Our Commitment to ESG
We aim to make a sustainable profit from helping other businesses thrive.
We are committed to acting responsibly and sustainably across all of the activities we undertake. This commitment underpins our approach to Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance and is demonstrated through our pledge to:
The 10 QCA Codes
Newable Partnership Limited is a new company which was incorporated on 14 September 2022 and acquired Newable’s businesses, via the acquisition of Newable UK Holdings Limited, from Newable Limited on 31 January 2023. Newable Partnership Limited is a company limited by share capital and is owned by its senior management and staff. Following this transaction, Newable Limited will continue to be a significant stakeholder in Newable through its holding of non-voting preference shares in Newable Partnership Limited.
The Board (“the Group Board”) maintains high standards of corporate governance, which has been reinforced and enhanced by becoming an employee-owned business.
To ensure we achieve a high standard of corporate governance, the Board of Directors elected on 31 January 2023 to follow the principles of the Quoted Companies Alliance Corporate Governance Code (“QCA Code”). The principles of the QCA Code are embedded into Newable’s internal reporting and governance structures, ensuring its effective adoption.
We set out below our approach in relation to the ten key principles of the QCA Code.
Establish a strategy and business model
Our business strategy is to develop Newable in order to provide:
- Money, advice and workspace for clients
- Rewarding and fulfilling careers for staff
- Balanced returns for stakeholders
Our business model is to leverage the expertise of Newable’s shared services into its Money, Advice and Workspace divisions.
Please see the Strategic Report section of our Annual Report for more information on the key strategic execution challenges and how they will be addressed.
Understand and meeting Shareholders needs and expectations
Each year, employee shareholders and option holders will be invited to attend the Annual General Meeting, where they have the opportunity to ask questions and address any concerns to the Board. Newable also provides shareholders with its Annual Report and Consolidated Financial Statements and a review of Newable’s activities.
In addition, two shareholder meetings will be held annually to provide employee shareholders with an update on Newable’s performance, discuss issues, and provide a forum to raise questions on a regular basis.
Any shareholder, or any of Newable’s other stakeholders, can request a meeting with the Company’s leadership by contacting the CEO, Chris Manson at Chris.Manson@newable.co.uk.
Wider stakeholder and social responsibilities
Newable’s long-term success relies upon good relations with all its stakeholder groups, both internal and external. The Group Board affords the highest priority to ensuring that it maintains a strong understanding of the needs and expectations of all stakeholders.
This work is led predominately by Newable’s EESG Team. Please see Newable’s s172 statement for more information on how Newable engages with and considers its stakeholders.
Effective risk management throughout the organisation
The Audit & Risk Committee plays a key role in promoting the efforts to further develop Newable’s risk culture, enhance staff’s understanding of Newable’s risks, and their role in managing and mitigating those risks.
The Committee leads on the formal regular reviews of Newable’s risk policies, risk appetite and risk management framework, reviews and approve key governance policies and makes appropriate recommendations to the Board. This Committee also oversees the work of Newable’s Cyber Security Committee and the work of Newable’s Crisis Management Team.
This Committee is supported by an internal audit function that is outsourced to RSM, an independent firm. During the year, the Audit & Risk Committee reviewed the results of a number of internal audit reports covering various issues, to test the strength of our internal controls and risk processes. RSM will continue this programme of work in the forthcoming year, which is part of a planned rolling programme across Newable.
A balanced and well-functioning Board led by the Chair
The Group Board, and the Committees, regularly receive detailed and high-quality information to facilitate proper assessment of any matters requiring a decision or insight. The Group Board now comprises the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief People Officer, and two Non-Executive Directors (NEDs) including the Chair. The Group Board has reviewed the independence of the NEDs and has concluded that they are independent.
Executive Directors are employed by the Group on a full-time basis whereas the Non-Executive Directors are remunerated on a fixed-fee part-time basis. All Directors devote a significant portion of their time in order to discharge their duties both at and outside of Group Board meetings.
The Group Board will meet at least three times a year and as required from time to time to consider specific issues required for decision by the Group Board. Attendance of Board meetings by members continues to be excellent.
The work of the Group Board is also supported by Newable’s Operating Board whose membership includes the Executive Directors, the Managing Directors of Newable’s individual businesses, the Chief Information Officer, the Workspace Chief Operating Officer and the Chief ESG Officer. This Board meets on a weekly basis and focuses on discussing and dealing with day-to-day operational issues.
Experience, Skills and Capabilities
Directors who have been appointed to the Group Board have been chosen because of the skills and experience they offer. The Directors have strong, relevant experience across the areas of , accounting, entrepreneurship, banking, , finance, governance, and people management.
The Board is satisfied that, between the Directors, it has an effective and appropriate balance of skills and experience, including in the areas of supporting small to medium sized enterprises.
All Directors will receive regular and timely information on the Group’s operational and financial performance. Relevant information will be circulated to the Directors in advance of meetings.
Skills and knowledge have been gained through experience in supporting smaller businesses and these are maintained through ongoing involvement and participation within the sector.
Biographical details of members of the Group Board are detailed on here.
The Group Board will undertake an annual self-assessment process, the results of which will be reviewed by the Board and the Nominations Committee, which will help to inform future priorities for Board performance development.
