Ian Nicholson

Ian Nicholson Chair of the corporate responsibility committee

Our Group's responsible business practices fall within the following key focus areas:

  • Health and Safety – ensuring the safety and well-being of our staff
  • Environment – managing our key environmental impact areas of energy, waste and water
  • Employees – supporting our people to develop and thrive within the business
  • Community – interacting positively with the communities in which we operate
  • Ethical Standards – operating to the highest ethical standards

We remain committed to ensuring these activities become embedded in how we operate and contribute towards the success of our business. This includes not only identifying and managing risk but exploring opportunities to add value.


We hold three annual meetings of our Corporate Responsibility (CR) Committee, chaired by non-executive director Ian Nicholson. These meetings are attended by senior leaders from across the Group, with the aim to review current performance, and challenge the business in meeting future targets and objectives across each of our key focus areas.

Summary of our key achievements


Health and Safety

  • No more than five RIDDORs across the Group


  • Reduce energy consumption (kWh/£'000) across the Group by 5% against the FY2016 baseline
  • Maintain our progress to divert waste from landfill/incineration
  • Manage and reduce our use of water


  • Continue to drive a values-based culture with an emphasis on customer focus in the coming year
  • Develop a competency framework for our values
  • Actively track progress and communicate on agreed initiatives arising from the employee survey
  • Provide more opportunities for secondments across the divisions
  • Introduce a Group-wide Graduate Recruitment programme
  • Continue with our award-winning apprenticeship scheme


  • Support the local communities where our sites are based through charity work, education visits and careers fairs
  • Continue to support designated charities through donations and employee contribution days

Ethical standards

  • To maintain high ethical standards across the Group
Colleague meeting

Stakeholder engagement

We continue to engage with our key stakeholders to ensure we deliver against the objectives of our Corporate Responsibility strategy. This year we completed a stakeholder mapping exercise which identified our key stakeholders and channels for engagement. We continue to pursue open, relationship-driven communication with stakeholders in order to promote shared growth. We are careful to match the appropriate communication channel with each group, making every effort to reflect stakeholder feedback in our future policies and actions.

StakeholdersKey issuesHow we engage
  • Corporate Governance
  • Business Ethics
  • Provision of fair balanced and understandable information
  • Investor Relations activities, AGM and roadshows
  • Annual Report & Accounts
  • Corporate website
  • Understanding customers' needs
  • Customer retention
  • Identification of new customers
  • Identification of growth opportunities
  • Corporate and divisional websites
  • One to one meetings
  • Regulatory audits
  • Learning & Development
  • Health, Safety & Wellbeing
  • Diversity & Inclusion
  • Intranet
  • Email bulletins and newsletters
  • Training programmes
  • Employee surveys
  • Town halls
Communities & Charities
  • Positive contribution to the communities in which we operate
  • School and Career events
  • Local charity involvement
  • Supply chain management
  • Supplier meetings
  • Regular business reviews
  • Supplier code of conduct
  • Meeting regulatory compliance
  • Dialogue with regulatory & political bodies
  • Industry forums
  • Compliance audits

Our performance

To ensure we continue to improve performance we set a number of targets and key performance indicators at the beginning of each financial year. Progress against these is then reviewed throughout the year by our CR Committee. The sections below provide a summary of performance across the Group against each of our focus areas.

Health and safety

The safety and well-being of our staff and all visitors to our facilities is the number one priority for everyone within the business. We continue to focus on all aspects of health and safety, with a special emphasis on those areas with the potential to cause serious harm.

The number of RIDDORs (Reportable Incidents including those leading to seven Days Lost Time) reported across the Group remained low, totalling five against a target of five. The Group continues to monitor and analyse all RIDDORs. The RIDDORs reported during the year were all as a result of low risk activity and changes have been made to support prevention and recurrence. We have identified that individual behaviours contributed to the cause of each accident. This confirms the importance of driving the behavioural safety agenda while remaining focused on the high risk activities that could cause serious harm to our people.

