Corporate Social Responsibility Policy
At John Rowan and Partners, corporate social responsibility is at the heart of everything we do. Our philosophy has been developed around our core set of values:
Having fun working hard, working hard at having fun… Our success comes from the hard working, fun, sociable and energetic environment we have created. We innovate… We encourage creativity, embrace new ideas and investigate opportunities in all that we do. Be all you can… We develop and support people to achieve their goals and exceed their aspirations. We care about people… People are our business and we trust and empower them. We promote flexibility and form strong and positive long term relationships. We are family… We nurture, are approachable and work with a positive team spirit, ensuring every voice counts.
Our values and approach run through every policy, process and interaction with employees, clients, suppliers and our local and not-so-local communities. We are committed to delivering sustainability and best practice not only in relation to our clients and employees but within the environment in which we work and the communities which we serve. It’s a simple approach: we treat others as we would like to be treated. Our corporate responsibility strategy is underpinned by our values and has three main strands – our people and business, our community and the environment: Our People and business People are the cornerstone to our success. Whether it’s our employees, our clients or our community, we are dedicated to ensuring that we meet or exceed all of their needs. Our business strategy is determined by the people we work with and we firmly believe that this is the soundest investment any company could make. Our actions are underpinned by a firm emphasis on trust and integrity. In all of our working relationships we strive to establish a foundation of mutual understanding, clear concise communication and a willingness to innovate. We are committed to encouraging and rewarding entrepreneurial activity and aim to develop a reputation as a truly forward-thinking consultant. Our Community We recognise that the first step towards a sustainable future for construction is to meet the needs of the communities in which we work. We therefore strive to ensure that community consultation is seen as an integral part of all projects we undertake and we endeavour to make ourselves accountable to those we work with by outlining all of our project plans. We truly believe that by delivering what people want we will instil a sense of pride into the communities in which we work and maximise the likelihood of our projects being looked after and respected well into the future. Our Environment As construction and property consultants, the natural and built environment is our lifeblood and we do everything in our power to ensure that it is protected. We believe that business success should not solely be based on profits but should take into account environmental behaviour too. Construction waste has a huge impact on our environment and we are conscious of the need to do whatever we can to help limit this problem. We view reducing and recycling as the first step towards protecting the future of our planet and it is therefore a fundamental part of our business. We ensure
that any work we do causes the minimum possible disruption or damage to the surrounding environment and are committed to creating developments that reflect the feel of the local area.
Our People and business We are committed to recruiting, developing, and enabling individuals to be the best that they can.
Recruitment – We are committed to being an Equal Opportunities employer. Surpassing legislative imperatives, we aim to give opportunities to the widest possible pool, in particular to disadvantaged groups in our communities. We therefore use a broad range of advertising media for vacancies, and work alongside our local Job Centres to help ensure that our offices are as diverse and representative as possible. Interns are recruited with little or no work experience, coached, developed and given a broad range of experience.
Training and Development – The value that we place in our people and the subsequent loyalty that this instils manifests in our remarkably low staff churn rate of 6% (2012). Our firm emphasis on training and career progression ensures that our employees are constantly learning and developing their skills, thereby enabling us to deliver best practice across the board. We are certified Investors in People and are committed to helping our employees further their careers by assigning 2% of our turnover to their development each year. A proportion of this amount is used to encourage employees to further their qualifications by covering their college fees. We have also developed a mentoring scheme whereby employees are given support from Partners in achieving their individual strategic objectives. This approach aids individual development whilst also contributing to the building of strong working relationships within the company, a result that we value very highly.
The Pledge – Launched by John Rowan and Partners and Building magazine, The Pledge is an initiative that is committed to safeguarding the future talent and skills of the UK construction industry. The only way to ensure the current economic turmoil doesn't result in the loss of an entire generation of talent is for the industry to work together to address the issue. The campaign provides a vehicle for this to happen. It also provides the opportunity for positive profile at a time when the industry needs to consider future resource requirements.
Building Good Employer – In the first year that Building has ranked companies in their Good Employer Guide, we have come out on top. They stated: ‘This year’s top employer, consultants John Rowan and Partners, is setting the benchmark for others to follow in its approach to employees... it has clearly found the combination valued by its staff, with satisfaction levels soaring across the board.’
Best Companies 2013 – We were yet again awarded a place in The Sunday Times’ list of The 100 Best Small Companies to Work For. This prestigious award measures employee engagement in 8 key areas, enabling us to benchmark ourselves against the best in class. As an external measure, it gives our employees another opportunity to let us know, honestly, what they think of us, what we do well, and what areas we need to work on.
The Health and Safety of our people – We take the health, safety and welfare of our employees seriously and, in our 30 years, have never had any accidents / incidents to report. We have solid procedures in place such as risk
assessments, safety inductions and regular training in place to ensure we maintain our excellent record.
