Corporate Responsibility

Macfarlane Group has a responsibility to ensure that through its business operations it impacts positively on society. In order to achieve this we have a series of three programmes focused on environmental care, improving the customer experience and increasing employee engagement.

Corporate Responsibility (CR) leadership comes from an internal committee consisting of members from a cross section of the Group led by the Chief Executive. The key objectives of the CR Committee are:

  • To improve the awareness of CR across the Group;
  • To develop and implement CR action plans that support the CR strategy;
  • To ensure that CR becomes an integral part of daily operational activities; and
  • To monitor and report on CR performance using agreed key performance indicators (KPI’s).

The environment

Mandatory Greenhouse Gas Reporting 2016

Macfarlane Group is committed to reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This report outlines Macfarlane’s GHG emissions for the year ended 31 December 2016.

Using an operational approach, Macfarlane Group identified its boundaries to ensure all of the activities and facilities for which it is responsible were being recorded and reported in line with Scope 1 and 2 of the Mandatory Greenhouse Gas Reporting regulation. Relevant data was provided to an independent consultant, Carbon Clear. The validity, accuracy and completeness of the data was audited by Carbon Clear and then used to calculate the GHG for Macfarlane Group. The calculations were completed in accordance with the main requirements of ISO-14064-1:2006 standard and deliver both absolute values and an intensity ratio for Macfarlane’s emissions. Acquisitions made during 2016 have been included in GHG reporting, an assumption has been made regarding usage based on equivalent sites within the Group.

Macfarlane Group uses total turnover (£000) in the reporting period to calculate the intensity ratio, as this allows emissions to be monitored over time taking into account changes in the size of the company. This factor was chosen because it provides the greatest degree of accuracy and is the metric best aligned to business growth.

The results show that total gross GHG emissions in the period were 6,946 tonnes of CO2e, (2015 – 6,848 tonnes) comprised of the following:

  • Direct Emissions (Scope 1)

    4,856 tonnes of CO2e – 70% (2015 – 4,315 tonnes – 63%)

  • Indirect Emissions (Scope 2)

    2,090 tonnes of CO2e – 30% (2015 – 2,533 tonnes – 37%)

Broken down by business unit the results were as follows;

  • Distribution

    4,493 tonnes of CO2e – 65% (2015 – 4,707 tonnes – 69%)

  • Manufacturing Operations

    2,453 tonnes of CO2e – 35% (2015 – 2,141 tonnes – 31%)

These results are shown in tables 1 and 2 and comparing year on year emissions data for the two years 2015 and 2016, overall emissions have increased by 98 tonnes which equates to an increase of 1.4%. The increase in emissions in 2016 has arisen primarily from the increase in Vehicle Fuel consumption.


Table 1: emissions data

Emission information


Table 2: Emissions data – business segments

Emissions data table 2
“References The following source of the carbon emissions factors was used:‘2016 Guidelines to Defra/DECC’s GHG Conversion Factors for Company Reporting’, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC)”


Table 3: Recycling and recovery rate

Recycling and recovery rate


Waste management

The recycling and recovery (landfill diversion) rate for 2016 across all sites was marginally down compared to 2015. This small decrease is not a reflection of increased landfill, but a decrease in the volume of bulk recyclables collected at Distribution sites. The figures from Distribution also reflected changes to the waste streams of some acquisitions as well as consolidation of sites where one off costs and extra waste were evident.

Our goal to achieve a zero to landfill status was very close within our manufacturing sites with the recycling and recovery rate for 2016 over 99% with the majority of the waste separated for recycling at source. Various initiatives e.g. recycling backing papers within Labels and new sources for sawdust waste at Grantham contributed to these positive results

Our goals for 2017 are as follows:

  • Cost/benefit feasibility analysis to explore a 100% landfill diversion option
  • Increase the volumes of the paper backing recycling programme in Labels and support customerswith this initiative
  • Internal waste reduction programme utilising offcuts from the Packaging Design and Manufacture business
  • Increase the recycling rates in the Packaging Distribution business
  • Introduce the recent acquisitions to Cory with a view to managing waste streams more effectively


Environmental care

Macfarlane Group works in partnership with its customers and suppliers to ensure, at every opportunity, we provide an expert, independent and tailored approach, so that the products and services we provide take into consideration the impact on the environment.

