In 2005, firmus energy was awarded a licence to develop a natural gas network to service 10 Towns and cities outside Greater Belfast.Hear from Firmus about its responsible business practices and why it was shortlisted for the NI Responsible Company of the Year 2017 Award.
Since then it has: built gas networks in over 30 cities, towns and villages; connected over 30,000 customers across our licensed area; laid over 1,100km of gas network and invested over £120m in NI; helped customers save over £40m in fuel costs; displaced 650,000 tonnes of CO2; and Suppled 90 million therms of natural gas annually. Employing 100 people and headquartered in Antrim the firm’s values of Clarity, Empathy, Integrity & Teamwork are embedded into the company’s culture and its CSR Strategy is fully based upon these.
What firmus energy did
Firmus energy invests both financially and practically in a number of community projects. These include:
The Environment – Achieved ISO 14001 accreditation for environmental management system, and partners with the Energy Saving Trust to support customers to become more energy efficient and save on their energy bills.
Investing in People – The only UK energy company to have all staff qualified to City & Guilds standard in Energy Awareness. Investors in People accredited in 2008; achieving Silver Standard in 2011 and 2015, and acknowledged as a centre of excellence.
Investing in Communities – Delivers Health & Safety talks in schools and provides worksheets to teach students about natural gas, providing work experience and assisting schools with their HR A-Level modules. Offers work experience and undertakes sixth year mock interviews each year with two schools. More than 50 staff participated in community clean up days ‘warming communities’ in Derry/Londonderry, Antrim and Richill.
Health & Wellbeing – Provides employee assistance for staff and their families through Inspire Workplaces. Its ‘Right-Track Team’ is chaired by non-management staff who are given the autonomy to make ‘the call’ around staff suggestions. No email policy after 6.30 pm and at weekends to aid work/life balance. A games break out area recently opened in Antrim HQ.
Other initiatives include: Manager’s Blue Time, to take “time out” and to consider their own and their team’s personal development as a key focus area; developing funding for fuel poverty initiatives; active volunteering policy and participation; dedicated CSR & Charity of the Year Team and additional leave granted for staff to undertake a house building initiative in Africa in 2017; and four staff volunteering via Business in the Community’s Time to Read programme.
Impacts and Outcomes
89% of staff are engaged at work (20% increase from 2014)
75% of staff attended Emotional Resilience training
100% of staff holding the City & Guilds Energy Awareness qualification
49% of waste diverted from landfill
4,353 customers benefitted from fuel poverty schemes
More than 1,120 volunteering hours with 502 staff participating in 12 events