Best embodiment of corporate purpose
Living its purpose through Covid-19
Halma is a FTSE 100 company that comprises a global group of 50 life-saving technology companies. Publicly listed for 50 years, Halma has a purpose to grow a safer, cleaner, healthier future for everyone, every day, that underpins every decision made, from M&A to investing in new markets to product development.
Halma’s businesses operate across three sectors – safety, the environment and healthcare – and address some of the biggest challenges facing people and our planet, from air quality to preventable blindness.
Living its purpose, these businesses rose to the challenge of Covid-19 to save lives and protect people. When the demand for PPE increased dramatically at the outbreak of the pandemic, six Halma companies – Apollo, Avire, Crowcon, FFE, Palintest and Texecom – swiftly adapted their 3D printing facilities to produce equipment for the NHS, printing tens of thousands of face masks.
Ophthalmology company Keeler sourced and manufactured medical products and donated them to local and national healthcare facilities, prompting the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to share a letter from a colleague’s son thanking them for keeping his ‘mommy safe’.
Halma companies also supported the fight against Covid. Alicat, Perma Pure and Maxtec adapted to supply critical components used in ventilators that ensure the right pressure and volume of oxygen is delivered to patients. Crowcon prioritised the manufacture of oxygen detectors that could be used in Covid wards to ensure that facilities remained safe from over-oxygenation, which is a fire risk.
BEA, which operates in the safety sector and manufactures door sensors, redesigned touchless switches to limit Covid transmission.
Recognising that India had been particularly badly hit by Covid, Halma launched Water for Life in late 2020. The campaign is helping to build a safe water supply for 8,000 people in villages in Bihar, a state in East India bordering Nepal. Working with charity Water Aid, Halma’s technology companies are providing water testing kits and training community volunteers to maintain a clear water supply.
Halma shared each inspirational story with more than 7,000 colleagues across 20 countries. They also feature in its annual report, helping to bring its purpose to life. But the company has not sought external recognition as if believes that actions speak louder than words. Its sustainable business model is predicated on the belief that purpose drives performance, performance generates profits and profit grows purpose.
These principles have underpinned the way Halma has conducted business since it first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1972, prompting Alistair Osbourne, notorious purpose agnostic and business columnist at The Times, to write: ‘Few companies could get away with this: ‘Our purpose is to grow a safer, cleaner, healthier future for everyone, every day.’… [yet Halma’s] just delivered an 18th successive year of record full-year profits and the 42nd of five per cent or more dividend growth. To look at Halma now, you’d think it had been dreamt up for the post-Covid zeitgeist.’