People and safety
Our number one value is safety above all - nothing is greater than ensuring everyone goes home safe and healthy at the end of each day. People are our most precious asset and ensuring the well-being of each never takes a back seat.
Forterra has a team of 18 operational managers responsible for occupational health and safety, who support the operational employees in all aspects of health and safety management and leadership. Each manager either holds, or is working towards, the National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health’s national general certificate in occupational health and safety, which is the most widely held health and safety qualification in the United Kingdom. Our operations function is supported by a dedicated Health and Safety department who provide both advice and support to those managers as well as monitoring compliance of all health and safety policies.
We have training programmes in place to ensure all employees are competent and able to carry out their duties. The operations managers are also tasked with holding regular proactive ‘safety conversations’ with both employees and contractors at its manufacturing facilities and distribution centres, to both highlight and discuss safety concerns as well as praise good practice.
Product sustainability credentials
Forterra’s products are inherently sustainable building materials - they are durable, require little or no maintenance and can be recycled at the end of their use. Our brick, block and precast concrete products also contribute to thermal mass, resulting in buildings which need less energy for heating and cooling. In particular, our ecostock® brick is the most environmentally friendly stock brick in the United Kingdom, with the lowest embodied CO2 available. We hold BES6001 responsible sourcing certification across the product range, with the exception of structural external wall insulation products.
Forterra’s energy management (ISO 50001), environmental management (ISO 14001), quality management (ISO 9001) and occupational health and safety management systems (BS OHSAS 18001) are all certified through independent recognised certification schemes.
In 2009, Forterra opened its state-of-the-art soft mud brick facility at Measham, which is the most advanced, efficient and sustainable brick manufacturing facility in the United Kingdom. The Measham facility incorporates a range of environmental features, such as low energy and low waste production processes to make soft mud bricks with the lowest embodied CO2 available. The kiln is designed so that heat output is used in other areas of the facility, reducing energy consumption by up to 50% compared to other brick facilities. Water used in the manufacturing process is recycled and raw material wastage is less than 1%.
Some of the latest computerised technology, along with a fully automated production process, makes the facility highly efficient. Precise batching, blending and mixing techniques coupled with greater temperature control ensures consistent colour, dimensional accuracy and high product quality. ecostock® bricks are manufactured at the Measham facility from raw materials sourced from an adjoining clay quarry and are the most environmentally friendly and sustainable stock brick range in the United Kingdom. The Measham facility has capacity to produce up to 105 million soft mud bricks per annum.
Kings Dyke Nature Reserve
The award winning King’s Dyke Nature Reserve was established in 1995, for the benefit of local schools and residents. The design of the facilities was undertaken with assistance from primary school teachers in the Whittlesey area to ensure that the reserve would be of maximum benefit to them.
The reserve has been extended on a regular basis and now covers approximately 70ha. It includes a wide range of habitats from open water, marsh, a large reedbed, species rich grassland, old hedgerows, ponds and open bare areas.
A large range of wildlife has been recorded on the nature reserve. The bird list currently stands at 158 species, of which 63 species breed annually, including marsh harrier, bittern, grasshopper warbler, Cettis warbler, common tern and sand martin. In addition, 25 species of butterfly, 300 species of moth, 19 species of dragonfly and over 2000 species of other invertebrates have also been recorded. The site supports a healthy population of grass snake, common lizard and slow worm, plus an exceptionally large population of great crested newts. Mammals include otter and water vole whilst several deer species have been recorded.
The site supports a wide and diverse range of plants, including 10 species of stonewort (including bearded stonewort) making it one of the richest sites in the country for this group. It also includes a number of unusual plant communities, including salt marsh and Breckland type heath, plus a number of County important plant populations. The reserve also supports a purpose built fossil hunting area which is regularly topped up with fossil bearing material from the quarry.
On October 3rd 2015, inspired by one of our key values “stronger together”, we held our first annual open day at our factories, for employees, their family and friends, as well as the wider local community. Over 3,000 people attended sites across the country in what was primarily intended to be a fun day out for all ages.
At Forterra we recognise that to be a successful business, community involvement is essential and the events demonstrated to the public the work that takes place at their neighbouring Forterra site, and the company’s role as a responsible leading building products manufacturer and local employer. It was also an opportunity for the wider local community to meet and get to know the site management teams in an informal setting.
The open days included tours of the site given by staff, complimentary refreshments, activities with a focus on entertainment for children (at various sites this included face painting, music, acrobatics and falconry), and a goodie bag for staff and their families to take away.