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Economy

‘UK Social Enterprises Ahead On Executive Pay And Governance’

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Peter Holbrook, Chief Executive of Social Enterprise UK,the national body for social enterprises, has responed to the publication of the government’s Corporate Governance Reform Green Paper on executive pay and governance.

He said today:

We welcome this consultation on the back of the Prime Minister’s declaration that the economy should work for everyone.

“Unfair business practices are contributing to inequality in Britain and by introducing sensible measures, the government has an opportunity to bring mainstream businesses into the 21st Century.

“Businesses have considerable power and there has never been a more pertinent time to address these issues. Government shouldn’t be scared about being bold. We will be submitting evidence to this consultation to show what’s already happening – and has actually been happening for decades in the social enterprise sector. British social enterprises are ahead of the game on executive pay and governance because fairness and tackling inequality is in their DNA.

Paying fair

“Research shows that the average pay ratio between social enterprise CEO pay and the lowest paid is just 3.6:1 – while for FTSE 100 CEOs, this ratio stands at 150:1.”

Representation on boards

“The government does not have to look far for good practice on pay ratios and employee representation on boards. British social enterprises, businesses that reinvest their profits for good, are often employee owned and give their customers and service users a serious and genuine say in how they’re run. Their stakeholders are not an afterthought – they’re integral to the running of these businesses which put people and communities first.

Consultation

The government is consulting on the following:

  • Shareholder influence on executive pay, which has grown much faster over the last two decades than pay generally and than typical corporate performance;
  • Whether there are measures that could increase the connection between boards of directors and other groups with an interest in corporate performance such as employees and small suppliers; and
  • Whether some of the features of corporate governance that have served us well in our listed companies should be extended to the largest privately-held companies at a time in which different types of ownership are more common.

Case studies

CSH Surrey: The first of its type to spin out from the public sector in 2006. It is an employee-owned social enterprise that provides community nursing and therapy services in Surrey. Employee ownership has enabled CSH Surrey to transform the local community NHS services, meaning their patients benefit from more innovative and higher quality services.

CSH Surrey’s annual employee survey results consistently outstrip the NHS staff survey in all key areas. Higher staff engagement is proven to be linked to delivery of higher quality and more compassionate patient care.

CSH’s employee owners are represented at the Board by a co-ownership council called ‘The Voice’. The Voice’s elected co-owner representatives challenge the Board on strategy and performance on behalf of all the employee owners. The questions and answers are shared throughout CSH as part of CSH’s commitment to openness and transparency.

www.cshsurrey.co.uk

Leading Lives: This award-winning social enterprise based in Suffolk is 100% employee owned, with the Board made up of employees from across the business. The organisation employees more than 500 people. Leading Lives provides social care support for 1,500 customers in the community, in the home and through short break respite stays. With a primary focus on adults who have learning disabilities, support is also provided for people with physical, complex needs, autism, acquired brain injuries, need support to remain independent through age, ill health or dementia and young people making the transition to adult services.

www.leadinglives.org.uk

Economy

A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon

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energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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Economy

IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”

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IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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