Our new 3-Gears programme also introduces a training and colleague qualification programme that puts expertise at our core.
Aim to Win and Earn Trust — Corporate Responsibility
Halfords aims to contribute positively to the communities and environment in which we operate. We recognise that acting responsibly in all our operations, and towards our colleagues, customers and stakeholders, also benefits our business and our brand. Throughout the year our Commercial Director was responsible for ensuring that our corporate responsibility policy was aligned with the strategic aims of our business. Executive management monitors achievement of related KPIs.
Recognising that ultimately Halfords is a business and so our focus is on operating our business to provide our customers with high quality products and services, and to generate value for our shareholders, we continually strive to improve upon the management of our environmental, social and corporate governance impact. It is essential that we live our values by continually monitoring our exposure and responding to safeguard not only our business, but also the environment and the societies in which we operate.
In support of this, we have been looking to expand our corporate responsibility initiatives in recent years. During the period, we commenced a work inclusion programme with Bikeworks, which is discussed further under Bikeworks, and appointed a dedicated Community & CSR Manager to develop the opportunities that Halfords has to make a positive contribution to our local communities, as described under Inspire Others — Community. Further information will be made available on our Corporate Website as the developments progress and will be described fully in next period's annual report and accounts.
Work as a Team — Workplace
As the many faces of our business, our colleagues are fundamental to the achievement of our customer experience ambitions. We strive to be an employer of choice, where commitment to good service standards and our values is both celebrated and rewarded. Our colleagues are expected to be customer-focused, helpful individuals who work as a team to earn trust of our customers in our product and service knowledge so inspiring our customers to invest in products and services from our stores and autocentres – in so doing our colleagues aim to win. In return for this, we offer our colleagues equal opportunities to work in a fulfilling and stimulating environment and further develop their careers within the Group on the basis of merit.
Retail Staff Holding Accredited Fitting Qualifications
To provide our colleagues with the knowledge to empower them to confidently deliver great service, c.80% of our Retail fitting colleagues (excludes store managers and duty managers) are accredited (2013: 6,092; 2012: 5,780), whilst around 60% (2012: c.60%) of our Autocentres colleagues hold an industry-recognised qualification. There are currently 160 apprentices (2012: c.140) participating in the Autocentres training academy apprenticeship programme, a three-year fully funded technician programme leading to the Institute of Motor Industry NVQ 3 and Diploma, as well as an Automotive Technician Accreditation assessment. Our IMI accredited Academy of Learning delivers a range of technical and management qualification opportunities to Autocentres colleagues.
Our new 3-Gears programme also introduces a training and colleague qualification programme that puts expertise at our core and has the potential to revolutionise our approach to building colleague expertise and our customers' experience.
Diversity amongst our Colleagues
We are committed to operating as an equal opportunities organisation whilst recognising that the nature of our business is more likely to attract certain profiles of colleagues than others. Our commitment to diversity is upheld by the Board as described under Effectiveness and our Equal Opportunities policy sets out our commitments and expectations as regards diversity, colleague behaviours and how colleagues are treated within the business.
Women Colleagues Employed by the Group
As a household brand, our stores and autocentres should be accessible to customers and colleagues alike. We work hard to deliver our products and services in surroundings that are as comfortable and convenient to work and shop in as possible.
Health and Safety Management
Halfords is committed to high standards of occupational health and safety to minimise the risk of injuries and ill health to employees, contractors, customers, visitors and others who come into contact with the business. Our overall annual incident rate remains below the benchmarks of the industries we operate in.
Think Customer — Marketplace
We are committed to helping and inspiring our customers with their life on the move by:
Number of Cycles Stocked
- Continuing to be the largest retailer of bicycles and cycling-related products, stocking a wide range of 177 bicycles suitable for every taste and budget for beginners, intermediate cyclists and enthusiasts alike.
- Delivering over 13,500 Cycle2Work schemes to date for private and public sector organisations of varying types and sizes.
- Assisting our customers to keep their vehicles on the road for longer by providing high-quality car maintenance products in stores and car servicing and initiatives, such as brakes4life, a lifetime replacement of brake pads and brake shoes, at our autocentres.
