Corporate Responsibility

We have defined the scope of our Group's responsible business practices as falling within the following key focus areas:

  • Health and Safety – ensuring the safety and well-being of our staff
  • Environment – managing our environmental impact areas of waste, energy and water
  • Employees – supporting our people to develop and flourish within the business
  • Community – positive interaction with the communities in which we operate
  • Ethical Standards – operating to the highest ethical standards

We remain committed to ensuring these activities become embedded in how we operate and contribute towards the success of our business. This includes not only identifying and managing business risk but exploring opportunities to add value to the business.


We hold three meetings of our Corporate Responsibility (CR) Committee, chaired by non-executive director Ian Nicholson, each year. These meetings are attended by senior leaders from across the Group, with the aim to review current performance, and challenge the business in meeting future targets and objectives in each of our key focus areas.

Summary of our Key Achievements

Targets – FY2017Performance vs. Target
Health and Safety
  • No more than seven RIDDORS across the Group
  • Reduce energy consumption (kWh/£'000) across the Group by 4% against the FY2016 baseline
  • Divert 97.5% or more of the Group's waste from landfill/incineration against the FY2016 baseline
  • Reduce Bespak's water consumption by 42% or more against the FY2011 baseline
  • Reduce Aesica's water consumption by 5% against the FY2016 baseline
  • Continue to monitor employee satisfaction across the Group through regular surveys
  • Continue to recruit and develop apprentices across the Group. The number of apprentices to be recruited is targeted at 12
  • Ensure mentoring is embedded Group-wide and employees at all levels have an opportunity to benefit from the scheme
  • Remain focused on building a values-based culture
  • Increase our work experience programme with students and look to secure an internship supporting the National Autistic Society
  • Support the local communities where our sites are based through charity work, education visits and careers fairs
  • Continue to support designated charities through donations and employee contribution days
Ethical Standards
  • Establish an external Whistleblowing hotline service
  • Expand the Supplier Code of Conduct more widely across the Group

Stakeholder Engagement

We continue to enhance our performance through active engagement with our key stakeholders. This includes working with our employees to integrate responsible business practices into everyday business activity, encouraging innovative solutions and a shared ownership of this agenda. We also extend this engagement out to our customers, suppliers and communities to ensure we maintain a two-way dialogue which feeds back into building a sustainable future for our business.

As an example, with respect to safety and the environment, Bespak continues to actively promote safe ways of working with all visitors and contractors coming onto any Bespak site. Regular forums to discuss safety and environmental impacts have been established with the wider King's Lynn community to also share best practice with our industrial neighbours and regulatory bodies (local council).

Our Performance

The business is continually challenged to enhance performance across our focus areas. Each year we set a number of targets and key performance indicators. Progress against these are then reviewed throughout the year by our CR Committee. The sections below provide a summary of performance across the Group against each of our focus areas.

Health and Safety

The safety and well-being of our staff and all visitors to our facilities remains a priority for everyone within the business. We continue to focus on all aspects of health and safety, with a special emphasis on those areas with the potential to cause serious harm.

The number of RIDDORs (Reportable Incident leading to seven day Lost Time Accident) reported across the Group totalled 11, against a target of seven. The internal targets set for RIDDOR performance were not met during FY2017. Consequently in the coming year we will be engaging in a number of new initiatives as detailed below.

Sharing EHS Learning and Best Practise – Safety Pause

Sharing of best practice and learning from near misses and incidents has further developed between the Aesica and Bespak divisions. Closer integration of the Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) resources within the divisions continues with, for example, sharing of the EHS improvement planning structure.

Additionally a quarterly review has been established to ensure that the heads of EHS across Bespak and Aesica meet to discuss safety programmes and initiatives, share information including data around accidents, near misses etc. and agree any standard approaches to progressing safety agendas across both divisions.

Bespak – Behavioural Safety Programme

Following the employee safety survey, Bespak have engaged with a "behavioural safety training company", Lattitude Safety. This collaboration has seen circa 90 leaders of people receiving a one day behavioural safety training course focused on leadership responsibilities in behavioural safety and how to undertake effective conversations on behaviours and safe conduct. To support this training, a simple tool has been developed and introduced to capture conversations and a target of four safety-related conversations per month minimum has been set.