In FY2018 Aesica's sites in Cramlington and Pianezza have again achieved zero lost time accidents. Our Cramlington site has achieved more than 1,000 days and more than 1 million hours worked without a lost time accident and our Pianezza site has had no lost time accidents for 24 months.

Near-miss reporting

The Group continues to promote the reporting of near-misses (see table below). The decline in near-miss reporting this year does not reflect a negative shift, but falls in line with the reduction in accident numbers which can be attributed to continuous positive safety messaging.

Avg pcm348563508

Sharing Environment, Health & Safety (EHS) Learning and Best Practice – Safety Pause and Alerts

Sharing of best practice and learning from near-misses and incidents has further developed across the Group. Closer integration of the EHS resources within the divisions continues with, for example, sharing of the EHS improvement activities.

The heads of EHS continue to meet regularly to discuss safety programmes and initiatives, share information including data around accidents, near-misses and agree any standard approaches to progressing the safety agenda across both divisions.

Initiatives to help enforce a strong safety culture include:

Link to Strategy

Improved Health & Safety

performance not only aids operational efficiency but also morale and the culture of continuous improvement

  • Bespak's Behavioural Safety Programme – following the launch of this programme to leaders in 2017, the second phase focused on understanding what behavioural safety means to the individual. The purpose of this was to reset a mind-set of just "getting the job done" or that "it's always been done this way"
  • Safety Slogan – to help engage employees on safety matters, Bespak launched a staff competition to design a safety slogan. The aim was to develop a catchy slogan to deliver a clear message that Safety is the number one priority for Bespak. The winning safety slogan was "Safe By Choice, Not by Chance" and this will also be rolled out across Aesica in the coming financial year
  • Machinery safety – at Bespak machinery hazard control remains a high focus and a programme of revising the machinery risk assessments has been implemented. This has seen a new risk assessment tool introduced and circa 15 – 20 people trained in how to complete one of these assessments
  • Junior Management Training – a safety, health & environment module for junior management has been developed for use across the Group. Training under this module has commenced across the Aesica Academy attendees and this will also be rolled out across Bespak in the coming financial year


Our policies commit the Group to reducing our environmental footprint and are focused on environmental management, energy reduction, minimisation of waste, diversion of waste from landfill/incineration and water conservation. The Environmental Management System ISO 14001 enables effective management of these impacts. All active Bespak sites, Aesica's two UK manufacturing sites and Pianezza, Italy are certified to this Standard.

During FY2018 we have continued our investment in environmental compliance as part of our programme of addressing historical environmental permitting compliance issues, particularly at our API facilities. This has involved environmental, health and safety analysis, and the appointment of appropriately qualified environmental consultants to carry out compliance and operability audits, review processes and procedures, and provide ongoing support.


The Group's energy consumption has decreased from 630.5 kWh/£000 of sales in FY2016 to 544.8 kWh/£000 of sales in FY2018. This represents a reduction of 13.6% and therefore exceeds the annual Group reduction target of 5% against the FY2016 baseline. Initiatives which contributed to this reduction include:

  • The creation of a cross function Environmental Sustainability team with an initial focus on energy reduction
  • The installation of the Biomass Power Station next to the Cramlington site producing a green source of energy for the site from October 2017
  • The Pianezza site procures 100% of its electricity from renewable sources and has installed a system that switches off the compressors during weekends
  • The Cramlington site is supporting external partners in the development of an innovative industrial heat recovery solution, by hosting a first industrial pilot scale trial at the site
  • A "Switch off" campaign has been implemented and signage put in place as a reminder to power down PCs, switch off lights and equipment
  • A review of the main production plants (piping systems) at the Cramlington site was carried out using ultrasound measuring equipment. The inspection found a number of leaks of varying intensity that amounted to an energy loss. A programme of repair is under way
  • The refurbishments of offices and labs in King's Lynn and Cambridge have utilised new technologies to reduce energy consumption including enhanced insulation, intelligent LED lighting, and high efficiency air conditioners and heat recovery systems. LED replacement projects have also been initiated at Queenborough, Monheim and Pianezza sites

Greenhouse gas emissions

As required under the Companies Act 2006 (Strategic Report and Directors' Reports) Regulations 2013, the table below sets out the greenhouse gas emissions from all sources over which we have operational control. Emissions outside of our responsibility, including shared office locations, have not been included.

