Corporate Social Responsibility
CCT Venues have a clear mission to maintain their position as a leader in the meetings industry when it comes to operating in an environmentally friendly and ethical way. Our company Corporate Social Responsibility 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
For many years we have been recognised in the Clean City Awards (presented by The Lord Mayor of the City of London). Our Awards include one Merit, two Gold and seven Platinum accolades – plus in 2016, the sought-after Chairman’s Cup, in a year of outstanding new initiatives and achievements. More recently in February 2020, we were awarded another coveted Platinum Award. We were unable to take part during the pandemic but look forward to participating in this scheme in the future.
Other achievements include continued 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. We have also received awards from First Mile Recycling.
We apply a top down approach to our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy. Our message and commitments are communicated at staff inductions so that all team members are aware and empowered to implement and/or improve our company Corporate Social Responsibility policy. Corporate Social Responsibility is also discussed and reviewed through the staff appraisal process, ensuring all ideas are captured, reviewed and explored. Similarly, our Corporate Social Responsibility strategy is discussed monthly at our Senior Management meetings.
We acknowledge that operating a business has an impact on the environment. Therefore, we commit to reduce this impact by continuously reviewing our practices, assessing how they might impact 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 as a result have increased our commitment to finding more ways of reducing waste and increasing our use of fully degradable products.
The Actions we Have Taken Include 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, to avoid wasting paper.
- In January 2020, electronic signs, already in use at CCT Venues – Docklands, were also introduced at CCT Venues -Smithfield. These signs are also scheduled to be rolled out to CCT Venues – Barbican;
- 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;
- Adoption of biodegradable products in our food service areas, rather than relying on items that would go into landfill;
- More recycle bins throughout our venues;
- Electronic registration rather than paper based systems;
- Previewing documents on screen is the norm instead of printing. Printed materials have been removed from management meetings;
- New policies 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;
- Printed ID passes have been phased out at CCT Venues – Bank Street and replaced with QR code systems.
- Food wastage targets have been made even more stringent (less than 5%);
- When pens are required, we are providing bio-degradable pens across the business, replacing single use plastic;
- Disposable cups have been removed from the business;
- Coffee waste recycling has been introduced.
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 CCT Venues – 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 Food Sustainability Policy.
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 endeavour 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 share a copy of their environmental policy;
- Require suppliers to declare all circumstances where items are sourced from ‘unethical’ sources;
- Review and visit 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, we regularly support Children in Need and Christmas Jumper Day and sponsor staff members raising money through sporting activities.
CCT Venues believe that everyone should be treated the same and should receive the same high quality service and experience, no matter what their physical abilities or special requirements may be. We operate in mostly shared and in one historical Grade II listed building, so we have to work within any building imposed guidelines, but we are committed to ensuring that our venues are as accessible as possible for all and we will work with our clients, employees and visitors to assist with any requirements they might have.
- All of our venues are wheelchair accessible. Speak to us if you require wheelchair parking and we will advise on which venues are most suitable.
- All of our venues can be accessed either from street level or via a ramp from street level.
- All of our venues have wheelchair accessible lifts.
- All of our venues are fitted with visibility panels.
- Fixed and mobile induction loops are available on request.
- All of our venues have wheelchair accessible toilets.
- All of our venues are assistance dog friendly.
If you have any concerns or queries, then please feel free to get in touch. We are committed to inclusion and will work with you to ensure that your specific needs are met. We are constantly working on ways to improve our accessibility further, so please let us know if there’s anything else you think we could be doing.
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 for several years have supported our local community in Tower Hamlets by working with the ‘First Love Foundation’. As well as making financial and hamper donations, we have hosted several complimentary events for their volunteers and the community they support, including, meetings, presentation ceremonies and Christmas lunches for 100 families from the area so they could experience Christmas and not miss out on celebrating. This particular event was a highlight in our year and was supported at Director Level and all staff members got involved to make sure the event was a success.
Other community support included hosting 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 2020 we signed up to the ‘Small Action Big Impact’ campaign, a 12-month behavioural change campaign. This started well, for example, we introduced 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 trialling this and we will roll it out to all venues if it works well for clients.
In 2021, we will once again provide fully funded events for First Love Foundation 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.
With monthly meetings focusing on CSR, and management involvement with IACC Green initiatives, there is bound to be more to come.
The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted some work such as the Small Action Big Impact project, but CCT Venues remain committed to CSR and improving the way we operate on an on-going basis and we look forward to a positive future.
Updated July 2021