Corporate Social Responsibility Policy – June 2024

Lead Officer: Head of Governance and Corporate Services

Version No. 4 – Purpose/Changes: Full review – Approval Date: 12/06/2024 – Approved By: Executive Leadership Team – Suggested Review Date: June 2027

Version No. 3 – Purpose/Changes: Full review – Approval Date: 14/04/2021 – Approved By: Executive Leadership Team – Suggested Review Date: April 2024

Version No. 2 – Purpose/Changes: Full review – Approval Date: 01/02/2018 – Approved By: Heads of Service – Suggested Review Date: Feb 2021

Version No. 1 – Purpose/Changes: New policy – Approval Date: 25/09/2014 – Approved By: Ongo Partnership Board – Suggested Review Date: September 2017

1. Our policy is…

1.1 To make corporate social responsibility a core part of our business, embedding it within our mind set and culture.
1.2 To create social value in everything we do.

2.It applies to…

2.1 This policy applies to all Ongo businesses, including Ongo Roofing Ltd. (trading as Ashbridge Roofing Solutions) and Ongo Heating and Plumbing Ltd. (trading as Hales & Coultas).

3.Because we want to…

  • Run our business in an ethical manner ensuring that we are compliant with all applicable legislation, regulations and codes of practice
  • Re-investing back into local communities
  • Minimise and negative impact and maximise the benefits which our work has on our communities, the environment and all areas of the business
  • Be cited as an ethical business and employer
  • Create great environments and sustainable places to live and work

4.We will…

4.1 Our CSR Policy focuses on four areas which are linked to our corporate objectives (Be a great landlord, Customer focus, Growth & sustainability) and our values (partnership, drive, responsibility):

  • Community
  • Environment
  • Workplace
  • Marketplace

4.2 Community is how we support our local area:

  • Supporting colleagues in doing up to 15 hours of volunteering a year (with the exception of colleagues working in the commercial businesses)
  • Providing grants to community groups
  • Ongo Homes makes a financial donation to Ongo Communities projects each year to deliver activities and projects in our communities
  • Through the various commercial activities undertaken, Ongo expects to generate financial profits. These will be utilised in the manner most effective in benefitting our communities whilst ensuring ongoing viability of the businesses
  • Ensuring that social return on investment opportunities are maximised through our procurement processes (see our Social Value Framework)
  • Running social enterprises

Actively supporting tenants, disadvantaged groups and others in the following areas:
o Employment and skills
o Social isolation
o Money management
o Education and young people

4.3 Environment is about the places we occupy and how we ensure that we care for our planet and spaces. We do this by:

  • Re-generating outside places for enhanced biodiversity and recreation, including improving green spaces and tree planting Ensuring all our existing homes, premises and operations have a clear pathway to net-zero and protecting the environment
  • Ensuring our new homes are designed to be future-proofed to be net-zero ready, which means the building fabric is built to the future homes standard and space is built into the floor plans to allow for future use of renewable / low-carbon technologies
  • Embracing the use of sustainable materials, products and technologies in all our business
  • Having procurement procedures that ensure our supply chain continues to focus on the environmental agenda
  • Doing all we can to limit the use of resources so as to limit our impact on the environment – encouraging everyone to reduce, reuse, recycle
  • Raising awareness amongst colleagues and customers on topics that impact the environment and our carbon footprint

4.4 We want to ensure that our Workplace is diverse and representative of our communities and that our colleagues have fun and love working for Ongo. We do this by:

  • Supporting colleagues by providing access to online and face-to-face health and well-being support, including a counselling service and other health and well-being opportunities and resources
  • Continuing to employ apprentices
  • The employment of individuals that may have additional needs
  • Giving access to education and training to support colleagues in their current and future roles
  • Ensuring health, safety and welfare are considered in all of our activities
  • Promoting a can-do attitude
  • Proactively managing risks
  • Keeping colleagues informed, welcoming and acting on their feedback
  • Being a lead organisation for FREDIE (Fairness, Respect, Equality, Diversity, Inclusion & Engagement) and the awareness and implementation of it.

4.5 Who we do business with is our Marketplace. We support our suppliers and customers by:

  • Ensuring that we pay to agreed terms, normally within 30 days
  • Working in partnership with suppliers, customers and agencies to bring society and business benefits
  • Adhering to all relevant legislation, seeking external professional advice where appropriate
  • Managing social, environmental and economic impacts in the supply chain
  • Treating customers and suppliers with fairness and respect
  • Aligning ethical procurement with value for money including using social value as one of the criteria for procuring contracts
  • Supporting the local community by encouraging the use of local companies and local labour
  • Having Service Level Agreements in place to ensure anyone delivering services on our behalf work to the same terms and conditions as Ongo

5.Making sure we do what we say…

5.1 We’ll give updates against the policy aims to Ongo Homes Board at least annually.

5.2 We’ll let our stakeholders, colleagues and customers know how we’re doing through our Annual Report.

6.What does this link to?…

6.1 This policy also links to our:

  • Corporate Plan
  • Be a great landlord strategy
  • Customer focus strategy
  • Growth and sustainability strategy
  • EDI policy
  • Social values framework
  • Health & safety policy
  • Environmental policy
  • Procurement policy
  • Procurement & tendering procedures.

7.We’ll look at this again…

7.1 In three years’ time, or sooner if anything changes.