Emissions from:Tonnes of CO2e
FY2018FY2017FY2016Base year
Scope 1
Combustion of fuel18,699.917,711.717,959.517,468.1
Operation of facilities8,028.29,103.47,476.26,971.6
Scope 2
Import of electricity and other energy sources35,848.638,003.440,427.939,528.6
Total emissions62,576.764,818.565,863.663,968.3
Intensity ratio
Per £'000 sales0.
Per number of employees28.929.028.729.2

Fy2018 Waste diverted from landfill/incineration vs. landfill


Waste piechart

Waste diverted 97.6%

Waste to landfill 2.4%

Total Group Greenhouse Gas Emissions

per £'000 sales

Gas emissions


In FY2018 the Group has continued with a broad range of initiatives to reduce waste and as a result we diverted 97.6% of total waste from landfill/incineration. This represents an increase in the diversion rate from the year before and shows evidence of a continued focus on waste segregation across all sites. This has been driven by increased levels of employee engagement and greater levels of individual ownership. We continue to work towards diverting waste from landfill/incineration with this remaining a key focus area for the Group.

Link to Strategy

Investment in energy

improvements can provide increased operational efficiency due to enhanced infrastructure.


The Group's water consumption dropped from 2.00 m³/£000 sales in FY2017 to 1.95 m³/£000 sales in FY2018. The refurbishment of the King's Lynn Office facility in two buildings has seen the implementation of soft measures to ensure good water usage including dual flush systems, spring loaded taps and more instant hot water facilities for hot beverages. All these measures have contributed to water consumption savings.

In FY2018 the Pianezza site installed a refrigerant system for the "Pure water" production plant instead of the use of disposable water. Both plants in Cramlington revised the operation of cooling towers where an excessive blowing down of the water and subsequent replacement of fresh water was highlighted and corrected, leading to water consumption savings.

An effluent management project has been launched in Nelson to reduce water consumption. This project is expected to be complete in October 2018.

Training exercise

Corporate values

Corporate values

Our values are:

Customer Focus:

Strive to exceed the expectations of your internal and external customers

Results Driven:

Maximise your performance through drive and determination


Work together to achieve a shared objective


Treat people as you expect to be treated


Be clear and consistent in your actions

As a Group, we remain focused on building Our Values based culture with values embedded in our core HR processes. Employees are rewarded and recognised for excelling in the values and we communicate through value boards and posters at all our sites.

Our Values are integral to many of our key people processes including recognition and performance management. In support of helping employees really understand what Our Values mean we solicited feedback from staff representing all sites, functions and levels and prepared examples of positive and negative behavioural traits.

This simple framework helps bring Our Values to life and will be communicated to employees via the employee magazine and also as a part of the launch on our new performance management process – MyGrowth.



The Group supports the principle of equal opportunities in employment and is committed to developing all staff to their maximum potential. Further details of these policies can be found below and in the Directors' Report.

The Group remains focused on supporting and developing people through its policies, training and development, communications and two-way engagement channels.

Training and Development

We recognise that current and future success is related to our ability to train and retain high quality, skilled employees. Our varied training programmes support this and are detailed below.

In total the Group has delivered 8,000 training days during the year, an increase from the previous year. This shows a strong commitment to developing our people and providing the necessary skills for individuals to excel in their roles.

This training has included subjects such as Internal Auditor, Mental Health Awareness, Mental Health First Aider, Good Manufacturing Practice, Effective Development conversations, Autism Awareness, Root Cause Analysis, Risk Management, Time Management, Presentation Skills, Effective Mentoring, and Master Moulder 1 and 2.

