Company Policies

Corporate Social Responsibility Policy 

Environmental Policy 

Equal Opportunities Policy 

Quality Policy 

 

 

 Corporate Social Responsibility 

 

Our approach to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is based on the companies’ key values, maintaining a traditional product with excellent service which considers and understands the impact on the customer, the environment, the staff and the wider community.

Our materials

Sourcing

Raw materials are sourced where possible from local UK suppliers, and where feasible J.Wippell & Company Limited will source from companies who hold ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and operate SPC and SQA procedures for fabric performance monitoring. 

Where materials have to be sourced elsewhere, due to academic dress code, J.Wippell & Company Limited will review the supplier’s compliance with relevant and up to date legislation and regulation to ensure the academic dress is safe and fit for purpose.  

Labelling
J.Wippell & Company Limited adhere to (EU) No 1007/2011 - fibre names labelling and the marking of the fibre composition of textile products. All gowns are correctly labelled in a prominent, legible location with the fibre composition of the products. 

Chemicals

In instances where material is dyed to meet academic dress code, this is undertaken by our suppliers. These supplier's complete a supplier engagement form to ensure their process and procedures are meeting and exceeding UK legislation in the use of chemicals and the safety of materials.

Our principles

The Environment

J.Wippell & Company Limited minimize the production of waste and pollution; including unnecessary packaging.  The Company implement measures to reduce the volume of waste generated and to increase the proportion of that waste which is recycled.

The Company has implemented recycle bins for glass, paper, plastic, and cans/tins and this is outlined in the company’s environmental policy. Raw materials from production are also recycled and donated to recycle schemes in the local area.

J.Wippell & Company Limited minimize environmental impact with regard to sourcing materials and resources.

The Company avoid using materials which have an undesirable effect on the environment, and wherever possible use locally made goods.

The Company use contractors who also share a commitment to the environment, and take into account lifetime costs of materials when repairing, altering or rebuilding premises.

The Company maximize use of electronic communication and information storage as an alternative to paper.

The company is committed to energy efficiency and ensuring energy conversation is considered in all its process. J.Wippell & Company Limited are actively managing energy reduction, examples include; ensuring lighting and power sources are switched off when not in use, raising awareness of energy consumption amongst production staff etc.

The company’s recycling policy and method for disposing of water is referenced within our environmental policy.

Sustainability

In line with the J.Wippell & Company Limited environmental policy, the company is keen to ensure that sustainability is integrated in the entire manufacturing process.

J.Wippell & Company Limited 'Integrate sustainable procurement' throughout the lifecycle of the company's services. J.Wippell & Company Limited are committed to ensuring that the company's traditional products consider the environmental impact they have and review ways to reduce this, this is achieved through our sustainability vision and practice to ensure:

  • Raw material is sourced locally, supporting local business and considering the supply chain from which is derives
  • Manufacturing remains local to reduce the company's carbon footprint and environmental impact
  • Processes are reviewed regularly to help identify ways of making production more sustainable and efficient

Compliance
As a minimum, J.Wippell & Company Limited will meet, or exceed, all relevant legislation. Where no legislation is in place, J.Wippell & Company Limited will look to create and apply our own relevant standards.

J.Wippell & Company Limited will strive to achieve International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in areas relating to manufacturing, data and safety. This will be achieved through partnerships with relevant professional bodies.

Training and apprenticeships

J.Wippell & Company Limited understand the need to ensure that staff and new staff are provided with the training and development they need to continually improve and grow. As a relatively small company, opportunities for apprenticeships are developed as and when the occasion arises.

Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Policy

J.Wippell & Company Limited is a UK based manufacturer and supplier of clerical and academic robes. The company is committed to conducting an ethical and environmentally responsible business that supports British commerce. The company’s head office and manufacturing unit is based in Exeter, Devon with a sales office in the USA and three retail shops in Britain.

J.Wippell & Company Limited and its suppliers work to and exceed UK legislation to ensure the company and the supply chain are practicing in an ethical and environmentally friendly way.

J.Wippell & Company Limited have a zero-tolerance approach to slavery and is committed to preventing acts of slavery and human trafficking from occurring within both its business and supply chain, and imposes those same high standards on its contractors, suppliers and other business partners.

