Bringing a wealth of experience from the third sector, Kate Harcus will build on Redrow’s reputation as a company that cares.
The national housebuilder has strengthened its now five-strong sustainability team with the appointment of Kate to the role of sustainability and social responsibility advisor, based at the firm’s UK headquarters in Flintshire, North East Wales.
Her appointment to the newly created position signals Redrow’s commitment to improving its reputation as a responsible business, by further strengthening its links with the communities in which it builds and focussing on the wellbeing of its staff, as the company continues its rapid growth.
“I was keen to move into the private sector and jumped at the opportunity to work with Redrow and see how much could be achieved. Initially my focus will be on launching the new ‘Pathfinders’ scheme, which will involve working with groups of employees within each of our 13 regional divisions, to encourage improved sustainability practices, health and wellbeing for staff and partnerships with local charities and community organisations.”
“I’ll also be looking to strengthen communication channels within the business so our efforts to operate responsibly are reported and made available for our stakeholders.”
“There is already so much good work going on within the company but there’s an opportunity to make a real difference to the wider communities in which we build. We’ll be looking to link up with a network of smaller, local charities. Becoming a more sustainable business is not just important for our corporate social responsibility agenda, it’s proven to be a boost for a business’s bottom line.”
Marine resource management graduate Kate, from Caergwrle, Flintshire, left her job as a catering manager in London to volunteer for Groundwork Oldham and Rochdale in 2006. Within a couple of months she’d secured a permanent role as an environmental business advisor, a position she held for six years, working with a variety of commercial business to improve on resource efficiency and corporate social responsibility practices. As the recession hit, she undertook a range of funded projects linked to health and wellbeing in the work place. One such project was the Try-Athlon initiative, where teams from local businesses trained for a mini-triathlon, encouraging team spirit and improving health and wellbeing.
In 2013, Kate joined Business Supporting Communities to coordinate a lottery-funded project encouraging companies in Flintshire and Wrexham to support and work with the third sector. It was during this role she was first introduced to Redrow and was impressed by the company’s culture of assisting with charitable projects.
She has also worked with charities to improve the success of their operations by adopting private sector business models.
Rob Macdiarmid, sustainability director for Redrow, said:
“Our ethos is to create a better way to live, not just for our homeowners but those within the communities around our developments.”
“With her extensive third sector and corporate experience and tenacity, Kate will help us to make a difference in this area by focussing the efforts not only at Group level, but also around our divisional offices.”
Over recent years Redrow has been making great strides in creating a more sustainable business. It has a silver award from NextGeneration, an independent organisation which benchmarks the UK’s 25 largest housebuilders, and holds fifth place in the rankings.
For more on Redrow’s approach to sustainability and 2015 highlights go to: www.redrowplc.co.uk/sustainability.