Gill Akaster’s CSR Journey
Don’t you just love the bizarre techno-speak and acronyms that managers use? Sadly, they are often made-up descriptions of a re-invention of the wheel to make it seem like they know what they are talking about. Ask them what they are doing and they will tell you they are ‘strategically analysing the through-flow process of delivering an immediate response to an identified human resource energy-supporting need’ or in other words, working out whether they can be bothered to make a cup of tea for the team.
Gill Akaster has always prided itself on plain-speaking – demystifying the law and offering advice that is practical and easy to understand – so we are naturally averse to apparently meaningless initials. But sometimes there is real substance behind the letters and in the case of CSR it is worth finding out a little more.
CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) is a term used to encompass everything an organisation does that impacts upon its staff, customers, suppliers, business partners, the environment and the wider community (or in management-speak, its stakeholders).
Gill Akaster has been helping people for the best part of two centuries, so why does it need to do anything more? Well, CSR goes further than just doing a good job for our customers – it is about recognising the wider repercussions of all our activities through everything we do, from the way we look after our employees to how we support the next generation of budding lawyers. It goes beyond recycling and trying to use a bit less paper to save a rain forest in Brazil, it is about asking our suppliers how they source their materials and dispose of their waste too.
With Ellie’s Haven as our chosen charity and members of the Gill Akaster partnership already serving at the coal face or on the boards of many other local worthy and notable organisations including The Drake Foundation, St Luke’s Hospice, The Dartmoor Partnership, HeartSWell Lodge, Tavistock Dementia Alliance and many others, the firm is really connecting with the community. But we can go much further.
CSR is about going on a journey. We may never reach the destination as there is always more we can do, but every great journey starts with just a few steps. We aren’t perfect; we will probably never completely eliminate our waste, reduce our carbon footprint to zero or be able to support every cause we would wish to, but we are making a promise to try. We are looking at how we can reduce paper use by digitising our services, increasing our support for our chosen charity, engaging with our staff and investing in their training and a whole host of other measures. We are doing this not just because it is good for business but because it is the right thing to do.
So, we have started our journey with a few small steps. Who knows where it will take us, but we hope you will come with us.