Corporate Social Responsibility Policy
CCT Venues have a clear mission to become a leader in the meetings industry when it comes to operating in an environmentally friendly and ethical way. Our company policy is:
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle & Be Paper Smart, Energy Smart and Waste Smart
We have four clear areas in which we address this, which are:
- The environment and how our business impacts this both locally and nationally
- Ethical purchasing
- Social engagement and our local community
We have been recognised in the Clean City Awards (presented by City of London) almost every year since 2008. Over that time we have won one Merit, two Gold and now seven Platinum accolades – plus the sought-after Chairman’s Cup in 2016. Most recently, in February 2020 we were awarded a coveted Platinum Award.
In 2019 we were once again awarded Platinum IACC Green Star accreditation – one of only 3 venues in the UK to have achieved this international award for environmental best practice in the meetings industry. Furthermore, we were awarded the First Mile Recycling Standard Gold Award 2018 for one of our City venues. We await news of 2019 results but are confident of good results.
We apply a top down approach to our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy. Our message and commitments are communicated at staff inductions from the Directors, so that all team members are aware and empowered to implement and/ or improve our company CSR policy. CSR is also discussed and reviewed through the staff appraisal process, ensuring all ideas are captured, reviewed and explored. Similarly, our CSR strategy is discussed monthly at our Senior Management meetings.
We acknowledge that operating a business has an impact on the environment. Therefore, it is our commitment to reduce this impact where we can and continuously review our practices, assessing how they might impact on the environment and how they can be improved upon. We empower our team members to explore methods in reducing our impact on the environment. In 2019, Senior Management attended an IACC conference focused on environmental issues in the event sector and have increased our commitment to finding more ways of reducing waste and increasing our use of fully degradable products.
The actions we have taken includes the following:
- Promoting sound environmental management policies and practices throughout CCT Venues;
- Ensuring that team members are adequately trained;
- Ensuring compliance with relevant legislation;
- Ensuring we are efficient and environmentally responsible in our use of energy and water;
- Consistently monitoring waste production to reduce our waste production and reuse/recycle wherever possible;
- Maintaining our venues in an environmentally friendly way;
- Carrying out regular environmental audits of all of our venues and business practices and implementing changes where necessary/possible;
- Committing to a sustainable purchasing policy that gives preference to environmentally friendly suppliers and products;
- Reviewing and if necessary, revising this statement and policy on a regular basis.
Examples of specific actions:
- Use electronic signatures where possible, to avoid wasting paper. In January 2020, electronic signs were introduced at CCT Venues - Smithfield;
- A ‘switch off policy’ for all electronics, lights and equipment. Computers across the business automatically shut down if accidentally left on standby in the evenings;
- Biodegradable products in our food services area rather than items that would go into landfill;
- Recycle bins freely available in all areas;
- Electronic registration rather than paper;
- Previewing documents instead of printing. Printed materials have been removed from management meetings in 2019;
- New policies in 2020 to reduce use of note pads, pens and flip charts in venues, through the increased provision of whiteboards and less easy access to doodle pads;
- Food wastage targets are even more stringent, with 2020 targets set to achieve our lowest ever waste;
- Bio-degradable pens are being rolled out across the business, replacing single use plastic;
- Disposable cups have been removed from the business;
- 2020 has also seen the introduction of recycling of all coffee waste in Canary Wharf.
We recognise our responsibility to operate as sustainably as possible. For example, our water is not transported in plastic bottles, which increases CO2 emissions, we bottle our own in reusable glass bottles straight from the mains through our filtered water system. We also ensure taps are not left dripping or running. We only use what is necessary.
We have sourced 100% renewable energy at CCT Venues Barbican and Bank Street and we continually monitor usage and actively reduce our energy consumption on a month to month basis.
Current strategies include:
- Recycling of waste to reduce landfill;
- Installation of energy saving lighting in appliances;
- Installation of motion detection switches for lighting;
- Implementation of sustainable purchasing policy which gives preference to local and fairtrade products. For example, all of our coffee is Rainforest Alliance certified. You can find further information in our supplier fact sheet.
