The NHS Sustainability Day is a national day of action across the health sector; over the last five years VINCI Facilities have organised NHS Sustainability Days to engage the local community, patients and staff. This year was no exception, at St Helens and Whiston hospitals we once again partnered with the Local Authority’s Healthy Living Team to promote exercise, healthy eating, recycling and energy efficiency.
We stationed two smoothie bikes in the main entrance atrium of Whiston Hospital, where eager participants pedalled the bikes to power a blender, making their own healthy fruit smoothie served in a biodegradable corn starch cup. This was a powerful way to promote healthy eating and exercise, whilst also demonstrating energy efficient behaviours.
We also distributed our sustainability newsletter and encouraged visitors to take part in our sustainability quiz.
In the wider community, we partnered with local schools to educate and encourage the children to recycle. Currently each month St Helens and Whiston Hospitals recycle hundreds of AA batteries that are still 50-70% charged; we provided some of these batteries to the schools for them to re-use and set up collection points for the free battery recycling service.
VINCI Facilities strives to create value for our customers by integrating social, environment and economic aspects of sustainability into the core of our business.
The NHS Sustainability Day is a national day of action across the health sector; the VINCI Facilities teams on our healthcare contracts take part to support and promote this day of action. Ahead of this year’s Sustainability Day we are looking back at some of our previous contributions to the day.
Last year at Whiston Hospital we collaborated with the local council and Mersey Travel and Transport to give away free bus passes, promoting sustainable transport and endorsing both the environmental and health factors. In addition, we hosted a stand in the hospital cafeteria to hand out recycled notepads and pens, bottles of life water, wildlife seeds and fresh fruit to those who answered our sustainability quiz.
Over the last four years VINCI Facilities have organised NHS Sustainability Days for the local community and this year is no exception. We have once again partnered with the Local Authority’s Healthy Living Team to share information on energy reduction, recycling and healthy eating.
Every two years, the Golden Service Awards celebrates excellence in cleaning; this year VINCI Facilities walked away with the award for the Best Cleaned Premise, office areas below 250,000 square feet, with the Welsh Government building in Aberystwyth.
Aberystwyth is an accommodation building providing 6600m2 of modern, energy efficient, open plan office and meeting space. It houses various internal departments, external bodies and houses 353 people excluding visitors.
Our cleaning delivery is structured to suit the building, with intrusive work being carried out in the evening due to the open plan structure, whilst the recycling and housekeeping tasks are carried out during the daytime.
Our delivery model has been designed to meet the building’s Green credentials and compliment the BREEAM excellent rating, building on sustainability and maintaining a consistency in an isolated location.
We have introduced several initiatives based on our LEAN study of the site operation, including investing in cyclonic battery vacuums which minimised downtime and are more ergonomic to the user. Secondly, the site uses ozonated water as its core cleaning agent which minimizes the risk to employees and building users.
VINCI Clean were also shortlisted for the Best Cleaned Premises, Large Education Establishment award with The Chappell Centre, Lincolnshire County Council.
VINCI Facilities is determined to maximise the potential to deliver meaningful social value to our projects and challenge traditional client/contractor relationships to deliver a partnership approach. We have several social value initiatives that benefit our end-users, particularly within education.
Firstly, under our 10-year contract with Peabody, we have partnered with the philanthropic Landlord to deliver the Reading from the Start programme. This initiative is an early literacy intervention programme designed to stop illiteracy in its tracks. Reading from the Start fosters a love of reading for children aged 0-5 growing up in some of London’s poorest boroughs, positively impacting their long term educational outcomes.
The Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library donates books to the children, who receive an age-appropriate book every month until their fifth birthday. They also receive two hours of reading activities per month with teachers and trained volunteers.
After the first three years of the programme, we changed the lives of over 500 children, with in excess of 7700 books read. We will continue to collaborate with Peabody and the Reading from the Start programme as we are determined to benefit the residents across the Peabody estates where we refurbish social housing. By 2023, we aim to see the programme reach 2,000 children across the Peabody Estate.
Furthermore, we provided a 3D printer to Silverdale secondary school in Sheffield which they used to create a model Formula One car that they entered into a competition. We also supplied lithium-ion batteries for a robot that was entered into the BBC Robot Wars competition by Bradfield secondary school.
Social Value feeds into almost every aspect of our operations and our community engagement; it is our way of creating great places to live and work, delivered by people who care.
This week saw the Annual Workplace Future Conference which centred on the ‘Added Value’ that Facilities Management can create.
The programme included a number of speakers from across the sector who all addressed the value discussion from various angles including the value of our people, the values of an organisation and also some of the more typical presentations around the business value and benefit that can be derived from excellent FM delivery.