J.Wippell & Company Limited take necessary steps to ensure that it and its key suppliers are meeting these high standards.

J.Wippell & Company Limited only use key UK based fabric suppliers, all based in Britain who weave the material in the UK and have a traceable supply chain.

Due diligence processes

To help meet our policy on modern slavery and human trafficking the company have implemented the following due diligence process:

Make staff aware of the Modern Slavery Act, including the meaning of slavery and human trafficking;

Inform staff what to do if they suspect a case of slavery or human trafficking;

Contact key suppliers to check what arrangements they have in place to prevent cases of slavery and human trafficking;

Start to review current contracts and other documents to include embargoes in respect of slavery and human trafficking and compliance with the legislation;

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 Environmental

 

We at J Wippell & Company Limited are conscious of our social responsibilities with regards to helping the environment through our working practices. Our objective is not only to sustain our environment for our descendants but also to rehabilitate the damage previously done. We believe that our corporate responsibility goes beyond our proprietary borders and therefore every effort will be made to conserve resources throughout our operations.

J Wippell & Company Limited will try to not only meet existing environmental laws and regulation, but will endeavour to go beyond the status quo and see techniques and approaches that position us ahead of our competition.

Following are our specific ideals:

Awareness and Commitment

Our policy towards the environment will be readily available and promoted to our clients. We will endeavour to ensure staff and clients are familiar with and implement our environmental commitment and objectives.

Practical Implementation:

The Company environmental policy will be available to view on our website.

The Company environmental will be present in the employee handbook.

Transport

J Wippell & Company Limited will endeavour to reduce the impact on the environment where ever possible with respect to transport.

Practical Implementation:

Seek and employ local products and services to reduce transport costs.

The Company will avoid unnecessary travel, and will use energy efficient vehicles and driving styles wherever possible.

Encourage the use of public transport, cycle or foot.

Energy & Water Consumption

J Wippell & Company Limited  accepts a share of the UK's commitment to a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions both by attaining greater efficiency in total energy consumption and by continuing to examine the possibility of acquiring electricity from 'green' sources when finances permit.

Practical Implementation:

The Company will make every effort to use water efficiently and avoid pollutants entering the drainage system.

The Company will use energy efficient products where ever practical, and monitor usage to achieve minimum energy consumption.

Waste Generation and Management

J Wippell & Company Limited will try to minimize the production of waste and pollution; including unnecessary packaging.  The Company will implement measures to reduce the volume of waste generated and to increase the proportion of that waste which is recycled.

Practical Implementation:

The Company will look to compost organic waste.

The Company has implemented recycle bins for glass, paper, plastic, and cans/tins.

Materials and Resources

J Wippell & Company Limited will try to minimize environmental impact with regard to sourcing materials and resources.

Practical Implementation:

The Company will avoid using materials which have an undesirable effect on the environment, and wherever possible use locally made goods.

The Company will try to use contractors who also share a commitment to the environment, and take into account lifetime costs of materials when repairing, altering or rebuilding premises.

The Company will maximize use of electronic communication and information storage as an alternative to paper.

Plastics (including single use)

The company endeavour to avoid the use of any plastic throughout it’s manufacturing and supply of goods particularly single use plastics.

Practical Implementation:

No single use plastic is used for transporting, storage or cleaning of robes. Purchased items are supplied in cardboard boxes and included a re-usable clothing cover.

We do not use any single use plastics; the company use paper bags for any gown hire services

All resource and garments are transported in re-usable cardboard boxes and these are recycled at the end of life. 

For suppliers we endeavour to ensure that plastic alternatives are used for packaging wherever possible and positively engage with suppliers to this end.

Any plastic packaging received is recycled as part of the company’s active recycling scheme

Fabrics

The company endeavour to use high quality fabrics to increase longevity and will repair or recycle whenever possible

Practical Implementation:

Garments are repaired when possible

Garments are well maintained to assist longevity

Off cuts are saved and provide to local initiatives and groups

End of life garments are recycled where possible

Natural Environment

J Wippell & Company Limited will help to protect and enhance natural habitats and wildlife, take appropriate opportunities to enhance them and be sensitive to landscape issues. The company will also look to minimize impact on local wildlife, and to look for opportunities to work with the local community in caring for the local environment. The Company will endeavour to be aware of local planning developments and take appropriate action where these are potentially damaging to the environment.

