What a year it’s been at Aptus! As we reach the end of 2022 we have chosen a few highlights to share as we reflect on another successful year, thanks to the efforts of our amazing team and the relationships we have with our clients and industry partners.
The New Year began with ‘Aptus on Tour’ as, for the first time, managing director Lisa Kerford and the executive team visited all regions to host the annual Safety Stand Down. This is an event which brings everyone together to talk about the year’s successes, our health and safety performance, and focus on plans for the year ahead. With lots of new colleagues joining over the pandemic, it was important to welcome new members to the team, as well as reconnect with familiar faces in person.
During the year our numbers grew, and we were delighted to see around 230 of our colleagues and their families turn out to enjoy the hospitality and fun and games at Guys Thatched Hamlet on our annual Family Fun Day in June!
The Christmas party is another chance for our team to come together and put names to faces at the annual celebration, which has become a pinnacle in the Aptus social calendar. Around 230 colleagues braved the wintry weather to attend the event at the Bolton Stadium Hotel this December and enjoyed a three-course Christmas dinner followed by a DJ and dancing!
A key feature of the event is the Aptus Awards which allow us to acknowledge the outstanding performance of team members throughout the year and recognise the best contribution to business performance, customer service and the trainee and apprentice of the year, among other categories. We had so many nominations which is a credit to the efforts of our brilliant team. Click on our Aptus Awards rollcall (left) to see who won on the night.
This year we also bid a fond farewell to Roger Collier, who was with Aptus for 12 years as a gas technical support engineer. Roger was pivotal to the roots of the company and gained Aptus the accreditations we needed to start operating as a Multi Utility provider. We wish him a very happy retirement.
In June we were thrilled to be awarded a third RoSPA Gold Achievement Award confirming Aptus as one of the leading companies globally for the high health and safety standards we are setting in the workplace.
The HSQE team headed up by manager Delicia Maxwell, enjoyed celebrating at their first live awards ceremony at an afternoon tea held in the grounds of Nunsmere Hall in Cheshire, in June.
During the Covid-19 pandemic we reinforced our commitment to the health, safety and wellbeing of employees by launching our Safety Values and Wellbeing initiatives. We are pleased with the impact these have had and crowned Cumbria based jointer Graeme Rumney as the overall 2021-2022 HSQE award winner for his inspiring contribution to driving health and safety improvements. We also recognise colleagues throughout the year on a quarterly basis for their engagement in our campaigns.
In June, as a result of a suggestion from finance team member Diane Bassett, we had a visit from St John’s Ambulance as part of their ‘Three Ways to Save a Life’ campaign. They showed us essential first aid skills, including how to deal with choking, bleeding and how to administer CPR.
June also saw the launch of our first Wellbeing Week which we used to share tips on how to stay healthy and had fruit baskets delivered to all our offices and depots to encourage healthy eating throughout the workforce. We also partnered with Acorn Health to carry out ‘Know Your Numbers’ health checks, which measure cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure.
In 2022 we enlisted Sustainable Advantage to assist us with our first Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report, which lays out ambitious targets including achieving carbon neutral status by 2027, and has helped us identify areas where we can strengthen.
We are already seeing improvements – we sent zero waste to landfill, and we are increasing the recycling of materials through our relationship with waste management experts EWC. Through our pledge to donate £5 for every vehicle we have on the road each month, we are also pleased to have funded the planting of over 2,000 native trees supporting the World Land Trust‘s efforts to tackle deforestation.
We are focused on making business improvements including reducing fuel usage per head and reducing overall energy consumption by 25%. We are in the process of creating an Aptus Green Team to identify and implement solutions to help the business become more environmentally sustainable as well as helping us to promote environmental awareness through our Green Campaign.
Elsewhere, we have continued to rollout mental health awareness training with 34 Mental Health First Aiders now qualified, and we have more people lined up for training in 2023. We have also become Company Supporters of the Lighthouse Club Construction Industry Charity, which supports the mental, financial and physical wellbeing of construction workers and their families – and we pledge to continue to support the charity through an annual donation.
The introduction of Wellbeing Champions in 2023 will further enhance our efforts to look after colleagues and make sure everyone has access to mental health and wellbeing information and support wherever they may need it.
2022 was another landmark year for our apprenticeships with our Multi Utility Apprenticeship Training Scheme winning at the Insider North West Young Professionals Awards 2022. Three of our graduate apprentices celebrated the win along with managing director Lisa Kerford, people director Natasha Clarke and our training partners Utility and Construction Training at the ceremony in Manchester this April.
Throughout the year we attended several public events promoting careers and apprenticeships at Aptus Utilities and further cemented our commitment by signing the 5% Club charter, which pledges to have 5% of the workforce in ‘earn and learn’ positions within five years – a target Aptus has already exceeded!
In one of the most significant steps for the business, Aptus Academy was launched this autumn to formalise our commitment to career development at Aptus and provide a platform to support people to reach their full potential. In November, 30 members attended their first workshop which involved icebreakers, business updates, roundtable discussions and a communications masterclass. We’re already looking forward to our next workshop, due to take place in February 2023.
This year we had more people take part in our Donate-a-Day scheme than in any other year! Our colleagues supported a number of causes including the FareShare UK food campaign with a number of ‘food heroes’ collecting food donations at Tesco. Once again, we supported the annual Poppy Appeal, which you can read about in our latest issue of Connections here.
As part of our Green Campaign, we supported Cash for Kids’ ‘Wear Share Care’ initiative and encouraged colleagues to donate their unwanted clothing and help reduce the number of items sent to landfill. This led to Aptus hosting a permanent recycling bin at Aptus House Head Office – so when it comes to having a New Year clear out why not consider dropping off any unwanted clothes, shoes or accessories at our big blue bin and help Cash for Kids raise funds!
At Christmas, once again the team made a terrific effort to support Christmas Jumper Day, raising well over £100 for Save The Children. Colleagues also donated a pile of toys and gifts to Cash for Kids’ Mission Christmas – we are really proud of everyone’s efforts!
These are just a few of the moments that stand out for us but there have been many more we haven’t mentioned, such as our ‘new look’ logo, or being shortlisted at one of Manchester’s most prestigious business awards – but you can catch up with this news on our website or in past issues of Aptus Connections Magazine, which are always available to read for free here.
As we mark the end of another successful year, we look forward to 2023 and building on our growth, developing our people through the Aptus Academy, and continuing to meet our ESG commitments.
We are excited about developing new partnerships in the East Midlands and Central areas of the country and bringing our specialist multi utility services to those regions, as well as supporting developers with the transition from traditional heat supply networks to fossil-free alternatives, and through the increasing rollout of EV infrastructure.
As ever, if you want to get in touch with us and enquire about any of our services you can contact us here.
We wish everyone a very happy, healthy and successful 2023!