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Major wins for Simons Group at Plan A Awards

Simons Group have been awarded Supplier, Partnership and Innovation of the year at Marks and Spencer's Property Plan A Awards.

Simons were awarded ‘Innovation of the Year‘ for the use of social media.

To integrate with communities during projects. Simons use various social media channels on development projects to monitor local opinion & on all major construction projects where other intelligent customers support the use. Simons instigated the use of Facebook and Twitter during the build of M&S‘ sustainable learning store at Cheshire Oaks. By opening day, the store had received 664 likes on Facebook (with the store employees now using the page as an internal forum), 730 followers on Twitter.

Talking about Simons‘ use of social media during the construction of M&S‘ ecostore at Cheshire Oaks, Head of Property Plan A Munish Datta said, “It’s the first time we’ve had specific Twitter & Facebook pages for a construction project & it’s been a huge success.”

The ‘Partnership of the Year‘ award recognised Simons‘ “unwavering support and dedication to Plan A and education“ whilst working on major projects including Cheshire Oaks, Newport and Crystal Peaks, alongside the company’s nationwide development and remodel programme. The award is given to companies and demonstrating pace and scale for sustainability that can be replicated on a large scale, inspiring other businesses to act and leave a positive sustainable legacy.

Plan A ambassador Joanna Lumley & CEO Marc Bolland presented Simons Group’s chairman Paul Hodgkinson with the final award of the day for Supplier of the year, with Richard Gillies saying: “Simons have been awarded Supplier of the year for their work on Cheshire Oaks. From identifying the site for development potential, getting through a challenging planning process, and working with M&S to ensure that the design had leading Plan A attributes & sustainably from the beginning. The Simons team involved made a really telling contribution and remain committed to the project and are actively participating in the post occupancy evaluation. Simons embraced Plan A and delivered it throughout the project.“

Paul Hodgkinson accepted all three awards on behalf of the company and said: “We are delighted to have been awarded Innovation, Partnership and Supplier of the year at this years Plan A Awards. Marks and Spencer are an incredibly valued customer of ours and we are honoured to have been recognised in all of these categories, especially alongside such other formidable companies. This shows our teams that the efforts that they go to in order to achieve the highest standards are recognised. We look forward to continuing to provide a sustainable way of working, for M&S and for our teams.“

When asked about the Plan A Conference, Paul added, “This year‘s conference has been a genuinely inspiring experience, even more so than years past thanks to an incredibly poignant talk by Al Gore. Those who have attended this year’s Plan A conference will no doubt be looking for ward to taking messages back to their organisations to help spread the innovative ideas that have been shared here today.“

Plan A Awards are in their 6th year and showcase the best practice examples of M&S‘ suppliers, rewarding and celebrating the excellence within the entire supply chain, including those in agriculture, manufacturing or construction. This year’s conference saw a standing ovation for key note speaker Al Gore, who spoke about the impact that Plan A has had to date and the need for further action in order for climate change to be mitigated. CEO Marc Bolland spoke of the need to increase desirability into the topic of sustainability and highlighted the company’s aspiration for stakeholder and customer engagement for the next year.

Simons have been working seamlessly with M&S on a variety of projects across the country & throughout the year. There has been a broad spread of challenging situations, seeing Simons challenged & succeed on health & safety, tight production times & demanding sustainability combinations through Plan A & the company’s Building Greener strategy. Key highlights have included a variety of successful modernisation projects, delivery of 32 concept projects and major projects at Crystal Peaks, Newport and the development, construction & fit out of the sustainable flagship store at Cheshire Oaks.

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