Withers aims to raise CSR profile with green benefits

Law firm Withers has been working to raise its corporate social responsibility (CSR) profile alongside the green benefits it offers to staff.

When it launched its flexible benefits scheme in April 2013, it included a section called Ethics and Sustainability, which is the entry point into its payroll-giving, bikes-for-work and carbon-offsetting schemes.

The carbon-offsetting benefit, provided by Pure the Clean Planet Trust, allows staff to enter the details of their carbon footprint online and determine an amount they can pay to offset it. Sharon Tebb, compensation and benefits manager at Withers, says: “It makes you feel OK about flying and all the other things you do.”

Sustainability’s fit with CSR is part of the law firm’s culture. Tebb adds: “People ask quite often about our CSR policy when we interview. That’s why we are trying to offer more of these types of benefits.”

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However, such benefits might not suit all employees, which is why they sit well in a flex scheme. “It doesn’t matter if you don’t get 50 people doing it,” says Tebb. “It’s all about that choice.”

Tebb’s other hat at Withers is as CSR manager and she has helped to shape the programme over the past year. “We didn’t really have any real programme,” she adds. “We did a lot, but there was no formalised programme. I’m always looking for ways in one hat to improve the other hat.”