Environmental, social and governance policy
Environmental, social and governance (ESG) refer to a business’s impact on the environment, our society and the transparency of its leadership.
- Environmental issues – the most critical element of ESG – relate to our carbon footprint, sustainable practices and our impact on the broader wellbeing and health of the world.
- Social issues cover the equality and fair treatment of our staff and workers in our supply chains around the world.
- Governance relates to our legal behaviour and safeguards such as corruption and data privacy.
As a small business, we may be limited in the scale of actions at our disposal. Yet, we believe that acting in tune with best practices in these areas is not only an ethical imperative but the best strategy to grow and succeed as a business. We hold that this is a key priority for our customers and employees, and thus we place it at the forefront of our business.
This policy covers all aspects of our business operations and procurement, and guides all strategic decisions and investments. Responsibility for the success of the policy lies with the company’s ESG Taskforce.
In line with the UN’s science-backed targets, we aim to progressively reduce the carbon footprint of all our products with the eventual aim of achieving net-zero emissions. While we may employ carbon offsetting as a strategy, we will always first attempt to reduce carbon emissions at source.
We already rely on 100% renewable energy for our physical office and primary IT infrastructure. As we grow our company, we aim to limit energy consumption by actively encouraging energy efficiency in the workplace. We support our employees towards public transit and active travel through season ticket loans and cycle-to-work schemes, and all our staff already rely on public transportation.
We aim to conduct carbon offsetting on all our events by the end of FY24. All our publications are sourced from FSC sustainable forests and the paper for every issue is already offset. In addition, we have halved the frequency of our physical issues of Real Deals to reduce the carbon footprint at the source.
Our carbon footprint does not exist in a silo. We commit to auditing all suppliers for their carbon reduction strategy and decarbonising as much of our supply chain as possible by favouring companies committed to ambitious net-zero targets.
We are committed to auditing our suppliers, where applicable for their jurisdiction, for their position on modern slavery and living-wage accreditation. We intend to favour companies with strong positions on both, and companies that are local or owned by members of groups that are traditionally underrepresented.
We maintain partnerships with charities, which we promote via our events and arrange volunteer days for staff to attend. We also grant all staff individual volunteering days and operate a payroll giving scheme, to help employees support charities close to their interests.
We abide by the minimum wages set by the Living Wage Foundation and hold our immediate contractors to those standards. In addition, we are committed to reducing our gender wage gap and welcoming applicants from underrepresented backgrounds.
To ensure a respectful environment, we ensure all staff receive regular training with regards to bullying, harassment and diversity in the office. We have detailed policies supporting a zero-tolerance approach to any discrimination or harassment in our workplace or at our events. We also support staff members’ health and mental well-being with health insurance and multiple employee assistance programmes to provide counselling and advice.
In the interest of protecting the personal information of our clients, we have a rigorous data protection and cybersecurity regime, including regular training for all staff. Our consumer data is primarily held on servers within the UK and EEA only. We maintain detailed policies on journalistic ethics, bribery, corruption, conduct and standards, and whistleblowing. We are further aiming to embed high standards of journalistic integrity into our work through ongoing training and guidance.
See also: Editorial Code.
All employees have a responsibility to help the company progress towards higher standards in ESG. This includes:
- Have a clear idea of how you and your team can contribute to the company’s goals
- Favour public transport and active travel
- Avoid printing unnecessarily or leaving unused electronic devices on
- Reduce consumption and recycle wherever possible
- Limit the use, or reuse, of materials that are hard to recycle
- Support charities and favour ethical businesses
- Challenge discriminatory behaviour or practices
- Be an ally to disadvantaged or underrepresented groups
- Champion policies and compliance over shortcuts
- Call out poor practices
- Protect the rights of our customers.
Managers should lead by example and champion the spirit of this policy in their teams and procurement.