Relationships are integral to our business model and the successful delivery of our strategy. We believe that a positive impact in these relationships will enable us to create sustainable value for our shareholders.

Outlined below are details of five key relationships with our stakeholders, the steps we take to engage with them, and the impact we have which helps us build a responsible and sustainable business.

We strive to do all we can to maintain and deepen these relationships to best serve our customers, provide returns to our shareholders, and be responsive to changing expectations regarding the role of business in society. We aim to build a responsible business which has a positive impact on all of our stakeholders and creates value beyond profitability

Our customers

One of our most significant societal impacts results from the relationships we have with our customers supporting their businesses in the UK, Spain and Ireland. We aim to drive business forward by helping customers manage their fleet in the most efficient way and do this by offering a full range of vehicle solutions.

We currently support business in the UK, Spain, and Ireland with:

  • 73,200 vehicles on fully flexible hire allowing our customers to adapt to changing demand; and
  • 16,000 vehicles on minimum term hires allowing our customers a stable platform to grow their business.

Across our markets we have a positive impact on the economies in which we operate, generating economic activity and adding value for our customers.

We value our customers' feedback and have worked throughout the year to deliver some great results for our customers.

The following examples highlight this:

UK

We were able to find a flexible vehicle solution that enabled Enserve Group to achieve cost savings while promoting more eco-friendly driving through use of our telematics platform with Enserve noting:

"Under Northgate's flexible rental agreement, vehicles can be handed back without penalty, making it the perfect solution to the flexible element of contract work. The way that Northgate has responded to any challenges thrown at Enserve and maintained the cost savings it delivers to the business has given us full confidence in their service."

Spain

Working with Areatrans, we have demonstrated the value of our scale and agility with the customer noting that:

"Northgate has the unique capability to provide a vehicle in the shortest possible time, allowing us to respond immediately to our customers."

Further case studies are available online at www.northgateplc.es & www.northgatevehiclehire.co.uk

Our investors

Our investors provide us with the funding we need to meet the capital requirements of the Group. We are listed on the London Stock Exchange and provide investors with regular updates enabling them to make informed investment decisions. We encourage two way communication with financial analysts, shareholders and lenders to ensure that we are allocated capital efficiently at a rate which enables us to provide returns to our shareholders.

Our leadership team regularly hold meetings with investors and feedback from them informs strategic discussion at Board level. The Group also held a capital markets day in October with investors and analysts, to give further insight to our strategic direction and an update on performance between reporting periods.

Our employees

We believe that employee engagement is crucial to the success of our business model and the delivery of our strategy outlined on Strategy. We have a positive impact on our employees through creation of high quality jobs with opportunities for progression. Clear communication ensures that employee goals are aligned to the Group. Regular training enables everyone to perform to the best of their ability and progress their career within the Group. We also offer flexible benefits to our employees in recognition that each individual has different needs, and those needs may change over time.

The composition of our workforce at 30 April is as follows:

20182017
MaleFemaleTotalMaleFemaleTotal
UK1,2884751,7631,2864951,781
Spain7353881,1236683701,038
Ireland8331114692897
Total2,1068943,0002,0238932,916

The gender split at a senior management level is as follows:

20182017
MaleFemaleMaleFemale
Directors5242
Senior managers215215

Health, safety and working environment

Our approach to health and safety is simple: to ensure that no harm comes to anyone engaged with Northgate. As employers we believe that we should mitigate health, safety and environment risks within our control to an acceptable level.

Our 'Safe and sound' programme creates an environment of openness and awareness, where all colleagues feel empowered to raise concerns about working practices and conditions. Regular training is provided to employees, most of which is carried out internally by our Health, Safety & Environment team.

The Health, Safety & Environment team carried out audit reviews to measure performance of health, safety and environment management systems at all locations across the Group during the year and where necessary identified improvements and monitored compliance against Group policy.

Health and Safety performance across the business is measured using an Accident Frequency Rate (AFR). This is calculated as the number of lost time incidents, multiplied by 100,000, divided by the number of hours worked. These figures were as follows:

201820172016
UK0.90.80.9
Spain1.91.92.2
Ireland0.91.01.1
Group1.21.21.4

We aim to have as low an AFR as possible. However, due to the unique nature of our business it is difficult to find a comparator population for AFRs from which to deduce a meaningful target other than minimisation. AFRs are monitored against previous performance and if there were to be a significant decline in performance then a root cause analysis, over and above the continuous monitoring currently in place, would be performed.

