The success of our business is dependent on the support of all our stakeholders. Building positive relationships with stakeholders who share our values is important to us and working together towards shared goals helps us deliver long-term, sustainable success.
The Group operates as a consolidated entity across both development activities and contracting activities with a single Executive Board (which includes all Directors across all Group companies) to oversee and consider any major decisions made by the Group. There is also an Oversight Board that comprises the Directors of Highwood Holdings Ltd and which is in place to ensure any decisions made by the Executive Board are reviewed and remain consistent with the high standard and values of the company.
The business reviews its long-term plans on a regular basis (at least annually) and, in that review, a robust appreciation is taken of all stakeholders from staff to supply chain and all our business partners. A summary communication event is held annually to update all employees as to the conclusions of the plan discussion and thus outline the strategic direction of the business.
Our employees are clearly the heart of our business and management therefore looks to engage with them regularly through news updates and communication events. As a relatively small business with only 77 employees as at year-end, it is still possible to maintain individual relationships with all employees. We also conduct an annual staff survey to ensure everyone has a chance to feedback anonymously on any issue and management is able to understand any key concerns.
As a business focused on partnering, the relationship between our business and our partners and customers is clearly paramount to our future success and a key focus for all our management and employees with regular communication at a number of levels. Highwood prides itself on delivering a quality service and product and this sits at the core of the culture of our business and ensures our ongoing customer relationships.
Our supply chain is vital in ensuring we deliver our product and the company has a long-standing reputation in the marketplace as a good business to work for, built up through years of trust, regular communication and delivery on our promises. In particular, we pride ourselves on ensuring we maintain excellent payment terms to our suppliers as we see this as the most important lever in engendering really positive relationships and loyalty.
We are conscious of the impact construction has on the environment and this is an area of continuing focus for the Group. A task team has been created within the company to focus on how we can both reduce our operational carbon footprint as well as create more carbon-efficient end developments. We expect this to gain traction over the coming years and look to ensure we capitalise on this to create an additional competitive advantage.