Communication and Training

J Wippell & Company Limited will educate, train and motivate all staff to carry out tasks in an environmentally responsible manner. Department managers will be responsible for communication and training regarding task specific responsibilities and senior management will ensure all staff are aware of the company’s policies and steps to reduce its impact on the environment.

Staff will have open access to the policy and procedures via the internal memo system and company manual. Changes to procedures will be provided in on site team meetings and updated copies provided via the internal memo system and company manual. 

Training needs will be assessed annually and in line with all legal requirements. All staffs training needs will be assessed with updated training undertaken both in house and where appropriate by professional organisations.

Incidents and Complaints

Concerns or complaints over the company's conduct regarding its environmental performance should be raised immediately with the Health and Safety Officer Phillip Jenkyns. All concerns and complaints should be logged.

Concerns and complaints should be escalated to the senior management team and assessed by priority.

The log files should be reviewed annually as part of the management review and necessary action taken and policies and procedures updated and communicated to staff.

Management Reviews

The Health and Safety committee, on behalf of the company, will undertake quarterly reviews of the suitability and effectiveness of the environmental policy and procedures and undertake improvement action where necessary.

The company is committed to continual improvement of environmental performance. This policy will be communicated to all stakeholders and made available to interested parties.

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 Equal Opportunities 

 

Purpose and Scope

This Policy covers all directors, employees, potential employees, workers, contractors and customers, and reflects the philosophy and attitude of J Wippell & Company Limited.

The Directors and staff of J Wippell & Company Limited are committed to treating all employees, customers, contractors, suppliers and job applicants fairly and equally regardless of any aspects of their diversity, and with dignity and respect.

Staff will not discriminate against anyone who possesses any of the 9 protected characteristics, identified within the Equality Act 2010:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marital or Civil Partnership Status
  • Pregnancy or Maternity
  • Race
  • Religion or Belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual Orientation

This policy applies to recruitment and selection and terms and conditions of employment including pay, promotion, training, and every other aspect of employment, as well as delivery of service.

The directors have a commitment to the operation of this policy and are responsible for ensuring that it is adhered to. Discrimination and harassment is not tolerated by J Wippell & Company Limited and if undertaken deliberately it could result in a disciplinary sanction up to and including dismissal.

An equal opportunities policy statement will be displayed on Company notice boards.

The Appendix (below) lists the definitions of discrimination.

Principles

There should be no discrimination on account of race, colour, religion or belief, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender, age, disability, nationality, marital or part-time status.

J Wippell & Company Limited will appoint, train, develop, reward and promote on the basis of merit and ability.

All employees have a personal responsibility for the practical application of the Company’s equal opportunities policy, which extends to the treatment of job applicants, employees (including former employees), customers and visitors.

Special responsibility for the practical application of the Company’s equal opportunities policy falls upon managers, supervisors and personnel officers involved in the recruitment, selection, promotion and training of employees.

The Company’s grievance procedure is available to any employee who believes that he or she may have been unfairly discriminated against or harassed. Employees will not be victimised in any way for making such a complaint in good faith. Complaints of this nature will be dealt with seriously, in confidence and as soon as possible.

Disciplinary action will be taken against any employee who is found to have committed an act of unlawful discrimination. Serious breaches of this policy and serious incidents of harassment will be treated as gross misconduct. Allegations of discrimination which are not made in good faith will also be considered as a disciplinary matter. Confidential records of on-going matters dealt with in accordance with this policy will be kept by J Wippell & Company Limited.

 In the case of any doubt or concern about the application of this policy in any particular instance, contact a Manager.

The Company will keep under review its policy, procedures and practices on equal opportunities.

Any member of staff who believes that they or any other member of staff are being treated unfairly or in a discriminatory fashion should report such treatment to their line manager or a director.

