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Landsec: having a positive impact on people and environment
Date of Issue: Tuesday, 30 April, 2019
by Clive Johnson, Group Head of Health and Safety, Landsec, and IIRSM Deputy President.
The property industry has a responsibility to ensure the spaces we create and the way we operate has a positive impact on the people and environment around us. At Landsec, we believe people make places and those people shouldn’t be defined by any barriers they may be facing. We know our duty is to address key social issues whilst filling skills shortages in our industry, so our ambitious targets in this area allow us to extend opportunities to those who need them most.
Sustainability is embedded at the heart of our business and encompasses our four community programmes – community employment, education, charity partnerships and volunteering – which create jobs and opportunities for local people within our areas of operation. Our programmes also aim to benefit the wellbeing of our own workforce, allowing people to give their time and expertise to support causes that are important to them.
In our recent social contribution report we calculated that our community programmes generated £3.5m of value to society in 2018 alone. We know there’s still more to do, which is why we’ve now set a new corporate commitment to create £25m of social value through these programmes by 2025. This will allow us to continue to create the most value for our local communities and attract diverse talent pools to our industry.
One of our main areas of focus is our Community Employment Programme which, since 2011, has supported over 1,200 people into work. We partner with local charities that support those further from the job market, including ex-offenders, young people not in education or training and people experiencing homelessness. Collaborating with our industry partners is a fundamental part of this. We know there are significant skills gaps facing our industry within construction, customer service and facilities management. Working closely with our supply chain means we can find talent from all backgrounds to plug these gaps, whilst providing sustainable pathways for people facing barriers into employment. Our industry can become much stronger as a result.
Last year, after identifying a gap in talent for aerial window cleaners, we collaborated with our ex‑offender charity partner Bounce Back and our service partner Not Just Cleaning to launch the first ever training academy for aerial window cleaning in a UK prison. We have also opened training academies with Bounce Back in scaffolding and dry lining to address construction industry skills gaps more widely. Since 2015, our work with criminal justice charities has generated £1.3m of social value bringing positive impact to individuals, communities and society as a whole by reducing reoffending and providing second chances for people to achieve their full potential.
We also know that our industry must attract young people from all backgrounds to ensure we are more diverse and representative of the areas where we operate. We’re engaging with students at our local schools with enterprise challenges and mentoring to inspire the future generation of property professionals. Since 2017, over 110 young women from London schools have participated in our Build Your Future programme where students create their own idea for a new development with support from female role models from Landsec and our industry partners. We work with schools where a higher than average proportion of students are eligible for free school meals, ensuring we extend opportunities to the young people who would benefit from them most.
Our community programmes also bring benefit to our own workforce through our volunteering programme. In the last year, over half of Landsec employees volunteered their skills and expertise to support a local charity, school or other community organisation. Volunteering has links to increased wellbeing and employee engagement, so for us it’s a hugely important part of what we do. In this way, we can ensure that this ethos is embedded throughout our business as a fundamental part of our day‑to‑day operations, enabling us to have a positive impact on our communities and own people.
At Landsec, we believe great places are for people to experience and are made with the experience of great people. We own and manage some of the most successful and recognisable assets in the country. Our £14.0 billion portfolio spans 23.9 million sq ft of real estate and is a diverse mix of offices, retail and leisure.
We also aim to lead our industry in critical long-term issues – from diversity and community employment, to carbon and climate resilience. Everything we do is grounded in experience and begins with people. We deliver value for our shareholders, great experiences for our customers and positive change for our communities. At Landsec, everything is experience.