We have been developing our responsible business programme in recent years to expand our existing socially-conscious activities that aim to support the underprivileged and people in need of help in our local communities. By taking a more strategic look at our input and impact in this area, as well as initiatives that could benefit employees in their working lives and our constantly evolving environmental policies, we have focused on developing a robust and relevant Corporate Social Responsibility strategy.
We have always been aware of the importance of ‘good business’, the ethical foundations of which have long been enshrined in our company values of Safety, Performance, Leadership and Innovation. We believe that the ‘sweet spot’ for a successful CSR function includes activities that benefit everyone involved, that relate to our core business and the communities and environments we have direct contact with, and which are meaningful, tangible and measurable.
Not only is this our responsibility as a corporate citizen but it makes good business sense as our people take ownership of initiatives which in turn feed back into the business via good will and happier and more motivated employees. It’s a wider outreach and application of the qualities we aspire to – and are reputed for - in our day-to-day operations: reliability, conscientiousness, respect, quality and the highest of ethical and safety standards.
Our responsible business team are building on initiatives already in place such as charitable giving, donation of prizes to charity auctions and sponsoring of sports teams local to our depots or with connection to our operations, clients or suppliers. For example, as part of this wider remit, employees have been encouraged to organise their own fundraising initiatives for causes they wish to support through Head Office, which were then match funded by the company.
We have been helped along on our responsible business journey by being invited to take part in the Heart of the City programme. Heart of the City is a network of companies supported by the Corporation of London who help each other to develop strategies, processes and initiatives that make them a more responsible business. Being on the Programme has allowed us access to established, larger members of this network (including many notable global corporations) who have supported, trained and mentored us on the journey toward setting up more responsible business activities and taking them to the next level.
Employees have run campaigns for a variety of worthy causes that have touched many of our lives or that we can relate to in different ways such as Cancer Research and YMCA. In addition, the company has formally adopted nominated causes and charities that are directly aligned with our core business, which for this reason, makes the impact of their work more relatable to our clients and personnel in many cases. These include CRASH, The Lighthouse Club and Dublin Simon Community (homelessness). CRASH assists homelessness and hospice charities with construction related projects, creating places that care for people.
The Lighthouse Club provide financial and emotional support to the construction community and their families. The Dublin Simon Community work to prevent and address homelessness in Dublin, Kildare, Wicklow and Meath. As part of the industry that builds homes and hospices, we feel it’s right for us to make a concerted effort to support charities that help with homelessness and hospice building/maintenance projects.
We have invited corporate staff to contribute ideas to help inform our approach to responsible business including how we support local communities, donate our time, seek to reduce our environmental impact and source supplies more sustainably. With critical buy-in from senior level and directors, we also recognise how critical it is to have stakeholders in all areas of the company.
We asked for those with an interest in helping us to develop and implement a Responsible Business strategy to volunteer as a member of the CSR committee. This is an excellent opportunity to have direct influence on the types of initiatives and issues we decide to introduce and support, both outside the organization - to benefit the people and the environment around us - but also within the organization - to benefit employee satisfaction and fulfilment in making our working lives more comfortable and personally meaningful.
‘Champions’ from various departments have formed this committee and use their passion and ideas to create good for the community, the environment, employee/office life and the ultimately, the business too.