The day was punctuated with ongoing discussions around the recent failure of Carillion and the impact or otherwise upon the reputation and public perception of outsourcing and Facilities Management in general. The one sad irony of the event was that within the lecture hall attendees were happily debating the ‘value’ that FM can add whilst on the big screens in the break out areas there was a live feed from the Work and Pensions Committees who were grilling the top executives from Carillion on their business practices.
Rory Murphy presented on the Social Value that can be driven from Facilities Management and centred his presentation on the recent RICS Social Value case studies that were published in November. The ability for Facilities Management companies and businesses like ours to drive Social value is significant. The wide range of employment and development opportunities that are available across all the services we deliver is the real value add within our sector and this is supplemented by some fantastic bespoke schemes such as ‘Reading from the Start’ and strategic alliances with charities such as the Princes Trust and the DofE.
The case studies outlined in the RICS research included initiatives looking at access to work for ex-service people, strategies for working with an age diverse workforce, developing your own talent pools and from a community perspective the efforts going in on some projects to work more closely with SME’s. The case studies also included our own award winning ‘Reading from the start’ initiative as well as the work we have done with Barking and Dagenham college.
“Workplace Futures is an unashamedly FM focussed event and my sense at the end of the day was of a profession/sector that has been shaken by the recent failure of a major services provider and the spotlight that has subsequently been shone upon the delivery of critical public services. The challenge we face in the immediate period is to demonstrate the excellent value we deliver across our contracts and how a sustainable approach to business which focusses on listening to you key stakeholders and balancing the Economic, Social and Environmental aspects of all we do will keep us successful.” – Rory Murphy
To pursuit one of her dreams and to develop professionally, our Senior Sustainability Advisor Charlotte Österman, was given a sabbatical leave to go volunteering in rural Nicaragua. This enabled her to develop new skills whilst co-leading a development project in Latin America.
Nine months ago, Raleigh International offered Charlotte a position to lead a young team of volunteers to deliver a sustainable development programme in Nicaragua. Nervously, she approached VINCI to see if a three-month break from her role would be possible. They said yes.
Four months later, Charlotte was in the mountains, in a coffee and strawberry growing region of Madriz; co-team leading a multicultural Raleigh ECHO 2 team and delivering the ‘Livelihoods’ programme. The programme set out to create sustainable businesses through the empowerment and training of young entrepreneurs. On a day to day basis she got to use skills and knowledge developed throughout her sustainability career with VINCI and before, in combination with a fair bit of innovation to make this applicable to the rural and poverty-stricken setting.
Quick problem-solving, dynamic risk assessments and big portions of motivation from the team was required when everything from rainstorms and illnesses tried to slow us down. But without hesitation, the team delivered all the training planned, to provide the entrepreneurs with knowledge crucial to enable them to set up their businesses and provide them with a sustainable source of income.
The team held fourteen training sessions for the communities, El Pegador and Nueva Esperanza, they carried out regular 1-2-1s with 24 entrepreneurs, delivered six Actions Days (e.g. the 31 Oct community party where we introduced the concepts of Halloween), took the entrepreneurs on a fieldtrip to learn about beekeeping, organised a community fair, etc., etc. As a leader and a team member Charlotte is proud to acknowledge that they delivered or exceeded on all the targets set and that they could already start seeing the difference they were making with the entrepreneurs.
By the end of the cycle, they organised a mock presentation for the entrepreneurs to get feedback on their business ideas. It was a great day and they had a strong turnout of twelve, despite being in harvest season. A few were nervous; this was something totally new to them, but they still presented and did an excellent job in explaining what kind of business they wanted to create and what their business plan looked like. It was great practice for the final presentation that they will have in April and at the end of the second cycle. This is when the entrepreneurs will pitch for financial aid; the aid that will further support them to make their business dreams reality.
“For me personally this has been an invaluable experience. I have not only learnt how to live in a setting and context massively different to ours’, I adapted to it and gained a new family.
I got to experience the inevitable challenges of managing a young team of volunteers, whom all came with different backgrounds, expectations and motivations. But I also got to celebrate the success of hard work with them.
I’ve learnt that leadership is not about being at the front and making the quickest decisions. It is about doing the groundwork in the background to enable the team to collaborate and find the solution and the plan, and then help them to execute it. Because they are truly the most important determinants of your impact, and the creators of the success.
I’ll stay in touch with the communities and Raleigh to hear what fruits the seeds we planted yield. And as time passes, the difference and long-term impact that we achieve in El Pegador and Nueva Esperanza will be more clear. Just like I, with time, will more clearly see what difference this experience has done not only to my professional skillset, but life.”
VINCI Facilities Energy and Water Management team recently launched our services directly to the market via the EMEX exhibition at London ExCeL. This was our must-do event to introduce our expertise to the wider market; it certainly paid off as we were highly visible throughout the two-day event.
