquisitions, which include Cordant Services and the Axis Group in the UK and Interact in Ireland.
A combination of organic and acquisitive growth has seen Bidvest Noonan develop leadership positions in all its key markets across the UK and Ireland. Today the group has annual revenues of more than £700 million and employs over 27,000 people.
Having previously served as Chief Operating Officer for Axis Cleaning and Finance Director for the Axis Group, Simon will take on a leadership role for the wider Bidvest Noonan group across Great Britain. A qualified chartered accountant, Simon has more than 20 years of experience and a proven track record for driving company performance.
Commenting on the appointment, Bidvest Noonan’s Group CFO, Michael Kennedy, said: “I am delighted to welcome Simon to our team. He joins us at a key stage in our development. His wealth of financial experience and deep facilities industry knowledge will be invaluable to us as we continue to grow our brands.”
Simon Giles commented: “I am thrilled to take on this new role and support our wider group. I’m looking forward to working with my new colleagues across all our brands. I know that, together, we will continue to take this business from strength to strength.”
Amber Support Solutions, the leading Northern Irish provider of industrial cleaning services, has become part of Bidvest Noonan in a move designed to accelerate the Group’s growth and increase the value and support it delivers to clients in Northern Ireland.
As part of the plan, Bidvest Noonan has appointed Amber Managing Director, Scott Brannigan, to the new role of Managing Director for Bidvest Noonan, Northern Ireland. The Amber business will continue to operate under the Amber brand within the Group. As a member of the Group’s senior leadership team and as Managing Director for Northern Ireland, Scott Brannigan will take responsibility for growing Amber and Bidvest Noonan’s wider business in the region.
Amber was established in 2010 and the business has a strong portfolio of clients across the public, corporate, manufacturing, retail, and commercial sectors. It is a specialist industrial cleaning company that offers services ranging from window to carpet cleaning.
The Bidvest Noonan Northern Ireland business, which Scott will lead, employs a total of 1,500 people and is already one of the region’s largest and most successful facility services companies, with a 44-year history of delivering exceptional value to clients. Across the Island of Ireland, Bidvest Noonan is the market leader for security and cleaning services, and it has a substantial and well-established M&E engineering services business. In total, the Group has a turnover in excess of £700 million and employs over 27,000 people across its key markets.
“Scott’s appointment as Managing Director for Northern Ireland demonstrates our commitment to the Northern Irish market, and to our focus on enhancing the services we provide to our NI customers, through ongoing investment in our people, services, and capabilities in the region. Amber is a great business. It has an outstanding team and a strong brand and a reputation for high standards and excellent customer service. We look forward to working with them to build on their achievements to date,” said Declan Doyle, CEO of Bidvest Noonan.
Scott Brannigan said: “This is very positive news for both Bidvest Noonan and Amber clients as well as our people. The investment from Bidvest Noonan, and their expertise and support, gives us the platform and support we need to continue to grow our business across Northern Ireland. The enlarged Northern Ireland business will allow us to provide an even stronger best-in-class service proposition to clients. I really look forward working with my team, new Bidvest Noonan colleagues in Northern Ireland, and the wider team in the future to continue providing clients with the high standards of service for which we are known”.
“We believe that working together we can both cement Bidvest Noonan’s position as market leader for facility services in Northern Ireland and Amber’s position as market leader for industrial services. This is great news and I know that this partnership will deliver increased value and support for clients,” he added.
Bidvest Noonan recently announced the acquisition of Cordant Services, a leading UK provider of security and cleaning services and, separately, Axis Group, another leading UK provider of Security, Cleaning, and Front of House Services. The deals have further strengthened Bidvest Noonan’s position as one of the fastest-growing services businesses in the UK and a market leader in Ireland.
Bidvest Noonan has signed agreement that will see Cordant Services join its group. This move further expands Bidvest Noonan’s leadership position, footprint, service profile and expertise in the UK. It also brings the total number of employees to more than 27,000 employees and annual revenues beyond £700 million.
Founded in 1957 and employing more than 7,000 people, Cordant Services is made up of three dedicated divisions Cordant Security, Cordant Cleaning and Cordant Thistle, a specialist and industrial cleaning business. With a total turnover in excess of £170 million, Cordant Services operates across 1,900 client locations throughout the UK in a range of industries.
Bidvest Noonan is a leading provider for services such as Security, Cleaning, Front of House and Ancillary Services in the UK & Ireland. The company has significantly expanded its services and footprint in the UK and Ireland in recent years through a combination of organic and acquisition-led growth, to consolidate its leadership position in Ireland and become a market leader in the UK.
Welcoming the announcement, Declan Doyle, CEO of Bidvest Noonan, said: “This is a landmark moment for Bidvest Noonan and Cordant Services, as together we will deliver even greater support and value to our clients and create more opportunities for our people. It cements Bidvest Noonan’s position as a leading provider of security, cleaning and support services in the UK, with a significantly enhanced footprint, capability and expertise to deliver the highest standards of services to clients across a wide range of sectors and industries.
“Importantly to us, we are achieving this by bringing over 7,000 new colleagues to the Bidvest Noonan team who share our passion and commitment for delivering great value, high-standards and excellent service to customers. We look forward to working with our new colleagues to further enhance the services and supports to clients and build on their successes to date.”
Managing director of Cordant Services, Guy Pakenham, who together with his senior team will remain at the helm of the business, added: “This transaction is a very positive reflection of the quality of our business and all of our people and today marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for Cordant Services. I am thrilled that we are now part of Bidvest Noonan. Bidvest Noonan is an exceptional company whose leadership team is passionate about delivering outstanding value to clients and supporting their people.”
Today’s announcement follows Bidvest Noonan’s acquisition of Axis Group, a leading UK provider of Security, Cleaning and Front of House Services, in January 2021.