As a business we’re optimistic by nature, but sometimes people, and ideas need a little help along the way. Over the years we’ve developed links with organisations we feel in tune with and offered support to charities that are close to our hearts. Inevitably some of our focus is on horticulture, nature, landscapes and our own industry – but we’re also involved with initiatives that look forward to a better future in our local community and across society.
Our corporate social responsibility policy has three key pillars – committing funds through donations and sponsorship, committing time by allowing all of our people the opportunity to volunteer, and committing policies to improve our environmental impact. They combine to give us a broad, impactful and effective CSR policy.
We have strong values when it comes to the environment and our climate change crisis. Our company aim is to be carbon neutral by 2030, and we have policies in place to make a dramatic impact on our carbon footprint in the meantime.
We perform a yearly carbon audit on our business which helps us identify the areas we can improve – whether this is reducing our vehicle and machinery emissions or understanding and limiting the carbon impact from the manufacturing of products we specify, soil excavation we undertake, and waste we generate. We can also make a positive impact through our work – specifying certain trees and planting can increase the carbon sink capacity and our planting schemes will always carefully consider the impact on biodiversity. The environmental impact is at the core of our work, and we work with clients to ensure our ideas and methods meet with their vision too.
In the last year we reduced our emissions per £ of turnover by 11%, whilst our emissions per employee decreased by 6%. So far we’ve also carbon offset 135 tonnes of our CO2 emissions. These are small steps, but they’re part of a bigger plan to create a truly carbon neutral business, without resorting to greenwash.
Planning ahead is a great way to ensure donations and sponsorship have the most impact. That’s why we commit a percentage of each year’s profits to our CSR budget, delivering thousands of pounds to initiatives and causes where we think we can make a difference.
We’re keen supporters of Berks, Bucks and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust, which looks after several nature reserves in our local area. We’re Gold Members of Perennial – the charity dedicated to helping people who work in horticulture when times are tough. And everyone at Bowles & Wyer involved in their own fundraising efforts can request match funding – doubling the impact of their efforts.
We passionately believe that everyone should be able to look forward to a better landscape. We like to try and help deserving projects where we can. This might be bringing people together to find a permanent home at Addenbrooke’s Hospital for the ‘Calm in Chaos’ show garden, or by providing materials and labour at cost for a local cause. We’re as proud of this work as we are our Chelsea show gardens.