Knowledge share – We know that our people are experienced and knowledgeable, and ensure that their unique skills and experiences are shared throughout the business. We therefore run regular sessions, led by employees, from subjects as diverse as ‘Using LinkedIn’ to ‘BIM’.
APC support – we work hard to support our employee’s development and run a structured programme to enable everyone who wishes to, to get the skills, experience, and support they need to gain their APC (or equivalent) accreditation.
Sabbaticals and Paid Volunteering Leave – We recognise that broad experiences and skills make us unique. An employee has recently returned from a 3 month sabbatical working in a Nepalese monastery supporting their education work with children.
Job Rotation – We actively give all employees the opportunity to move around the business at least every 2 years, keeping learning, energy, and skill-sharing alive.
Skills Groups – As we grow, we will continue to retain our learning culture. Our Skills Groups meet regularly to share best practice outside of team boundaries.
Mentoring – This is an important aspect of developing and retaining employees, and reflects our belief that everyone has the resources within them, and our role is to facilitate this, and enable it to be shared. We encourage all employees to get involved, and include mentoring relationships outside of the business as well as inside.
Management Development Training – We have designed a bespoke management development programme for all leaders and potential leaders in the firm. The 12-month programme covers coaching for optimal performance, recognising and aligning leadership to suit different learning styles and helps individuals to consider and develop their ‘Core Purpose’.
Management – We hold an annual Partners and Associates Conference and have a CSR working group to ensure all CSR-related subjects have a structured and important stage to be heard from and acted on.
The social side of John Rowan and Partners – The social side of what we do is key to our success in building internal and external relationships, having fun and growing together as a team. We know that having fun together is the most influential way to build a great workforce, surpassing client expectations. So, we have quarterly company-wide social events (such as Sports Day, Treasure Hunts and Quizzes – all orchestrated by our Managing Partner, Stephen Gee), team away days and regular informal events. Family members are welcomed to many events.
The Happiness Advantage – We use the Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor to make John Rowan and Partners a brilliant place to work, guide our Business Planning process and ensure a fun, inspiring and positive working
culture. The Happiness Advantage turns on its head the old theory of work hard, achieve the next thing, and then we will be happy. Over a decade of research in psychology and neuroscience has proven that the relationship between success and happiness works the other way around. Happiness is the pre-cursor to success, as Achor shows. Waiting to be happy limits our brainâ€™s potential for success, whereas cultivating positive brains makes us more motivated, efficient, resilient, creative, and productive, which drives performance upward. Happiness and optimism actually fuel performance and achievement - giving us the competitive edge. Initiatives such as the annual JRPâ€™s Got Talent and the Dragonâ€™s Den event ensure that there are many different routes to encourage and facilitate innovation.
Our Community We encourage participation in community projects. Our recent involvement includes:
Adopt a Student – 8 of our staff have started the new term as they mean to go on, working with 6th form students at Lillian Baylis School in Vauxhall. Each member of staff has been matched with a pupil, and will work with them as their mentor. Adopt a Student is a mentoring scheme that links 6th form students with individuals who work in a professional field. The aim of the programme is to address one of the barriers faced by young people: a lack of knowledge and experience of the professional world. The scheme provides a means by which young people can access individual and personalised advice and thus enable them to unlock and achieve their career potential. This is a key part of our CSR policy enabling us to make a very positive impact in our community and helping us to broaden the knowledge, skills and experience of our staff. It is an innovative way to broaden employee skills and experience, providing positive role models in the property and construction industry and making a real impact in our local communities. ‘The ‘Adopt a Student’ scheme is a great way for John Rowan and Partners to support our sixth formers, providing them with knowledge and experience of the professional world. The mentors work with our students on their education and career aspirations, providing practical guidance and encouraging them to aim high and to achieve. The students greatly enjoy being part of this programme.’ Karen Chamberlain Deputy Head: LBTS6 Lilian Baylis Technology School
The Construction Youth Trust undertakes various projects and programmes for young people to support them into training, education and employment in the construction industry and this year is aiming to help over 4,000 young people. However, they are unable to do this without the commitment of companies such as ourselves. ‘One of the reasons we hold John Rowan and Partners in such high regard is the work they do with the community and what they give back’. Rowena Ovenstone Project Director, Green Man Lane A2Dominion Homes Ltd
Our chosen charity – For the past few years we have managed to raise over £25,000 for our chosen charity Radio Lollipop. Radio Lollipop believes in the healing power of play - providing smiles and laughter to children in hospitals across the country at a time when they need it most. We feel very proud to support such an amazing group of people doing such a fantastic job. We also have a dress down day every Friday where employees take it in turns to nominate a charity to raise money for.
Christchurch re-build – Our support of local communities extends all over the world. We have recently been working in Christchurch, providing vital skills to enable the communities to re-build following the earthquake in 2010.