When directors, managers or supervisors are making decisions in relation to terms and conditions, selection for jobs, training, or selection for promotion, every individual will be treated with respect. Their skills, experience and attitudes will be used to inform decision making, not aspects of their personality or diversity.

J Wippell & Company Limited is aware of its obligations to prevent both third party harassment (as described below) and discrimination by association or perception.

J Wippell & Company Limited recognises its obligations when delivering services to people with a disability or employing someone with a disability. The company will make reasonable adjustments to facilitate the delivery of the service or the new or continued employment of an individual.

Recruitment and selection 

The following principles should apply whenever recruitment or selection for positions takes place: 

individuals will be assessed according to their personal capability to carry out a given job; 

assumptions that only certain types of person will be able to perform certain types of work must not be made; 

any qualifications or requirements applied to a job which have or may have the effect of inhibiting applications from certain types of person should only be retained if they can be justified in terms of the job to be done; 

any age limits applied to a job should only be retained if they can be justified in terms of the job to be done; 

recruitment solely or primarily by word of mouth should be avoided if its effect is or may be to prevent certain types of person from applying; 

selection tests should be specifically related to job requirements and should measure the person’s actual or inherent ability to do or train for the work; 

selection tests should be reviewed regularly to ensure they remain relevant and free from any unjustifiable bias, either in content or in scoring mechanism; 

applications from different types of person should be processed in the same way; 

written records of interviews and reasons for appointment and non-appointment should be kept; 

questions should relate to the requirements of the job; if it is necessary to assess whether personal circumstances may affect job performance, this should be done objectively without questions or assumptions being made which are based on stereotyped beliefs about certain types of person; 

where the Company’s arrangements for recruitment and selection put disabled people at a substantial disadvantage due to a reason connected with their disability, reasonable adjustments to the arrangements should be made to eliminate or if that is not reasonably practicable, reduce the disadvantage unless objectively justified; 

No decisions regarding recruitment or selection should be made by a person who has not read and understood this policy.

Promotion, transfer and training 

The following principles should apply to appointments for promotion, transfer and training: 

assessment criteria and appraisal schemes should be carefully examined to ensure that they are not unlawfully discriminatory; 

assessment criteria and appraisal schemes should be monitored and, where such criteria or schemes result in predominantly one group of workers gaining access to promotion, transfer or training, they will be checked to make sure this is not due to any hidden or indirect discrimination; 

promotion and career development patterns will be monitored to ensure that access to promotion and career development opportunities in particular groups of workers are not unjustifiably being excluded; 

traditional qualifications and requirements for promotion, transfer and training, such as length of service, and age, which may discriminate against certain groups of workers shall be reviewed and will only continue to be applied if genuinely justified; 

policies and practices regarding selection for training, day release and personal development should not result in an imbalance in training between groups of workers unless this is objectively justified; 

Where the Company’s arrangements in relation to promotion, transfer or training put disabled workers at a substantial disadvantage for a reason connected with their disability, reasonable adjustments to the arrangements should be made to eliminate or, if that is not reasonably practicable, reduce the disadvantage unless objectively justified. 

Terms of employment, benefits, facilities and services 

The following principles shall apply to terms of employment, benefits, facilities and services: 

the terms of employment, benefits, facilities and services available to workers should be reviewed regularly to ensure that they are provided in a way which is free from unlawful discrimination; 

part-time workers should receive pay, benefits, facilities and services on a pro-rata basis to their full-time comparator unless otherwise objectively justified; 

where the Company’s arrangements relating to terms of employment, benefits, facilities and services put disabled workers at a substantial disadvantage due to a reason connected with their disability, reasonable adjustments to the arrangements should be made to eliminate or, if that is not reasonably practicable, reduce the disadvantage unless otherwise objectively justified; 

Pay and bonus criteria, policies and arrangements should be carefully examined and monitored, and if it appears that any group of workers are disadvantaged by them they will be checked to make sure that this is not due to any hidden or indirect discrimination.

Grievances, disciplinary procedures, dismissals and redundancies 

Workers who, in good faith, bring a grievance (or assist another to do so) either under this policy or otherwise in relation to an equal opportunities matter will not be disciplined, dismissed or otherwise victimised for having done so. 