Bespak Moulding Academy

This year Bespak is establishing the Bespak Moulding Academy, the first of its type in Europe, with the objective to ensure the business continues to build capacity and skills development in this key area of expertise.

Aspire Management Development Programme

A number of managers have now completed the Aspire First Line Manager Programme. The objective of this programme is to support the development of key skills in managers as they start their careers managing others. Of those completing the programme the majority have achieved an Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) level 3 qualification in Management.

Internal Development Programme

Bespak currently has a number of employees completing specialist internal development. These programmes give employees the opportunity to further develop their skills and knowledge and covers subjects such as plastic injection moulding, engineering toolmaking and engineering maintenance.

Aesica Academy

The Academy is tailored to high potential future leaders in support of building our talent bench and is accredited to the ILM. In May 2018, 12 colleagues from the current cohort will graduate and we have committed to two additional intakes during FY19. The programme is modular in design and includes commercial, financial and EHS awareness culminating with the completion of an improvement project presented to the Aesica Operating Board.

Basic Leadership Skills

A modular skills development programme for first line leaders, is currently active in Cramlington, Queenborough, Monheim and Zwickau and will be launched in Pianezza by autumn 2018. The programme is targeted at equipping our first line supervisors with basic management skills including handling difficult situations, effective recruitment and selection and dealing with recurring sickness absence.

Apprenticeship Scheme

The Group currently has 35 apprentices on the Apprenticeship Training Programme. Bespak also offers the Apprenticeship Qualification as an internal development programme, with a further nine individuals provided with the opportunity to grow their skills and knowledge. Bespak has also offered its first degree apprenticeship which is a BSc in Digital and Technology Solutions.

During the year, Bespak has been successful in achieving IMechE (Institute of Mechanical Engineers) accreditation for its Engineering Apprenticeships. This means that anyone completing one of our engineering apprenticeship programmes is able to register as an Engineering Technician. Moreover, Bespak's apprenticeship scheme is now listed on the EngTech section of the Institute's website (www.imeche.org).

Employee diversity

We are committed to actively encouraging a more inclusive and diverse workforce and look for opportunities to embed this where appropriate. We hire on merit but when recruiting externally we aim to include a female candidate on shortlists. The female representation on the Board and across the Group as at the year-end is shown below:

FemaleMaleTotalFemale %Male %

During the year we have implemented a formal Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy across the Group and are committed to developing a culture that is fair and inclusive. The aims of the Policy are to allow all employees to fully contribute to the business.

In FY2018 the Group has commenced a number of initiatives to promote equality, diversity and inclusion. These include:

  • The appointment of a Diversity Champions at King's Lynn
  • Number of awareness updates issued: Ramadan, Women In Engineering, Pride, Islamic New Year, and Hannukah
  • Celebration events in particular for Diwali and Thanksgiving
  • Registered as a Disability Confident employer – at the same time as we hosted two (autism) placements in the business over six weeks
  • Introduced a Quiet Prayer Room at King's Lynn

Mental Health Awareness

Many colleagues attended Mental Health Awareness training during the year and Mental Health First Aid workshops also ran and Bespak now have ten trained mental health first aiders in the business.

Engagement survey

Our Group engagement survey was conducted in 2016 and gave employees the opportunity to provide feedback on what the Group was doing well and what we could improve. A number of focus groups were established to provide the business with recommendations, which has resulted in the following FY2018 activities:

  • Family fun days
  • Enhanced communications:
    • Employee round-table meetings with Aesica Operating Board members
    • Regular Town Hall meetings led by General Managers
    • Introduction of in-house magazine to Aesica
    • Basic leadership skills development programmes targeted at first line supervisors
    • MyGrowth – a new approach to performance management that utilises our OneHR (Oracle) platform to encourage more regular and frequent feedback and eliminates year-end performance ratings (we maintain a pay for performance culture)
  • Development of the employee intranet site
  • Improvements to the Bespak onboarding process

The next Group-wide engagement survey will be launched in summer 2018.


