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        CSR

        Corporate Social Responsibility means a lot to us. Being committed to innovation and excellence goes far beyond our business and legal work and means standing up for the things we believe in.

        The way we do business is informed by our values and reflects the behaviours we want to be known for. We run our business with integrity and want our culture and values to be at the heart of everything we do, recognising that our people not only want a great place to work, but take pride in being part of a responsible business.

        We believe in the power of our people to make a difference by giving their time and talent where the need is greatest. Volunteering and fundraising have long been part of the culture at DWF and by continuing to focus our efforts on education, employability, health & wellbeing and homelessness, we can make a material difference to the communities in which we live and work.

        Why does it matter?

        • It is about the fundamental belief that our values matter.
        • It enables us to attract and retain the best people.
        • It differentiates our brand from competitors and builds stronger, long lasting relationships.
        • It builds goodwill with our local communities.
        • It demonstrates our commitment as a firm to behave responsibly and sustainably.
        We run a number of initiatives which shows our commitment including:

        Tyrone Jones

        • Director of Corporate Social Responsibility and Engagement

        Our CSR Impact agenda is managed through a CSR Leadership Group, chaired by Managing Partner & CEO, Andrew Leaitherland and a network of CSR location groups. At the end of 2017, we introduced our new Social Impact Tool that showed our community investment activity in real time. It also created a CSR profile for every member of staff.

        We are one of only 34 businesses in the UK to currently hold BITC’s CommunityMark, the UK’s only national standard that publicly recognises excellence in community investment.

        The launch of the DWF Foundation in November 2015 marked a significant step in our journey to develop a culture of contribution.

        One of our values is the belief that we are 'better together' and it is our opportunity for all our people to work together to create something special. It is also something that was increasingly asked for by our clients, and the Foundation aligns to our clients' interests.

        As a registered charity, the DWF Foundation was launched with the sole aim of providing funds, resources and support to help local communities achieve their full potential with a focus on education, employability, health & wellbeing and homelessness.

        Together we support charities and projects that tackle specific community issues, help voluntary and community groups to become more effective and efficient, encourage involvement of those too often excluded, and enable young people to develop skills for the benefit of the community.

        The Foundation builds on our existing community activity in a focused and strategic way and demonstrates that when we all work together we can make a significant, positive impact on the communities in which we live and work.

        In its first year, DWF Foundation raised more than £76,000 and supported 30 local charities around the UK.

        Social Mobility is a national priority and businesses have a key role to play in advancing it. Some of DWF's offices are situated within the most deprived areas of the UK, with particular social barriers such as poor health and low income levels. Youth unemployment is significantly higher than the UK average in cities where DWF is based.

        Our priorities are to:

        • Increase the numbers of young people from low income and diverse backgrounds who have improved their confidence. This strong foundation of self-confidence allows young people to develop key employability skills and become more work ready;
        • Build a strong and positive link between schools and the world of work. This demystifies the workplace, enabling them raise their aspirations;
        • Develop a variety of opportunities for young people to increase their confidence, gain key employability skills and become more work ready.

        Our 5 STAR Futures programme began in 2012 and has grown and evolved year on year. It is designed to enable young people to make the most of their potential – essentially be the best version of themselves. We work with pupils from areas of high unemployment to equip them with the skills and confidence to aim higher and achieve more.

        5 Star Futures is currently operating in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, Belfast and London.

        Our 5 Star Early Years programme for primary schools launched in 2017, recognising that many youngsters with potential, but who live in a socially deprived area, start falling behind their peers from more affluent areas from the age of 7.  

        Why continue to prioritise social mobility as part of our community investment?

        • Primary schools (5 Star Early Years) to ignite aspirations and introduce the concept of work.
        • Secondary schools (5 Star Futures) preparing young people for employment.
        • Work experience opportunities to enable young people to practice workplace behaviours.
        • Apprenticeships (legal and non-legal) enabling them to successfully transition into the world of work.

        DWF has supported this legal sector alliance to overcome the issue of restricted social mobility and access to the legal profession through meaningful work experience, since 2012. 

        In 2017, Ty Jones, our Director of CSR & Engagement was appointed to the Prime Board and Clare Beavan, our Charitable Foundation & Community Engagement Manager, joined its Working Group.

        As a member of Prime, we commit to provide a number of work experience places that equate to not less than 50% of the number of training contract places we offer each year.

        Be better together mentoring is about quality conversations that encourage, enable and empower people to look at things differently. It's not designed to tread on the toes of line managers or be viewed as an alternative to structured mentoring which is linked to an established professional development plan and facilitated through Learning & Development.

        Our big opportunity here is to create a culture of informal mentoring that helps our people to challenge their assumptions, explore new ideas or different ways of thinking or simply viewing things from a different perspective to achieve a positive outcome.

        For the last five years, we've taken part in BITC's annual Give and Gain activities, volunteering to help develop stronger community relationships, build the skills of our people and support local community and charity groups.

         Since, March 2017, we have supported Business in the Community's #jargonfreejobs campaign. As a member of BITC's Employment & Skills Leadership Group and spokesperson for the campaign in the North West, we work with our apprentice talent to spot check our entry level job descriptions on a monthly basis to help ensure we are avoiding jargon and clearly outlining the responsibilities of a job to ensure that a young person has realistic expectations about their role.

        We have been an accredited Living Wage Employer since 2014.

        The Living Wage is an hourly wage rate set independently and calculated annually according to the basic cost of living in the UK. Led by charity The Living Wage Foundation, The Living Wage campaign has been running for over ten years and has helped elevate 45,000 people out of poverty. Accredited firms must be able to demonstrate that their suppliers are aligned with the Living Wage so that regular on-site contractor staff also benefit.

        Being a Living Wage employer enabled us to effect positive change by staying relevant and connected to the social and ethical issues that are prevalent in society today and specifically to enhance the lives of people in the communities where we are based.

        In supporting the principles of sustainable development, we have in place an environmental management system (EMS) to identify and control the impacts of our business and enhance current working practices.

        Our focus is to reduce our energy, re-use and recycle, as well as controlling and minimising our travel by using environmentally efficient technologies, whilst undertaking our business activities. Our EMS is accredited in the UK to ISO14001: 2015 and our carbon footprint is independently verified.

        CO2 emissions for our UK offices:

        2015 – 2.6 tonnes per person per year (TPPPY)
        2016 – 2.3 TPPPY
        2017 – 2.25 TPPPY

        Our environmental targets:

        • To maintain a target of under 3 tonnes per person per year CO2.
        • Waste Management: Re-use and Recycle:
        • Maintain a target of recycling at 85% per site (94% in 2017);
        • Recycle all suitable office furniture and equipment (i.e. chairs, desks, photocopiers);
        • Continually seeking to reduce energy use;
        • Encouraging staff to place all waste paper in the confidential waste paper bins;
        • Increasing the range of disposable catering containers made from recycled materials;
        • Expanding the range of recycled stationery products;
        • Encourage the reduction of plastic bottles/single use plastics;
        The way we do business is based on our values and reflects the behaviours that we want to be known for. In our second annual Communication on Progress, we describe our actions to integrate the UN Global Compact and its principles into our business strategy, culture and daily operations. By doing so, DWF reaffirms its support of the ten principles of the Global Compact in the areas of Human Rights, Labour, Environment and Anti-Corruption.

        Continuing to align our business operations with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, demonstrates a strong, well informed management attitude that is alert and responsive to the challenges and opportunities of doing business in a global context.

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