In February 2017, Bespak formally launched its Behavioural Safety Programme company-wide by inviting Ken Woodward to the Bespak town hall meeting as the event's inspirational speaker. Ken spoke about the workplace accident which cost him his eyesight and the impacts this had on him, his family, friends and colleagues. The key message was that he took responsibility for the events that led to his accident and that if he had followed correct procedures and thought about the implications of his actions, the accident would not have occurred.

This sent a powerful message to the Bespak organisation and provided an excellent starting point to phase one of the colleague Behavioural Safety training which commenced in March 2017. This phase focuses on personal safety. Phase two, which focuses on the safety of others, will commence in FY2017.


Aesica have continued to promote the health and safety message with the introduction of health and safety specific site improvement plans which are developed by the individual sites. The timing and review process is coincident with the financial budgeting and performance review to support the message that strong health and safety performance underpins everything else in the business.

To support the EHS improvement planning and delivery process, the business has aligned EHS efforts with a holistic approach in combination with the principles of lean manufacturing and continuous improvement. The vision builds upon the core foundations of "Environmental Compliance", "Contained and Reliable Plant", "Competence and Discipline" and finally that "Safety is our Priority".

Bespak "Near-Miss" Reporting

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Aesica "Near-Miss" reporting

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Activity to reduce our environmental impact across the Group is focused on environmental management, energy reduction, minimisation of waste, diversion of waste from landfill/incineration and water conservation. The Environmental Management System ISO14001 enables effective management of these impacts with all Bespak sites and Aesica's two UK manufacturing sites and Pianezza, Italy certified to this Standard.

For the first year we have reported against combined Group targets for energy and waste reduction, whilst also resetting the baseline year to FY2016. This creates the necessary accountability at Group level and benchmarks performance against more recent baseline data.

FY2017 has seen an increased emphasis by the Aesica business on environmental compliance. This is demonstrated by the significant investment in both infrastructure and expertise.

Due to legacy issues regarding Environmental Permit compliance dating back to 2008, the Environment Agency issued the Aesica Queenborough site with an Enforcement Notice in July of FY2017. The site has worked closely with the Agency to close out this notice, completing all requirements within the allocated deadline.


The Group's energy consumption, as measured in kWh/£'000 sales, has decreased from 630.5 kWh/£000 in FY2016 to 581.3 in FY2017. This represents a percentage reduction of 7.8%, thereby meeting the annual Group reduction target of 4%.

Bespak's energy consumption as measured in kWh/£'000 sales has decreased by 2.9% from the FY2016 baseline year. Further improvement was inhibited by delays to manufacturing operations, however, this was partially mitigated through pro-active controls to minimise energy consumption of operations in construction. In addition, the Nelson operations experienced a change in the mix of products produced which had an adverse impact on the energy metric.

Investment in refurbishment of the offices at the King's Lynn site will introduce more energy efficient air conditioning (heating and cooling) to the main office areas. In addition, evaluations of capital investment opportunities are ongoing to further reduce energy consumption. Specific opportunities under consideration are:

  • more widespread introduction of LED lighting; and
  • replacement of less energy efficient plant such as steam humidifiers, pump systems, chillers and transformers.

Aesica's energy consumption as measured in kWh/£'000 sales has decreased by 10.4% from the FY2016 baseline year. Aesica has made good progress on environmental projects in the area of energy efficiency. Examples of successes that has and continue to provide benefit are:

  • Replacing traditional lighting with LED bulbs at Queenborough and Monheim
  • Compressed air leak checking at both the German sites, this project has been in association with Chemintiz University of Technology
  • Air compressor replacement and improvements at Pianezza and Queenborough providing both business contingency and energy reduction
  • HVAC control improvements allowing dynamic switch on/ switch off for the ventilation system in Pianezza
  • Chiller replacement and full electricity sub-metering at Queenborough has involved 1km of wiring and ten new sub-meters installed. These projects have both reduced energy consumption and provided details of usage across site

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

As required under the Companies Act 2006 (Strategic Report and Directors' Reports) Regulations 2013, the table below shows the greenhouse gas emissions from all sources over which we have operational control. Emissions outside of our responsibility, including shared office locations, have not been included.

