Principles & Ethics
We are committed to doing business in a socially responsible way, not because it is a statutory requirement, nor because it is the new Zeitgeist but because it is something we have been doing from the Company's inception, because we believe it is the right thing to do. In this, as in all areas of our business, we are not followers but leaders in our field.
We aim to behave ethically and act with integrity in our dealings with our business partners, clients, employees, stakeholders and the communities within which we work.
We expect all of our associates, consultants, contractors, employees and suppliers to put these values into practice and we aim to:
- ensure the health, safety and well-being of all those with whom we associate and whom are affected by our work
- treat everyone with whom we work with dignity and respect
- limit our impact on the environment as far as is reasonably possible
Community & Charitable Involvement
- We encourage our employees to become involved in our corporate charitable work and support them, both practically and financially, in their individual charitable endeavours
- Our Chief Executive is a Trustee and founder member of the Community Foundation for Surrey. The majority, but not all, of our corporate charitable giving is now directed through the Community Foundation as we recognise that the Foundation's expertise in this field enables it to identify those whose need is greatest in the local community
- We actively support Brooklands Museum Trust and Help for Heroes, who are charitable beneficiaries of our annual Air Show, Wings & Wheels (www.wingsandwheels.net)
- We provide rental incentives to some of our tenants who are charitable organisations
- We hire out some of our facilities free of charge or at discounted rates to charities in aid of fundraising initiatives
- In the communities in which we work we have been corporate supporters of local
- Age Concern Centres (Waverley)
- Arts Centres
- British Redcross (Surrey Branch)
- Charitable fund raising initiatives
- Church fund raising initiatives
- Cranleigh & South Eastern Show
- Christmas Lights Appeals
- Cycling Tour Series (Woking)
- Lions Clubs
- Police initiatives
- Rotary Clubs
- Village Fairs & Fetes
- Sports Clubs & Teams
- We take a keen interest in environmental projects and at Dunsfold Park we have supported initiatives undertaken by:
- The Hawk & Owl Trust
- Wey & Arun Canal Trust
As property owners and developers we recognise that our activities impact on the environment and the communities in which we work. We see this as a force for good, enabling us to influence and ensure the highest quality in the built environment. We are proud of our record for carrying out detailed consultation and careful master planning and of the awards that we have received in this respect. This goes to the heart of our business philosophy, principles and ethics.
The Rutland Group, who manage our property portfolio on our behalf, have won awards for their work, not only for their buildings but for landscaping and the environmental ratings of their projects.
Friends of the Earth, who conducted due diligence on The Rutland Group, reviewed Rutland's Bedfont Lakes development and were told by a senior local government officer:
"The Borough was thrilled with the outcome. One of the most toxic and difficult sites in the UK became a prestigious business park to class leading environmental standards, every environmental target in the development was exceeded and the parkland was created, endowed and delivered and has become very popular. In a way Rutland over achieved; the parkland restoration was so successful that parts of it are now amongst the most valuable wildlife sites in London, with bitterns and richly diverse colonies of invertebrates and are now classified as nature reserves and are closed to the public."
At Dunsfold Park, The Rutland Group brought forward a masterplanning proposal to create a new eco-village settlement which was both socially and environmentally sustainable, providing local people with access to new homes, new jobs, a 350-acre country park, new schools, shops and other community facilities. The mix of homes, jobs and neighbourhood resources was designed to provide the critical mass of population necessary to support and preserve under-used services in the wider local area – including the local school and hospital - whilst ensuring that the new settlement would be largely self-sufficient in order to minimise the need for car travel.
The environmentally driven masterplan included district heating and energy provided by an on-site CHP plant fuelled by locally sourced low-grade timber; on-site waste processing to convert unrecyclable waste into biofuel; an urban drainage system which would feed surface water run-off into landscaped water features which would link with the Wey and Arun Canal; car-user charging and provision for electric cars.
The scheme demonstrated that sustainable rural development need not necessarily be deemed a paradox and that we should not be blind to the potential of new rural communities to contribute to a sustainable future, nor to the crucial role which can be played by an enthused landowner and an inspirational professional team in driving forward such an ambitious project.
The scheme was supported by both Friends of the Earth and the Town & Country Planning Association. Mike Smyth, speaking on behalf of Friends of the Earth, said:
"I think it is unheard of for the concepts of an individual development to receive the support of Friends of the Earth and the TCPA nationally - this shows the importance of the proposed Dunsfold development."
He went on to describe the scheme as:
"An environmental exemplar, quite unique in the world so far in the scale and comprehensiveness of its vision and an essential pioneer to show how society can live well within the severe constraints of a low carbon world ... I would assert it is the most important development ever proposed. It grapples for the first time at a community level with the complexities and trade offs inherent in mitigating climate change ... This development is outstandingly good. It is common ground that it is an exemplar - but that is to understate its virtues. It is also a pioneer."
Despite the planning application being turned down at appeal, the masterplan for Dunsfold Park Ltd's proposed eco-village was highly commended by the Planning Inspector and the Secretary of State on all environmental aspects. The Inspector indicated that he felt the scheme was premature in relation to the Local Development Framework (LDF) and recommended that it be taken forward and re-examined in the forthcoming LDF.
The scheme went on to win the prestigious Francis Tibbalds award, which recognises projects that make a significant contribution to urban design thought.
Sustainability and the green agenda is a fundamental cornerstone on which The Rutland Group has built its business and its reputation. The company's ongoing focus on green technologies has led it, on behalf of Dunsfold Park Ltd, to engage and work with some of the most innovative design and technology companies seeking to address the global environmental challenges that face the world and, in particular, the development industry today. Some of the projects which Rutland is spear-heading on our behalf include:
- looking at 100% water harvesting and recycling through closed water systems
- embracing maximum energy efficiency through building design
- recycling and efficient on-site handling and conversion of waste into reusable bio-gas and fertilisers
- working with Lightsource, one of the largest solar energy developers in the UK, to have the distinction of creating and operating the first business park in Surrey to be powered entirely by green energy. An array of 8,500 discreet, ground level solar panels have been installed in order to generate up to two megawatts of power which, during working hours, power the businesses on the industrial park. At weekends and times of high supply excess energy is fed back into the National Grid
- In association with Zytek, specialists in the production of engineering and road technologies, Dunsfold Park Ltd was one of the first companies to take part in the trial of Smart electric vehicles and these now form part of our corporate fleet
The Rutland Group's Chairman, the Earl of Liverpool, who first entered the House of Lords in 1969, is also an elected Hereditary Peer and he takes a keen political interest in and has spoken on:
- the environment
- green energy
Jim McAllister, Chief Executive of both The Rutland Group and Dunsfold Park Ltd, has been invited to chair environmental conferences and has published papers on:
- Intelligent Buildings
- The Intelligent Workplace
- The Workplace Forum
- Transport and the Environment