scott bader

Focus on Scott Bader

A very different organisation

Scott who?

It’s not uncommon for people to say that they haven’t heard of Scott Bader. Indeed this may just be the most unique company that you’d never heard of.

Founded in 1921 by husband and wife team of Dora Scott and Ernest Bader, the company has now grown to become a Euro 227-million global chemical company, employing over 650 people worldwide.

At this size the company isn’t huge but geographical reach is significant. Headquartered in rural Northamptonshire the company has manufacturing presence in Europe, North America, Middle East and South Africa and joint ventures in South America and India.

Scott Bader manufactures, sells and distributes a wide range of synthetic resins and polymers to many different markets and has built a reputation for innovation, quality and excellent customer service.

However, Scott Bader is very different to other organisations because it has a unique ownership and governance structure which helps to drive its purpose.

The transformation began when Ernest Bader and his family gifted the company to the workers (colleagues) in 1951. The shares of the company were transferred to Scott Bader Commonwealth Limited, a company limited by guarantee and a registered charity, thereby creating a common trusteeship company.

Baders’ intention was to create a company whose well-being is entrusted to those who work in it, with democratic involvement. The people that work at Scott Bader can become Members of The Commonwealth and as such become trustees-in-common of the company assets. Each generation must ensure the ongoing success of the organisation so that future generations can benefit from its continued existence.

The company has a self-governing structure which provides significant additional dimensions to business and colleague relationships and its interaction with the wider community:

  • Scott Bader cannot be taken over, meaning that it can, in an uncertain and ever changing world, bring long-term stability and partnership to all business relationships.
  • As trustees-in-common, colleagues have the responsibility of ownership which creates greater commitment and engagement to ensure ongoing success, and drives active involvement across the company.
  • Its charitable status brings an obligation to the wider community.

Having no external shareholders, Scott Bader cannot be acquired, it’s more stable and can plan more long-term. With a strong commitment to support its people, society and the environment, Scott Bader is proud to have been a socially responsible corporation long before the term was popularised.

  • Scott Bader has a clear set of values and guiding principles
  • A significant proportion of the annual profit is re-invested in company assets to ensure continued compliance and ability to manufacture to high quality standards.
  • Annually, a minimum amount has to be donated to the charity.

Quite simply, Scott Bader strives to use its chemistry expertise to bring positive difference to every business it serves and every life it touches.

A very different organisation to work with and for!

Richard Thomas is the Group Head of Human Resources at Scott Bader CompanyŠ.