Emissions from:Tonnes of CO2e – FY2017Tonnes of CO2e – FY2016Base year FY2015
Scope 1
Combustion of fuel17,711.717,959.517,468.1
Operation of facilities9,103.47,476.26,971.6
Scope 2
Import of electricity and other energy sources38,003.440,427.939,528.6
Total emissions64,818.565,863.663,968.3
Intensity ratio
Per £000 sales0.220.240.23
Per number of employees29.028.729.2

Total Group Greenhouse Gas Emissions

per £'000 sales

FY2017 Waste diverted from landfill/incineration vs. landfill


Fy2017 Waste Diverted From Landfill Incineration Vs Landfill

Waste diverted 97.4%

Waste to landfill 2.6%


In FY2017 the Group diverted 97.4% of waste from landfill/incineration. This has remained constant against the 97.4% diversion levels recorded in FY2016. Unfortunately this was 0.1% below our 97.5% waste diversion target.

Bespak continues to increase the quantity of waste diverted from landfill/incineration, showing ongoing progress from the prior year (where 98.5% was diverted). The business continues to focus efforts on waste segregation at source and waste minimisation activities delivered through a number of quality management initiatives. We are pleased to report that initiatives at the King's Lynn site have resulted in achieving zero waste to landfill at the end of FY2016. This has been achieved by all non-hazardous waste being recovered in the form of Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF). Significant reduction in waste to landfill/incineration at the Nelson site has continued which has contributed to a very strong performance overall for Bespak.

In FY2017 Aesica diverted 97.2% of waste from landfill/incineration. This was achieved through numerous improvements in waste management throughout FY2017. Like Bespak, improved segregation has been key in impacting recycling/recovery rates.Purchasing new bins for office and manufacturing areas, waste awareness sessions and improved signage has helped reduce the quantity of waste sent to landfill and helped push Aesica further up the waste hierarchy. A project at Queenborough looking to neutralise a high tonnage hazardous waste stream from one of the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) processes will divert >99% waste from landfill. It is anticipated this project will be complete by the end of FY2018.


Bespak's water reduction opportunities are most significant at the Nelson site, which accounts for more than 90% of all water consumed. Efforts to reduce water consumption over recent years has contributed to a breach in consent limits on the water quality discharged, defined under the Water Act, enforced by United Utilities. As a result, Nelson has modified the existing effluent treatment process and improved its effectiveness which has resulted in increased water consumption. A focus on long-term improvement entails evaluation of chemical treatment plants to address the issue. Current performance however, still demonstrates a 28.1% improvement vs FY2011 baseline for Bespak.

Aesica have implemented numerous water reduction initiatives at the manufacturing sites. This has helped to deliver a 15.5% reduction in water consumption for FY2017 as measured by m3/£'000 sales from FY2016 levels. Projects have included reducing the vacuum drying on one of the Cramlington processes, saving four tonnes of water per batch. This has in turn reduced the quantity of water requiring heating and subsequent disposal. Changes to the recirculating water cooling system at Pianezza have also seen dramatic water usage reductions. In Queenborough work has involved addressing mains water leakages with full site drainage surveys/ repairs along with full effluent system refurbishment. These projects have helped reduce overall water usage at the Aesica business.


The Group remains focused on supporting and developing people through training and development, communications and two-way engagement channels.

Training and Development

In total the Group has delivered 5,730 training days during the year. This shows a strong commitment to developing our people and providing the necessary skills for individuals to excel in their roles.

Of this total, Bespak has delivered a total of 4,487 training days during the year. This training has included creative thinking; planning, prioritising and using time effectively; project management; recruitment and selection; and personal resilience.

Aesica has delivered a total of 1,243 training days during the year. This number includes internally delivered training which accounts for 817 of the total days delivered and covered topics such as Performance Development Review training, Line Leader training and Values workshops.

Bespak's Aspire Development Programme

Bespak's Aspire Development Programme launched in October 2016 and provides development for new line managers in the behavioural skills required to manage a team effectively and replaces the previous Bespak Management Development Programme.

Bespak's Inspire Leadership Development Programme

To build a values led culture and support Bespak, being a great place to work, all the Operational Board members and Senior Leadership Team completed a Leadership Development Programme. The content includes topics such as High Performing Mindset, Resilience, and Building Trust, all of which support leading through values and high performing teams.

Aesica Academy

The Aesica Academy is an internal employee development programme. Every year employees can apply to participate in the nine-month programme and historically this has been open to all disciplines and levels. 21 delegates completed the 2015/16 scheme, resulting in an accreditation from the Institute of Leadership & Management.

Aesica First Line Leader Training

Aesica's German sites have initiated first line leader training which aims to equip our leaders with some of the fundamentals of people management. A similar modular programme will be rolled out in the UK and Italy in September/October 2017.


Mentoring is applied across the Group and is a core component of developing our people. This helps to share knowledge and experiences to support the growth of individuals across the business.

Bespak has introduced mentoring for apprentices to support them as they build their knowledge of skills and the business they work in. An Aesica mentoring programme was launched in March 2016 which piloted 11 mentors and mentees. A number of reviews have been carried out and feedback thus far has been positive with many mentees stating that they enjoyed their first experience of being developed in this way.

360 Feedback

The Group continues to use 360 feedback incorporating the Company values to provide insight to our employees in support of their development.

Bespak Health, Safety and Well-being

A health and well-being programme was established at Bespak during the year which highlights a specific topic each month. Topics addressed to date include blood pressure and stroke awareness, smoking cessation and care in the community.

Apprenticeship Scheme

Currently Bespak has 20 apprentices on the Apprenticeship Training Programme. The Apprenticeship Qualification is also offered as an internal development programme, with 12 individuals provided with the opportunity to grow their skills and knowledge further. This has effectively increased the overall number of apprentices at Bespak to 32. Aesica currently has 15 apprentices on an Apprenticeship Training Programme, predominantly within the Engineering and Quality departments. A total of eight apprentices are located within the UK and seven at Aesica's German sites.

Bespak has been successful in achieving IMechE (Institute of Mechanical Engineers) accreditation for its Engineering Apprenticeships. This means that anyone completing one of the engineering apprenticeship programmes is able to register as an Engineering Technician. Moreover, Bespak's apprenticeship scheme is now listed on the EngTech section of their website (

Oliver Harrison

Current Role:
Electrical and Instrumentation Apprentice
Apprenticeship Programme Pathway:
E&I Engineer
Start Date:
Jan 2014
Completion Date:
Jan 2018

From the middle of secondary school my heart fell towards the subject of Engineering. All this stemmed from coming home from school and talking to my Dad about his day, as he is also an Engineer, and wondering what it would be like to be one. In school I always loved the problem solving on the mechanical side as well as the maths on the electrical side.

When school finished, I decided to write to Aesica to ask if they were offering any apprenticeships. Apprenticeships, to my mind, seemed to be the better way forward in Engineering, as you are learning the theory and putting into practice what you have learnt at the same time.

As part of my apprenticeship, I spent my first six months at college learning the basic skills that I would need to set me up ready to enter the world of Engineering. It was here that I discovered Electrical and Instrumentation was the trade that I felt strongest in. At the end of the year there was a presentation evening for our year intake at college. I discovered, on the day of the presentation, that I had been selected by the tutors as "Electrical Apprentice of the Year 2014".

After being at college full time, I then dropped down to a day release system, where I would spend a day at college for two years learning all the theory knowledge I'd need to help set me up for my training and then putting this into use the rest of the week when I was on site working at Aesica. After the two years passed, another presentation evening was held for us all to collect our certificates. After being rewarded with a D*D* (Double Distinction, or 100%) I received an award for the Top Student for the two years.

After receiving this award I was offered to then push on to take on a Foundation Degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, enabling me to gain my HNC.

With the skills and knowledge I have gained from this apprenticeship I would like to see myself on shift being part of the engineering team and then in the future leading an engineering team, helping to support the next generation of apprentices at Aesica.

Corporate Values

Our Group Values are:

Customer Focus:

Strive to exceed the expectations of your internal and external customers

Results Driven:

Maximise your performance through drive and determination


Work together to achieve a shared objective


Treat people as you expect to be treated


Be clear and consistent in your actions

As a Group, we remain focused on building our values-based culture with values embedded in our core HR processes. Employees are rewarded and recognised for excelling in the values and we communicate through value boards and posters at all our sites.

