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health, training
& development

Employee health and safety

Our workplace prioritises occupational health and safety through continuous improvement and a risk elimination approach. Our safety policies are stringent, and we uphold responsible behaviour in line with our code of conduct. We regularly provide safety training and run internal campaigns to raise awareness and promote safety-related topics. 2022 was not an easy year. Our people transitioned back from working mostly at home to regularly working in the office. We therefore paid special attention to our employee’s psychological well-being and will continue to do so in 2023. We also continued to innovate by improving health and safety via innovation, internal audits, assessments, and training sessions.

Occupational health and safety
At EPS we provide continuous health and safety training. This is organised on a country level. In 2022, we made significant strides in prioritising the safety and well-being of our employees across all our operating regions. For instance, in Central and Eastern Europe, we are equipping depots with topple barriers to secure optimal stability for stacked pallets with trays. We also actively promote a culture of knowledge-sharing on occupational health and safety by means of engaging presentations and informative infographics.

We have also improved our internal audits in all high-risk workplaces for all regions. Every week, senior team leaders identify risks and analyse near misses. Our efforts to improve safety in forklift and pallet truck traffic include updating driving programmes, developing traffic plans, and setting new speed limits. The SHEQ departments collaborates with operations to review and validate health and safety documentation, organise safety procedures, and ensure proper implementation in our processes. Additionally, the SHEQ department in the Southern region proactively addressed the thermal stress risk caused by high temperatures during summer. By developing a comprehensive strategy, we provided multiple options for employees to lower their body temperatures and reduce the thermal risk level while on the job. We also conducted a training session to inform our employees of the potential risks and the necessary control measures.

Automation and preventive measures
At LPR, we invest heavily in automation to enhance operational health and safety. This reduces manual operations, which minimises risks for workers in our outsourced service centres. We use tools such as the vacuum lift to handle pallets and place them in the correct location. We have an engineering team dedicated to exploring additional opportunities for automation within our service centres. We also strive to communicate this further in our supply chain. For example, our engineers are often asked to offer their support by embracing automation and becoming more efficient.

We conduct risk assessments for all places and positions and implement preventative measures such as training and providing the necessary tools and equipment. We also examine accident rates and reasons for absence due to sickness.  For example, we know that most accidents happen on the way to work. For this reason, in France we initiated a programme to promote a safe commute in 2022. Employees with company cars receive regular mandatory driving courses, and we offer all employees training in best practices for both cycling and driving.

LPR outsources services to external service providers. However, all service providers need to comply with our guidelines on employee health and safety. In 2023, Euro Pool Group will implement and roll out a Supplier Code of Conduct to further ensure our suppliers’ compliance with laws and regulations. We already have a system in place to conduct annual audits that covers all aspects of workplace health and safety, such as following procedures and the safety of buildings. Depot inspectors frequently visit service centres to ensure compliance and report any issues to the centre’s owner. Our contracts with suppliers incorporate provisions related to audits, as well as appropriate actions that may need to be taken in case our standards are not met. Even though some of these processes are arranged centrally, monitoring will be performed locally because our local departments know their partners best. This means that we also take care of the people working in other parts of our supply chain.

Employee training and development

Training opportunities and e-learning
Our aim is to invest in our people to help them grow. Professional development and training are therefore essential. We have increased the number of training courses available on our e-learning platform, MyHR, from 30 in 2021 to 107 in 2022. We offer training in soft skills such as Boost-Up, a new leadership training, focussing on self-awareness, and a talent development programme which is accessible to everyone. MyHR also includes training courses on hard or digital skills such as Excel and PowerPoint training. In 2022, more than 7,219 e-learning courses were completed.

Employee training and development will remain an important priority in the coming years. We have therefore decided to expand our HR team to include a dedicated Learning and Development specialist, whose core task will be to expand our online and offline training opportunities. We want to familiarise new employees with our training courses and with our organisation from the start. We have therefore created more onboarding training courses and assignments for EPG, EPS and LPR.

Leadership development and diversity and inclusion
At EPG, we recognise that the world is changing, and we believe that this requires a new leadership style to keep up with the evolving needs of our organisation, our employees, and our clients. In 2022, we started developing a new leadership programme to ensure that our current and future leadership team fosters a people-focussed approach in which coaching and empowerment are key drivers. During our first leadership development training in 2022, a total of 30 EPG colleagues participated. We are certain that our leadership programme will enhance our positive work culture even further.

EPG, LPR and EPS have an overall gender balance of 68% men and 32% women. This number is quite good for the logistics and manufacturing sectors. However, equal participation of women and men does not hold true when looking at leadership positions. Also, part-time work is typically performed by women in our company. In 2022, we formed a diversity and inclusion working group, comprised of people from different departments and nationalities. Our aim is to examine our current practices and explore practical ways in which we can foster greater diversity and inclusion. As a result, we expect to develop a diversity and inclusion policy for EPG.

Employee satisfaction survey – employee well-being
In 2022, we conducted an employee satisfaction survey across all LPR countries with the assistance of an external provider. This is the third survey of this kind and the first since 2019 due to COVID-19 disruptions. This survey consists of 11 categories that assess various aspects of the company, and we aim to conduct it biannually to enable sufficient time to analyse feedback and implement relevant actions. We were proud to achieve a high participation rate of 91% among our employees, indicating a willingness to share their opinions and make the company better. Notably, the sustainable engagement category scored 79%, which indicates a favourable connection to our organisational goals and objectives. We also received positive scores for categories like well-being, health and safety, and my work, with results ranging from 75% to 92%. This means that many of our colleague’s experience working at LPR as good, would recommend working for LPR and have a sense of personal accomplishment. The plus side of outsourcing the survey is that we have obtained benchmark data to compare our results with our operating sectors. While our absolute results are quite good, with most a deep dive into the benchmark comparison shows that we tend to score lower in certain categories compared to the sectoral norms. This highlights that there is always room for improvement. Nevertheless, the survey showed that our efforts are being well-received by our colleagues. 

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Our people are the key assets of our business. We are committed to providing training and development opportunities to strengthen our teams in all regions. We take measures across the organisation to contribute to the health and safety of our employees.

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We set the ambition to reduce the carbon footprint for each rotation of our trays and pallets by 20% by 2025, in comparison to the baseline in 2017. To achieve this goal, we are committed to strategic projects that focus on optimising logistics, green energy and our reusable carriers.

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Innovation and partnering with customers are key to driving circularity in the supply chain further. Together with our partners, we are constantly working on innovations and deploying new tools and technologies such as the Internet-of-Things (IoT) and other traceability tools.

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