It’s no secret that temperatures around the world have been steadily increasing at an alarming rate since the 1980s. Scientists repeatedly warn that urgent action is required to slow global warming down and avoid catastrophic conditions such as extreme flooding, drought and wildfires.
Businesses around the world are now leading a revolution in the fight against global warming, putting people and the planet before profit.
We recently caught up with managing director of Preston based recruitment agency Spencer Clarke Group, Mike Shorrock, to discover more about their green initiatives, why sustainability and growth go hand in hand and why he feels compelled to make a difference.
Firstly, tell us about Spencer Clarke Group
“We’re a recruitment agency based in the heart of sunny Preston but we operate nationwide, supplying to the public and private sector in nine specialisms.
People, planet and purpose are at the forefront of our decision making because we’re in a climate emergency. As a service based business, we naturally have a low carbon footprint but we don’t ‘rest on our laurels.’ We have a duty to act responsibly - if we don’t all take accountability for our own impact, we will never slow down climate change and what will that mean for future generations?”
What makes Spencer Clarke Group green?
“We have numerous green initiatives at Spencer Clarke Group including recycling bins, energy efficient lighting, use of sustainable suppliers where possible and being virtually paperless.
There is no planet B and we really believe that every individual and business can contribute to the preservation of our planet. Small actions equate to a big impact if everyone takes the time to adopt them.”
What green initiatives are you most proud of?
“We are most proud of our partnership with B Corp accredited environmental group, Ecologi, which supports climate projects and the rehabilitation of rainforests all around the world.
On our behalf, they plant 5 trees for every employee each month which absorbs 11.25 tonnes of C02. It equates to 9 long haul flights, 34 metres² of sea ice saved or 27,911 miles driven in a car which is incredible when you think about it!
In the first month alone, we supported climate projects in Mozambique, Kenya, Madagascar and Ethiopia. It’s nice to know we have Spencer Clarke Group forests out there in the world doing good!”
Tell us more about Ecologi
“Ecologi supports a broad range of projects which reduce or avoid greenhouse gas emissions. This could be anything from planting mangroves in Madagascar or wind power projects in Thailand. There are literally hundreds of projects which are funded through Ecologi all around the world.
One of the best tools to tackle the climate crisis and keep our temperatures from rising above 1.5C is to plant trees which is why Ecologi also supports reforestation projects to prevent ecological collapse.
Part of the Spencer Clarke Group vision is to positively impact lives and our partnership with Ecologi is one of the many ways in which we do this.”
Why does reforestation matter to you?
“You can’t just sit on the sidelines and think that it’s someone else's problem. You have to think about the wider picture. Forests provide shelter, livelihoods, water, food and fuel security for over 1.5 billion people around the world. Between 1990 and 2020, 178 million hectares of forest has been lost - that’s the size of Libya which is shocking!
When the forest is gone, the entire ecosystem will fall apart which will have dire consequences for everyone. It’s so important that everyone has the knowledge to understand their impact and take action to mitigate it. We hope that by taking a lead on sustainability, we can also influence those around us to stand up and take action.”
Is Corporate Social Responsibility good for business?
“Most definitely! Our clients and candidates are extremely concerned about the impact on the world around them and our commitment to social responsibility strengthens our relationship with them and the communities which they live in. Not every agency will put social responsibility at the forefront of their business model but I truly believe that the ones that do will reap the benefits long term.
I’ll give you an example - our employees are environmentally conscious and as we share the same values, it helps us to attract and retain top talent. They love having five trees planted in their name every month!
It’s not a coincidence that we never struggle to attract the best talent within the area and when you have a great team which takes brilliant care of your customers, it’s good for business!”
What’s next for Spencer Clarke Group?
“The United Nations has 17 Sustainable Development Goals to transform the world, these are designed to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. The goals address a number of social needs including education, health, social protection and job opportunities, along with tackling climate change and environmental protection.
We’re already taking steps to address a number of the goals such as ending food hunger, taking climate action and promoting good health and wellbeing, but we aim to expand it further starting with achieving gender equality and increasing education opportunities. It’s an ambitious plan but we’re an ambitious agency!
Long term, we aim to be carbon neutral and we will review and publish our sustainability strategies annually to ensure we’re always putting a green foot forward!”