We are continuing to drive a values-based culture with a particular emphasis on Customer Focus in the coming year. Activities in this regard include customer service benchmarking, workshops and local site improvements. In order to truly bring the values to life this year we will also develop and launch a competency framework.

We reward and recognise the values Group-wide as demonstrated by the CEO awards made annually. This year the Bespak Award winner was Julie Gathercole, who was celebrated not just for her achievements but also the manner of her approach and her embodiment of our values. A large team at Zwickau together with three employees at Monheim received the Aesica CEO award for their tremendous results driven work and all demonstrated strong teamwork to deliver outstanding results.

Employee Diversity

We are committed to actively encouraging a more inclusive and diverse workforce and look for opportunities to embed this where appropriate. We hire on merit but when recruiting externally we aim to include a female candidate on shortlists. The female representation on the Board and across the Group as at the year end is shown here:

FemaleMaleTotalFemale %Male %

Kirstyn Johnson

Current Role:
Engineering Technical Support Apprentice
Apprenticeship Programme Pathway:
Engineering Technical Support
Start Date:
Aug 2014
Completion Date:
Aug 2018


After undergoing my first year at 6th Form I knew it wasn't right for me, and University no longer appealed to me, so I attended the open evening here at Bespak to get an insight into apprenticeships. It really interested me because I had got a taste for Engineering during high school but thought an apprenticeship would suit my style of learning well, which it certainly does. I love maths and science and so Engineering was a great combination of the two with added elements of design and development.

As part of my apprenticeship, I complete allocations and objectives across various different departments; these include key areas such as Tooling, Moulding, Quality, Development, Metrology, Manufacturing and Continuous Improvement. This year I was also fortunate enough to do a week placement at the Aesica Queenborough site where I gained understanding of the manufacturing and packing processes, and the activities that support them. It was incredibly useful and informative as I got to experience a different side to the pharmaceutical industry that I had not yet participated in.

I love the fact that the Engineering Technical Support apprenticeship offers a wide range of Engineering roles to experience and develop skills in, and it gives you the opportunity to find an area that you particularly love and exceed in. I am also keen to promote the fact that Engineering isn't always dirty and greasy or needs to be hands on, and would like to encourage more girls to get involved in this industry. As a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) ambassador I actively take part in career events and STEM promotion because I am passionate about the fact that girls should get more exposure to the amazing opportunities available in the industry I am now part of.

Bespak has also recently achieved IMechE accreditation for the Engineering Apprenticeships they provide, including my pathway, which is really beneficial to me for the future because it means that I have external recognition of the standard of my apprenticeship programme.

A combination of the companies that form Consort Medical plc, the IMechE accreditation, STEM ambassador opportunities and experience in various roles, ensures my career has huge potential to be a great success.

Engagement Survey

During the year, we ran a Group-wide employee survey with participation levels above 80% across the business. We received invaluable feedback relating to communications, career management, benefits and line management. Some actions have already been implemented.

Focus groups are in place Group-wide, with many employees volunteering to participate and recommend improvements in relation to the key areas identified.

Human Rights

We are committed to supporting human rights through our compliance with the laws and regulations of the countries that we operate in and through our internal policies. Our Code of Business Ethics and associated policies require respect and equal and fair treatment of all persons we come into contact with.


We are committed to supporting the patient population we serve and the communities in which we operate. Both local and national charities are considered important stakeholders for our business and we continue to discuss how we direct our support to make the biggest difference.

Schools, Colleges and Universities

Both Bespak and Aesica have active engagement programmes with local schools, colleges and universities. This helps to attract local talent and raise the profile of our business within the higher education labour market.

Bespak and Aesica continue to offer work experience placements for schools, colleges and university students.

Technology Tournament

Technology Tournament

For the past three years Bespak has supported a Technology Tournament organised by the Priory Rotary Club including all secondary schools in the area. The last event took place in March 2017 with Bespak providing a number of the judges and a contribution of £1,000 towards the purchase of materials and awards for the participating students.