In addition, the Board, will periodically (usually every three years) undertake a third-party evaluation of Board performance and effectiveness. The Nominations Committee is currently reviewing future arrangements for the Board and Committees self-assessment process and future third-party evaluation assessments.
A culture that is based on ethical values and behaviours
Newable is a values-driven business. Our five values were defined as a result of a Group wide engagement process and reflect the underlying principles that Newable’s businesses have operated under since Newable was founded in 1982. The five values are Dream Big, Get Going, Grow Together, Always Improve and Pass it On. Newable remains committed to these values which underpins its strategy.
Together these values are intended to help foster a culture that generates professional confidence, an inclusive and high morale working environment that promotes ethical behaviour and high standards in the workplace and in our relationships with third parties. We monitor progress against our values through regular staff surveys which are discussed and reviewed at Board meetings.
Governance structures and processes that support good decision making
The Group Board has adopted a formal schedule of matters that detail key aspects of the Company’s affairs and activities; these are presented to the Group Board for decision and/or adoption.
Responsibility for the development and recommendations of strategic plans and for the implementation of strategies and policies approved by the Group Board and operational management have been delegated to the Operating Board, the Boards of Newable’s individual businesses and the Group Board Committees. The Executive Directors are members of the business Boards and Committees.
Particular areas of focus for the Group Board, its supporting Committees and the Business Boards have included:
- Strategic Direction and the development of Newable’s next Five Year Strategic Plan
- Business Acquisition Proposals, including the acquisition of Newable UK Holdings Limited and its subsidiaries from Newable Limited
- Cyber Security
- Newable’s ESG strategy and in particular Newable’s environmental impact and how to address it
- Regulatory compliance
- Financial reporting and monitoring
- Capital Structure and planning
- The impact of developments in Artificial Intelligence
- Diversity, inclusion and company culture
- Governance, board composition and evaluation
In addition, the Group Board obtained external legal advice to assist with the acquisition of Newable UK Holdings Limited and with the establishment of a Company Share Option Scheme (“CSOP”).
Strong communication with Shareholders and other relevant stakeholders
Newable will communicate on a regular basis with its shareholders through the Annual Report and Financial Statements that will be distributed to all shareholders, the Annual General Meeting (AGM) itself and through an additional two shareholders meetings that will take place annually.
Access to corporate information is also available to shareholders, customers both current and future, and Newable’s other stakeholders, through Newable’s website: www.newable.co.uk.
We believe that sustainability should be an important consideration in all our business decisions, and that’s why we’re focused on the below six key areas.
Advocate for sustainability
By providing support for over 20,000 SMEs each year, we are uniquely placed to advocate for sustainability to our customers, suppliers and partners.
Optimise our inputs
We aim to optimize our inputs, such as our energy consumption through an Environmental Management System to track and optimize our usage.
Progress towards Net Zero
We aim to use 100% renewable electricity and Net Zero of Greenhouse Gas emissions by 2030 by 2030.
Engage our stakeholders with ESG matters
Through our work advocating for sustainability, we aim to engage with more and more of our stakeholders regarding ESG matters each year.
Reduce single-use plastic usage
We’re aiming to continue reducing our use of single-use plastics by a further 20% in the next financial year.
Achieve appropriate environmental certification
Obtain and maintain appropriate environmental certification in each business unit, including Green Mark Level 3.
We inspire, engage and challenge UK businesses to help them to thrive. Our support is amplified across the UK through our employees, particularly our network of business advisers who contribute to economic development every day. Internally, we improve this impact by ensuring our people are motivated, supported and healthy, ensuring they can deliver on our external objectives.
Promoting Diversity and Inclusion
Our Diversity and Inclusion policy, Gender and Ethnic Pay Gap reporting helps us ensure we hire the best people for any role and reward staff in a fair and consistent way.
Providing a great place to work
We are committed to making Newable a great place to work, where people demonstrate our values in everything they do and where contributions are welcomed and recognised.
Promoting Health and Wellbeing
Newable is committed to encouraging a healthier and happier workplace, and we have implemented an ongoing health and wellbeing programme to support our staff.
Driving Inclusive Economic Growth
In our contribution to the Global Goal of Decent Work and Economic Growth, we are providing sustained and inclusive support to SMEs that drives progress and creates jobs.
Supporting continuous professional development
Each and every Newable employee receives an individual budget for training and development to ensure our staff can continuously develop.
Promoting Social Mobility
We’re educating staff on the importance of social mobility, and encouraging staff to participate in a Social Mobility Index survey.
We believe that operating transparently and responsibly in all that we do is the only way to run a successful business. Our approach to governance is at the very core of who we are as a business. Since our formation in 1982, we have implemented a high standard of corporate governance which has grown with us.
Operate transparently and responsibly
We aim to operate transparently and responsibly across all our many business activities. Communicating to our staff regularly on business performance and opportunities is paramount to this.
Actively manage risks and opportunities
As we navigate increasingly complex environments, we are refining our risk management processes to reduce the impact of new and emerging risks.
Operate responsible supply chains
Each year, we make improvements to our Supplier Assurance Progress to fortify third-party assurance within our supply chain.