Corporate responsibility in the UK

We take our responsibility to our people, our environment and our communities seriously. Trust and transparency are embedded in everything we do and impact every business decision we make.

For us, corporate responsibility (CR) is all about making connections and making a difference. Not just to benefit the not-for-profits, individuals and suppliers we work with; but for the wellbeing and personal and professional development of our people and to strengthen relationships with our communities, clients and suppliers.

There are three elements to our corporate responsibility agenda: community investment (pro bono, volunteering and charitable giving), diversity and inclusion, the environment. And wrapping around all of these things, collaborative working - engaging with others to increase the impact we can have.

While the law is what we 'do', there's much more to us than that. As people, and as a firm, we believe we have a responsibility to help those around us, to make a positive difference in the local and wider community, to support our people and enable them to flourish and to minimise our environmental impact as much as possible. This isn't just good business-sense, it's good people-sense too.

Read on to find out more, or visit our CR Twitter feeds:

More Women - our diversity initiative that aims to increase the number of women in senior roles at the firm. Follow us @GowlingWLGWom.

OpenHouse - our network for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and straight allies. Follow us @GowlingWLGLGBT.

Lorna Gavin - Head of Corporate Responsibility, @lornagavin1.

Collaborative working

The way we conduct our business relationships with clients, suppliers and key community partners is part and parcel of our approach to CR.

Sustainable business is good business and we comply with appropriate ethical and professional standards. Integrity, transparency and teamwork underpin the way we operate.

We welcome opportunities to collaborate with clients and other businesses in responsible business projects. For example, in conjunction with Lloyds Banking Group and PwC, we bring together a group of young professionals from across Birmingham every other year to create a project that meets a specific local need. Most recently, this led to the creation of Suited for Success - now a registered charity in its own right, providing interview clothing donated by business people, to those who are unemployed and trying to get a job.

We are members of the Social Mobility Business Partnership, a collaboration of law firms, other commercial services firms and commercial organisations, providing quality work experience to pupils from low income backgrounds.

We encourage suppliers to follow practices consistent with our values and CR aims. We have helped a key supplier develop its CR programme from scratch and the same supplier has worked with us in providing work placements for homeless people.

As a Living Wage employer we pay the Living Wage to our own people and our regular onsite contractors.

In 2016 we held our first Responsible Business Suppliers Forum, bringing together the firm's key suppliers to share information about our respective CRprogrammes and identify opportunities for further collaboration.

Partners

We are proud to be a member of these organisations: