Embracing responsible business in 2021/22
It goes without saying, 2021/22 was a tough year for many people in our communities.
It wasn’t long after Covid-19 started to ease that a cost-of-living crisis was upon us. We know that many people have been really struggling financially during this period and, more than ever, there is the need for responsible businesses to help support their local communities. Here are just some of the activities FSCS engaged in this year to help the communities that are local to us.
Supporting people affected by homelessness and addiction
It was early in the 2021/22 financial year when FSCS started partnering with Providence Row to help local people affected by homelessness and addiction. This charity has created an urban oasis in inner-city London where people can relax and enjoy nature. Their award-winning rooftop garden is also where they grow nutritious food for their volunteer kitchen and where gardening skills and experience is exchanged.
During the year, FSCS staff regularly volunteered by gardening and serving breakfast in the charity’s kitchen. FSCS also provided essential resources such as garden tools, seeds, plants and compost.
Emma Kreeger, Head of Corporate Partnerships at Providence Row, says that with FSCS’s help, they grew a record amount of food.
“With the help of its fantastic volunteers during 2021, more than 220kg of food was grown which helped provide 19,915 meals to people affected by homelessness and addiction.”
Helping businesses bounce back from the pandemic
FSCS also recognised that local businesses and the hospitality sector have experienced difficult times over the past year.
Terry Mumford, Head of Environment at FSCS, says: “As part of supporting the hospitality sector to bounce back, we encouraged our staff returning to the office to spend money at local eateries by issuing around 250 City of London gift cards.
“We were also proud to contribute to the Aldgate Business Improvement District fund which is paid annually through our business rates.
“This contribution is about supporting the economic wellbeing of our community by funding projects that help make Aldgate a better place to live, work and visit. It helps fund excellent projects such as public realm improvements, promoting culture and events, crime prevention, wellbeing initiatives, career development programmes and much more.”
Action against climate change
In addition to helping local businesses recover from the pandemic, taking action against climate change was top of mind for FSCS.
Terry says: “When you see the statistics associated with global warming, it’s truly frightening. We all need to act now to protect our environment and over the past year we have played our part by removing more CO2 from the atmosphere than we put into it. We achieved this by undertaking a re-forestation project that involved planting 150 trees, maintaining our carbon-neutral status.
“As detailed in our latest FSCS Annual Report and Accounts, we have also reduced our electricity and carbon dioxide emissions through measures such as programming air conditioning to be operational during office occupancy only and using energy-efficient vending machines that go into sleep mode when not in use.”
Terry adds that FSCS recognises that there is still more it can do: “We want to become a zero waste to landfill organisation and we will be working with our waste management contractors to achieve this. In addition, we will work with the Government’s business travel carbon offset partner to develop additional strategies for even greater carbon dioxide reduction before we set a baseline and targets for the 23/24 financial year.”