What does sustainability mean for us?
At Holy Brook we recognise the importance of sustainability and prioritise it in our decision making.
Here are a few aspects of how we view sustainability:
- Environmental Responsibility: Ensuring our actions minimise the negative impact on the environment and protect the environment for current and future generations.
- Social Responsibility: Ensuring our actions reflect in the best interests of society by promoting diversity, inclusivity and fairness for all.
- Ethical and Transparent Reporting: Sustainability also refers to us as ensuring accurate, transparent and ethical reporting practices.
- Supporting our Clients’ Services: Providing support to our clients on integrating sustainability practices into their operations.
What measures do we have in place to ensure fair working practices for our team members?
- Accredited Living Wage Employer
- Regular “catch-up” conversations with Line Manager to ensure team members are given sufficient support to enable them to fulfill their role effectively.
- Compassionate Leave
- Maternity/Paternity/Parental/ Adoption Leave
- Time off for Family & Dependents
- Equality Policy
- Grievance Procedure
- Flexible Working
- We encourage team members to have a good work-life balance by offering them a flexible approach to hours worked to fit around other commitments.
- Equal Opportunities
- No unlawful discrimination against applicants and team members
- Ensure everyone is treated in a fair and unbiased manner.
What measures do we have in place to reduce our environmental impact as a business?
- Shared working environment
- Reduced physical waste (printing services, conference rooms, desks)
- Reduced waste in general
- Using re-useable mugs to reduce wastage.
- Recycling Scheme (paper and food)
- Using Trello (online organizational tool to visually plan and organise tasks to do, reducing paper wastage by not writing to-do tasks on paper everyday)
- Electronic filing system for most clients (limiting use of paper)
- Reducing/Minimising carbon footprint from transport
- All staff are encouraged to use public transport and walking for commutes and visit clients where feasible
- Where a private car is needed e.g. for client visits that are harder to reach the company car is fully electric
- Encourage hybrid working to minimise commuting
- Only sending emails when required
What measures do we have in place to operate in a socially responsible manner?
- Work from local CIC training and office hub ‘Curious Lounge’ so we know our rent payments go back into the local community.
- When entertaining we generally order from an independent business such as Shed Café (an independent sandwich & coffee shop) that minimise packaging and have sustainable practices themselves.
- Our coffee/tea comes from from Anonymous Coffee (an independent coffee roaster) and use reusable mugs etc.
- Can go out to eat lunch or after work in nearby food places to support them
- Provide accounting expertise to charities at a discount to enable them to continue their social mission
- Charity of the Year – choosing charities that will benefit from our technical expertise
- Promoting employment
- We have supported a team member through an apprenticeship scheme
- Offering internships through Reading Internship Scheme to University of Reading students
What accreditations/ recognition doe we have in place reflecting our ethics?
- Ethical Reading Member
- SME Climate Hub registered
- Connect Reading Member
- Accredited Living Wage employer
- Individual registrations with professional bodies (Our Founder is a CIMA member in practice)
- Recognised by Connect Charity as one of their trusted partners. Connect Charity not only promote a CSR approach, but also encourage businesses to get accreditation
- Registered with the ICO for GDPR purposes
How can we further integrate sustainability practices in our business model?
Holy Brook Associates has mainly addressed sustainability through upholding our environmental and social responsibility, by supporting local businesses and communities and minimising our ecological footprint. However, we recognise that sustainability is constant and ever evolving.
Hence we have identified the following ways to be more sustainable:
- Guidance to staff on unplugging electronics when fully charged or away from desk and using lock screen/standby as well as turning off overnight.
- Encourage clients to be more sustainable via newsletters and social media posts
- Suggest implementing or improving their ESG goals by sharing tips.
- Encourage digital sustainability within our business
- Deleting irrelevant emails reduces the energy and resources needed to run the internet and to lower our carbon footprint
- Review of online document storage for irrelevant items as above for reducing energy requirements (must consider GDPR vs need to retain information)
At Holy Brook we recognise the importance of continual improvement, so we welcome any ideas that you may have for us that we can adopt to become more sustainable and hope that by being transparent we help you think about how you manage your sustainability.