Grand East Anglia Run

Bespak has, for the past 11 years, since its inception, been the sole sponsor and supporter of the Grand East Anglia Run. This year the King's Lynn Borough Council has decided to completely outsource the event and it has awarded the management and running of the event to the Jane Tomlinson "Run for All" charity. Bespak will continue its lengthy association with the event, now the official sponsor of the MINI GEAR and the GEAR Corporate events.

Wear a hat charity day

Charitable Support

Consort Medical's charities policy aims to promote education and opportunity and encourage the involvement of employees in community and charitable activities and organisations. Over the past 12 months Consort Medical has supported Gaddesden Place Riding for the Disabled, a charity based in Hertfordshire, providing a donation of £30,000. The Corporate Team also donated time by attending the Centre and assisting with side walking with the riders and undertaking small maintenance jobs on the facility.

Bespak's Charity Steering Group continues to raise the profile of fundraising events within the business, supporting numerous charities and employee sponsorship activities including Breathe Easy, Macmillan Coffee Morning, and the Toy Appeal for Freebridge Santa Grotto.

Bespak's Charity of the Year for FY2017 was Friends of the Stroke Unit, on the West Raynham Ward, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King's Lynn, and over the year we have supported their Beat the Tide event, volunteered at a local event and the financial support has helped with the refurbishment of their day room on the ward. Over the year we have seen the ward rating change from an E to an A and the unit is now one of the top rated in the UK. By holding raffles, Christmas Jumper Days and cake sales alongside other donations Bespak have raised £10,000.

Each Aesica site has now appointed a Charity Committee with a dedicated budget and a number of "employee off site" days to allow employees the opportunity to provide volunteering support during working hours. The five sites have selected a "chosen charity" with various fundraising activities having taken place throughout the year, raising over £10,000.

Ethical Standards

We emphasise the importance of operating a business in both a responsible and ethical manner. Bespak and Aesica have set appropriate standards and policies to uphold all laws relevant to the prevention of bribery and corruption in all jurisdictions in which we operate. The Group has in place policies and procedures covering Anti-Corruption and Bribery; Gifts and Hospitality; Business Ethics; and Whistleblowing.

The Group operates a zero tolerance policy for Bribery and Corruption of any kind and gives training to all relevant employees via an online training module.

During the year the Group has reviewed and updated its whistleblowing policy and has established an independent whistleblowing reporting service which encompasses a hotline and online reporting process. An awareness campaign for the new service took place at the time of introduction and all new employees are introduced to the arrangements as part of their induction. Any matters reported will be investigated and escalated to the Audit Committee, as appropriate. During the year no incidents have been reported.

The Group recognises that the strength of its business relies heavily on a stable and ethical supply base. To that end, we continue to roll out a code of ethical standards to our existing and new suppliers. This standard aims to ensure our entire supply base operates with the highest ethical standards. It ensures our suppliers are compliant with all appropriate laws and regulations, treat their employees with dignity and respect and take active steps to protect against modern slavery. In addition our code of conduct ensures our suppliers are respectful and protective of the environment, and compliant with health and safety laws and regulations at all times and that they never participate in acts of bribery and corruption. As part of our supplier approval process, all new suppliers are required to adhere to this standard.

Modern Slavery Statement

The Group welcome and support the introduction of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. We have taken appropriate steps to ensure slavery and human trafficking are not taking place in our business or supply chain. The Group's formal Modern Slavery Statement can be found on our website at

Living Wage

The Group introduced the National Living Wage for all of its UK employees on 1 April 2016.

Our Goals for FY2018

Health and SafetyEnvironmentEmployeesCommunityEthical Standards
  • No more than five RIDDORS across the Group
  • Reduce energy consumption (kWh/£'000 sales) across the Group by 5% against the FY2016 baseline
  • Maintain our progress to divert waste from landfill/incineration
  • Manage and reduce our use of water
  • Continue to drive a values- based culture with an emphasis on customer focus in the coming year
  • Develop a competency framework for the values
  • Actively track progress and communicate on agreed initiatives arising from the employee survey
  • Provide more opportunities for secondments across the divisions
  • Introduce a Group-wide Graduate Recruitment programme
  • Continue with our award winning apprenticeship scheme
  • Support the local communities where our sites are based through charity work, education visits and careers fairs
  • Continue to support designated charities through donations and employee contribution days
  • To maintain high ethical standards across the Group