Our 2023 Sustainability Report, illustrates our commitment to leading sustainable business practices. This report sets out the progress we are making and how our approach aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Read our report to learn how we are endeavouring to build a brighter, more sustainable future for everyone.
This is Darren Mitchell, Gerry Draper, and Brian Hearne, three people who are making a positive impact on the way we think about employability.
Darren is our Head of Infrastructure and Networks here at Bidvest Noonan. On a recent visit to Rehab Recycle, our IT WEEE recycling partner, Darren saw an opportunity to support Rehab Enterprises – an organisation that strives to provide employment for disabled or disadvantaged people in Ireland.
Darren wanted to support Rehab’s objective of enabling people to access the job market through training, coaching, and work experience. Darren offered some work experience at Bidvest Noonan’s IT team for a member of their programme.
This is where Gerry comes in. Gerry is an Account Manager at Rehab, and was instrumental in finding the right person looking for some experience in IT. He worked closely with Darren to find the right match, and they selected Brian Hearne.
Brian was the first person to take part in this initiative here at Bidvest Noonan and what a difference he has made! Under Darren’s mentorship, Brian got an opportunity to gain new skills and experience in his favourite topic – IT. Throughout his time at Bidvest Noonan, Brian made some positive contributions to important projects underway by the team.
“I am delighted to have had the opportunity to mentor and guide Brian. He provided well needed support for the IT team and his enthusiasm and dedication to the role was exceptional. I have no doubt he has the skills and knowhow to make a difference for any employer. I look forward to meeting him again.”
As part of the initiative, Darren worked on and identified IT training programmes that will further Brian’s skills for the future.
Bidvest Noonan, a market-leading provider of facilities services that employs over 27,000 people across the UK and Ireland, has been named the inaugural winner of the Diversity & Inclusion in Security award at the 2022 ISIA Awards. The award was introduced this year by the Irish Security Industry Association to recognise companies in the private security industry that excel in creating an inclusive culture that encourages diversity in the workplace.
The win comes at a time when the value and importance of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace is in sharp focus across many sectors. Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion programmes seek to ensure that people are treated equally, valued and made to feel welcome regardless of their gender, ethnicity, faith, age, sexual orientation, or other differences.
In recent years, Bidvest Noonan has announced a number of investments and initiatives to improve its performance in the area of Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion. In 2021, the business launched an ED&I Council with the aim of developing a more diverse workforce and a more inclusive workplace. Since its inception the council has overseen a number of new initiatives including campaigns to encourage more women to join the security industry. This year, the company was recognised by Investors in Diversity and Diversity Mark for its work to embed Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) across the organisation.
Commenting on the win, ED&I Chairperson for Ireland, Marina Goncalves said: “I’m delighted that our work in the area of ED&I was recognised at this year’s ISIA Awards. We believe supporting equality, diversity and inclusion is a moral imperative, and we know that respecting and valuing our differences makes us a stronger and more innovative business.
We want all our people to feel welcomed, valued and able to achieve their potential at Bidvest Noonan.”
Environmental, Social and Governance Director John King added:
“We are very proud of the impact our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion programmes are having, and we continuously search for new ways to make a difference. For example, we recently began collaborating with organisations across the UK and Ireland, such as Business in the Community, to help marginalised and disadvantaged groups gain employment and access opportunities for education. This approach is bringing new talent into our business and providing people with the opportunity to have a successful and rewarding career.”
Plastic pollution has become one of the most important environmental concerns in recent years with production increasing at such a rate that it is becoming impossible to cope.
Single-use plastics account for 40 percent of the plastic produced every year and can persist in the environment for hundreds of years.
That is why we have decided to remove single-use plastics from our business. Reducing our use of premixed, ready-to-use cleaning chemicals is a key initiative to achieve this.
We estimate this change will enable us to remove 95% of our plastic chemical containers and remove c80,000 single-use plastic bottles per year. The following video explains why we are taking this important step:
Bidvest Noonan has signed the Menopause Workplace Pledge, developed by the charity Wellbeing of Women, and launched a new menopause support tool kit to ensure people across the group are supported and feel comfortable discussing their needs as they experience menopause.
Menopause can be a challenging time. Women usually experience menopause between the ages of 45 and 55, with the average age being 51, and symptoms can last several years. However, menopause can also occur at a younger age. The symptoms can include hot flushes, anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, headaches, muscle and joint pains, and low mood. These symptoms can be debilitating.