- Supporting the Automotive Technician Accreditation (ATA) scheme to ensure our technicians' knowledge remains current, enabling them to deliver efficient servicing to our customers
We recognise that whilst our customers seek quality, reliable products and/or services at reasonable prices, they also expect us to carry out business responsibly. We work hard to ensure that our products meet our high standards, which are consistent with or stronger than relevant legislation, international conventions and codes of practice. For example, our autocentres fit parts which meet OE standards not only maintaining the warranties on our customers' vehicles but meeting legislative requirements. In addition, we have our own quality control systems in place as well as a mystery shopper programme to ensure that our expected standards are upheld. The external organisations VOSA and Trading Standards also monitor our activities. We also take advantage of opportunities to work closely with trade associations, research institutes, standards authorities, universities and government organisations to improve performance standards and safety, and develop and influence best practice. For example, our Autocentres CEO is heavily involved in the VOSA modernisation programme.
We place high standards on our selected suppliers, maintaining an Ethical Trading policy which we expect our suppliers to sign up to.
Ethical Trading Audits
Similarly, we place high standards on our selected suppliers, maintaining an Ethical Trading policy which we expect our suppliers to sign up to. This policy is available on our Corporate Website. We will visit manufacturing sources to verify their quality procedures, supply chain arrangements and interactions with their local communities. Our suppliers are expected to, like us, seek to improve their offering and reduce any undue impact on local stakeholders and their localities generally.
The potential impact that our business could have on our stakeholders and the wider world is considered throughout the product or services' lifecycle when we make decisions on choice of offer, packaging and procedures. One such example is that the majority of our products are imported so we are careful to monitor our carbon emissions and restrict our use of airfreight. Typically we ship products, which once landed in the UK, travel via rail to our Distribution Centres in the Midlands.
Tonnes of Product Airfreighted
Number of Containers moved by Rail
Our Autocentres business uses small vans which are route managed not dedicated in order to make deliveries as efficient and minimise the environmental impact as practicable.
Throughout the year, our People Team worked closely with Which? Magazine regarding childseat fitting training at Halfords, and as part of the umbrella Digital Radio UK with members of the SMT Working Group for DAB conversion, including the design of an accredited installation and approval of DAB programme.
Be Helpful — The Environment
We recognise that our business can have a direct, as well as an indirect, effect on the environment. We are committed to understanding any impact that our products, stores, autocentres, Support Centre and delivery fleet have on the environment so that we can work to improve the management of them. We acknowledge that in some cases such environmental impact management can result in improved performance within our supply chain. We have identified the following areas as overall objectives in managing our environmental responsibilities:
|Distance driven by fleet delivering products to stores||6,233,896|
(FY12: over 7,000,000) km
|Greenhouse Gas emissions (converted using DEFRA's 2012 Freight Transport conversion factor of 1.10316)||6,876,984|
(FY12: over 6,000,000) kg CO2e per vehicle km
Our overall greenhouse gas emissions have stayed broadly flat this year as we continue to better utilise our Main and Cycling Distribution Centre, improve the management of store deliveries and use larger and double-decker trailer units to carry more stock per vehicle.
|Retail store water consumption||-3.1 (FY12: -12.4) %|
|Car batteries recycled by Retail stores||1725 tonnes (broadly equivalent to 115,000 batteries)|
In our stores, we continue to invest in "smart" water meters which help us to identify water leaks at an early stage so as to help reduce our water consumption. As motor vehicle servicing centres, our autocentres are continually disposing of "motor vehicle" related waste safely.
|Autocentre water consumption (average)||206 (FY12: 183) cm3|
|Percentage of Autocentre waste recycled||60%|
|Car batteries recycled by Autocentres||3,891 batteries|
|Tyres recycled by Autocentres||297,482 (2012: 197,200)|
|Oil recycled by Autocentres||950,957 (2012: 876,300) litres|
Average Water Consumption per Unit (kWh)
Energy and Reducing CO2 Emissions
|Average consumption of gas per autocentre||-4.6% (FY13: 60,744,|
|Average consumption of electricity per autocentre||-9.7% (FY13: 27,838,|
|Average consumption of gas per store||-39% (FY13: 50,520,744*|
|Average consumption of electricity per store||-3% (FY13: 49,381,659|
* The increase year on year was due to the prolonged winter period.
