We believe business has a purpose beyond profit. We are committed to ensuring we play our role in making a positive contribution to social, environmental and economic challenges. Our environmental and community policies describe what this means in practice means for us.
Environmental and supplier policy
Last Reviewed : 23/12/ 18
Next Review : 23/16/ 19
Sweetmans and Partners recognises that it has a responsibility to the environment beyond legal and regulatory requirements. We are committed to reducing our environmental impact and continually improving our environmental performance as an integral part of our business strategy and operating methods, with regular review points. We will encourage customers, suppliers and other stakeholders to do the same.
Rosie Sweetman is responsible for ensuring that the environmental policy is implemented. However, all employees and associates (through our contract with them) have a responsibility in their area to ensure that the aims and objectives of the policy are met. We ask that associates, wherever possible support us in achieving the goals of this policy in their working environments.
We endeavour to:
· Comply with, and exceed, all relevant regulatory requirements.
· Continually improve and monitor environmental performance.
· Continually improve and reduce environmental impacts.
· Incorporate environmental factors into business decisions.
· Increase employee awareness and training.
· We will minimise the use of paper in the office.
· We will use minimal packaging when sending parcels.
· We will seek to buy recycled and recyclable paper products.
· We will reuse and recycle all paper where possible.
Energy and water
· We will seek to reduce the amount of energy used as much as possible.
· Lights and electrical equipment will be switched off when not in use.
· Heating will be adjusted with energy consumption in mind.
· The energy consumption and efficiency of new products will be taken into account when purchasing.
· We will source energy from 100% renewable energy sources
· We will evaluate if renting/sharing is an option before purchasing equipment.
· We will evaluate the environmental impact of any new products we intend to purchase.
· We will favour more environmentally friendly and efficient products wherever possible.
· We will reuse and recycle everything we are able to. Hazardous waste such e-waste, batteries and lightbulbs will be disposed of responsibly. Where possible we will donate working electrical equipment to local charities, and dispose of other hazardous material with licensed and appropriate organisations.
· We will reduce the need to travel, restricting to necessary trips only.
· We will promote the use of travel alternatives such as e-mail or video/phone conferencing.
· We will make additional efforts to accommodate the needs of those using public transport or bicycles. Our target is for 80% of all business journeys to be undertaken by bike or public transport.
Maintenance and cleaning
· Cleaning materials used will be as environmentally friendly as possible.
· Materials used in office refurbishment will be as environmentally friendly as possible.
· We will only use licensed and appropriate organisations to dispose of waste.
Monitoring and improvement
· We will comply with and exceed all relevant regulatory requirements.
· We will continually improve and monitor environmental performance.
· We will continually improve and reduce environmental impacts.
· We will incorporate environmental factors into business decisions.
· We will increase employee, associate, and where appropriate client, awareness through sharing this policy.
· We will review this policy and any related business issues twice a year at our management meetings.
· We will involve employees and associates in the implementation of this policy, for greater commitment and improved performance.
· We will update this policy at least once annually in consultation with employees and other stakeholders where necessary.
· We will work with suppliers, associates and contractors to improve their environmental performance.
· We will use local contractors and local suppliers wherever possible and aim for 70% of suppliers and contractors to be from within a 50-mile radius.
Community investment policy
Sweetmans and Partners is committed to making a clear and positive contribution to the communities in which we work and live, and in circumstances where we can make a real difference. We have achieved b corporation status which means that we are profit making and committed to making a positive contribution to society.
Our commitment stems from the belief that business has a purpose beyond profit. To maximise our impact, we will ensure our activity reflects our core values, and leverages the strengths and partnerships we have as a business.
Our approach to community investment is therefore people-based, and seeks to build on the strengths and levers we have as a business specialising in working with the FLPS sector here in Wales.
1. FLPS Group
One of our commitments is to convene a group of some 25 FLPS firms committed to futureproofing the sector through building networks, developing skills and supporting the sector to make a positive contribution to society.
Much of our conversation to date has focused on the importance of non-technical skills for current and future leaders; and the value of strong relationships and broad networks.
One of the vehicles we use to address these challenges is the hackathon style concept. Hackathons have their origins in the tech sector, and are typically used to develop new technology solutions or ideas. The premise is that: working with people from different backgrounds, with complimentary skills in a time-pressured environment on a shared challenge creates fresh ideas and a rich learning environment.
The skills we’re seeking to develop are those that have been identified as increasingly important for leaders e.g. critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity and collaboration.
The challenge we pose participants will always have both a commercial and social impact. There are 2 reasons for this:
1. To recognise the growing understanding, particularly in the FLPS sector since the financial crisis, that business has a purpose beyond profit.
2. The FLPS sector is hugely important to Wales both in terms of wealth generation (it accounts for almost 10% of our GDP) and in attracting, developing and retaining talent and skills here in Wales. We’d like to tap into this talent to help shape solutions to some of Wales most pressing challenges.
a) We commit to continue to convene the FLPS Group at least twice a year.
b) We commit to run annual hackathons that seek to develop the skills and talents of current and future leaders in the FLPS sector and shape solutions to pressing social challenges we face as a nation.
In addition, we recognise that our employees, associates and partners want opportunities to make a positive contribution to, and get involved in, the local community. We support:
· Individual employees and associates who wish to give their time to charitable and community initiatives
· Local projects based in the communities where we work which develop the skills of existing and future employees e.g. we have pledged to support Cardiff commitment and Teach First Cymru; and/or enable the sector to work together to make a positive difference.
We are unable to respond positively to every request we receive. In particular, we do not support:
· Political parties or groups of any kind
· Religious organisations
· Personal appeals by, or on behalf of individuals
Our employees and associates play a key role in the decisions we make both in the types of issues we address and the organisations we support. We also empower our employees and associates to use their skills to make a positive difference in our communities.
We are involved in a number of programmes to demonstrate our commitment to sustainable community relationships:
Charity partners - We help charities to meet their goals, through fundraising or sponsorship e.g. running a half marathon for Ty Hafan; and by the provision of our skills and experience as well as other in-kind support e.g. as trustee of arts active Trust and as volunteer coaches with Teach first Cymru and Coleg Cymoedd’s Girls Mentoring Initiative. In turn, we gain an insight into societal challenges and how by supporting charities we can make a positive difference. Directors will review all requests and possible projects on at least a bi-annual basis.
Volunteering - We encourage our employees and associates to become involved in community projects and support a charity or community group. We allow up to 4 days paid time annually for employees. We recognise that this helps the groups as well as helping colleagues develop professional and personal skills that are valuable in the workplace.
We will continue to support through volunteering Duke of Edinburgh, Arts Active Trust, Teach First Cymru and Coleg cymoedd’s Girls Mentoring initiative. We are also active members of IOD Wales, BITC Cymru, CMI Cymru, Association for Coaching and Trading for Good.