Any group of workers will not be disciplined or dismissed for performance or behaviour which would be overlooked or condoned in another group unless there is genuine and lawful justification for this. 

Redundancy criteria and procedures will be carefully examined to ensure that they do not operate in an unlawfully discriminatory manner. 

The provision of voluntary redundancy benefits will be equally available to all workers concerned unless there is a genuine and lawful justification for doing so otherwise. 

Disabilities Policy 

It is the Company’s policy that disabled people, including job applicants and employees, should be able to participate in all of the Company’s activities fully on an equal basis with people who are not disabled.

Disabilities - What are they? 

For the purpose of this policy, disabilities are either physical or mental impairments that have a substantial and long term affect upon a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

Some disabilities are immediately obvious, for example use of a wheelchair, while other disabilities may not be apparent at all, for example HIV infection. Certain conditions are not considered to be disabilities, for example poor eyesight which is corrected simply by wearing prescription spectacles, or addiction to alcohol or other substances. If you would like further information about whether a particular condition is a disability you should contact the Department. 

Normal day-to-day activities are any of the following: 

  • mobility; 
  • manual dexterity; 
  • physical co-ordination; 
  • continence; 
  • ability to lift, carry or otherwise move everyday objects; 
  • speech, hearing or eyesight; 
  • memory or ability to concentrate, learn or understand; or 
  • Perception of risk of physical danger. 

Principles 

The general equal opportunity principles set out earlier in this policy will, unless objectively justified, apply in relation to disabled people. 

The Company will take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure that disabled people are able to participate in its business and activities on an equal basis with people who are not disabled. 

The Company will not, for a reason relating to a person’s disability, treat disabled people less favourably than it treats, or would treat, others to whom the same reason does not or would not apply, unless genuinely justified. 

If any arrangements made by or on behalf of the Company, or any physical feature of premises occupied by the Company, put disabled people at a substantial disadvantage compared to people who are not disabled, the Company will take such reasonably practicable steps as it can to prevent this disadvantage. 

The Company is particularly concerned that disabled workers are treated equally in the following areas: 

  • recruitment and selection; 
  • promotion, transfer and training; 
  • terms of employment, benefits, facilities and services; and 
  • dismissals and redundancies.

 Procedure 

Due to the wide variety of potential disabilities and the likelihood of a disability affecting different people in different ways, it would be inappropriate to prescribe rigid rules on how issues concerning disabled people should be dealt with. What is essential however, is that all managers, supervisors and personnel officers take all reasonably practical steps to ensure that disabled people are not less favourably treated or disadvantaged by comparison to people who are not disabled, in relation to their work, working environment or by arrangements made by the Company. 

The following general steps should always be considered where issues concerning disabilities arise or may arise:

Be flexible. There may be many different ways to avoid discrimination or to minimise the effects of discrimination. 

Do not make assumptions. Whenever possible talk to the disabled person to find out how his disability affects him and what steps he thinks might help. 

Seek expert advice. Disability issues can be complex; you may need expert medical advice about a person’s disability, or expert technical advice about adjustments to technology or premises that might help the disabled person. 

Think ahead. Try to anticipate the effects that certain arrangements may have on disabled people, even if there are no disabled employees at the time, to prevent problems occurring in the future. 

Consider any performance or attendance problems in the context of the person’s disability and its effect on his or her ability to meet performance and attendance targets. 

Do not discipline or dismiss a disabled employee for performance or attendance based reasons without first establishing whether the performance or attendance is affected by the disability and appropriate adjustments to accommodate the disability have been made. 

General Procedure for Employees

If an individual believes that they are receiving less favourable treatment and that individuals are not observing the Equal Opportunities policy, they have two courses of action:

Raise the issue in an informal manner with the aim of a resolution, with the appropriate manager/supervisor.

Invoke the grievance procedure to address the issue.

In normal circumstances staff should feel able to raise any issue under this policy in an informal manner with a manager and be confident that it will be dealt with appropriately with a fair outcome. It is intended that the grievance procedure will only be invoked if informal resolution has not been successful, or an individual feels that he or she has no other choice but to invoke it.

