Our Commercial Director Martin Woollom recently caught up with The Security Journal about our ESG goals and the initiatives we have in place to achieve them.

As a committed ACS Pacesetter, we are always looking for ways to improve our service delivery to all stakeholders including clients, colleagues, and the environment. For Professional Security sustainability is key and we are proud of our newly launched social value strategy and operating plan which has saw the business conduct a 360-degree review of key process and service outputs.

EY Foundation Support

Professional Security understand that the security industry needs investment of time and resource to make it a more appealing place for younger generations, as if we don’t our future supply of officers will simply dry up. Future generations need to be encouraged and more importantly inspired to choose such a rewarding and vibrant career.

We are very proud of our own Sarah Baugh Head of Marketing for being appointed a trustee on the board of the EY Foundation. EY Foundation is an independent charity supporting young people from low-income backgrounds get paid work experience, employability skills training and career guidance. Sarah’s is an incredible individual and her passion will undoubtedly inspire young people to consider a career in security.

Addressing the Gender Balance

Any sector where 51% of the population is represented by only 10% of its membership (licences) needs to take a long hard look at itself. Professional Security is proud of its gender balance in the management ranks which influences the cultural outputs of the business and essentially the thinking behind operational delivery and staff engagement.

We are blessed to have so many positive role models in the business, in key functions to help influence and shape decisions. With Abby Fullerton as CEO, we have a dynamic and potent voice to address the gender imbalance and her influence is palpable in the relation to the organisational design. Michelle Booth as Head of Solutions drives the 24/7 operational fulfilment of our business, and she has built a team which has a 50/50 split of colleagues to be the heartbeat of the business. That was by design and not accident. The dynamics work well and most importantly the results validate the approach with the most successful festive period in the business’s history in a hospitality sector that is 24/7 tough! With Sarah as Head of Marketing, Georgina Pickles as Head of Payroll, Claire Waters driving fleet and Insurance – the list of strong and positive female role models is a positive differentiator.

There is an internal forum called Women Winning in Security to help foster and promote careers in security. Abby, Michelle, Sarah, Claire, Georgina and so many more making and influencing culture and delivery in such a positive way. Again, this is an investment in sustainability of the core future asset of security – its people.

Social Value partnerships – recycling talent

I joined Professional Security because of their drive to deliver social value. My role is to act as a conduit to draw the various strands together for a cohesive and impactful social value plan. We have the desire and expertise to work with valued partners to bring new blood into the sector by engaging government funding to remove barriers to entry from those displaced during austerity and post covid measures from sectors with aligned skills sets but without the rigour of licensing. As the high street and hospitality markets find trading tough many great people have become collateral damage of the post covid, emergence of AI era. Those people and their front facing skills and customer focus is exactly what we need as an industry to engage. The economic climate offers opportunity to deliver flexible and lucrative careers in security for those that wish to engage. We are driving initiatives forward with these partners to create that new blood and recycle talent. That is a tangibly sustainable path for sector refresh and one which we are proud to pursue.

Uniforms

We have reviewed our processes and are committed to driving a more sustainable way to deliver uniforms. Uniforms are key to officer presentation and as with everything in the security industry subject to a myriad of change. Brexit, cotton shortages and the emergence of new, innovative textiles means that there are some real choices to be made – informed sustainable choices.

Working with suppliers to drive sustainability we are looking at the following changes to modus operandi including recyclable uniforms, eco friendly delivery options and sugar cane packaging to name but a few. These subtle but meaningful changes will have a massive impact on the environment reducing our CO2 output by an estimated 27 tonnes by different ordering patterns and direct “eco warrior” delivery options.

Choice of uniforms is critical too, so we are looking at introducing new lines for clients that adhere to the workwear and PPE waste hierarchy focusing on preservation of resources rather than incineration and landfill. Looking at the lifecycle of uniform as part of a recycling pattern as opposed to something that has a shelf life makes sense for the future of the planet. The whole life cycle of uniform now means they can be shredded, vapourised, filtrated and pelletised for use in items like car sound proofing, or polyester twine. In line with ACS process for uniforms to be able to ethically recycle makes sense for the business and the planet.

Ironically the industry rates of turnover and attrition adds more piquancy to this approach. With margins coming under more pressure than ever investments in attraction and retention make ultimate sense. With Martyn’s Law on the horizon, it is inevitable that demand will increase at a time when supply is lagging. Action needs to be taken to tap into the youth and female talent pools. It is vital these initiatives succeed.

Overview

From people to PPE, Professional Security are aligning their decision making to sustainability. Clearly the sustainability of people is the most important issue to make sure we engage all 6 generations in the workforce to recognise the role that can be played to address the gender imbalance. We are cognisant of the challenge and relishing seeing how our investments impact.