We are committed to supporting the patient population we serve and the communities in which we operate. Both local and national charities are considered important stakeholders for our business and we continue to discuss how we direct our support to make the biggest difference.

Link to Strategy

Well trained and developed employees

will be able to support the future innovation and growth of the Group

Schools, Colleges and Universities

We have a number of active engagement programmes with local schools, colleges and universities. These help to attract local talent and raise the profile of our business within the higher education labour market. This includes offering work experience placements.

As part of our commitment to Diversity & Inclusion, we are incredibly proud to support the National Autistic Society (NAS) with a number of activities. We have partnered with the NAS to deliver valuable training to managers to support their understanding of autism and methods to support employees or individuals with autism and support work experience placements in partnership with the NAS. We offered a work experience placement at King's Lynn for a school leaver and two work placements for students through the Autism Awareness programme.

Rotary Technology Tournament

Bespak supported the Rotary Technology Tournament. This event allows students to take part in a project which requires them to apply their knowledge and skills to a project. A number of Bespak employees attended the event to support the teams as they completed the activity. This provided them the opportunity to coach the students and provide feedback on areas such as initial concept, implementation and how the team worked together.

Grand East Anglia Run (GEAR)

During the year Bespak signed a new three year contract to continue sponsoring the Gear 10K Corporate Team Challenge and Mini Gear events.

Charitable support

Consort Medical's charities policy aims to promote education and opportunity and encourage the involvement of employees in community and charitable activities and organisations. Over the past 12 months Consort Medical has supported the Stillbirth and neonatal death charity (SANDS, North Hertfordshire branch) with a donation of £50,000.

In addition to this, the Group also supported, through numerous employee led activities:

  • The Big C by raising £35,000
  • Mind, Save the Children, Macmillan, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn, Kinder-Und Jugendhospiz Regenbogenland in Düsseldorf, the Maggie Centre (part of the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle), the Wisdom Hospice and the Red Cross

Ethical standards

We emphasise the importance of operating a business in both a responsible and ethical manner. Appropriate standards and policies have been created to uphold all laws relevant to prevention of bribery and corruption in all jurisdictions in which we operate. These cover Anti-Corruption and Bribery; Gifts and Hospitality; Business Ethics and Whistleblowing. New data protection policies and procedures in line with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) have been introduced to the business during May 2018.

The Group operates a zero tolerance policy for bribery and corruption of any kind and gives training to all relevant employees via an online training module. During the year this training has been refreshed and made available to the business. Further training on the new Criminal Corporate Offence (Tax Evasion) and GDPR will be rolled out to all relevant employees in FY2019.

The Group recognises that the strength of its business relies heavily on a stable and ethical supply base. To that end we continue to roll out a code of ethical standards to our existing and new suppliers or ensure that an equivalent code is in operation. This standard aims to ensure our entire supply base operate with the highest ethical standards. It ensures our suppliers are compliant with all appropriate laws and regulations, treat their employees with dignity and respect and take active steps to protect against modern slavery. In addition our code of conduct ensures our suppliers are respectful and protective of the environment, are compliant with health and safety laws and regulations at all times and that they do not participate in acts of bribery and corruption. As part of our supplier approval process, all new suppliers are required to adhere to this standard which is available on our website (www.consortmedical.com).

As part of the whistleblowing procedure a confidential and independent hotline service is available to all our employees who can raise concerns about how the Group conducts its business. In FY2018 of the calls received, following investigation, it was established that no calls related to any material concerns or to bribery or corruption matters.

Human rights

We are committed to supporting human rights through our compliance with the laws and regulations of the countries where we operate and through our internal policies. Our Code of Business Ethics and associated policies require respect and equal and fair treatment of all persons we come into contact with, in line with our Group values. Currently there is not a separate dedicated Human Rights Policy but this will be kept under review.

Modern Slavery Statement

The Group welcomes and supports the introduction of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. We have taken appropriate steps to ensure slavery and human trafficking are not taking place in our business or supply chain. The Group's formal Modern Slavery Statement can be found on our website at www.consortmedical.com.

