Over the last two months, I have written articles about how a partnership with Anchor Group Services adds value to customer businesses through their ‘non-typical’ approach to providing solutions.

In my first article, I focused on key service pillars of customer relationships, team engagement and continuous innovation. In the second, I expanded upon Anchor’s inimitable approach to enabling success for customers via innovation and the right FM technology solutions.

For my third and final instalment of ‘Doing business in the right way (with the right solution)’, I will be looking at Anchor’s approach to ESG and social value and why this makes them a valuable partner for their customers.

It is sustainability and social value that draws the previous article aspects together, connecting partnerships for customers, colleagues and communities: relationships building trust, challenging approaches through innovation and technology, empowering everyone to do the right thing.

A rare, target based approach

Anchor strive to build sustainable, equitable, healthy, and diverse communities through a combination of innovative business practises and exemplary ESG performance. This genuine commitment informs every aspect of the business, including how they design and develop new projects and services, operate holistically as an organisation, collaborate with stakeholders, and report progress.

Through the last few years most, if not all, FM organisations have recognised the need to focus on sustainability and social value. However, motives can differ. For some it is a prerequisite to meet client procurement criteria and the commercial imperative. For a few others the determination is so much more than this, with a clarity that there is a necessity to truly do more for the local, national and global communities that connect colleagues and customers.

As I have got to know a cross-section of the Anchor team, I have learned that striving towards real sustainability and community engagement is a common thread that connects all colleagues throughout the organisation. Not only do the senior leadership team genuinely invest in the communities in which their colleagues work and live, but they also recognise the need to measure their performance against targets in order to manage improvement and contribution for those communities.

These targets form part of Anchor’s Social Value Framework, utilised to develop themes, outcomes and measures. They have further invested in the Social Value Portal to track numeric value, leading the way in the FM sector, let alone amongst fellow SME FM organisations.

This ESG leadership isn’t just measurement for measurement’s sake. It is a case of measure what really matters, why and to whom.

Commitment to Net Zero

Anchor’s CSR policy sets out the priorities to align with their clients, underpinned by commitments to supporting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. And they really understand what the SDGs are and how they connect individuals, teams, customers and the communities. It’s not just a trendy acronym for Anchor, it is something tangible.

Their five-year sustainability action plan includes the commitment to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2025 (that’s next year folks, not five or more years hence). This will be achieved by a number of initiatives, including eliminating carbon emissions from transport by transitioning to electric vehicles, decarbonising systems by shifting to renewable energy sources for electricity and heat and eliminating non-sustainable waste.

Within this pledge is the commitment to also support Anchor clients to achieve net zero through innovative new solutions. Through this, the team already provide services at a portfolio of 18 net zero carbon emissions buildings, including two retail destinations which are the first of their kind to achieve net zero operation against the UK Green Building Council’s (UKGBC) framework.

Positive social value

The senior team at Anchor are committed to creating positive social value for their people and the communities they work in. As well as being a key employer at their many sites across the UK, they are also committed to providing equal opportunities as an accredited Disability Confident employer and an Armed Forces Covenant Award Winner, the latter meaning that Anchor are committed to offering guaranteed interviews to veterans, providing additional days of annual leave to armed forces reservists and ensuring veterans are not disadvantaged as a result of their service.

ESG and adding value

So why is it important to find a business partner, particularly in the FM space, that has a strong ESG and Social Value Framework?

I am of the opinion that any business who cares about their environment, community and people as much as profitability care about service. These aspects are a connected, virtuous circle. It is a common theme that employees who are taken care of and truly happy in their roles are more productive and far more likely to do a better job than those who are disengaged. It therefore stands to reason that any business considering an FM partner should look through and beyond ESG and social value policies to understand what these mean in reality in order to determine the maximum value that a partnership can achieve.

My advice: challenge the bold claims made by many service providers, investigate the numbers, assess the reality, chat with the people and seek those, like Anchor, for whom ESG is not just a tick box acronym, it is the essence of doing business, together, in the right way.

If you would like to discuss the value that an Anchor partnership can bring to your business, please reach out to me on LinkedIn or fill in the contact form on the Anchor website.

Until next time,


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