Defining the business we want to become
On the day Bidwells publishes its ESG Strategy for the first time, senior partner Nick Pettit explains why continuous evolution will be the key to another 185 years of sustainable business growth.
When you consider that we have been trading for almost 185 years, there is an argument to be made that Bidwells is already an inherently sustainable business.
The depth and breadth of our services mean we have been well-placed to weather the various storms that have come our way over the decades. No more so than during the most recent ten years.
Our sheer diversity of services means that, despite the ups and downs of real estate, our business remains balanced and profitable.
For me, the thing that has kept us at the forefront of our markets longer than most, is our willingness to adapt and to innovate. Our core strategy has remained largely consistent over recent years and as our operating environment changes around us we never shirk from adapting our approach and advice.
The modern challenges of climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic have brought into sharper focus the need to evolve once more but this time at a more rapid rate.
Our ESG strategy (that’s Environmental, Social, Governance – one day we will not need to spell it out) explains how we are going to progress faster than ever before.
It sets out our aspiration for the business we want to become. It explains what we are doing already to get there. More importantly, it spells out what comes next. Critically, it is explicit about the actions we are taking today and the goals we have set ourselves for tomorrow.
Ultimately, it’s simple to explain: we want to become a highly sustainable business. One which can continue to stand the test of time and support the long-term growth of our people in a transparent way.
We’ve tried to keep the whole document simple, by focussing on three key pillars of activity where we can have most impact: Planet, People and Influence.
Whilst Bidwells’ carbon footprint is modest in terms of the overall challenge facing the planet, we face environmental challenges on an unprecedented scale, so we are taking strong, tangible action to contribute to meeting them.
Our people are at the centre of this strategy. They are our biggest asset. The pace of their personal and professional growth will define our success in meeting our goals of achieving greater diversity, more inclusion, and a stronger feeling of belonging at Bidwells.
But it’s our influence where I believe we can make the biggest impact. Over the next decade, our Sustainability service line will help our clients meet their own ESG goals across their real estate portfolios. Some of whom own UK land and property assets measured in the thousands of acres and valued in the billions of pounds.
We think the comprehensive nature of our service offer is unsurpassed in real estate professional services and it’s in its delivery that we believe we can influence our sector the most. We can also bring our influence to bear with our own suppliers and it is this embedded approach which will bring about lasting change. We must all walk the walk.
Bidwells will be honest and transparent in the way we measure and report our progress towards meeting these goals. Our governance, which is the first section of the strategy, describes how we will respond to varying stakeholder expectations. Setting clear goals from the top of the business across its depth and breadth, demonstrating how we will be held accountable to deliver our promise.
In the end, I hope that our non-financial reporting will become business as usual. That will mean that we have met the ESG goals we are publishing today, responded appropriately to the imminent threat of climate change, reduced social inequality, and removed any remaining opaque governance.
Only then will we be operating a business that has a positive impact on society, is considerate towards the environment and is run in a way that will stand the test of time for another 180 years.
Our ESG Stratgey
Strong values have always run deeply through our business. We strive to act ethically and responsibly in everything we do, reducing our impact on the planet and enhancing the wellbeing of our staff and the communities we work in.