Delivering Social Value
Forfront is committed to deliver social value improvements through the general operation of our business. We are currently working with the WhatImpact organisation to set up partnerships between companies (including ourselves) and charities/social enterprises with a view to ensuring Social Value can have a measurable impact on the local area.
In line with the Social Value Priorities set out in the PPN 06/2020, the following sets out a number of ways we are working to benefit the local area through our general business operations.
1. COVID-19 recovery
We propose to continue supporting our team to manage and recover from the impact of COVID-19 with flexible working conditions including remote working.
Over the past 12 months, we have helped many of our customers to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in their respective businesses with measures including additional consultancy, training and restructuring of commercial arrangements.
Over the past 12 months, we have also offered our services with the help of our local MP, to local schools, charities and other organisations who have been engaged in providing important advice or guidance to local stakeholders in relation to COVID-19: https://www.e-shot.net/insights/blog/helping-you-to-keep-people-informed-covid-19
2. Tackling Economic Inequality
Recruitment: We continue to develop and review our recruitment policies and employment conditions in line with the five foundational principles set out in the Good Work Plan. Our recruitment policy addresses recruiting for additional staff from the local area, in roles that encompass areas where there are known national skills shortages.
Apprenticeships: Additionally, we actively support the government apprenticeship schemes. We currently have 3 apprentices work at Forfront. We also continue to offer work experience and work placement opportunities to local schools and colleges and assess opportunities to widen this remit with each additional successful tender.
Continuing Professional Development: We fully support the team’s ongoing commitment to personal and professional development (CPD) and ensure that they are able to benefit from skills growth and undertake a minimum of 12 hours CPD per annum. We will look for ways to exceed this level where possible. The team will also continue to benefit from a range of internal training and distance learning materials on relevant topics including cybersecurity.
New Technologies: This forms part of a wider and sustained effort to embrace innovative and disruptive technologies for both our own operations and as part of delivering innovative solutions to our clients. In tandem with this, we continue to work towards ensuring we modernise delivery in areas including security, accessibility and collaboration.
Cybersecurity: We are committed to continually mitigating the risks of cybersecurity and have worked extensively over the past 12 months on this area. We have been accredited with Cyber Essentials plus certification and implement the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) Cloud Security Principles. We also work closely with CISP and SEROCU Cyber Protect & Cyber Choices to help promote cyber security to SMEs and in Local Government. Find out more about our security commitments.
3. Fighting Climate Change
Forfront recognises the importance of ensuring our business has a positive environmental impact.
Our products and services are maintained in a way that seeks to continually improve effectiveness and sustainability in accordance with legislation, international standards and best practice.
We integrate environmental considerations into everyday operations in a number of ways:
Reduce levels of energy consumption: We use energy efficient equipment; we use efficient LED lights for our office lighting and we maintain strict recycling policy.
Procure items and services from sustainable sources: We obtain services, equipment, and power from providers that are committed to environmental protection – such as our current hosting partner, one of the UK’s most energy efficient data centres, which uses 100% carbon neutral, renewable energy provided from UK wind farms. The centre maintains ISO14001 for best practice in environmental management. All equipment and infrastructure installed and sourced is of the highest energy efficiency rating possible.
Reduce use of consumables: We recycle equipment and limit the use of office consumables including paperless invoicing and other communication.
Reduce travel impact: We achieve this by using technology for collaboration and meetings. A significant proportion of our staff travel cycle to work and we have provided employees with facilities for bicycle storage.
Prevent and reduce pollution: We actively pursue the reduction of our use of substances and processes that adversely affect the environment.
Encourage employee awareness and participation: We encourage all employees to apply and practice this policy in our day-to-day operation.
An Environmental Compliance Report on our current office premises was completed in October 2020 and no issues were identified.
Data centres consume 3% of all electricity generated worldwide. The e-shot infrastructure used to deliver a solution was migrated in 2018 to one of the UK’s most energy efficient data centres, which uses 100% carbon neutral, renewable energy provided from UK wind farms. The centre maintains ISO14001 for best practice in environmental management. All equipment and infrastructure installed and sourced is of the highest energy efficiency rating possible that can be deployed.
4. Equal Opportunity
Forfront consider its social responsibility to the community in general and the local community in particular, as a core part of its DNA. Over the 20 years of its operation in the software provision business, it is extremely proud of its achievements in this area. The current workforce of Forfront includes:
Gender – male 56% and female - 44%
Non-British nationalities – 39% from 6 different countries
Ethnicity – Asian or Asian British – 17%, Black, Black British, Caribbean or African – 6%, White – 72%, Other ethnic group – 6%
Disability – 17%
Apprenticeship – 17%
But there is always room for improvement, so we are constantly reviewing our recruitment process, our support for the local community with our apprenticeship scheme and other initiatives.
In this contract we are committed to apply the same equal opportunity principals as listed above.
As part of our commitment we also make sure that we use the same criteria when choosing our suppliers.
Our Executive Board of Directors is responsible for making sure that all diversity targets are met. We believe that the reputation of Forfront is improved by having a representative Board and committees.
Although it is not obligatory for a company of our size, we still display our statement of zero tolerance to modern slavery and human trafficking, both in our organisation or anywhere in our supply chain. We incorporate measures to identify, mitigate and manage modern slavery risks in our activities and those of our supply chain.
Our procedures include structured activities at the beginning and end of each week for all staff, designed to promote health and wellbeing.
Through our optional private medical insurance scheme, we provide staff who opt in with the facility to get a health assessment and access to professional support and advice in relation to physical and mental health.
As an organisation, we have made The Commitment to the 6 Standards of Mental Health at Work.
Accredited Living Wage Employer
We are delighted to announce that Forfront Limited is an accredited Living Wage Employer. This means that every member of staff working for Forfront Limited will earn a real Living Wage.
The real Living Wage is higher than the government’s minimum, or National Living Wage, and is an independently calculated hourly rate of pay that is based on the actual cost of living. It is calculated each year and is announced by the Living Wage Foundation as part of Living Wage Week. It is currently £9.90 in the UK.
Over 9,000 organisations, including Forfront Limited, voluntarily choose to pay the real Living Wage because we believe that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay. You can find other organisations who pay the Living Wage here: https://www.livingwage.org.uk/living-wage-map This commitment applies to not only directly employed staff but also to our contracted staff.
The Living Wage movement has benefited hundreds of thousands of families by enabling them to earn a wage they can live on. You can find out more about the Living Wage by visiting www.livingwage.org.uk.