Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance
We are delighted to be a part of the vibrant Whitechapel community and have partnered with the The Switch, an education charity. The Switch provides volunteer-based programmes and workshops aimed at raising the aspirations of young people through developing employability skills and an understanding of the world of work. Several members of staff conducted mock interviews and skill sessions with students from the primary and secondary schools in the Borough. We regularly invite staff to get involved with similar initiatives and tend to run a number of voluntary workshops each year.
In June 2023 we volunteered with The Switch to hold an IP Careers Morning for year 12 students at Mulberry Stepney Green Sixth Form. Our session began with an introduction to the IP industry, followed by interactive Patent and Trade Mark exercises. The students applied themselves diligently to each task in a way that completely surpassed our expectations, taking on board and building upon ideas from the trainees and their peers. The morning ended with a Q&A session about life as a trainee and a networking lunch. For more information please see here where Robbi Sher provides insights into the day.
We also support various Whitechapel homeless charities like the “Whitechapel Mission” and “Providence Row“, along with others that have special importance to members of staff. In December we organised a firm-wide festive donation appeal for food and other essential items to donate to local organisations to our London and Cambridge offices who work with people sleeping rough. The Whitechapel Mission is a volunteer led organisation who help Londoners sleeping rough, meeting the specific needs of each person who walks through their doors. Notably, 90% of their guests are male. Jimmy’s Cambridge is a community-based charity providing both support and housing to people who are sleeping rough. Our donations supported their emergency accommodation but also their wider support to their houses, modular homes, their new 451 multiple needs service and those they continue to support as they transition into their own homes.
Reddie & Grose has demonstrated its commitment to good environmental policy by working with QMS UK to install an Environmental Management System and receive ISO 14001 accreditation. In the office, we are conscious of how our actions can save energy and reduce waste: our office space uses energy efficient sensor lights, has multiple recycling points, and we have radically reduced our use of paper. We offer incentive schemes to encourage staff to cycle to work, and are committed to improving our environmental governance year on year.
In February 2023 we launched our partnership with Urban Bees, as part of Reddie & Grose’s sustainability programme.
Bees are vital pollinators of plants and trees which can provide fruits, nuts, and vegetables to eat. Of around 250 species of bees found in the UK, the vast majority are solitary bees. Unlike honeybees and bumblebees, solitary bees don’t live together in colonies. A solitary female bee makes her nest alone.
We understand the challenges pollinators face by increased urbanisation leading to habitat fragmentation and wanted to help! Our work with Urban Bees will help educate people about the importance of bees and exploring practical steps to make our environment friendlier to bees and other important pollinators.
Alison Benjamin, co-founder of Urban Bees Ltd, says “Urban Bees is excited to have the opportunity to introduce Reddie & Grose staff to the wonders of bees and how to help them. Through a series of fun events, we will show the simple steps businesses and individuals can take to support these vital pollinators, from rewilding spaces to feed bees, to creating safe havens where some of our 270 wild bee species can nest. We are intrinsically linked to nature, so if we can help bees to thrive, we will too.”
We are enjoying working with a large number of innovators in the fields of green energy and renewable materials and heartened by the advances they are making. We also have a very active Sustainability Group who are continually investigating ways in which the firm and individuals can do more to protect and restore the environment.
We live in stressful times and run initiatives to help staff to protect their mental health. These include Mindfulness sessions and access to BUPA’s Healthy Minds service. We have also run campaigns for Mental Health Awareness and the charity Jonathan’s Voice and signpost various tools for staff via our internal website.
We introduced relaxing and grounding virtual Desk Yoga sessions with The Office Yoga Company. This included gentle movement and self-care practices to calm the mind and dissolve patterns of habitual tension in the body. Through a combination of seated and standing poses, the sessions focus on stretches which alleviate the stresses incurred from long days of sitting, easing tension in the upper back, shoulders and neck, and relieving tightness in the hips.
We are keen to provide an inclusive environment and are running a number of initiatives to increase the diversity of our team. We are members of IP Inclusive and have been actively involved in Women in IP, IP & ME, IP Out and IP Ability.
We celebrated World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, sometimes abbreviated World Day for Cultural Diversity. This day promotes diversity and intercultural dialogue. To help us celebrate the richness of the world’s cultures through food, all staff were invited to bring in a dish that represented their culture. The exchange of food is the exchange of culture, so understanding where dishes came from provided greater insight into culture and lifestyle.
Eco & Sustainability Insights
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