Gender pay

At Consort Medical, we want to ensure all employees are rewarded fairly for their work and have the same access to all opportunities. Our Gender Pay Gap report can be found on our website at www.consortmedical.com

Our Goals for FY2019

Health and SafetyEnvironmentEmployeesCommunityEthical Standards
  • Less than five RIDDORs across the Group
  • Reduce energy consumption (kWh/£'000 sales) across the Group by a further 5% against the FY2016 baseline
  • Maintain our progress to divert waste from landfill/incineration
  • Manage and reduce our use of water
  • Continue to drive a values based culture with an emphasis on safety and compliance
  • Drive all engagement activities including launch of MyGrowth (new performance management process)
  • Champion inclusion and diversity through the introduction of Diversity champions at all sites
  • Strengthen our talent bench with emphasis on development programs
  • Provide more opportunities for secondments across the divisions
  • Continue with our award-winning apprenticeship scheme and introduction of graduate scheme
  • Support the local communities where our sites are based through charity work, education visits and careers fairs
  • Continue to support designated charities through donations and employee contribution days
  • To maintain high ethical standards across the Group

Bethany Mcdonnell

Bethany Mcdonnell


Site: Cramlington

Name: Bethany McDonnell

Role: Quality Control Apprentice

Apprenticeship Programme

Start Date: July 2017

Completion Date: July 2019

When I first started school we had to write down our goals for the future; mine were "To work with test tubes." and "Be a scientist." With hard work, dedication and the right support, I am privileged to be well on the way to achieving my goals at the age of 18.

I started my apprenticeship in July 2017 after the completion of my A levels. During my A levels I decided against going to university and instead started seeking an apprenticeship. In my opinion, apprenticeships offer something that university cannot; you are constantly learning and applying yourself to real life situations.

With an apprenticeship comes responsibility. I have a responsibility to my colleagues, the company, and the customers who need and use our products. It's great to be part of an extended family here at Aesica Cramlington. There is always support available and people on hand to help one another which makes a great environment for learning. I always feel comfortable asking questions in order to improve my knowledge and have learnt the importance of vigilance and diligence in our day-to-day work. My apprenticeship has given me confidence and proves that hard work pays off.

When I heard I had been successful in securing an apprenticeship with Aesica, I was overwhelmed and delighted to be starting a new chapter in my life. Doing my dream job and doing something I am passionate about. Eight months later, I thoroughly enjoy the challenges and excitement that each day brings. No two days are the same and I thrive on the fast paced environment of the QC labs.

Upon successful completion of my level 3 apprenticeship, I would love to develop within the business, ideally via a higher level, graduate apprenticeship. I believe this will best equip me to reach my full potential within Aesica.

Matthew Wolfe

Matthew Wolfe


Site: King's Lynn

Name: Matthew Wolfe

Role: Service Desk Analyst – Applications

Digital & Technology Solutions professional – Degree Apprenticeship

Start Date: January 2018

Completion Date: September 2021

Matthew completed his Level 3 IT, Web and Telecom Apprenticeship in 2017 he has now moved on to start an apprenticeship that will allow him to graduate with a full BSc (Hons) Degree. Matthew's words below explain why he has chosen to continue his studying while working at Bespak. "When I came to the end of my apprenticeship, I started to identify further training courses, as I'm keen to continue my learning. I've always wanted to complete a degree, and the degree apprenticeship scheme appealed to me. It allows me to continue working in the office environment and gain valuable experience, whilst also having an academic learning environment once a month."

Feedback from Mark Newman, Head of IS shows how valuable a member of the team Matthew is:

"Matthew is a key member of the Bespak IS team. During his 3½ years with the team his personal development, skillset, and breadth of technical experience have blossomed. He is valued by all, and interacts politely and effectively with our wide customer base from supporting the Consort Executive team to troubleshooting local IT issues in the cleanroom with the operational team at Bespak. Matthew is a credit to himself and the apprenticeship scheme."