We at Birchtree Sullivan recognise the importance of approaching our responsibilities for corporate social responsibility in a co-ordinated and committed fashion.
Consultation with partners and employees has allowed us to develop a corporate social responsibility programme. We have committed to bring this combined corporate social responsibility statement to the attention of all members of staff through local communication channels and via our national communication network.
In addition, it has been agreed that this policy will be reviewed and measured annually to ensure that our commitment to environmental responsibility, the community, and our ethical policy are as up-to-date and forward thinking as possible.
Our Work in the Community
Involvement in the local community is of paramount importance to the Birchtree Sullivan– we consider ourselves as community accountants being committed to businesses in the local area. At Birchtree Sullivan we believe that helping the local community is not just something we choose to do but is actually an important part of our business.
We understand that local businesses and communities are closely linked and that we can have a significant impact on communities as a whole. Birchtree Sullivan plays an active role in contributing to these communities both through direct financial support and through the support of our partners and staff who take part in activities organised both by the firm and by themselves. We are involved in local council initiatives and other business group and community activities. We also provide work placements for local students and support for educational establishments where possible.
The firm supports a number of national and local charities with both time and money. The firm supports payroll giving and our partners provide time and advice free of charge to local groups and organisations.
Our objective is to encourage our partners, management and staff to play a significant part in the development of local communities.
Our Environmental Policy
We are committed to achieving a real and sustainable positive impact on the broader community in which we live and work. We believe that it is essential that both as a firm and as individuals we should operate in an environmentally conscious manner. Our objective is to minimise the impact of our business activity on the environment, wherever possible. This includes ensuring that our suppliers do likewise and that we persuade our clients to consider environmental matters wherever possible. A review has concluded that the most significant area of impact we have on the environment is in the use of natural resources. Our significant natural resource usage includes power, water, travel, and consumables such as paper and I.T. equipment.
We recognise our impact on the environment comes from:
• Electricity to heat, cool and power office equipment.
• Gas for heating
• Travel by air, road and rail to visit clients and conduct internal meetings.
• Water in offices used for a variety of purposes.
• Resources such as paper.
• Waste including paper, plastic and consumable I.T. equipment.
• Evaluate future energy usage to see how we can use low energy systems.
• Avoid unnecessary travel on business by the use of video conferencing and telephone communication where possible.
• Use the most environmentally friendly mode of transport, where necessary, consistent with business needs.
• Reduce overall the resources we use.
• Aim for a paper-free office culture.
• Further reduce our letters and correspondence, where alternative electronic mechanisms can be used
• Further reduce our hard copy marketing.
• Use either recycled or FSC paper for all hard copy correspondence, wherever possible.
• Consider environmental criteria when choosing services and goods.
• Fundamentally we will reduce our impact on the environment and ask that our staff, suppliers and clients do likewise.
Our Ethical Policy
This goes beyond the legal requirements of Professional Accountants where we need to maintain the highest level of professional integrity with regard to our clients, staff and professional regulators, along with others with whom we interact. We set our standards in excess of regulation with regard to client confidentiality, our objectivity and our independence. Birchtree Sullivan also supports the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights through its business practices. This means that we support freedom from torture, unjustified imprisonment without fair trial and any other oppression. In addition, we support the right of any individual to have freedom of expression and religion, political representation or in respect of any other matter.
Accordingly, Birchtree Sullivan Group will not support or work with organisations which fail to uphold basic human rights within their influence, which are involved in the manufacture or transfer to an oppressive regime, or are involved in the manufacture of equipment used in the violation of human rights. Neither will Birchtree Sullivan support or work with organisations which are involved in the funding or carrying out of terrorist activities.
In addition, Birchtree Sullivan will not provide support or work with organisations which do not conform to the most widely accepted standards for minimum labour rights or which do not cover the use of under-age or forced labour.
We will not tolerate discrimination, bullying or any other kind of harassment within our business community. The concept of ’mutual respect’ will be one of our guiding principles. Employees are expected to abide by company rules and to be honest and considerate in their various roles.
Internal procedures have been established to report grievances or suspected inappropriate behaviour to other individuals or organisations. Equally the company will treat dishonest actions and accusations seriously; this may result in disciplinary action in accordance with company rules and disciplinary procedures.
The Birchtree Sullivan board will review this document annually and consult both partners and employees in order to evaluate this strategy and update and improve our policies on an ongoing basis. As part of this process, we will monitor our progress against our objectives to ensure compliance by our offices and we will continue to set new objectives for the future.