We continue to add energy management systems to our new properties and implement specific action plans around voltage reduction.
Total Energy Usage per Store and Autocentre (kWh)
Inspire Others — Community
Charity of the Year
Across our stores and autocentres, we partnered with Cancer Research UK for a two-year period, ending on 29 March 2013. Activities in the past year included the CycleSlam, colleague donation stations in all stores and autocentres, auctions and participation in their Dryathlon campaign.
We operate the largest independent Apprentice Scheme in the motor industry via our autocentres. In twenty years of operation, we offered employment to the majority of apprentices who completed the three-year scheme.
A dedicated Community & CSR Manager was appointed in January 2013 to look at how the Group engages with its local community and in so doing inspires others. In recent months, the following initiatives have been launched:
At the beginning of April 2013, Halfords began a long-term partnership with Re~Cycle, a UK charity that sends unwanted bikes to Africa. In some areas of Africa, a bike can be the only means of transport and owning a bike enables people to travel to work, school and carry goods and passengers, whilst small scale farmers and traders can reach customers further afield. The bikes can similarly be an invaluable resource for travelling health workers and provide access to training and employment, helping to improve lives in a sustainable way.
However, bikes can be too expensive for the majority and additionally the skills to maintain them might not exist, whereas millions of unused bikes go to waste in sheds and garages in the UK. Through our partnership, we plan to work with Re~Cycle to build on the fantastic work it has already achieved since 1997 to increase the number of bikes sent to Africa and also raise funds to help the charity grow.
In our Autocentres we agreed a long-term partnership with BEN, the dedicated charity for those who work, or have worked, in the automotive and related industries, as well as their dependants.
Kids Bikes Workshops
At the beginning of Easter, we began to offer a free Kids Holiday Bike Club for children to help create closer links with each store's local community. Run during the school holidays, the workshops show children – and their parents – the key things to check on a bike, providing a perfect starting point for children to go back home and, together with their parents, make sure their bikes are safe. Over Easter, nearly 2,500 children, plus their parents, attended a workshop.
Free Kids Holiday Bike Club for children to help create closer links with each store's local community.
Bikeworks & Halfords changing lives through cycling
Bikeworks began working in partnership with Halfords in the summer of 2012 with Halfords supporting Bikeworks' "Cycle into Work" programme which gives individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds the opportunity to change their lives around and gain employment in the cycling industry.
Bikeworks conducts outreach work in the community where individuals undertake short "Build a Bike" courses learning the basics of bike maintenance. Participants then have the opportunity to apply to join the full "Cycle into Work" programme where trainees are put through a programme of accredited training in cycle mechanics and customer service alongside "soft" skills training in communication and interpersonal skills.
Towards the end of Cycle into Work trainees undertake work placements within Halfords stores which if successful can develop into permanent roles.
So far Halfords has helped Bikeworks to achieve these outcomes:
- 48 people have completed Build a Bike courses
- 20 individuals have gone through the Cycle into Work programme
- 9 graduates have so far secured employment at Halfords stores
- 18 trainees successfully completed work placements at Halfords stores.
On 6 March 2013, our new CEO Matt Davies attended a graduation ceremony at Bikeworks where successful graduates were presented with a tool kit worth £150 supplied by Halfords. The event was a great success. Taking away a quality tool kit meant a lot to individuals as recognition of their success and hard work.
Case study — Leo
Leo is a young man from Hackney, East London. Before coming to Bikeworks Leo had not been involved in any training or employment for some time.
Leo progressed really well through Cycle into Work showing strong ability in cycle mechanics ultimately gaining level 2 City & Guilds accreditation with flying colours. During his time on Cycle into Work Leo also successfully completed a work placement at Halfords Stoke Newington and is now employed on a full-time basis at Halfords in Tottenham.
The work we have been doing with Halfords has been a fantastic partnership. Not only are we helping our trainees secure a better future but at the same time supporting Halfords' desire to become famous for cycling by providing skilled mechanics to the business so it's a win win situation.
We believe that by working together we can achieve much more over the next few years and are excited about the future of the partnership.
Dave Miller — Managing Director (Bikeworks)