Tag Archives: Corporate responsibility

Sustainability in business

As a pretty new recruit to Grant Thornton – I joined three months ago as a director and head of our newly formed Sustainability team – I’m delighted to have been invited to write a guest blog for Spilling the Beans. We’re a small team but with great plans for growth, and have got off to a flying start with the launch of our Sustainable Businesses report only a few weeks after I joined the firm. Here’s a link to the pdf: Sustainable Businesses review.

The review was based on a detailed survey of over 200 mid-tier businesses with turnover ranging from 250GBP million to 1GBP billion, and so very much representing Grant Thornton’s key client base. It shows how sustainability is now a core strategic issue for this sector of UK business, and gives us a brilliant opportunity to address the needs that are clearly demonstrated by the report. We’ve had a great response from the media, with press continuing to be generated through interest in the report’s findings. We’ve also been working closely with our marketing and business development teams to produce a suite of materials we can use for marketing both internally across service lines and externally with potential clients, which will be ready to go in early January.

I’ve also been delighted with the response to the new Sustainability Advisory business from so many different specialist sectors across Grant Thornton, and not just in the UK but internationally too. A key rationale was always the value Sustainability expertise brings to enhance the Advisory work the firm already does, expanding how we can support our existing clients whilst developing a new database of Sustainability clients for the firm.

With pressure for support in addressing the Sustainability agenda coming very much from the client side, we are building relationships across all Grant Thornton’s lines of service and opening up new market opportunities for the firm. Here at Grant Thornton we have a fantastic breadth of experience in the firm, and a number of classic conversations round the coffee machine have resulted in the discovery of both a passionate interest in sustainability on a personal level coupled with some real expertise I’ve been able to tap into to enhance our capability in the field. The last three months has demonstrated that opportunities for Sustainability can come from almost anywhere across that spectrum – flexibility is key!

Corporate Social Responsibility

Hi, I’m Victoria and I work in the Southampton Personal Tax Compliance Unit whilst studying for my qualification in ATT. Since joining Grant Thornton in August 2011, I’ve been keen to get involved with local corporate social responsibility in Southampton. Corporate responsibility at Grant Thornton is a prime example of the firm’s values in action and is something evidenced in the day to day routine of the firm.

All employees at Grant Thornton are entitled to one day’s volunteering per year and this entitlement is put to good use through organised events within the local community. When the opportunity to help out at the local homeless centre Two Saints, during the Christmas period last year, I decided to get involved alongside five other colleagues from Southampton.

Our volunteering day was a rewarding one; although the tasks involved were fairly mundane (washing up, tea making, cooking, etc), the interaction with the homeless and vulnerable service users was a humbling experience. As a result, I have since volunteered again at the homeless centre and thoroughly enjoyed being involved.

As our relationship with the centre has developed, our awareness of their need for fundraising support has grown, and in response, we organised and participated in a sponsored rough sleep in Southampton.

Volunteers were sought, and five brave (or crazy!) colleagues stepped up! On the evening of 31 August 2012, we found ourselves each with just a sleeping bag in hand, no money, food or drink, huddling under a tree to dodge the rain!

Although we all thankfully survived the experience, it was undeniably an eye-opener and an altogether nerve racking experience. The event attracted the attention of the local mayor who visited us to show his support and publicity for the event reached local media. On closing the fund raiser, we had raised over 1,300GBP for the charity – not bad for a nights sleep!

Clarke Wilmott Business Challenge

The Clarke Wilmott Business Challenge is a 10K race that is held annually for the businesses around Bristol. Grant Thornton is one of the biggest participators in the event, raising hundreds of pounds for our chosen local charity: St Peter’s Hospice. This year we had a particularly strong turn out; 24 people from the Bristol office woke up early on Sunday, donned their trainers and made their way to the race start. The race was along a nice, flat stretch of road that meandered alongside the River Severn, under the Clifton Suspension bridge and then turned back to Bristol, finishing in Millennium Square. The race went very well and all the Grant Thornton teams finished in good positions. Special mention must go to Matt Varley in our Marketing department who finished the race in a blistering 37 minutes that’s an office record that will take some beating! We got special thanks from Maria at St Peter’s Hospice, who told us that our money would be going towards providing much needed palliative care for terminally ill cancer patients – a very good cause indeed. We’re already looking forward to the 2011 Bristol 10K and placing bets on who, if anyone, will be able to beat Matt’s record!