Internal communications

The Group mixes face to face, digital and traditional communications channels in order to maximise the impact of communication with our employees. Examples include newsletters, staff conferences and use of Yammer.

Training

We use multiple training platforms for our employees. These include Leadership and Operations Academies in the UK and the Northgate Campus online platform in Spain.

Equality and human rights

Northgate is committed to equality and considers applicants without prejudice judging applications for employment neither by race, nationality, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation nor political bias.

Our ethical standards are communicated to employees through the Group's Code of Business Conduct, which covers bribery, competition, conflicts of interest, inside information, confidentiality, gifts and entertainment, discrimination, harassment and fair dealing with customers and suppliers. In addition, the Group's whistleblowing policy and procedure enables every employee to have a voice and a means by which they may draw concerns to our attention.

Information on equality, including our statement of compliance with the Modern Slavery Act, is contained on our website.

Our suppliers

Our suppliers provide important inputs to our business model, enabling us to meet demand and deliver for our customers. We believe that maintaining strong relationships with our suppliers is mutually beneficial. It allows us to efficiently execute our strategy and it has a positive impact on our suppliers' ability to manage cash flow and production. Vehicle pricing is negotiated on an annual basis and we maintain an active dialogue with suppliers throughout the year. These relationships provide a competitive advantage and help us generate sustainable value for our shareholders.

Our communities and the environment

We value the communities in which we operate and our aim is that our business activities have a positive impact on them. In addition to supporting local business with their fleets we employ 3,000 people across all of our locations. Further, we continue to champion green technology and initiatives to protect our environment.

Communities

As well as being a contributor to the economies in which we operate we actively encourage our colleagues to engage with charities that are close to their hearts. All charitable activity is promoted and championed through ongoing internal communications.

UK and Ireland

In the UK we established a national partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support and have supported them throughout the year so that they can continue to change the lives of millions of people affected by cancer. Throughout the year our people hosted a number of fundraising events including a Go Mad, Go Green Day and participation in the Worlds Biggest Coffee Morning.

Spain

Our Spanish business engaged with a number of community and charity initiatives over the year. This included continued sponsorship of Gavi, a vaccine alliance, as well as entering into partnerships with local schools in order to offer scholarships and training opportunities within our business.

The communities we operate in provide the core of our workforce, meaning that our employees understand the communities where we are present.

Environment

The activities that we undertake also have a wider impact on the environment. The main measure that we use to assess our environmental impact is greenhouse gas emissions.

Greenhouse gas emissions

This section incorporates the mandatory reporting of greenhouse gas emissions required by the Companies Act 2006 (Strategic Report and Directors' Report) Regulations 2013 (the Regulations).

Reporting and baseline year

Our reporting and fiscal years have been aligned, meaning that the information presented covers the period from 1 May 2017 to 30 April 2018 with the year ended 30 April 2014 being the baseline data for subsequent periods.

Consolidation approach and organisational boundary

The emissions data presented has been derived using the operational control approach, required under the Companies Act 2006 (Strategic Report and Directors' Reports) Regulations 2013. Each facility under operational control has been included within the figures. Northgate has used the principles of the GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard (revised edition), ISO 14064-1.

Methodology

Defra's current conversion factors have been used in arriving at the information supplied below. All six greenhouse gases are reported as appropriate.

Greenhouse gas emissions figures

Greenhouse Gas Emissions SourceTonnes of CO2e 2018Tonnes of CO2e 2017Tonnes of CO2e 2014
Scope 1 – Combustion of fuel and operation of facilities7,2106,2015,980
Scope 2 – Electricity, heat, steam and cooling3,5814,7664,348
Intensity ratio: Tonnes of CO2e per £m of revenue22.924.523.4

The above data has been verified by an independent, UCAS accredited, third party assessor.

We recognise the need to support our customers in managing a sustainable business. We work with our suppliers to make a fleet available to our customers comprising entirely modern vehicles, achieving the highest levels of exhaust emission standards.

A number of initiatives have been introduced during the year to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. These include:

UK and Ireland

Further investment in LED lighting at an additional three locations.

Spain

An increase in the number of electric and hybrid vehicles on the fleet contributing towards emissions reductions.

Our dedication to robust environmental principles, policies and procedures has meant that we have maintained ISO 14001 accreditation in both the UK and Spain.