Gender equality in both HighCo’s governance and staff, the average age of employees and employee loyalty (employees stay with the Group for an average of nearly 7 years) are all criteria we monitor closely because they reflect the well-being of our employees.
HighCo initiated a collaborative approach in 2016 to advance its managerial policy. This policy has the dual focus of giving every employee the possibility to grow and gain in autonomy, while providing each manager with ways of developing their skills as a leader and facilitator. The result is greater agility and flexibility for the organisation.
Although teleworking took centre stage during the lockdown period in early 2020, this work format was already implemented at all Group subsidiaries.
In 2020, HighCo launched a collaborative project to examine the different facets of this work arrangement, which could become a new norm at service companies.
HighCo’s managers regularly take time out to lead group discussions and sharing sessions over lunch, covering a variety of topics such as new solutions, legal updates and client cases, or to welcome newcomers. These meetings provide employees with the opportunity to learn and stay informed.
In 2012, HighCo set out an Ethics Charter to enshrine the ethical principles that govern the Group’s relations with its stakeholders: honesty, integrity, transparency, compliance with laws, protection of Group interests, and respect for others and the environment.
Since then, the French Sapin II Act of 9 December 2016 on transparency, the fight against corruption and modernisation of the economy has prompted HighCo to go further by adopting an Anti-corruption Code of Conduct and an internal whistleblowing system that all employees can make broad use of to report any serious acts of misconduct and breaches of the law.
In awarding the startup Phénix the Special Jury Prize at its FirstAwards competition in 2015, HighCo took a bold step in supporting a motivated team that works in recycling and the fight against food waste. Since then, Phénix has become a leader in fighting against waste in the consumer goods industry.
Raising awareness about our impact on the environment, through a large-scale collective challenge. As a service company, our pollution is digital (sending emails) and from the use of paper (printing documents). Taken up by all HighCo subsidiaries, this challenge gave everyone the chance to monitor our impact. Going further, HighCo eliminated single-use plastic from the company, distributing to each employee a reusable bottle, mug and eco-cup.
Driven by the belief that companies have a crucial role to play in encouraging entrepreneurship, HighCo created the HighCo Fund for Entrepreneurship in 2018.
The Fund supports organisations that promote entrepreneurship financially and through skills sponsorship programmes. HighCo employees never hesitate to dedicate their time to future entrepreneurs from underprivileged neighbourhoods (through the organisation Positive Planet) and to younger entrepreneurs (through Entreprendre pour Apprendre).
The Fund also encourages young entrepreneurs in the Aix-Marseille region, where the Group was created, through the Frédéric Chevalier HighCo Award, which recognises initiators of innovative, digital or positive impact projects.
Operating in several countries, HighCo remains deeply attached to its roots and is proud of having maintained its head office and most of its businesses in its home region of Provence.
Through its managers, most of whom are from the region, HighCo is passionately committed to local development and promotion, alongside schools, cultural organisations (MP 2018, Mécènes du Sud) and entrepreneurs.
In 2020, HighCo welcomed two young artists from the École des beaux-arts de Marseille art school (ESADMM) in its offices for a residence programme. Their works, inspired by the Group’s work universe, were on exhibit at the European nomadic art biennal Manifesta 13.
HighCo is particularly proud of its employees, who always stand up to the challenge each time the Group asks them to take part in a social or charity initiative.
Twice a year, the Group organises a blood drive among its staff members, who come together to show their generosity. Toy and food drives are also organised regularly, and HighCo’s sports organisation routinely registers for charity races.
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The Group attaches great importance to CSR issues. This is clearly reflected in HighCo’s governance, which is deeply committed to advancing in these areas and discusses them at its Audit Committee meetings.
As a member of the United Nations Global Compact since 2014, HighCo is dedicated to continuously improving its CSR performance.
Compliance with its business ecosystem is a question of value at HighCo. As such, the Group has collected 650 signatures from suppliers (in France and Belgium, where the Group does more than 99% of its business) to its Responsible Purchasing Charter.
The Gaia Index*, which assesses the corporate social responsibility performance of listed French SMEs, has awarded HighCo its label for the tenth consecutive year.
This label is earned based on 140 criteria covering governance, labour issues, environmental impact and stakeholder collaboration.
* Category: revenue of €150 M – €500 M
The label awarded by the CNIL, the French Data Protection Authority, shows that HighCo’s personal data protection policies comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
This means that the Group’s internal organisational structure, which includes a team of representatives at each subsidiary, a project committee and a Data Protection Officer (DPO), meets the CNIL’s requirements in these matters.
Grouped into four themes (environment, labour and human rights, ethics, and sustainable procurement), 21 criteria are analysed every year and used by EcoVadis to assess the quality of a company’s sustainability management system.
In 2020, HighCo was awarded the Platinum label, positioning the Group in the top 1% of all suppliers assessed by EcoVadis across all categories.