Together with our supply chain partner Offgrid, we sponsored the Main Theatre; powering it with battery technology. It created quite a lot of excitement as we unveiled the first battery powered seminar theatre. Our exhibition stand was also powered by battery technology.
We delivered a series of thought-led seminars and were also shortlisted for two awards;
EMEX is one of the largest forums for Energy and Water management experts, buyers and suppliers to network, share knowledge and demonstrat
If you want to know more about what we do and how we could help your clients, please get in touch with Paul Lynch, Head of Energy & Water Management at firstname.lastname@example.org
In November, a team of 39 cyclists, including Phil Russell, VINCI Facilities Sales and Marketing Director, rode 500km from Vietnam to Cambodia in 6 days to raise money for The Urology Foundation.
The Urology Foundation is a charity that funds research to develop better diagnoses and treatments for all urological conditions for men and women – including cancer and diseases of the prostate, kidney and bladder.
A total of 39 volunteers took part in the cycle, including Phil’s partner Niki and three tour guides; plus, a small group of local ‘outriders’ on mopeds and driving water trucks. It made for an interesting and sometimes quite spectacular sight, as they rode either strung out over a couple of miles or riding in Peloton formation.
The route, starting at Ho Chi Minh City in southern Vietnam and finishing at Siem Reap in north-western Cambodia, was the riders’ home for a total of 9 days. During the cycle, they experienced breath taking scenery, ancient temples, the warmth of the local people and an appreciation of the devastation of both the Vietnam War in the 60’s and the genocide by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia of over 2 million of its own people in the 70’s.
The group of volunteers were of mixed ability group; some had trained hard for this event only to be reigned back to keep the group together and to all benefit from well organised water and lunch stops. Others quietly ‘pushed-on’ without any fuss, completing each section at an acceptable speed, safely.
Due to searing afternoon temperatures and intense humidity each day had to have an early start. At the same time, cycling at night was not an option as there were no street lights or bike lights. It was Niki who had the first accident, clashing head-on with a moped travelling on the same side of the road but in opposite directions. No serious damage was caused but it was a lesson in wearing a good helmet and understanding local riding habits. Others fell with one person concussed but otherwise they all arrived safely.
The highlights? The Mekong Delta is one. Its vast. Home to thousands in both Vietnam and Cambodia, strung out along its riverbank, there is a dense collection of fragile looking wooden houses on stilts; it’s not for swimming as it serves as the main sewage system. The rice (paddi) fields was another, boarded by palm trees with hidden settlements and a network of tiny paths that link everything together. Siem Reap is a World Heritage Site and for good reason, the temples are spectacular.
“The endearing memory is the people, especially in Vietnam who waved and shouted from their homes, schools, vans, scooters and who genuinely seemed pleased that we had chosen their country to host our adventure.” – Phil Russell
VINCI Facilities Customer Response Centre has been awarded the ServiceMark accreditation; we scored 88.8% against the 78.2% industry benchmark.
The Customer Response Centre first joined the Institute of Customer Service as a member in 2016. We decided to apply for one of the Institute's flagship accreditations ServiceMark; a national standard awarding an organisation's achievement in customer service and the devotion to keeping these standards.
The process involved three key elements; an employee survey, a survey of customers, and an assessment by an independent assessor from The Institute of Customer Service. We achieved over the benchmark score on both our employee and customer surveys.
The independent assessor held a total of 23 interviews with employees. The evidence was gathered by the analysis of written documentation, our website, company intranet, several individual and group interviews; informal chats, observations and a tour of our office.
Sally Duff – ICS Independent assessor quoted: "The Customer Response Centre seems to have its own clear identity, a strong degree of autonomy in how it runs and the strong ethos of team work, alongside close-knit working and employee inclusion. As a result, it would seem that engaged employees are able to play a bigger part in the development of new processes and in taking responsibility for change and improvements. The involvement of such employees in projects seems to enrich their roles as well as give them an opportunity to develop new skills and experience."
Obtaining the accreditation is a massive differentiator for us and an important part of our marketing and winning work strategy. The National Customer Service Standard Accreditation has been awarded to us for a period of 3 years.
VINCI Facilities have been listed as a BFIM finalist in the ‘Impact on Employee Experience’ award category for our work with Lincolnshire County Council. Our entry showcases how three partner organisations (Lincolnshire County Council, VINCI Facilities and Mouchel) united their workforces to create a first-class employee culture which puts collaboration and communication at its core.
Staff satisfaction on the contract significantly improved across all metric areas and our energised and empowered workforce have gone on to transform the standards of the county’s property management operations. The project team have achieved savings of over £1m to date, whilst also exceeding on all other key performance indicators.
Together this highly engaged and productive unit has successfully realised the Council’s visions and objectives, delivering an unprecedented level of service for Lincolnshire’s 715,000 residents.