Menopause can also affect people from transgender, non-binary and intersex communities, and its symptoms and impact can vary among different groups. Men, especially those in their late 40s and early 50s, can also experience ‘male menopause’ which involves the development of physical and emotional symptoms.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD) states that three out of five working women between the ages of 45- 55 who are experiencing menopause symptoms say it has a negative impact on them at work. Bidvest Noonan’s new menopause support tool kit aims to make the business an inclusive place workplace. The toolkit sets out how colleagues experiencing menopause can be supported, including how reasonable adjustments can be made to working practices and working environments for affected employees to ensure their comfort and well-being.
The Menopause Workplace Pledge requires signatories to:
- Recognise that the menopause can be an issue in the workplace and those experiencing it need support
- Talk openly, positively, and respectfully about the menopause
- Actively support and inform employees affected by the menopause
Mary Kealy, Managing Director, Workplace Solutions at Bidvest Noonan said “While the topic of menopause is not typically something that comes up in conversation at work, this can be where people find their symptoms most difficult to manage. We feel it is important to make it easier to talk about menopause and provide support for people experiencing challenging symptoms, therefore we have also implemented the role of Menopause Champion so our people can speak freely and feel comfortable they are supported.”
Emma Rahim, HR Director said “We feel it is important to dispel the taboo surrounding this topic. We are working to ensure our people are well informed about the menopause and enabling them to access support and resources. We want to ensure that our people see menopause as a natural phase and feel confident discussing their needs with us and how we can support them in the workplace.”
John King, Environmental, Social and Governance Director added “At Bidvest Noonan, we are committed to ensuring we are an employer of choice and making the workplace a welcoming space for all our colleagues. We want our colleagues to feel empowered and supported in any challenges they face”.
In 2021, Bidvest Noonan launched its very own Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Council, with the aim of developing a more diverse workforce and a more inclusive workplace to make its teams stronger and more creative. The council is made up of people from every corner of its business, each with their own unique background.
The business recently caught up with Marina Goncalves, the IOI Chairperson of the ED&I council. In discussion, Marina talks about the journey the ED&I council has been on so far, the council’s latest achievements and initiatives, as well as some brief plans for the year ahead.
Tell us why the Bidvest Noonan ED&I council was formed?
We established our ED&I Council to bring colleagues together from across our business from different backgrounds but with one shared goal, to create a more diverse workforce and a more inclusive workplace. We want to ensure that inclusion is part of our culture. We are making tremendous strides to achieve this. We respect each other, we care for each other, and we communicate with each other.
What has the council achieved so far?
The council has worked hard to build a foundation, setting plans and targets for the short, medium, and long term. We were recently awarded the Bronze Diversity Mark; a credit to the hard work of everyone involved with the council. I am very proud to lead the council and to have played my part in laying these foundations. It has undoubtedly made Bidvest Noonan an even more diverse and inclusive place to work. We have exciting initiatives in motion to further help us on our journey.
Tell us more about these exciting initiatives.
We have just embarked on a new ED&I Champions programme. The main purpose of this initiative is to embed ‘ED&I champions’ across our sites. These nominated champions will be trained and supported by a member of the ED&I council. Their role is to raise awareness and encourage site-based activity and engagement around ED&I. The council has developed and provided useful toolkits for the champions to use. These toolkits include ED&I event calendars, toolbox talk tips, policies, and so much more.
We will also continue to use our people data to measure the impact of our activity and to shape our future endeavours. We believe in equal opportunity for all. ED&I features on the agenda of our Group Executive Meetings, Country Executive Meetings, and Business Unit Meetings.
What other methods are the council using to improve our commitment to ED&I?
As a council we are always open to learning, seeking ways to improve policies and strategies to make real change. At a recent council meeting, an external trainer was invited to discuss the topic of “Inclusion for All”. This training focussed on different types of bias and how to be more conscious when we are making decisions. We got some fantastic insights and enjoyed some anonymous activities to encourage engagement. A key takeaway from the training is that it is important to listen to what colleagues have to say and understand how they are experiencing the culture within Bidvest Noonan.
What is planned for the year ahead?
We are excited for the year ahead and the plans we have to continue this journey. We will keep our strategy a living document, one that will continue to evolve. We plan to further improve gender balance across leadership and under-represented roles, and raise awareness across the business around LGBTQI+, disability, age, social mobility, an