One approach we take in order to achieve this is through an Environmental Product Matrix, produced in conjunction with our suppliers, which is consistent with the underlying need to ensure products are effectively protected in storage and transit. This Matrix enables our customers to choose packaging, which is fit for purpose; whilst ensuring they still embrace the Reduce, Re-use, and Recycle ethos.

To support our ongoing commitment to improve our environmental performance, we pursue the following objectives:

  • To ensure compliance with all applicable environmental legislation and regulations;
  • To reduce emissions’ pollution;
  • To improve waste management practices;
  • To reduce the consumption of natural resources;
  • To minimise noise and other nuisances; and
  • To continuously assess our environmental performance.

Environmental information is recorded, reviewed and analysed, by an identified team of individuals to ensure compliance with the Company’s legal obligations and achievement of internal objectives and targets.

The Group continues to make progress in its performance against the identified CR objectives. During 2017, the CR Committee will continue to review environmental performance, actively supporting methods or practices that contribute to the continued development of a culture driven by environmental responsibility.


Accident frequency rate

Accident frequency rate

Registration to ISO 14001

With the exception of recent acquisitions, all our UK packaging sites are registered to BSI ISO 14001 Environmental Management Standard. As an internationally recognised standard on environmental management, registration involves a process of continual assessment of our environmental standards and processes.

Health and safety

The health, safety and welfare of our people, including colleagues, customers and suppliers, forms a critical part of Macfarlane Group’s business objectives. We aim to achieve a positive health and safety culture through the creation of a safe and healthy work environment, preventing and minimising risks. Our vision and goals for Health and Safety and how we commit to achieve them are based upon the best practice guidelines, issued by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). To ensure we adhere to and abide by best health and safety practices we have dedicated Health and Safety Managers in the business, who work with local Health and Safety teams to ensure knowledge and standards are effectively applied to the business on a consistent basis throughout all the health and safety disciplines.

To ensure constant and consistent focus regarding Health and Safety throughout the Group, it is a main agenda item at all formal monthly review meetings and operating sites in the Group are internally assessed and graded on their Health and Safety performance.

The Group Board plays a pivotal role in overseeing the operation of all Health and Safety. The Group Board reviews a monthly report on Health and Safety at each meeting. This report covers incidents, near misses, reportable and non-reportable incidents. The Accident Frequency Rate (AFR) representing the number of reportable incidents per 100,000 man-hours worked is shown above.

In 2016, we experienced an increase in AFR vs. 2015. This represented nine reportable incidents compared to five in 2015. All reportable incidents are investigated thoroughly by our Health & Safety team and changes to working practices implemented if required.


Annual customer satisfaction scores

Annual customer satisfaction data


The customer experience

Customer feedback

To continually improve our service to our customers, we use a range of metrics to evaluate our performance on an annual basis. In Packaging Distribution, we gain regular feedback from our customers throughout the year through Net Promoter Score (NPS) Surveys, Mystery Shopper and online Trust Pilot reviews. This insight is then used to improve products, processes and systems that interact with our customers. In addition, we continue to survey our customers in all of our businesses, on an annual basis, to evaluate our performance against a range of key service metrics.

Sales order management

Our online customer order management system, Customer Connect, and is contributing to improvements in productivity as well as meeting the needs of our customers requiring more visibility of their packaging management. In the Packaging Distribution business in 2016, the value of sales transacted online has increased from 11.9% to 12.3%.
In Packaging Distribution in 2016, orders transacted online decreased to 24% vs. 26% in 2015.

Electronic documentation

In 2016, 78% (2015 – 75%) of invoices to our customers were delivered electronically, further reducing our paper usage. The Group is continuing to encourage customers to receive documentation electronically.

Macfarlane group websites

Our family of websites enables existing and potential customers to research and evaluate our products and services and is a major contributor in generating new leads for the business. We will continue to invest in our websites to improve the experience for our customers and visitors and strengthen our value proposition.