CCT Venues spend several million pounds each year purchasing supplies and services, and gives preference to those sharing responsible practices. As such, we support sustainable attitudes, organic produce, and recyclable packaging. At all times CCT Venues will endeavor to minimise its impact on the local, national and global environment.
Our kitchens only ever use Free Range eggs from local farms, fish from sustainable sources and Red Tractor accredited chicken. Preference is always given to British meat, Fairtrade products, seasonal vegetables and local produce wherever possible.
For the required level of quality, the most environmentally friendly product or supplier will be selected.
We commit to always:
- Buy local or UK-produce whenever possible;
- Buy in bulk whenever possible;
- Require suppliers to reduce packaging to a minimum;
- Endeavour to ensure products sourced from overseas are fairly-traded or ethically produced;
- Require potential suppliers to forward a copy of their environmental policy;
- Require suppliers to declare all circumstances where items are sourced from ‘unethical' sources;
- Review suppliers regularly.
Social Engagement and our Local Community
Integrity is a core principle and value of CCT Venues and we work hard to protect the reputation for fairness and ethics in all of our dealings with employees, customers, suppliers and all other stakeholders. Other policy documents outline the procedures governing these dealings in greater detail.
We are committed to operating in an ethical and responsible way. This is demonstrated through memberships of the following organisations, each of which requires adherence to a strict code of conduct.
- Hotel Booking Agents' Association
We encourage staff involvement in charitable activities big and small. For example, in 2018 we supported Children in Need and Christmas Jumper Day and regularly sponsor staff members raising money through sporting activities.
Charity Work and Community Involvement
The nature of our business involves capital projects where we need to acquire new furniture. However, we do not just throw away our old furniture. We will donate furniture to charities, for example we donated all of our restaurant furniture from our Barbican venue to a homeless charity so that it could be used in their restaurant.
Another example was that our conference chairs needed improving for comfort. Rather than throw them all out, we retained the frames and had them re-padded and upholstered. All of the padding and upholstery was not thrown into landfill, instead it was used to wrap around sapling trees for winter protection and the prevention of pests.
CCT Venues has worked closely with charities and most recently, supported our local community in Tower Hamlets by working with the ‘First Love Foundation’. We hosted a Christmas lunch for 100 families from the area so they could experience Christmas and would normally miss out on celebrating Christmas. The event was supported at Director Level and all staff members got involved to make sure the event was a success.
In October 2018, we supported the second phase of the Football 4 Freedom programme, organised by Reading Football Club in partnership with the charity Justice & Care UK. We provided them complimentary venue space to support this important awareness and education programme.
In 2019, we provided two fully funded events for First Love Foundation and provided financial support for their Love Summer initiative which provided a much needed lunch club for kids who usually get free school meals and often miss out during school holidays.
We started 2020 with a new commitment to the Purple Tuesday initiative, focusing on improving the customer experience for disabled people.
Despite the positive steps already made, we are looking to further improve our sustainability. We are signing up to the ‘Small Action Big Impact’ campaign, which is a 12-month behavioural change campaign. For example, we are introducing sweet dispensers into our venue rather than offering wrapped sweets, as we recently discovered that despite the fact that the wrappers are paper, they use a plastic wax sealing, rendering them non-recyclable.
We are also continuing to reduce the amount of paper provided in the rooms (with the option to request more if required), through the introduction of ‘Doodle Walls’, with the aim of reducing the need for flipchart paper. We are currently trialing this and we will roll it out to all venues if it works well for clients.
With monthly meetings focusing on CSR and management involvement with IACC Green initiatives, there is bound to be more to come.
Updated January 2020
If you have any questions about this policy, please contact:
Name: Jack Grant
Address: Thames Quay, 193 Marsh Wall, London, E14 9SG
Phone: 0808 168 1168