Our Values, in Practice

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Our approach to Corporate Responsibility is a practical demonstration of our core values, with the aim of providing a platform for sustainable growth across the Group and the communities we are a part of. Over the past year the focus has been on aligning policies and procedures across the Group, improving communication and developing our employees.

Training and Development

At Lonrho we recognise the diverse nature of our workforce as an asset and continue to foster an inclusive culture. Passionate about the retention and development of our employees Lonrho companies there is a strong emphasis on training across the group, at every level and in every discipline, encouraging and inspiring our workforce and creating opportunities for internal promotion whilst also addressing certain specific skills deficits encountered in local communities. Such initiatives have been very well received in our operations, particularly Luba Freeport and Afex, where regular training sessions are conducted by more senior team members or management, demonstrating not only our commitment to our staff but also instilling our corporate values of Entrepreneurship, Integrity, Accountability, Passion and Performance.

Health and Safety

The Health and Wellbeing of our employees is of upmost importance, as such we strive to ensure safety across our operations, managing risks by implementing company health and safety policy and procedures as well as taking a proactive, responsive approach to local health concerns. Investing in group wide health and safety training and personal protective equipment, we continue to foster a culture of shared responsibility for safety and wellbeing. Beyond safety, all business units have been encouraged to develop safety and wellbeing improvement plans, a particularly successful initiative this year has been the Wellness Day, introduced at Lonrho Fresh in April, at which staff were engaged in open dialogue about any health concerns they may have, as well as given free access to medical testing and advice for HIV, Hypertension, Family Planning and Counselling. Looking ahead to 2015, Learning from and building upon the success of the success of the Wellness day, other Lonrho Group companies have been encourage to go further than the provision of annual medical examinations and adopt such a format to further embed our commitment to our people.

Diversity and inclusion

Benefiting from the diversity embodied in our workforce, we currently employ people of over 15 different nationalities. With a policy of employing local community members wherever possible and promoting internally, we offer challenging career opportunities regardless of age, ethnicity, religion or gender. As mentioned previously, increasingly open and transparent communication has been a group focus, encouraging greater cohesion and inclusion across the workforce. Such an open dialogue stems from the example set by the board, which flows down to the operational businesses. This has taken place in the form of workers committees, weekly business review and operations meetings, now being convened across the group, which will be reinforced with the planned introduction of the Lonrho Portal.

Employee engagement

Good relationships with employees, contractors and the labour unions that represent them are of vital for the maintenance of operational efficiency and license to operate. The group recognises worker’s rights to union membership and collective bargaining and takes a proactive approach to dialogue with workers and their representatives. As signatories of the UNGC we reaffirm and report on our commitments to the UNGC as well as the values the UNGC subscribes to including; the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Labour Organization's Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.

Supporting local communities

Central to Lonrho’s core values is behaving as a considerate neighbour, respecting and growing alongside local communities and people affected by our business. Be it at corporate or country level Lonrho seeks to address community issues, risks and impacts, in consultation with key stakeholders including the local communities, NGO’s, Government organisations and industry partners.
Emphasis is placed on transparency and meaningful dialogue to understand both community and regional issues. Throughout the Lonrho Group, community-specific investments address needs ranging from donations to local charities, orphanages and homes for the elderly, to medical supplies and addressing fresh water and waste management needs.
With a view to the future, we look to more closely align business objectives and risk management with strategic sustainability contributions, leveraging our strengths to deliver tangible improvements and growth in our local communities.

Conducting business with integrity

Behaving ethically in accordance with our group values, is essential to maintain trust, license to operate and a positive reputation.  At Lonrho we consider it everyone's responsibility to uphold our corporate values and conduct themselves with the utmost integrity.
We comply with all legislative and regulatory requirements of all the countries and regions in which we operate.
Full policy reviews have concluded and a unified approach adopted across our business units has been integrated into day to day operations, all employees having signed the updated Anti-bribery and Corruption, and Whistleblowing Policies. Further managing our impacts, social, economic and environmental, has been identified as essential for mitigating risk, maximising performance and most importantly creating a platform for sustainable future growth.
Advocating a culture of transparency, best practice and responsible citizenship, Lonrho Group companies support associations, advocacy groups and institutions that bring together stakeholder groups at a global, regional and local level, with a view to encourage contributions made by stakeholders, suppliers, business partners and NGO's in identification of matters of concern and engagement with environmental and social projects.
We aim to be transparent and open in our reporting. As signatories of the UN Global Compact and participants of our local network, Lonrho strives to enact the UN Global Compact's ten principles in the areas of human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption, encouraging suppliers, customers and business partners to do the same. Our next report on progress shall be submitted on the 29th of July 2015.

Strengthening the local economy

Our socioeconomic impact is a significant one, adding value to communities by generating wealth, employment and encouraging enterprise. At December 2014 the Lonrho Group employed 3,809 people, contributing significantly to local economies through direct taxation and payments to employees.
With the ambition to maintain competitive advantage by making a tangible contribution to sustainable economic growth, we shall concentrate our efforts on working with local people and local business to help them to understand our criteria to contract, assisting those who do not meet them to develop and grow.
Lonrho is a founding partner of Invest In Africa, whose mission is to actively work with local suppliers to extend sustainable principles to their supply chain and embed these practices into their own operations by providing access to workshops, training and mentorship. Thus strengthening Africa’s key sectors and supporting local businesses to partner with international investors, improving their access to new clients and markets, skills and finance.
In 2014 Invest in Africa (IIA) launched the African Partner Pool (APP), Ghana's first cross-sector online business directory for Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs).
This cross-sector directory was created to simplify the local sourcing process by connecting independently validated Ghanaian SMEs with large international and domestic companies. The directory aims to increase the visibility of Ghanaian SMEs and support international and domestic companies who want maximise their local supply chains in a more efficient, cost effective manner.
All Lonrho Group Companies have procurement policies prioritising local goods and services where possible and have embarked on quantifying their efforts so as to create a bench mark. Afex, for example, estimates that it contributes more than $30,000 USD per month to the local economy. Furthermore, the numbers of Kenyan and Sudanese nationals in the top 5 grades of staff have increased year on year, with 100% of their unskilled workforce and 60% of semi-skilled staff members now from the local community.

Protecting the environment

Lonrho’s approach to protecting the environment centres on fostering a culture of stewardship, where individual employees and Lonrho Group companies understand the impact of their operations so as to prevent and reduce their negative impacts, uses resources efficiently and utilise responsible technology.
Examples of this culture can be seen across the Lonrho Group companies, from sustainable fishing policies at Ocean Fresh and Fish Online, who subscribe to and actively participate in WWF’s South African Sustainable Seafood Initiative, to the continued conversion to energy efficient lighting solutions, the training in waste reduction and the continued development of a sustainability plan which includes the recycling of wet waste produced at Lonrho Fresh, now being utilised by local pig farmers and a monkey sanctuary.
Lonrho’s focus on environmental stewardship continues to be on monitoring, understanding, managing and reducing our impacts, this commitment was reinforced by offering an environmental management internship with Afex, focused on monitoring waste and resource use and identifying opportunities for improvements in accordance with the waste hierarchy. Indeed looking to 2015, all Lonrho Group Companies shall strive to achieve the ISO14001 Environmental Management accreditation. 

Published : 04/06/2015 10:31:00

Lonrho: 100 years investing in the growth of Africa

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