Since our formation in 2007, we have embedded an ongoing commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) into our business processes and cultural values. We are committed to growing our business in a socially responsible way. This means we are focused on behaving ethically at all times, improving the quality of life for our staff and their families whilst ensuring we contribute to our local community and society at large. In addition, we insist on good environmental housekeeping in the daily running of our business ensuring we operate in a sustainable manner, minimising waste and our carbon footprint.
As a leading procurement service provider we have embraced the ethical code of conduct as published and promoted by the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (CIPS). The CIPS code of professional ethics is widely recognised as being the highest world standard for procurement practitioners. CIPS has over 65,000 members across the world with > 28,000 in the United Kingdom.
We encourage all of our clients to embrace this ethics code during our assignments and outsourcing arrangements.
All Optimum staff members sign up to the code of ethics when they join.
The CIPS code of professional ethics requires our staff to;
Our employees are required to uphold this code and to seek commitment to it by all those with whom they engage in their professional practice.
Employees are expected to encourage any client organisation they are working with to adopt an ethical purchasing policy based on the principles of this code and to raise any matter of concern relating to business ethics at an appropriate level.
Failure to uphold the principles of the code will result in disciplinary action being taken as specified in the Optimum (OBS Group Limited) company handbook.
We understand our responsibility to the environment and the need to minimise our environmental impact. All employees are required to uphold a minimum waste policy in the way they work. This includes the need to reduce paper usage and recycle resources wherever possible whilst ensuring they dispose of any IT hardware responsibly in accordance with WEEE regulations.
Our employees are mostly located in client’s premises but this in no way negates our commitment to reducing our energy usage. This means we must purchase energy efficient IT equipment in the first instance, use of lighting and heating within premises must be appropriate and turned off at the end of the working day.
The nature of our services mean that we are often required to travel frequently, sometimes long distances. Our first priority is to question whether any journey is really necessary and to challenge our clients in this regard as appropriate. The use of video conferencing is encouraged at all times, particularly with the advanced technology now available. We encourage the use of public transport over car usage and in city centre engagements encourage staff to walk if the journey is a short one.
Our values are based on professional commitment supported by a vibrant working environment where expertise and success are fairly rewarded.
Our employees are central to the successful growth of our company and we take their induction and development very seriously.
A continuous personal development programme runs within Optimum which is bespoke to an individual’s needs and career aspirations. In procurement and fleet services all employees are already professionally qualified or currently studying towards their relevant qualification. In procurement we are unambiguous in our support for CIPS qualifications as the world benchmark standard for procurement practitioners. We link this academic excellence with a tailored mix of in house training in core disciplines such as category management, supplemented by specific external training as appropriate.
We support equal opportunities for all employees regardless of gender, race, colour, ethnic origin, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, political opinion, family circumstances or age. Furthermore, we support diversity in the workplace, evidenced by 55% of our employees being female.
We believe it is a core duty of any leading procurement service provider to support their profession by developing younger talent to ensure the next generation of practitioners are identified and nurtured to the highest standards. It is our responsibility to put something back into our profession. To back this up we have successfully developed our own graduate scheme employing talent from leading universities in the North West of England.
All staff participate in a two way quarterly review with their line manager plus an annual in depth review. A programme of six, all staff team meetings mixing work with social activities are undertaken every year and are highly valued by all involved. A mentoring scheme is also in place for staff with the directors fully involved in the programme.
Our success in people development was recently endorsed by the judges of the Manchester Evening News, Young Business of the Year competition who sited our people strategy as an area of real excellence in promoting us to finalist status.
We strongly believe in supporting our local communities on matters of importance and aim to make a real difference by contributing our time and not just money to the cause. Every year we nominate at least one lead charity to support. Recently, this charity has been Action Duchenne which fights for a cure to Duchenne muscular dystrophy which is a severe genetic muscle wasting disease.
The spirit of our staff is supporting community activity consistently shines through with employees participating in everything from marathons and fun runs through to engaging celebrity sport stars to support Optimum in this regard. We are proud of our track record in supporting community activities and see this as a core part of our cultural values reinforcing our on-going commitment to CSR.