Becoming a B Corporation is the latest chapter in a company story that has always been about fairness, eco-friendliness and quality service. Still owned and managed by the family team that founded the business back in 1997, we blend family values with corporate capabilities.
That family has grown over the years to more than 600, serving 150 companies and producing a turnover of more than £8million, but every colleague still feels that kindred spirit. While we’re talking figures, we have a net zero carbon footprint, certified by Planet Mark, and we’re working with the Living Wage Foundation to meet our target of paying all our frontline workers the real Living Wage by the end of 2022.
The roots of the business lie in Durban, South Africa, and a lawn mowing company founded by our Chairman Vince Lockwood in 1969. Realising that lawn mowers cost a lot of money to maintain, Vince moved into window and shop cleaning instead, employing two colleagues, kitting them out in bright orange overalls to catch the eye and numbering them 1 and 15 to make the company look bigger than it was! Vince was a natural entrepreneur.
But it was the shine of his shop floors that really impressed and soon the business expanded. Before long Vince had the biggest cleaning company in South Africa, Prestige Office Cleaning Services, employing 10,000 people full-time. Not being one to rest on his laurels, he sold up, moved to Canada and then, in 1996, came to the UK, where he started again with a cleaning franchise.SEE OUR VALUES
Vince’s son Richard was now on board and he brought in his cousin, Simon Duke, as MD in 2005. Big contracts started to land and the company entered a period of sustained and rapid growth – 25% year-on-year from 2007. The franchise was bought out and profits reinvested in innovations, such as electronic site auditing, which kept the business ahead of the competition.
In 2011, we moved to our Gatwick office, brought in more expertise to underpin our growth and changed our name to NuServe, to reflect our development beyond the core cleaning service. We wanted to establish the brand as one that represented quality, collaboration, innovation and a can-do attitude to all our clients’ requirements.
At every step, we made sure we brought our colleagues and clients with us, applying those family values of fairness, respect and a willingness to listen and learn. As a result, we have a high proportion of longstanding employees, many who have been with us for over five years, and that core family team is still in place.
BE FAIR FOR ALL
We treat all our stakeholders fairly, aiming never to prioritise one above the others. Our stakeholders, including customers, colleagues, our community, environment and shareholders.
Empathy is a superpower we should all aim to master. By taking time to understand and appreciate the needs of others, we can be more effective for our customers and teammates.
Be a pioneer
Pioneers share their ideas; they're bold, they're inquisitive and they aren't afraid to leave the past behind. Some are quiet, some are loud, but all are driven by a desire to shape the future.
We share our strengths, but don't hide our weaknesses. We're ambitious but set and manage expectations responsibly. We never promise what we can't deliver.
WHAT IS A B CORPORATION?
The B Corp certification is an indication of a business that meets the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability. To us, it is a benchmark for all our values, holding us responsible for considering the impact of our decisions on our workers, customers, suppliers, community and the environment.
B Corp is a growing movement of companies around the world, currently numbering close to 4,000, across 150 industries in over 70 countries. When we joined we were one of only a handful of cleaning companies in the organisation but that number is growing as more and more companies follow our lead.VISIT BCORPORATION.UK
How we are meeting our B Corp commitments
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