Statement of Principles
Watson French Ltd. is committed to minimising the impact of our business activities on the environment and engaging positively with our local community and beyond. We will continue to monitor and improve our environmental performance.
We undertake to:
- Comply with and exceed all relevant regulatory requirements
- Continue to monitor and reduce our impact on the environment
- Consider environmental factors in our business decision-making
- Engage with relevant charities in our local community and beyond
- Increase employee awareness and engagement with this policy.
We will become “paperless where possible”, minimising paper use whenever we can. All documents and correspondence with clients will be stored on our secure document storage system and will not be printed unless absolutely necessary.
We will aim to source recycled and recyclable office stationery.
We recognise that paper use is unavoidable in certain circumstances and the needs of our clients will always be put first. For example, if a client requests that we write rather than email we will be pleased to do so. Furthermore, the Financial Conduct Authority requires that all advice reports are issued in a “durable medium” and email does not qualify as such.
Where paper use is unavoidable, we commit to making an annual donation to a local charity to plant trees to offset our paper use.
We commit to recycling all waste paper, cardboard, plastics, glass and metal. Printer cartridges and electronic waste will also be recycled.
We will also encourage employees to donate any used professional attire in good condition to local charity shops.
We recognise that business travel will continue to be important and that face to face meetings with clients are the most valuable use of our time.
We will offer video call facilities to clients as an alternative to travelling where clients prefer, and where practical we will use public transport or car-share.
Any business travel which cannot be avoided will be offset by making a donation to a local charity and used to plant trees. To be clear – the objective is to offset any residual net carbon costs, following our best efforts at reducing our carbon footprint, and not to continue with “business as usual” by relying on offsetting to achieve carbon-neutral status.
Socially Responsible Investing
Socially Responsible Investing (also called Ethical Investing) means seeking to ensure that an investment strategy considers both the financial return and the social or environmental impact.
We have a lot of experience and expertise at recommending and managing suitable Socially Responsible Investment portfolios. We will always discuss any ethical preferences or criteria our clients may have for their investments as part of our advice, looking to engage with and accommodate our clients’ values.
We are also a member of the UK Sustainable Investment & Finance Association (UKSIF) and by extension the Ethical Investing Association.
UKSIF is the membership association for sustainable and responsible financial services. The association promotes responsible investment and other forms of finance that support sustainable economic development, enhance quality of life and safeguard the environment. They also seek to ensure that individual and institutional investors can reflect their values in their investments.
Suppliers, energy and office sundries
We will seek to favour suppliers whose environmental views and policies align with our own where possible, and to positively influence other suppliers where this is not the case.
We will take into account the consumption and efficiency of new office equipment when purchasing decisions are made.
Our energy supplier will be selected on the basis of the proportion of clean or renewable energy involved in its energy mix.
Any lights and electrical equipment will be switched off when not in use.
Office sundries will be ethically sourced, locally-produced or fair trade where possible. Any cleaning materials purchased for use in our offices will be as environmentally sensitive as possible, avoiding those which contain pollutants, solvents or CFCs where practicable.
We will also seek to minimise unnecessary water use and unnecessary plastic in our offices.
We will seek to engage with and promote charities in our local community and further afield.
Employees are encouraged to hold external roles with charitable organisations if they wish to do so, such as serving as charity trustees, and to become involved in charity work in other ways by volunteering.
We are happy to consider offering pro-bono financial reviews for charity employees, and also sponsorship of charity events where this is aligned with our other marketing activities. We will also support local charity events which aim to benefit the environment, such as encouraging employees to join in with beach cleans or conservation days.
Benchmarking and ongoing review
We will commit to an annual assessment of our Carbon Footprint and will use this as the primary measure of progress toward our environmental goals.
This policy will be reviewed at least annually (or more frequently if required) and updated as environmental legislation or best practice changes.Download ESG accompanying text