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Ferguson’s “Better business” framework comprises 13 material issues which actively support our growth, improve employee engagement, address our top risks and compliance requirements or are important to our shareholders, customers and suppliers.
The framework was established following consultation with our stakeholders. We strive to make these issues an integral part of how we do business.
Our experience tells us that engaged employees deliver great levels of customer service – a key driver of faster profitable growth. We will continue to develop and motivate our people, embedding a strong culture of execution, to deliver our improved business models. To do this, we must above all keep our people safe and healthy.
Supplying our customers with products of ever-greater quality and performance will gain us a greater share of their business. Working closely with our customers to select the energy-efficient materials they need deepens our relationships and opens up new markets. Running operations that consume less energy and fuel reduces costs and improves margins.
All issues within the Better Business framework are linked to our business objectives and performance.
Who has overall accountability and sets direction?
The overall programme is agreed by the Board and reviewed annually to ensure its ongoing relevance to business strategy, stakeholder expectations and international sustainability agendas. The Group’s General Counsel is responsible to the Board for the overall sustainability programme.
Who implements the strategy set by the Board?
With direction from the Board, the businesses define and execute local action plans according to their own particular level of development and the greatest opportunities for progress in line with strategy. The Group Risk, Compliance and Sustainability team oversees implementation.
Are targets and objectives set?
Objectives and, where appropriate, quantified targets are set for all sustainability programme components. For some focus areas, Group-wide KPIs have been defined. KPIs have not been set for all elements of the programme as it is not always practical to bring distinct local methods under one unified metric. Improved performance is the primary goal.
How is performance monitored?
Business units monitor performance against our most important sustainability issues throughout the year. Performance reports are submitted to the Executive Committee and the Board at regular intervals. For example, health and safety and fraud metrics are reported quarterly. Product integrity and environmental data is reviewed at the half-year and year-end. The Group Risk, Compliance and Sustainability team monitor performance across all areas of the sustainability programme (except for “Our people” which is overseen by the Group HR function). Ferguson’s Internal Audit teams periodically test compliance with policy and adherence to procedures.
How are risks assessed and mitigated?
Non-financial as well as financial risks are assessed as part of the Group’s comprehensive risk management process. These include fraud, corruption, product quality, employee, health and safety and environmental risks. For further information on the Group's risk management programme, click here.