EOA Member News – Interface NRM Ltd announces Employee Ownership Transition

EOA members Interface NRM Ltd have officially announced their transition to an employee ownership trust model, with founders Dr Gavin Jordan and Mike Greenland parting with 80% of their shares as the company became officially employee owned on the 6th of January.

Dr Gavin Jordan and Mike Greenland established Interface NRM Ltd in 2002, they set up the company in the West Midlands as an ethically driven business, with the aim to increase the sustainability of wood being used in the UK, and to improve the environmental, social, health and safety performance of forestry, construction, manufacturing, service and design companies.  Since then, the company has grown steadily, and now employs 15 staff and uses over 30 associate auditors. The company has been highly successful, growing more than 30% for each of the last three years.

As the company continued to grow, several approaches to acquire Interface were made. After pursuing one of these opportunities, Mike and Gavin began to question whether this approach was right for them, their ethics, and the staff of Interface. They began to explore the potential of Employee Ownership, through transferring the vast majority of the shares of the company into an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT). As they explored the model, it became apparent that this was an exciting way of continuing to deliver their vision of sustainability and doing good through ethical business. The staff of Interface would be much more secure through this model, and would directly benefit from the profits.

Gavin and Mike were aware that selling their shares through an EOT would not be without risk but felt that the benefits outweighed the risk, Gavin was quoted as saying:

“We were fully aware that selling our shares through an EOT was more of a personal risk than some sales options. But our main concerns are for the future security of our staff and the ethics of our business. We have full and entire trust in Interface and its staff, and are confident that the EOT will be a success for all”.

The EOAs Chief Executive, Deb Oxley OBE, welcomed the announcement of Interface NRM Ltd, stating:

“We congratulate Interface 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.”