Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and climate change responsibility

The company takes its Environmental, Social and Governance ("ESG") responsibilities very seriously and recognises the importance of combating the effects of climate change. The company is committed to being a responsible corporate citizen and we recognise the impact our operations can have on the environment and society. Our dedication to ESG is underpinned by our joint responsibility to combat climate change and contribute positively to the world we live in.

Climate Action and Carbon Footprint Reduction

Every organisation has a role to play in the prevention of climate change and protecting the environment, and no more so than in respect of lowering its carbon footprint. Accordingly, we have continued our rationalisation of property and re-use of office furniture across the company, reducing both heat loss and unnecessary use of electricity and gas.

Together with the impact of COVID-19, which encouraged home working where possible, there has been a commensurate reduction in energy usage and bills and of waste sent to landfill. Collectively these steps have contributed positively to ESG considerations and a lowering of our carbon footprint.

Governance for a Sustainable Future

Good corporate governance also demands diligence to combat greenwashing and social washing. With honesty, transparency, and integrity being at the heart of ESG, we are implementing a more rigorous carbon reporting methodology, and developing action plans that will better inform our Board and Executive Committee as we define our forward-looking sustainability strategy. 

Our future ESG initiatives include the assessment and viability of green energy, reduced use of printing with further digital methods of working being introduced and standardised approaches to property acquisition and management.

External consultants now guide our overall ESG strategy, and we're actively engaging in formal ESG reporting following the core requirements of the Global Reporting Institute (GRI).

ESG Achievements and Initiatives

We are proud to share some of our recent ESG achievements and initiatives:

  • Jubilee Partner of The Tree Council, we actively promote and participate in various tree planting and care initiatives.
  • Support for Crisis at Christmas, including financial contributions and employee activities, helps address homelessness during the festive season.
  • Volunteer days empower our employees to engage with local charities, contributing to environmental initiatives and community well-being.

Diversity and Inclusion

The company has focused on building awareness of wellness, diversity, and inclusion across the organisation. It aims to drive a culture of positive inclusion, driven by the company's Executive Committee and measured by the achievement of key performance indicators (KPIs).

Key Initiatives and Events

  • Inclusion and unconscious bias workshops to the Executive Committee and key management. These workshops have also been delivered to all managers across the organisation. The company has implemented a new learning management system, which includes a suite of courses covering health and wellbeing accessible to all employees.
  • 'We Do' program focuses on creating a positive and open culture that celebrates differences and values everyone's contributions to the everyday workings of the organisation.
  • The Graduate Recruitment Strategy addressed the under-representation of female and ethnic minority candidates in previous years and was successful in broadening the candidate pool across these diversity lenses and the diversity of those appointed.
  • Participated in the "10,000 Black Interns" program, undertaking a selection process which resulted in providing six-week internships to two candidates, one of which culminated in an offer of permanent employment
  • The wellness, diversity, and inclusion calendar involved multiple events per month, including celebrations of religious festivals representative of its employees, acknowledgement of patron saint days, mental health awareness, international men and women's days and Black History Month

Gender Diversity Commitment

We are committed to not only eliminating discrimination but also creating a diverse workforce. We believe that everyone should be treated with equal respect and dignity and should have access to the same opportunities to develop professionally and personally within the company. We believe a diverse workforce creates a positive and open culture, we celebrate differences and value everyone’s contributions to the everyday workings of the company. We recognise and value each individual’s own personal background and skillset and we strive to grow talent and reach full potential.

We measure gender balance from the top down and by function. We are pleased with the diversity at Senior Management level, which compares favourably to the FTSE Women Leaders’ Review target of 40% representation of women on FTSE 350 Boards by the end of 2025. Our action plan includes:

  • Translating awareness into positive action by building on the milestones we have already achieved and continuing to work towards a vision of achieving a truly inclusive workplace culture by 2025
  • Working with our agency partners to ensure diversity data is captured during our recruitment process and anonymising CV’s
  • Continuing to work with not-for-profit charity groups who support minority groups and offer to support apprentices through our apprenticeship levy.

Gender diversity – as of 31 December 2022

  Male Female Total
  Number % Number % Number %
Directors 2 0.4% 1 0.2% 3 0.6%
Senior Managers 6 1.1% 6 1.1% 12 2.2%
Other 276 50.4% 256 46.8% 532 97.2%
Total 284 51.9% 263 48.1% 547 100.0%

We define ‘Senior Manager’ as someone who is part of our Executive Committee. They have the responsibility for planning, directing and controlling the activities of the company, and are an employee of the company.