As a family-owned business, established over 85 years ago and in its third generation of stewardship, we have a clear sense of who we are and of the long-standing values that run through everything we do. We are united behind a simple purpose “To improve and enrich lives through responsible investing in people, places and ideas”. This means taking a long-term view when making decisions and evaluating the societal impact of all our activities, from property management and development, to investing in new businesses.
However, as we look to the future and our centenary year in 2035, our aim is to ensure that we are delivering on our purpose consistently and across all facets of the organisation, establishing it as a lasting legacy that will be cherished and preserved long after the business has transitioned to the next generation.
We also believe that as a responsible business, this approach is vital given the profound challenges facing us as a global society.
The way we ‘do business’ is changing fast. Our environment is increasingly characterised by scarcity, disruption and instability. Around the world, business innovation is leading to rapid and transformational changes in technology, consumption patterns and lifestyle aspirations. In addition, globalisation and technological advancement have led to a more connected world where impacts are swift and magnified. These societal shifts and changing expectations mean that companies bear greater responsibility than ever, being urged to take a more active role in addressing society’s problems and lead change in response to these critical social and environmental challenges. There is a strong drive towards purposeful business, balancing financial performance with delivering positive social impact and taking a responsible approach to the environment.
The concepts of stewardship, responsible ownership and legacy run very deep within our business. We believe that responsible stewardship means handing on a business that is not only financially resilient and profitable, but one that nurtures the environment and makes a positive impact upon society. During the next 13 years, as we look forward to our centenary in 2035, we will continue to move from embracing our purpose to embodying it.
If we truly embody our stated purpose, everything we do will have a positive social (People), environmental (Planet) and economic (Performance) impact.
Our approach is to balance these three strands equally. This will inevitably be challenging, but we believe will deliver long-term success. As a family-owned business, we have a role to play in shaping responsible practices.
Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Our promise to live and breathe our purpose signals a commitment to doing business in a socially, environmentally and economically responsible way, where each factor is held and pursued in equal weighting. This means that:
• No single aspect of the Centenary Vision will be pursued at the expense of another. The three strands need to be united and kept in balance to drive success.
• We will approach our business – decisions, policies, practices and behaviours with these three strands clearly in mind.
• The Centenary Vision signals a commitment to sustainable business practices and a sustainable future.
In summary, our Centenary Vision focuses on conducting business and making decisions today which take into account the future impact of those actions tomorrow across generations.
Being a responsible investor, caring about legacy and being a steward for the longer term are central to our centenary vision. In this short film, Werner Baumker, Group Director - Property and Colin Brown, former Director - Development explain what this means and how we are putting environmental and economic sustainability and positive societal impact at the heart of our future development plans for our Elizabeth and Juno Way Industrial Estates at Lewisham.