We will find out the results on the 9th October.
VINCI Facilities is a proud partner of The Supply Chain Sustainability School – a free training resource and learning vehicle for sustainability.
We regularly organise events aimed to upskill our suppliers' sustainability knowledge; recently, 78 suppliers turned up to learn about energy at our joint supply chain event in Manchester.
Paul Lynch, our Head of Energy Services, spoke about how our supply chain partners can contribute to us meeting our clients' requirements. He also provided interesting and useful hints and tips that any supplier can adapt to improve their own practices:
"Let's use the School to improve. It's a great resource."
Other partners of the School and Carbon Trust also gave their advice, in between a mix of interactive group- exercises.
One of these was the ‘Innovation Bootcamp’. Teams were given a big poster of a location and with Post-it notes they then put potential energy opportunities on the building. They then also listed the potential blockers to these initiative. A really interesting exercise that brought many innovative ideas to the table!
Following the event, we were pleased to hear the attendees’ feedback. 89% rated the training good or excellent and 73% said they are certain or likely they’ll implement the training/ideas in their organisations.
“[The School can] create a better understanding and help in developing myself to drive culture throughout my team.”, one attending supplier said.
Our next event with the School will be a Fairness, Inclusion and Respect workshop on 4 July. Why don’t you join us?
VINCI Facilities has supported the Arc in the Park children's charity in Canning Town over the last couple of years.
It has undergone an enormous change, and we recently attended its renaming launch.
Cutting the ribbon was a mighty crew of football legends including Sir Trevor Brooking, former England midfielder and Terrence Brown Former chairman and honorary life president of West Ham United FC. There was also David Gold and David Sullivan both joint Chairman of West Ham United Football Club. The ground where the Arc is situated is the first site on which West Ham United played their very first game over 100 years ago.
The footballing gentlemen handed over a cheque for £12,000 to the Arc during its renaming ceremony at which they all spoke. Now known asTerrence Brown Arc in the Park their new owner is Ambition Aspire Achieve (AAA). AAA is still running with the same staff and its daily management by Kevin Jenkins OBE and his wife Paula but has broken away from the local Community Links charity to stand alone.
The children turned out with their families for face painting and shenanigans and even Sir Trevor had a go on one of the swings (in fact he needed help to get off it). A great day was had by all in what heralds the start of a new era for the Arc and its patrons, trustees and all stakeholders. VINCI of course will continue to support the Charity.
We are only halfway through 2017 and there has already been at least two significant achievements in terms of energy supply for our nation:
First, on April the 21st the National Grid announced Britain's first full day without coal power since the Industrial Revolution. This was then followed by the National Grid announcing that for the first time ever, renewable energy sources provided more than half UK electricity.
These are two historic milestone achievements that express Britain's shift away from carbon fuels and towards a low carbon economy. The Government has pledged to phase out coal - the most polluting fossil fuel - from the system completely by 2025, as part of efforts to cut carbon emissions in the UK.
Does this mean anything for VINCI? Yes. It's a change in perceptions and expectation that will, and already is, affecting us. Energy is higher on the agenda for everyone. Last year we were legally required to carried out ESOS audits to map where we as a business could save energy. This year that's being actioned. On contract level, there are already an increasing number of renewable energy initiatives being undertaken in various locations. We’ve also got our Energy Management Services team fully up and running to help us enhance our offering to clients.
In celebration of National Volunteers Week, we saw the beginning of a programme of 21 dates over the Summer where VINCI will participate in our very own, multi award winning, Reading from the Start Programme.
Kicking off this week in Hackney where the programme started back in 2013 was BSS's Josephine O'Connor, business and community investment manager, who will also attend the Chingford programme. Other dates will see Martina Hopper, resident and community liaison manager covering Thamesmead and Debbie Ashcroft, resident liaison officer looking after the Bow area.
National Volunteers Week ended following much social media coverage, when VINCI, along with its client Peabody and the Dolly Parton Imagination Library; have taken to the airwaves to ensure our programme is known.
VINCI has recently signed a continuation of the previous unprecedented funding and increased it by no less than £10,000 per annum. We really are seeing massive societal impact with this programme.
Housing director Russell Payne said, "This is a remakeable programme and our teams along with their counterpats at Peabody work hard to ensure its existence. To date, Peabody is working with over 100 volunteers which just shows that community cohesion and volunteeering are very much alive in the hiosuing sector."
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Note to editors
VINCI Facilities is a leading provider of facilities management services to the public and private sector.
Our solutions are commercially sound, are customer focused and provide clients with the information necessary to make strategic decisions about their estate.
By integrating services and introducing a range of best practice measures, including work flow and performance management against strict KPIs, we provide our clients with cost certainty, cost saving, consistency of service and efficiency gains.