As a responsible business we seek to achieve a positive social and environmental impact.
We strive to ensure our own business can meet today’s significant challenges, including reducing inequality and helping to tackle climate change, by investing for the future, supporting our people and building a sustainable business.
Developing a coherent approach to ESG and ensuring our business operations have a positive social and environmental impact is key. We will deliver on this by embracing more robust regulatory requirements, promoting a fairer society, and playing an active role in tackling environmental concerns.
In our efforts to be a more responsible business, we regularly review our strategy, seek to adhere to the relevant reporting requirements and assess where we can improve in relation to each pillar of ESG considerations.
Understanding and measuring our sustainability, including examining our environmental impact is key in our efforts to play our part in reducing carbon emissions as well as water use, pollution and waste.
Our building uses a ground source system for heating and cooling saving over 21 tonnes of CO2 pollution per year and is 32% less than the Building Regulations Part L 2010 target emission.
Our office has a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating. BREEAM is the world’s foremost environmental assessment method / rating system and is delivered by a licensed organisation.
100% of waste from the office has been diverted from landfill and our office uses rainwater harvesting technology for reuse in the building and water efficient plumbing.
We seek to take responsibility for addressing social issues such as imbalances in gender, ethnicity and diversity and inclusion within our firm. As an organisation, we strive to always do more to achieve better social standards and effect real social change.
Promoting social mobility in partnership with upReach.
We partner with social mobility charity upReach to provide students from disadvantaged backgrounds with support in starting a career in the legal sector. This includes our open day where we provide students with an insight into the work that we do such as talks from members of the firm, legal training exercises and presentations.
Our lawyers also provide regular mentoring, which includes providing first-hand insight into how a law firm operates, interview practice via video calls, reviewing CVs and assisting with training contract applications.
Our Reverse Mentoring Programme is one of a series of actions we have taken across our firm to increase awareness of the experiences of our lawyers and aspiring lawyers from ethnic minority backgrounds.
Our Partnership Board members have been mentored by volunteers from ethnic minority backgrounds across our firm to learn from one another’s experiences and consider the ways in which they can better support minority lawyers and staff both in our firm and in the wider profession.
Gender and ethnicity pay gaps
We report on a voluntary basis to our staff on our gender pay gap and our ethnicity pay gap to track our progress over time and have a measurable system and ensure the diversity of thought at all levels at the firm. We will also be expanding the reach of our diversity and inclusion training over the coming year.
Other firm activities
We have a regular calendar of diversity and inclusion events, workshops and talks to increase awareness and promote a culture of equality and understanding throughout the firm. Equally, our Charity Committee hosts fundraising events throughout the year with employees choosing one charity per year to support. This year’s charity is Refuge which supports victims of domestic abuse.
As a law firm, it is vital that we accountable for our actions. We maintain the highest standards in how the firm is governed through our firm’s standards and policies.
We have a number of policies and procedures in place governing working practices including anti-bribery, anti-money laundering, anti-slavery, conflict of interest and relations with third parties.
Internally, our health and safety and diversity and inclusion policies including shared parental leave are bolstered by regular training to ensure we provide a welcoming workplace, and our people can feel safe and comfortable when they come to work.
The rigorous standards we set for ourselves also apply to third-party organisations and suppliers that we use. Our third-party supplier policy ensures that all suppliers to Fox Williams meet the criteria for appropriate levels of quality, reputation, financial stability and compliance with Fox Williams core policies. Any new supplier is assessed based on a supplier framework prior to being onboarded.