Premier Farnell plc (LSE:pfl) – the leading multi-channel, high service distributor supporting millions of engineers and purchasing professionals globally, has been awarded Platinum level in the Business in the Community (BiTC) Corporate Responsibility Index. This is a significant achievement that recognises Premier Farnell’s strategic commitment to CSR even through the recent challenging business period. As the only distributor supporting electronic design engineers that has taken part in the Index, this result recognises Premier Farnell as one of the most responsible companies in its sector and, even more importantly, as one of only four companies in the entire FTSE 250 to achieve Platinum.
The CR Index is the UK’s leading voluntary benchmark of Corporate Responsibility (CR), helping companies to integrate and improve CR throughout their operations by providing a systematic approach to managing, measuring and reporting on business impacts on society and the environment. The CR Index assesses the extent to which responsible practices are integrated with corporate strategy and are embedded throughout the organisation. This year, Premier Farnell scored 100% in three of the five core components of the Index; Corporate Strategy, Integration and Assurance & Disclosure.
Premier Farnell has implemented an extensive CSR programme and a wide-reaching Trust Agenda that continues to reap both internal and external benefits. CSR at Premier Farnell has helped many facets of business performance – the Company’s independently-verified employee engagement scores have increased year-on-year, with employees rating social responsibility and Trust Agenda as the most engaging programme over the last three years.
“This is a wonderful recognition of our commitment to deeply embedding Trust. We operate in an industry that holds a key to correcting environmental damage and with or without these awards, Premier Farnell will continue to take this responsibility seriously,” said Harriet Green, CEO of Premier Farnell. “The BiTC CR Index is an important measure for companies in every sector. I am proud and grateful that Premier Farnell has been recognised as the only member of its sector in the Index and one of the leaders in its wider peer group. This award is one that each and every one of our employees has helped us to receive and to them I say thank you!”
Research carried out by Ipsos MORI in 2008 identified links between strong corporate responsibility principles and above average shareholder returns. Over the past four years, Premier Farnell’s share price has risen by 23%, while its carbon footprint has reduced by 23%. This is significant given the Company has continued to expand its reach internationally – an achievement recognised by the CR index – moving from Bronze to Platinum level in just four years and increasing its employee engagement levels in each of the last three years.
Premier Farnell is committed to innovation and has used unique solutions throughout its CSR programme. The Company has developed it own award-winning biodegradable packaging for electronic components and has recently sponsored three disabled athletes around the globe who each have aspirations of competing at the 2012 Paralympics in London.
“As a leading global distributor of electronic components, Premier Farnell’s strategy is to continue to meet the needs of design engineers as they create the innovative and green products of tomorrow, said Steven Webb, Company Secretary and General Counsel for Premier Farnell, who leads the CSR programme with Harriet Green CEO. “element14, our latest innovation, supports electronic design engineers who are faced with many challenges arising from the increase in environmental legislation, and in consumer demand for greener electronics. It provides the ideal forum and peer-to-peer collaboration necessary in a world where electronic designs are changing the way we live.”