If an individual believes that he or she or a colleague is suffering from bullying or harassment, he or she may choose to raise the issue through the grievance procedure to ensure that formal action is taken. Disciplinary action can be taken against a member of staff who is bullying or harassing other staff after an investigation and hearing has taken place. The investigation can be instigated without the use of the grievance procedure in some instances. Please refer to the prevention of bullying and harassment policy.

If a member of staff receives comments that could amount to harassment from a client or supplier, or any person from outside the company, the appropriate manager should explain to the person that the company has a clear code of ethics, and that staff are to be treated with respect. A decision will then be taken in relation to whether the external person will continue the relationship with the company.

All staff may be accompanied by a colleague or Trade Union representative if they wish to discuss a breach of the Equal Opportunities policy or to discuss bullying or harassment.

If the individual is dissatisfied with the actions taken by their manager in relation to a breach of the Equal Opportunities policy or a situation of bullying or harassment, they may appeal in line with the appeal laid out in the grievance procedure.

General Procedure for Customers

If a client believes that an employee of J Wippell & Company Limited has not adhered to the Equal Opportunities policy, she/he should contact a Director and invoke the complaints procedure, outlining the actions that they believe to have been discriminatory, and identifying the resolution that they are seeking.

The Director will investigate the complaint and seek to resolve the concerns to the satisfaction of the client.

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 Quality 

 

J.Wippell & Company Limited provides quality management, co-ordination, manufacture and onsite graduation gown services to universities and colleges throughout Europe.

The company has developed expertise in this area since 1789 and the company’s aim is to achieve a high quality product made in Britain that is delivered with a personal touch and exceptional customer service.

It is the policy of J.Wippell & Company Limited to provide all customers with a product and service that exceeds expectations, and meets the requirements in a time and cost effective manner.

The company directors, senior management team, departmental managers and all staff are responsible for quality control through agreed quality management procedures that are reviewed continually with key stakeholders.  The feedback is used to ensure that the company is meeting and exceeding its set quality objectives.

J.Wippell & Company Limited are committed to achieving customer satisfaction by the use of quality procedures.

Objectives

The company will:

  • Comply with all legislation relevant to the manufacturing and delivery of textiles within the UK, including all health and safety regulations
  • Implement continual improvements initiatives and make best use of management resources
  • Communicate the company’s quality objectives to all staff throughout the company.
  • Work closely with customers and suppliers to establish the highest quality standards
  • Adopt a strategic plan to ensure that quality is ingrained in all business decisions.
  • Train all staff in the importance and responsibilities of quality management and their role within the process
  • Constantly strive to exceed the customer’s expectation on quality

Communication and Training

J Wippell & Company Limited will educate, train and motivate all staff to take responsibility for the quality of their own work. Staff will be made aware that all work will be quality checked by the Assistant Production Manager and Production Manager.  

J.Wippell & Company Limited will provide training and have established procedures to ensure quality standards are implemented and maintained.

Department managers will be responsible for communication and required training regarding quality and senior management will ensure all staff are aware of the company’s policies and processes relating to quality standards.

Staff will have open access to the policy and processes via the internal memo system and company manual. Changes to processes will be provided in on site team meetings and updated copies provided via the internal memo system and company manual. 

Training needs will be assessed annually and in line with all legal requirements. All staff training needs will be assessed with updated training undertaken both in house and where appropriate by professional organisations.

Incidents and Complaints

Concerns or complaints over service and product quality should follow the company’s complaints procedure. All concerns and complaints should be logged.

Concerns and complaints should be escalated to the senior management team where necessary.

The log files are reviewed as part of the senior management meetings and necessary action taken to update the quality processes and communicated to staff.

Management Reviews

The senior management team will undertake reviews of the suitability and effectiveness of the quality policy and the procedures in place for each department. The reviews will take place with the department manager and agree improvement action where necessary, which will include any in house or third-party training required to maintain quality standards.

The company is committed to providing a traditional product that is of the highest quality and delivered with an exceptional service. This policy will be communicated to all stakeholders and made available to interested parties.

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