Prior to his pending retirement in May 2017, Prison Ombudsman Tom McGonigle talks to David Whelan about the role of his office and the latest annual report. In March 2016, the Northern Ireland Assembly passed legislation to support placing the Prisoner Ombudsman for Northern Ireland on a statutory footing. Tom McGonigle believes this is a...
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is the cornerstone of all operations for natural gas company, firmus energy, which has been awarded several certifications in recognition of its best practice across a diverse range of business disciplines.
Michael Scott, Managing Director, explains: “At firmus energy we are committed to ensuring we make a positive contribution wherever we can. We have a dedicated CSR team made up of employees from right across the business including engineering, marketing, regulation, sales, finance, pricing and customer services. This team delivers a programme of community involvement such as charity fundraising, volunteering for external community groups and providing support to local events.”
firmus energy’s exemplary commitment to being a responsible business is reflected in the fact that it has achieved ‘CORE’ status from Business in the Community, Northern Ireland’s only corporate responsibility standard.
Michael continues: “We are delighted to have achieved ‘CORE’ accreditation which recognises leaders in corporate responsibility practice. We are assessed in regard to people, planet and place, as well as marketplace responsibility, stakeholder engagement and responsible leadership. As it has to be renewed every three years, it also encourages and recognises our continuous improvement.”
In addition to ensuring best practice corporate responsibility within the community, firmus energy also strives to operate to the highest standards across all areas. This has resulted in the company obtaining a number of ISO accreditations which are globally recognised best practice models.
Last year firmus energy was one of the first companies in Northern Ireland to be awarded ISO 14001: 2015, highlighting the company’s commitment to the environment.
Michael explains: “This particular ISO recognises our Environmental Management System to the most up-to-date international standard. As well as providing homes and businesses with a cleaner-burning fuel, firmus energy also strives to be as environmentally conscious and efficient as possible with regards to how we do business. Our environmental policy is regularly communicated to our team, with particular focus on waste generation and recycling.
“In line with requests from staff, we now provide on-site bottle and clothes recycling facilities and over the past four years have recycled approximately 1,392 kilos of textiles.”
Health and Safety
In 2016, firmus energy also achieved ISO 18001 (OHSAS 18001) accreditation, a globally recognised occupational health and safety management system which helps organisations to identify and control health and safety risks.
“Working within the construction industry, having built out more than 1,100 km of gas pipeline across Northern Ireland, health and safety is our top priority. We need to ensure we are always operating to the highest standard and will apply for the new ISO 45001 when it is released.”
In autumn 2016, the company also passed Phase1 of the ISO 55001 accreditation, the benchmark standard for asset management, and is currently awaiting certification for Phase 2.
“CSR is important to the continued success of firmus. All employees are focused on both internal and external community activities and we look upon CSR as not just ‘nice to have’ but as having a real positive impact,” Michael concludes.
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