CHAPS Co believes Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is about understanding the business' impact on the wider world and how we can leverage this impact in a positive way. In terms of what CSR will mean to CHAPS Co, it is essentially an umbrella term to encapsulate how we impact and engage with:
- The environment;
- Our employees;
- The community; and
- Our suppliers.
CHAPS Co undertakes significant activities in these areas already but in previous years have never had a formal CSR strategy where these areas have been formally tied together.
We follow a four pillar policy that can be seen below.
We value our Environment
We have committed to ensure that we reduce our environmental impact and continue to improve our environmental performance as an integral part of our business strategy and operating methods. At CHAPS Co we believe that organisations are responsible for achieving good environmental practice and should operate in a sustainable manner and we will encourage our stakeholders to do the same.
We value our Employees
CHAPS Co is an inclusive organisation committed to fairness, equality of opportunity and diversity in all its employment practices, policies and procedures. We are committed to ensuring we have a healthy and educated workforce whose views are listened to and respected. We nurture ambition and ensure that all employees are able to develop relevant skills and knowledge to enrich their contribution and carve their own career path.
We value our Community
We have committed to build mutually supportive relationships with the wider community including national and local concerns. At CHAPS Co we are actively involved in charitable giving and encourage our staff to engage in this process.
We value our Suppliers
We have committed to ensure that all our suppliers have good business ethics and meet the standards we hold in high esteem. We aim to develop relationships built on shared trust and communal responsibility.
We are serious about tackling our carbon emissions. Our office in Thomas More Square has achieved a Very Good BREEAM rating of 57.32% (3 out of 4 stars) and has been categorised as a ‘B’ under HM Government’s Energy Performance Asset Rating. Thanks to the commitment of our site managers, Land Securities, waste from the office goes either to recycling or to a ‘Waste-To-Energy’ site: no waste goes to landfill. We have actively measured our carbon footprint since 2009 and have consistently cut our CO2 emissions since then: by 25% in 2010 and by a further 9% in 2011. We have a team of people who are active in finding even more ways to reduce our environmental impact.
Community and the Environment
Each year we compensate for the carbon we produce. We consistently invest in a community carbon project in the village of Limay, Nicaragua, which is steadily reforesting the area. This is a community-led project, approved by Plan Vivo, which develops local livelihoods as well as conserving and restoring the local ecosystem. Plan Vivo is an internationally recognised standard and the Limay community are active in the project. They have a vested interest in restoring the local ecosystem, ensuring that the trees will absorb the required CO2 as they grow to maturity.
Closer to home, we have joined other organisations in contributing funds for solar panels to be installed at the local educational project Hackney City Farm. The farm is dedicated to helping people learn about food, nature and the environment and is a vibrant part of the community. Since the installation of the panels in February 2012, the farm is cutting its own CO2 and saving vital funds through being partly powered by this renewable source.
Having made savings through cutting our CO2, we can pass on the benefits through channelling some of these savings to projects such as those above. A relatively small amount of money can make a big difference when targeted carefully. By combining our efforts with other organisations - focusing on quality projects which we feel will make a big difference - we leverage our contribution and punch above our weight in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility.
Charity and Volunteering
Each year, staff members are invited to nominate charities which are meaningful to them. This is then put to a company vote and we focus on raising funds for that chosen charity for the rest of the year. In addition to ad hoc donations from staff, funds are raised through various events held throughout the year, and staff members are invited to take up voluntary work for the chosen charity. Members of staff also raise money through sponsorship for various sporting events.