Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is important to us. The success of our business relies upon our ability to attract, train and retain the best people. We support diversity throughout our business and make every effort to create and maintain an inclusive culture. We recognise our responsibilities in the community and encourage our people to engage in activities that better society and build trust in our local communities. As a forward-looking firm, we understand the importance of minimising our environmental impact. Therefore we are committed to facilitating environmentally friendly working practices by our people and in our offices.
The concept of CSR is in our opinion under developed in our profession. We don’t want to just do what is required like many other firms - but go above and beyond. We have built our business over 150 years by looking ahead and adapting and changing at the right times. Thinking about the future of our planet and society, being a good corporate citizen and doing our bit to make a difference is a high priority for the firm. Our recent rebrand was to capture what we believe is at the very heart of our firm – being forward-looking. To be a truly forward-looking firm, community must be at the very heart of our culture. We are at the beginning of an exciting journey to develop what we believe will be a vital community programme to deliver our CSR initiatives. Our Forward Community Programme covers the following key areas:
Inclusion & Diversity
Making sure that equality and diversity are celebrated. We want a firm that has diversity of thought, ideas and viewpoints and where all our people, regardless of their background, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, disability or sexual orientation feel they belong. Inclusion and diversity is high on the agenda for Mewburn Ellis. It’s part of our business plan and is being driven by our management board. For us, inclusion and diversity is more than just a tick-box exercise – it is an issue that’s long been on our agenda and ingrained in our business plan and imbedded in our culture.
We've come a long way in this important area. We have undertaken an audit of our existing culture, processes and practices to help us develop a strategic I&D framework that explores four key areas. Inclusivity for us is about the people we hire, the careers we nurture, the culture we build and the relationships we have with our clients. We have already started to make changes in these areas. We have created a new board level role of Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer as well as launched an Inclusion & Diversity Collaboration Group. We have rolled out training to all our leaders, signed up to the IP Inclusive Senior Leader's Pledge and are also now proud to be using Rare Recruitment's Contextual Recruitment System (CRS) which allows us to consider an applicant's achievements in the context in which they were gained.
For us this means nurturing our people, helping everyone develop and contributing to the wider communities in which we operate as well as supporting worthy causes with time and money. As a firm we have made a commitment to donate 1% of our profits to charity as well as over 300 days of time to good causes. We support charities at a firmwide and local office level.
Each year we support charities at a firmwide level including being a national sponsor of the CREST Awards run by the British Science Association. Our people also choose a local charity for each of of our fives ofifces. We support them for a minimum of two years and donate £30,000 to each during this time. We have also given all our people one community day per year to enable them to support causes they care about. In addition we operate a Give As You Earn (GAYE) scheme so our people can donate to charities of their choice in a simple and tax effective way. Our combined community effort amounts to more than £600,000 of investment over the last three years and over 300 days of time available each year to donate to good causes. Read more in our Sustainable Communities Special report below.
Sustainability is a complex area and a ongoing focus for our firm. Our priority is to make sure that the way we operate has as little environmental impact as possible. We are looking at how we deal with waste, energy and reducing our carbon footprint, with the objective to eliminate our use if we can, reduce where possible or substitute if necessary. This is a broad approach and covers everything from how we manage our offices to the travel we undertake the decisions we make about the suppliers and products we use.
We're at the start of the journey for this project and working hard to implement key changes to our business. To help us we have developed a five step climate action plan that we're using as a framework to help us improve in this key area. Some steps are long-term and will take time, others are quicker wins that we're implementing now. All are tangible, a priority for us and part of our business plan with board level support.