Our CSER journey has grown in importance as we have progressed in age. Whilst others from bartlett mitchell have written about it, I thought a founder’s view may help add another perspective, following the launch of our first formalised CSER report.

When you start a company the most pressing issues are: – How are you going to make it a success and can you make your mortgage payments? (if like us at bartlett mitchell it was all your own money). It’s all about survival. Yes, you have your key goals and numerous things to distract you! However the knowledge you MUST deliver, keeps you pretty focused on doing what’s important to make it work.

As time goes on you get to be a little bit more relaxed and then can look at the wider picture, and the finer detail of how to deliver improvements. And at bartlett mitchell, with steady growth each year, we have been able to ‘up our CSER game’ and achieve more on our green agenda and journey. So when we get to where we are today and I look back – I think WOW!

What I love about our ‘green’ journey is the drive for our CSER initiatives has always  embodied the team’s entrepreneurial spirit. And driven from the ground floor up. Most of the initiatives are driven by our ‘green bee’ team and in particular Hannah, who joined us from university, and Sally who has been with us a number of years as quality standards auditor. Our success is because of their ‘why can’t we do this’, ‘this is a better way’ and their fearlessness to suggest new ideas for us to try.

This makes Ian Mitchell and me particularly proud of our new CSER report. When we looked at all the things we have achieved – where it’s come from? How it has so evolved? And the awards we have been won, it’s really quite astounding! (At this point I must give full credit to Lin Dickens for encapsulating so brilliantly and visually all our achievements in the CSER report– she is quite brilliant at taking a lot of information and making it succinct and very powerful).

We based the CSER report on the SRA’s 3 pillars of sustainability framework. We have created a benchmark to measure our activity and in particular focused on the last year’s achievements. It’s something we are all very proud of, including funding 50 elephant water pumps, and our team attending over 12,000 training activities. Along with some smaller things, like sending old uniforms to the Gambia. We intend to continue to build on this over the coming years.

When we started bartlett mitchell we looked at what others did and felt that we would like to do less, but engage everyone, and focus less on the PR aspect and more on the values that we live every day. The report proves that this has been achieved.

So what’s next? CSER is not head office driven and when we have new initiatives we like to get as many team members involved as possible. So we are particularly looking forward to three new initiatives that we are introducing this year. They are ideas we have seen work well and developed them to fit in with our business, and have some stickiness. So yet again we are stepping forward on our journey. Watch out for simple energy education, the honey monster and how to have fun recruiting from a wider pool.

What we want to do, is a lot of small things that like a snowball going down a hill; they gather momentum and build into unstoppable things. Such is our position today and we couldn’t be prouder.

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My earliest food memories are of my mum’s baking; coconut pyramid cakes were my favourite.

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