EMCOR UK: Operating with purpose to make a better world at work

Facilities management providers EMCOR UK are using the Global Goals to shape their strategy and actions, and influence their understanding of success.

EMCOR UK is one of the largest facilities management providers operating in the UK and Ireland. Employing over 4,000 staff across both manned and mobile operations, EMCOR UK’s customer base spans the private and public sectors.

As a business with a diverse and expansive operational reach, EMCOR UK recognised the opportunity, and responsibility, to develop a holistic strategy and purpose. They have evolved and adapted in recent years, bringing together the best experts, processes and technologies, to adopt an inclusive and rounded approach to facilities management.

According to EMCOR UK’s CEO Keith Chanter, “in 2019 we realised that we needed to further adapt our offer to go beyond “making our customers’ lives easier”, ensuring “our purpose aligned to all our key stakeholder audiences; our customers, colleagues, supply chain partners and the communities in which we work.1” Chanter joined Business in the Community’s (BITC) Global Goals Leadership Team in late 2019. The Team is made up of leaders of some of the UK’s largest businesses from across a range of sectors and industries. They work together to drive businesses to deliver on the Global Goals.

To get to this stage, EMCOR UK has worked closely with BITC to establish the ‘golden thread’ that connects its purpose and practice with the Global Goals, also known as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs.

Working with Business in the Community to clarify purpose

EMCOR UK joined BITC, The Prince’s Responsible Business Network, in 2012. Its long-standing membership confirms its commitment to responsible practice and behaviour. By taking advantage of BITC’s events, resources, and expert support, the business has greatly advanced its responsible business journey over the last eight years.

Learn more about BITC’s events programme.

EMCOR UK was introduced to the Global Goals framework during a BITC seminar at London South Bank University in May 2017. Thanks to the convening power of The Prince’s Responsible Business Network, EMCOR UK further developed its understanding when its CEO attended a joint workshop with Deloitte later that year.

Working alongside BITC, the business then undertook an initial review of its performance against the Global Goals, before appointing a working party to further research and understand the relative importance of them to its customers, potential customers, suppliers, and colleagues. The Global Goals have become a regular point of discussion among EMCOR UK’s teams, with monthly catch-ups designed to develop and test its approach. Recognising the intrinsic connections between responsibility and lasting commercial success, EMCOR UK chose to focus on a few key relevant Goals to help it implement strategic change. This has been an important step towards future-proofing a business with a track-record spanning over 100 years.

Find out more about how BITC is working with business to accelerate the pace and scale of action to deliver against the Global Goals.

A better world at work

By honing its focus in this way, EMCOR UK has been able to normalise conversations about its sustainable practice with a broader range of stakeholders, including among C-Suite representatives. Connecting its range of sustainability efforts has also resulted in greater cohesion in purpose between different departments, helping to win new work, whilst establishing itself as an organisation built on ethical values and authenticity. A more collaborative approach has also been brought to its supplier relations, a process which has been formalised in its implementation of ISO 20400, the international standard for sustainable procurement. This approach is further supported by their introduction of a Sustainability Dashboard (The Action Sustainability Tool), which provides a tool to measure the sustainability impacts within their supply chain.

Building on its engagements with BITC’s Global Goals team, CEO Keith Chanter set out EMCOR UK’s new purpose, ‘a better world at work’, in 2020. This vision encompasses the business’s “bold targets for our people and their development, for our performance in delivering our customers current and future needs”, and its positioning “as advocates in matters that affect society and the environment.”

“EMCOR UK is a great example of a business that has taken the time to really think through and understand the impact they want to have on the world” says BITC Global Goals Director Maria-Jose Subiela. “They have moved from a customer-facing purpose to one that considers all their stakeholders. They are making strides in applying this new approach, alongside the Global Goals, to shape their strategy and actions, and influence their understanding of success.” Read more from Maria-Jose as she reflects on how responsible businesses must be bigger, bolder, and faster in delivering the change that is needed for society and the planet.

Talk to one of our expert team today to learn how membership of BITC can help you take your responsible business journey further, and drive lasting global change.


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References

  1. Keith Chanter (n.d.) A view from our CEO: Our New Purpose – “a better world at work”, available at www.emcoruk.com