Our Sustainability Policy


Premier Farnell believes that the stakeholders for its approach to Sustainability are:

  • The employees of the Premier Farnell Group
  • Potential future employees
  • Customers and suppliers of all Premier Farnell Group companies
  • Members of the local communities in which we operate
  • Premier Farnell plc shareholders, and the investment community at large

We welcome, and continue to actively encourage, open feedback and consultation on this policy from any interested parties via email to swebb@premierfarnell.com.


We believe that there is competitive advantage to be derived from conducting our business in a way that benefits other stakeholders in addition to our customers, investors and employees. We seek to be transparent in reporting our impacts on those stakeholders and to identify ways to deliver value both to them and the business through our activities.

We set targets under our “Trust Agenda” in order to help us achieve our vision by identifying annual milestones towards becoming a sustainable business. As we develop, we will identify appropriate metrics that will help us to judge the degree to which we are conducting our business in the most sustainable manner possible.


The Board has overall responsibility for establishing the Group’s Sustainability policies and the Group Chief Executive is accountable for ensuring that the Group operates in accordance with these policies. Reporting of our performance is led by the Company Secretary.


While the CEO is responsible for the overall adherence of the Group to the policy, the global programme is managed at Group level by the Company Secretary and supported by the Corporate Social Responsibility Assistant. Functional Specialist support and business unit drive of the programme is provided by the senior leadership team, reporting directly to the CEO. Local projects are delivered by the appropriate individuals from the relevant business or function.


The Board receives a full report on the Group’s sustainability performance at least every six months. Periodic updates will be provided on the www.premierfarnell.com website and a formal report appears each year in the Company’s Annual Report and Accounts and a separate, online Sustainability Report. Quarterly reports focusing primarily on environmental affairs are presented to regional senior leadership, including a summary of other regional sustainability activity. The Premier Farnell Leadership Council of global senior leaders is updated twice annually on the programme as a part of the Group’s global strategy and engagement plans.

Our Vision

Our vision is to become the world’s most sustainable provider of products and services to Electronic Design Engineers by 2020

We focus on the following areas:


We seek to be known for our exceptional ethical standards and compliance, and for the way that we treat our stakeholders.

Our Group-wide Code of Ethics requires compliance with laws and regulations in the countries in which we operate.

The senior manager of our business units in each country is required quarterly to identify any non-compliance with the laws and regulations of the country in which that business unit operates and any breaches of the Group’s Code of Ethics of which the manager is aware.

The Internal Audit function reports any instances of non-compliance that it identifies to the Audit Committee.

The Group operates a helpline to enable employees to report concerns on a confidential basis.

As part of our performance review process, each employee is required to confirm that he/she has read and understands the Group’s Code of Ethics.

All employees also have access to the AskLaurence email system, providing them with direct access to the CEO to raise any business-relevant issues.


Our aim is to operate with minimum practicable environmental impact, and be the leading innovator of environmental benefits in our industry.

We continually seek to reduce the environmental impact of our operations and the associated costs.

Our principal environmental impacts are the use of paper and packaging, carbon emissions and the disposal of waste.

We monitor water usage and emissions associated with business travel, to ensure that these impacts are responsibly managed within the businesses.

Each year we will set targets for the reduction of these impacts and report our performance.

We will continue to target achieving ISO 14001 accreditation for our unaccredited sites or, where more appropriate, ensure sites reach our own “Green Facility” standard, and where we acquire new businesses or premises, we will engage them with the Green Facility programme within one financial year of acquisition.

During considerations of mergers, acquisitions and divestments of businesses and property, we will take account of the impacts of our actions on the local environment. We will take all relevant and practicable steps to mitigate any negative impacts.

We will seek to create opportunities where activities carried out that are of benefit to our business also deliver an environmental benefit, or reduce a negative impact on the environment that is caused by our business or our industry


We seek to be an organisation that benefits all the people with whom it interacts and enables its workforce to realise its full potential.

We strive to provide a safe and healthy environment for our employees and visitors to our premises and to keep the number of working hours lost through health and safety incidents to a minimum.

Our employees are our most valuable resource, and we ensure that they are treated equitably, with dignity and with the utmost respect for their fundamental human rights. We monitor the number of “days-away-from-work” accidents and set targets for reduction. Each year we report our performance.

We also monitor and report the rates of absenteeism and take action to address the causes.

We engage with suppliers and, where possible, use our relationships to influence their approach to sustainability and to work with them to deliver sustainable value to both our businesses. We deal with all stakeholders in an ethical manner.

With over 3,000 suppliers around the world we do not have the resources to constantly monitor the approach of every one. Our policy is therefore to seek to engage with as many suppliers annually as our resources allow.

We aim to be recognised by existing and future employees as a responsible employer that values its people and provides an environment in which they can develop their skills and make a contribution to the success of the business. We also wish to make a contribution to the communities in which we operate, building goodwill and a reputation as a good neighbour and employer.

We communicate widely with employees to build a common set of business values that we believe will result in behaviours that will deliver a better customer experience and grow sales.

During considerations of mergers, acquisitions and divestments of businesses and property, we will take account of the impacts of our actions on the local community. We will take all relevant and practicable steps to mitigate any negative impacts.

We will engage with local community groups in the areas in which we operate, in order to identify relationships and projects that can deliver tangible benefits both for the local community and for the Company and our employees.

Val Gooding
Chairman, Premier Farnell plc
September 2011