100% Employee owned

Being a Partner in the Environet EOT means a shared responsibility for ensuring the success of the business in return for a share in the reward, be that financial, or in working conditions

On the 31st July 2020, Environet UK Ltd became an employee owned business. It is 100% owned by its staff, who have a vested interest in its success. It is widely understood by our Partners that to achieve the rewards, they must work collectively to ensure that the business thrives.  

  • Ownership was transferred into an Employee Owned Trust (EOT), the beneficiaries of the Trust being the company’s employees – The Partners. 
  • Founder, Nic Seal remains in the business to support and guide the Directors and will continue to serve the company for the foreseeable future. 
  • The Trust is made up of 3 key stakeholder groups – The EOT Trustees, The Board of Directors and the Partners. Each has a key part to play in ensuring the success of the business as a whole. 
100% employeed owned company logo

Why the change?

Environet has grown from a start-up in 1996 to a market leader in the management, control and removal of invasive plants, such as Japanese knotweed. The business has grown organically, thanks mainly to a loyal and committed workforce, as well as our supportive commercial and residential customers. 

Nic had been at the helm for 25 years, driving the business forward, improving its services and building up an unrivalled reputation. Looking to the future, Nic realised that succession planning was imperative to safeguard the future of the business. Nic wanted to ensure 3 things;   

  1. LONGEVITY: That the success of the business for at least another 25 years, via sustainable growth.
  2. INDEPENDENCE: That Environet’s values and independence were protected. 
  3. SECURITY: That the business remained well capitalised and financially secure, and to avoid saddling the business with debt. 
Nic and Bertie original picture

Nic explained:
“The employee ownership model, specifically an Employee Ownership Trust, satisfied all our wishes. It recognises the hard work and commitment of our staff and by rewarding them as stakeholders and should motivate them even further to deliver the best possible customer experience.”

Our Employee Council

Environet team meeting

In early Spring 2023, the Independent Trustee on the EOT Board raised a motion to form an Employee Council to help Environet in its journey to better facilitate employee contribution towards its success. In July 2023, a staff collective, representing the entire business came together to shape the Partner Representative Group.

The PRG is a group of 5 nominated Partners that act as a conduit between the Board of Directors and The Board of Trustees via the Employee Trustee. Their role is to promote the interests of all Partners and support the improvement

of our company as a successful employee-owned business and a great place to work.

The PRG aim to deliver on the following objectives:

  • Actively representing the interests of all Partners.
  • Act as a conduit of ideas and information, providing insight and opinion.
  • Championing Employee Ownership.
  • Effectively engaging and communicating with all stakeholders.
  • Working with the Employee Trustee to influence the future direction and long-term sustainability of the business.
  • Encouraging and leading Partners to work by Environet’s key cultural drivers.

The Partner Representative Group (PRG), consists of 5 nominated Partners, with a tenure ranging between 12 and 18 months, who serve as a link between both the Board of Directors and the Board of Trustees through the Employee Trustee. They work to advance the interests of all Partners and contribute to enhancing our company as a successful employee owned business and an excellent workplace.

To do this, the group focuses on:

  • Representing Partners’ interests actively.
  • Facilitating the exchange of ideas and information.
  • Advocating for Employee Ownership.
  • Engaging and communicating effectively with stakeholders.
  • Collaborating with the Employee Trustee to influence the company’s future and sustainability.
  • Encouraging Partners to align with Environet’s cultural values.

 

What our employees think: 

“When Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) was initially introduced at Environet, there was no real understanding from us, employees, of what it meant, other than a potential share in quarterly profits.3 years later, although we remain in the early stages of our journey, there is now a clearer framework for employees to share their concerns, express their views, and trust that these will be acknowledged and discussed.This more inclusive approach makes a real difference in our jobs, as we all feel heard and encouraged to speak up every day.” Ceri, Consultant Technical Lead.

“I feel proud to work for an Employee owned business, as it feels it’s not just Environet’s name on the door, it’s ours.” Ed, Site Operative.

 

The bigger picture

Employee ownership is not new. The most cited example is the John Lewis Partnership, founded in 1929. There are now over 1400 employee owned companies in the UK, some notable examples including Riverford Organic Farmers, Richer Sounds and Arup Group.

According to the Employee Ownership Association, the employee owned business sector adds to the diversity of Britain’s economy and contributes £30 billion annually to GDP.

Converting to employee ownership also helps to root a business in the local area, supporting jobs and the local economy.

Deb Oxley, Chief Executive of the Employee Ownership Association, said: “We congratulate Environet on its move to employee ownership – sustaining its values and independence for the longer term.

“Businesses that give employees a stake and a say build trust and shared responsibility, therefore uniting leaders and employees behind a common purpose. This leaves the business in a better position to flex and adapt – key qualities needed to help the UK Build Back Better.”

Sam and Amber at the EOT conference

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