Delivering Sustainable Value
Delivering Sustainable Value
The importance of the Highways industry to the UK economy is perhaps under-appreciated. Whilst being a major source of employment it also services over 85% of passenger miles and enables the UK economy to flourish.
Highways connect people in every corner of the country; they are the circulatory system that keeps the country functioning. There is a tremendous amount of social value delivered by our road network, especially for our ageing demographic. Well designed and constructed highways can stitch communities together, make them safer, allow the vulnerable to go about their business safely, but poor highways can quite literally divide communities.
UK roads are currently amongst the safest in the world and that was achieved by being open to new ideas, working collaboratively, being innovators and early adopters. Therefore it is imperative to continue delivering the sustainable value we must continuously seek to develop innovative equipment, products and working processes that deliver a safer network that flows freely at a great value.
These sustainable solutions not only increase the social value provided by our road network but ensure we as a business continuously improve and have opportunities to share best practice and innovative products around the world. We must ensure this is all done ethically and work with our supply chain to safeguard workers in the entire supply chain.
Creating efficient value is fundamental to operate sustainably, as it enables a greater amount of work to take place using fewer resources. This is beneficial for the environment, but it also enables greater value to be delivered to our clients, often Government bodies meaning either more highways work can take place to keep them operating smoothly or resources can be allocated to other expenditure such as the NHS. Our products have reduced both embedded and operational carbon footprint. We have targets towards Net Zero and creating a circular economy collaboratively with our value chain along with responsible governance that is aligned with the global SDGs.
To create value efficiently, we need to consistently innovate and improve our vehicles, equipment, processes, behaviours, and all other aspects of our business. We pride ourselves on our ability to innovate and it is why it is a WJ core value that we seek to embody in everything we do.
Over the years we have developed many innovations that have not only pushed our own business forward but have transformed the working practices of the road marking sector.
Value also has to be created meaningfully, which is why our innovations do not only focus on efficiency but on a wide range of attributes so all our stakeholders benefit. This can be seen in our production process where we have developed systems that reduce waste and maximise the resources used. However this also benefits the environment as less material has to be disposed of.
Another example is the introduction of the WJ Robotic PreMarker, which can reduce the time needed to complete certain activities by 96% but it also removes operatives from the potential hazardous carriageway for extended periods of time.
As a business, we understand our role in creating better societies. It is not just about the value of what we spend, but how we create the value. To truly understand our impacts, we have developed a social value calculation model that enables us to see the value our activities are providing to communities throughout the UK.
This includes understanding the impacts of our operations, employees, community works, environmental performance, and our innovations. By understanding our social value and impacts, we can prioritise them better and make them more meaningful.
One of the most important aspects of business is creating value transparently. Transparency to our people, our supply chain, our clients and most importantly, the community we serve. This is understood by all our employees and has become culture to all departments.
Everyone has a chance to work and progress at WJ through our non-biased recruitment scheme. We have female, disabled and ethnically diverse road markers as well as office-based employees that reflect the local demographic. We treat people fairly, inclusively, and respectfully at WJ and everyone has a chance to grow equally. We have also committed to tackling modern slavery and we are working towards ensuring it not only does not happen in our own business but also throughout our supply chain. This can be seen in our Modern Slavery statement.
With our value chain, both towards suppliers and clients, we treat them with respect and have in place systems to ensure this is adhere to. An example of this is the support we have given to many of the SMEs we work with throughout the COVID pandemic through timely payments, PPE provision, and other operational support. We deliver with quality and we ensure procurement is ethical. We have done various exercises to understand the different impacts of our products and services, as well as its traceability. This is all part of the journey of us becoming a responsible business.