Macfarlane Group websites

Website domain
Target market/audience
Packaging Distribution Wide range of businesses using packaging that need to protect their products during shipping and storage.
Network Packaging Wide range of businesses using packaging that need to protect their products during shipping and storage.
One Packaging Businesses local to One Packaging using packaging that need to protect their products during shipping and storage.
Packaging Distribution Ireland Wide range of businesses in Ireland that need to protect their products during shipping and storage.
Packaging Design and Manufacture Manufacturers of high value products in the Aerospace, Defence, Electronics, Medical and General Industrial sectors.
Labels FMCG manufacturers and retailers in the food, health and beauty, household products, beverages and pharmaceutical industries.
Macfarlane Group Individuals seeking information on Group operations, Board procedures and financial performance for existing and potential investors.


The employee experience

Macfarlane Group recognises the importance of recruiting, developing, rewarding and retaining the very best people to ensure our business continues to run successfully. Maintaining a working environment that promotes good employee relations, safety and employee engagement at all levels is critical to every Macfarlane operation.

Employee development

Macfarlane Group strives to make our workplace one in which individuals feel challenged, fulfilled and able to achieve their full potential. The Group invests in training in order to best equip individuals with the skills and knowledge required to provide an outstanding tailored service to our customers and fulfil their personal potential. On average, in 2016 each employee was engaged in 11 hours of formal training.

Macfarlane Group offers a wide range of training opportunities, ranging from external training and coaching to on-the-job training. This allows individuals to be stretched and challenged to
achieve career objectives. The Company also provides Sponsored Further Education programmes, to support employee engagement in long-term education.

Employee engagement

Employee engagement is an ongoing feature of our business. Through performance appraisals, business update sessions and informal review meetings a platform is provided for employee participation and involvement. Employee Surveys are conducted throughout the business providing a constructive method of feedback. In addition, and to support consistent employee engagement we run a number of forums, both role-specific and, business specific. These forums have worked to provide a voice for our employees, to engage in an open two-way dialogue and have their views/ideas heard.

Macfarlane Group provides interactive tools and resources to employees via mechanisms such as iPads providing employees with the ability to gain information, advise and provide feedback instantly, supporting the continued aim of enhancing the customer experience.

Macfarlane Group encourages employees to engage with their local communities, supporting charities and activities that are having a positive impact in their region. During 2016 a number of Macfarlane teams engaged in events, providing support from both a resource and financial perspective.

Each year Macfarlane Group makes a one off donation to a charity chosen by the workforce; for 2016 this was the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.



Diversity table


A breakdown by gender of the Directors, Senior Managers and all employees of the Group at 31 December 2016 is summarised above.


Human Rights

Macfarlane Group does not have a specific Human Rights policy at present but it does have other policies, which reflect established human rights principles. These are:

  • Equality – Macfarlane Group is committed to providing equal opportunities in employment and to avoiding unlawful discrimination in recruitment, employment or to its customers and suppliers. Striving to ensure that the work environment is free of harassment and bullying and that everyone is treated with dignity and respect is an important aspect of ensuring equal opportunities in employment and there is a specific dignity at work policy, which deals with these issues. Where an employee becomes disabled every effort is made to ensure that their employment with the Group continues and that appropriate adjustments are made. Disabled employees receive equal opportunities regarding selection for training, career development and promotion.
  • Engagement – Macfarlane Group recognises the importance of meaningful communication and consultation in maintaining good employee relations. This is achieved through formal and informal meetings across all business units as referred to earlier.
  • Anti-bribery and corruption – Macfarlane Group has an antibribery and corruption policy, which is supplemented by a gift register and an associated policy on accepting gifts.
  • Whistleblowing policy – there is provision for employees to use an independent service if they are not comfortable speaking to anyone within Macfarlane Group with regard to any matters which give them concern. This service is promoted throughout the Group.
  • Modern Slavery Act – Macfarlane Group has now made a statement under the Modern Slavery Act which is supported by internal procedures to ensure that the principles of the act are adhered to. The statement is available on the website (