Engaging our people

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Our planet

Engaging our people

We engage with, and listen to, our people to drive positive environmental change.

With the pandemic re-shaping the way we live and work, we have to manage our environmental footprint differently. Our people have a huge role to play.

In response to COVID-19, we launched our Sustainability at Home campaign, to support our people in driving positive environmental action from home. The campaign – which was highly commended at the 2021 Business Green Leaders Awards and awarded Silver at the 2021 Global Good Awards – saw us host the Live Savvy Championship and a series of sustainability-focused webinars, covering topics such as the future of climate – looking at money, travel, waste and diet – and the role of bees as a pollinator within the global ecosystem.

In collaboration with environmental behaviour change charity Hubbub, the Live Savvy Championship saw 260 Partners and colleagues take practical action to live more sustainably. From making their food go further to getting creative with plant pots, they've been able to save water, reduce carbon emissions and limit food miles too.

Examples of our Live Savvy Championship impact:

By switching to a renewable energy provider, our colleague participants saved the equivalent amount of emissions required to take a return flight from London to Tokyo 3 times
By swapping to plant-based meals, our colleague participants saved the equivalent amount of energy to charge 7,652 smartphones
Through various water-saving measures, such as shortening showers and checking for leaks, our colleague participants saved an estimated 138,230 litres of water

Earlier this year we launched HomeHQ – a research project aimed at helping us better understand what our people care about most, and the barriers they face in creating a positive environmental impact. Almost 500 of our people, from graduates to Partners, shared their insights with us, and we are using these insights to shape how engage with our colleagues on environmental issues going forward.

In the year of COP26, we were delighted to launch Net Zero 2030: Play your part, a series of practical activities for our colleagues to support our journey to Net Zero which included challenges, volunteering opportunities and interactive events.

Throughout November, we hosted Sustainability Unplugged sessions, bringing together inspiring keynote speakers and 1,000 of our colleagues to discuss the environmental issues we’re facing and ways we can all make a difference. We explored the impact of our travel habits and the food we eat, as well as how to move towards a life of zero waste and building a stronger connection with nature. Our line-up of expert speakers included Producer of BBC’s Blue Planet II, Mark Brownlow, environmental entrepreneur, Ed Gillespie and the Director of the Academy Award Winning Documentary, My Octopus Teacher, Pippa Ehrlich.

More than 370 colleagues have also been taking part in our Game On: Sustainability Challenge, competing with each other on a range of bite-sized eco challenges. In just one month, our people have committed to over 1,100 actions that will help save carbon emissions, single-use plastics and water.

Our Net Zero 2030: Play your part campaign is also providing new ways for our colleagues to volunteer. This year we have launched our Green Team Group Volunteering Days, enabling groups of 20 or more to take positive practical actions, with activities around biodiversity preservation, nature reserve support, invasive species management, wildlife meadow establishment and native species audits.

We are also engaging our people to support our communities in this area as we work to ensure that the green jobs revolution is fair and inclusive. We've teamed up with Hubbub to deliver the Climate Champions programme to secondary schools across the UK, helping to engage students on environmental topics and giving them the confidence and skills to address the climate crisis and challenges of eco-anxiety. And through our Green Skills for Life programme, we are building students' 'sustainability mindset' and helping prepare and excite them for the changing world of work.

Progress through passion

How our Environmental Champions are enabling greater carbon reduction.

Our Environment Champion network supports us to make progress towards becoming a Net Zero business by 2030. Our champions think innovatively about ways to reduce our negative environmental impact and they engage their local colleagues on ways to create a positive impact too.

Toby and Yousuf are two of our Environment Champions, based in our Leeds office. They helped to create a dashboard, which quantifies the greenhouse gas emissions generated by the Leeds office. The data informs the ways in which the office can make a tangible different to the environment by proposing ideas for using renewable energy sources, encouraging rail travel and a more efficient heating pump.

Toby says: “It has been great to come together with like minded people who are passionate about the environment, opening up the conversation about what individuals and businesses can do to be more environmentally aware and active. And I've broadened my knowledge and skills in the process.”

Toby /Analyst
Yousuf / Apprentice
Protecting the planet, from home

Cycling to work and growing her own vegetables have been Shruthi's way of giving back to nature in the past, but during the pandemic, she wanted to do more. "I could not resist joining Hubbub's Live Savvy Championship." The five-week Championship was a real eye-opener for Shruthi. "By taking part, I have become much more aware of my surroundings and the ways I can protect them. I have learnt to appreciate the smaller things in life like watching a seed sprout or a flower bloom. Most importantly, I have learnt to appreciate others' work and the value of sharing my learnings with them too." Out of over 260 colleagues who signed up to the Championship, Shruthi was crowned our ultimate Live Savvy Champion, for completing the most sustainability challenges. "I am proud of the difference I have made in living a more sustainable and healthy life.

Shruthi / Manager