The nuts and bolts of responsible business behaviour

Natalie Thompson of Schroders Personal Wealth shares some of the nuts and bolts of how they have utilised the Good Business Charter to communicate their commitment to being a responsible business.  We are grateful to SPW, and other organisations like theirs, for sharing great ideas that can inspire us all in our journey of championing people and planet through embedding the Good Business Charter into their organisation.  GBC accreditation is not a tick-box exercise – something answered and forgotten about until renewal.  GBC accreditation is instead a highly effective and holistic framework to ensure you really are caring for your people and the planet in all you do.

Some ways in which we at Schroders Personal Wealth have embedded the Good Business Charter into our business

Internally we initially focused on some basics, by sharing the GBC website, and explaining to colleagues about the Charter. We covered what this means and how proud we are to have received our accreditation. This was followed up in our Responsible Business Network meeting, which has representatives from all functions in our business, with a call to action for them to provide a short update in their teams.

Externally we ensured the GBC logo was displayed on our website and when we issued our first Responsible Business report last year we focused heavily in the 10 components of the GBC with a follow up in this year’s Responsible Business Report.

Since receiving our accreditation we have maintained a regular rhythm of communications and initiatives to highlight the actions we are taking in line with our Responsible Business commitments, and those of the GBC. Some of these are noted below:

· We cascaded internally an interview with Jenny Herrera and Joel Ripley, our CFO and chair of our responsible business network, which provided more context for colleagues to understand the charter. Seeing our senior leaders really getting behind these commitments has helped us elevate and highlight how important they are.

· We had already established a Responsible Business Network, and we created different workstreams aligned the 10 GBC components, enabling appropriate and defined actions to ensure we maintained and further developed the commitment to each component. This made it easier to “chunk up” actions into clear themes and working groups, with each owning a smaller number of elements. The network took this one stage further by developing sub workstreams to look at engagement activities to support the development – this included identifying a communication approach, timeline and review process.

· We empower colleagues in these workstreams to think outside the box. One success story was the introduction of Rocketbook reusable notepads. Following research into available options, a group of colleagues organised a pilot for a period of six weeks for 50 colleagues across the business to trial the Rocketbook. The pilot was a resounding success with 86% of the trial adopting the Rocketbook in their day-to-day role. Due to this success, a further 600 Rocketbooks were rolled out to the wider business in October thus reducing the need for paper notepads.

· Further collaboration to embed the components was leveraged though links to our colleague benefits – for example – Furthr – All colleagues have been provided with a subscription to the app (which they can upgrade at a small cost), this encourages wider environmental awareness. This year we’ll also be linking in to organise volunteering opportunities that align geographically to our colleagues.

· We have built the principles of GBC into supplier engagement practices and proudly shared our membership with 3rd party suppliers. Also by making two introductions personally this lead to both becoming members of the GBC.

· Stories and news articles further serve to weave how we are developing our culture aligned to the 10 components of the GBC and to further embed and normalise environmental thinking and behaviour. In these messages we regularly refer back to our GBC commitments to help keep it live and fresh in the minds of our colleagues. A few recent messages include:

· Highlighting our use of e-signatures for client convenience, and bringing to life the service, cost and environmental success associated with it, which has helped to build pride and engender a continuous improvement mindset

· Linking in with our Volunteering partner to have a specific focus on Community and Environment, together with aligning online opportunities to awareness days (such as World Earth Day, Youth Skills Day, Recycle week) enables a direct link when generating engagement with our colleagues to sign up to activities by providing alternatives to travelling and traditional volunteering, as well as gaining momentum by colleagues sharing their successes – e.g using reusable carrier bag/ water bottle