Senior partners at Irwin Mitchell have hailed the firm’s performance in improving its score and maintaining its status alongside some of the biggest businesses in the country for its commitment to social responsibility in a prestigious league table.
The leading national law firm was just one of two from the legal sector to be named in the high-profile Business in the Community (BITC) Corporate Responsibility Index, seeing its score rise for the fourth consecutive year and maintaining its Silver status in the rankings alongside major names such as Fujitsu, Siemens and Balfour Beatty.
Published in the Financial Times, the index is used to manage and measure the effectiveness of the social responsibility activities that businesses are carrying out in relation to issues such as their environmental impact, community and diversity.
The aim is not only for organisations to demonstrate the impact of their efforts, but also to give businesses the chance to compare their work with other firms and see how they can improve.
Commenting on Irwin Mitchell’s fourth consecutive increase in score, group chief executive John Pickering praised all of the staff involved in the law firm’s various efforts for their numerous social responsibility successes in the past 12 months.
He said: “Our people’s commitment to their community sees them taking part in a range of activities, from volunteering in the community, encouraging and communicating green ideas within the firm or offering pro-bono advice. Everyone at Irwin Mitchell has again worked hard to both improve and increase the firm’s social responsibility efforts.
“It is an outstanding achievement to maintain our Silver status just four years after we began our involvement with the BITC index. As a firm we have always recognised the importance of embracing and making a positive impact on all of the communities we serve across the UK.
“However, the hard work is unlikely to stop here, as we are of course keen to make even further leaps forward over the coming year in order to demonstrate our long-standing and continued focus on these important issues.”
Irwin Mitchell is involved in a range of successful initiatives across the varying elements of social responsibility, including:
- Irwin Mitchell is a signatory of the government’s social mobility business compact and supports communities and schools to raise aspirations through, for example, reading and mentoring schemes or encouraging their staff go out to schools and inspire pupils about their careers.
- Employees across the country were involved in Business in the Community’s national Give and Gain day in 2011 and will do so again on 18 May 2012.
- Employees are encouraged to join internal network groups which have been created for minorities working in the firm in order to foster an inclusive environment.
- Irwin Mitchell supports Pride events in Sheffield. Birmingham and Leeds annually.
- Irwin Mitchell was recognised for ‘most effective diversity programme – gender’ at The Lawyer Workplace and Diversity awards last month and is also ranked amongst the top 100 companies in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index.
- The firm has achieved the ISO14001 environmental standard through cutting its waste, improving recycling and introducing a number of energy-saving initiatives.
- Irwin Mitchell also reports its carbon footprint annually.
- Founder of the Legal Sector Alliance, a collaborative movement of law firms who are aiming to reduce their impact on the environment.
- Irwin Mitchell has committed 300 hours of pro bono support in conjunction with Start-Up Britain.
- Volunteers from the firm provide advice at university law clinics at De Montfort University, University of Sheffield, Manchester University and Northumbria Law School.