Our Environment We are an environmentally conscious organisation which acknowledges the impact our operations may potentially have on the environment. Our objective is to minimise any impact on the environment via the following methods:
BMS – In order to assure client satisfaction and effective service delivery, we operate and actively maintain a formal business management system (BMS) – the heart of which is the achievement of effective project management. The BMS is available online to all employees and the delivery of all services to our clients is managed in line with the policies and procedures laid down within the BMS. In addition, our BMS has been developed and implemented to comply with the detailed requirements of both ISO9001:2008 and ISO14001
Pool Cars – We provide a pool car service for employees who travel for business purposes. Fewer cars on the road mean less carbon dioxide, fewer emissions and less pollution and therefore better for the environment.
Follow-me printing – To save paper, our printers do not print automatically. Every employee has a pin number to access the printer so nothing gets printed until the user is identified and authenticated at the printer. This eliminates duplicate print jobs and enforces printing restrictions to conserve toner, paper and developer.
Oyster Cards – We encourage our employees to use Oyster cards, instead of driving, when travelling around London by allowing them to claim the money spent back on expenses.
Green Boot Camp – This is an annual week of events we hold not only to support our environmental accreditation but, more importantly, to continue to raise conversation around sustainability of the built environment and increase our knowledge and skills around the subject. It is an opportunity for everyone in the business to focus on and learn more about sustainability and environmental issues. We have a week-long programme of events, including sustainability experts coming in to speak to us, suppliers updating us on the latest technology and legislation as well as Leave Your Car At Home Day, running the JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge for charity and an environmental challenge capturing how many miles we run, swim, walk and cycle during the week.
Cycle to Work – This scheme enables employees to purchase tax-free bicycles to ride to work. We pay for the bicycle in the first instance and then the employee is required to pay back the amount (tax free) via payroll over a 12 month period. At the end of the 12 months, employees are given 3 options as follows: o Take ownership of the bike by paying a percentage of the market value o Extend the hire period for 36 months and pay a small deposit. No further payments will be required. After the 36 month period, the employee will then take ownership of the bike o Return the bicycle
Low Carbon Car allowance – As a business our main production of CO2 is through the use of cars. We have put in place a company car policy to only
purchase vehicles with emissions no greater than 115 g/km and to encourage the purchase of dual power source vehicles. We also encourage working from home one day a week to reduce the number of people driving into the office. In addition to this, we offer annual interest-free season ticket loans to all employees as an incentive to use public transport.
Green Building Council Members – We are members of the Green Building Council with key people in the business sitting on the Board and decisionmaking panels and groups. We see our involvement with the GBC as a positive footer to help influence the sector on sustainable activity.
TED – TED is our Travel Emission Database and this monitors the level of emissions we produce as a business travelling into work and doing our jobs. The database helps us to work out whether all our brilliant policies for use of greener vehicles and transport are making a difference and contributes towards our ISO 14001 inspection.
Recycling in our offices – All recyclable waste is put in the correct containers which are situated in the kitchen and the paper recycling bins which are situated throughout the office: o o o o o o o
Plastic – rinsed out before placing in the bin Cardboard – broken down before placing in the bin Tins – rinsed out before placing in the bin Glass – rinsed out before placing in the bin Toners – placed in the toner recycling box Batteries / CDs – placed in the correct boxes which are kept underneath the reception desk ICT equipment – any old ICT equipment to be stored in the storage room
All the above mentioned are collected by Greenway Ltd.
Sustainability work – Research has shown that there is a lack of engagement in environmental issues amongst SMEs – who make up more than 90% of the construction sector – and we are keen to set the benchmark for the industry and work outside this percentage. In doing so, we have sent up an Environmental Policy Group to discuss and act upon internal and external environmental concerns. Comprising ten members of John Rowan and Partners’ employees, the committee meets monthly to revise internal environmental policies with regards to recycling, for example, and to discuss how we can educate and encourage our clients and supply chain partners to work in accordance with the principles of sustainable construction.
Monitoring and quality controlling our quality corporate social responsibility – We first achieved ISO9001 in 2004 and it is a credit to our systems and procedures that we retain this important certification every year. We have a Documented Quality Management System called Business Management System (BMS). This system is accessed via our intranet and all policies, processes, procedures, forms, tools and templates are displayed here for all to use.
To complement our ISO9001 certification, in September 2009 we achieved ISO14001. We are now recognised in having the policies in place to help to manage
and monitor our environmental risks along with our environmental policy, developing sustainable environmental objectives and implement positive actions to help us through the green agenda including advice on sustainability, waste reduction and renewable energy. We are proud of what we have achieved and remain determined to develop further, becoming greener in all that we do and the projects we work on. Author: Stephen Gee, Managing Partner Date: 21 June 2013 Review Date: 22 June 2014 (or before if legislation demands)