CSR: A look back on the first quarter of 2021

With the first quarter of the year drawing to an end we take a look back at what the CSR committee have been up to.

Rich New
Rich New Client Services Manager

Welcome to our first CSR blog of 2021. With the announcement of the UK starting to come out of lockdown, it feels like spirits have been lifted and we can start to find our feet into some sort of new “normal” world. It however remains important, perhaps now even more than  to work together to keep supporting our amazing charities, communities, environment and marketplaces.  

Our CSR focus centres around four pillars: 

  • Workplace - looking at the ethical/environmental impact of our day-to-day running;  
  • Marketplace- co-operating with our clients and the tech industry on CSR activities;  
  • Community - aiding charities and other organisations close to our hearts (for example, we volunteer at a code club called DigiLocal, allowing us to convert our professional expertise into local benefit);  
  • Environment - which is of particular importance to us as a tech company: we understand our environmental impact and are always seeking to reduce it. 

Workplace: CSR Survey results 

Towards the end of last year we published a companywide survey asking people for their thoughts and interests about CSR.  

90% of employees thought CSR was somewhat or extremely important to the companies identity and everyone thought it was important to them personally. The team ranked Workplace as the most important pillar, followed by Community, Environment then Marketplace. 72% of people said they had more time to donate and wanted to hear more about volunteering opportunities. 

We will be structuring the years activities around the results to focus on people’s interests, rather than second guessing. We’ve had a great start to our volunteering programme with some of the team taking on projects in addition to their day jobs.  

Community: Women’s Work Lab 

Andrew Cox has just finished working with Women’s Work Lab on giving their website a design and UX refresh. Women’s Work Lab supports unemployed mums back into the workplace by running training programmes and providing placements with local companies. They have a Squarespace website that was setup a few years ago by the owners and it needed a bit of a fresh design and some simplified UX. We worked with them on some flat designs to get the content and user journeys laid out then put it all together for them in Squarespace. They’ve had some great feedback from users and are finding the website itself much easier to update. 

Community: Bristol Refugee Festival 

Luke Storry has been coordinating with the Quartet Community Foundation’s City Funds Pro bono brokerage to find out more volunteering opportunities for us, and through that he got in contact with Bristol Refugee Festival to help discuss their potential website redesign. 

Bristol Refugee Festival coordinates an annual programme of arts, cultural, community and educational events each June, bringing together incoming and host communities across the city to celebrate the contribution refugees and asylum seekers bring to Bristol. Their Wordpress site has been causing issues, with plugins not working as desired, and any changes to content or style causing the site to break or behave strangely. As they are planning an ambitious “hybrid” festival this year, with many events running both online and offline, they are looking into both modernising the styling of the site and also looking for a better way of managing and displaying events on the system. We provided them with advice and guidance, during which Luke outlined the various functions and tools surrounding modern websites, and the possibilities for taking their site forwards. We plan to continue helping them as they look into either updating their current Wordpress system, or move over to a new, simpler site using a service like Wix. 

Environment: The Big Green Energy Swap 

With the team working from home and having almost 40 micro-offices, one of the biggest green impact activities we could do is to use cleaner energy at home. According to the Committee on Climate Change, 40% of the UK Emissions come from households and we are certain there would be an uplift in home usage since the pandemic.  

From our survey, 43% of the team self-reported to be on Green Energy tariffs already and more wanted to find out more information about swapping. To aid others to make a change, we sent out information about why Green Energy is important and some suggested providers and further reading. It’s great to see so many of the team being environmentally conscientious and hopefully encourage more to consider swapping. 

Looking ahead to Q2 and beyond 

We are talking to BRACE , our charity of the year, and are planning ahead to the summer for some fun, and perhaps sporty events. We are trying to avoid doing events with lots of screen time, which is a nice challenge to organise. Hopefully Q2 will bring some relief and the team are already arranging some meet ups which is great to see.  

We will also continue on our journey understanding how Ghyston can positively contribute to a green recovery and continue to work on our pillars for the year. 

If you’d like to get in contact to collaborate on any events or have a chat then we’d love to hear from you on CSR@ghyston.com

Rich New
Rich New
Client Services Manager

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