Making a positive difference
A big part of being relevant to our clients and connected to our community and the wider world is being aware of the impact our business has on those around us. We have a positive effect on our people, our clients and suppliers, our community and environment. We share our ideas, resources and insights to build sustainable growth because we believe that being a good business is about delivering value and not about driving revenue at all cost.
The four strands to our corporate social responsibility strategy are:
- Responsibility to our community
- Giving back through pro bono work
- Being a responsible employer
- Working in a sustainable way
1 Responsibility to our community
Supporting our community by sharing ideas, resources and insights in a practical, hands-on way is an important part of our culture. We believe that by focusing our efforts on people and organisations that reflect our own values, we can create maximum impact for good. Like the focus of our pro bono work, we provide hands-on support to community organisations in the three core areas of youth and education, charitable trusts and business initiatives which support New Zealand’s sustainable growth.
We have formal partnerships with four community organisations:
Creative HQ: a start-up base that enables bright people to build brilliant businesses by nourishing entrepreneurial talent and driving start-up innovation.
First Foundation: a unique educational trust founded to give young New Zealanders, with plenty of talent but few financial resources, a hand up to tertiary education.
New Zealand Opera: a company with charitable status, which brings an international standard of opera to New Zealanders and supports, nurtures and develops talented singers.
BLAKE: a not-for-profit organisation to help New Zealanders make a positive difference to the planet through activities that encourage environmental awareness and action, and leadership development.
We provide these organisations with pro bono work, funding and volunteering time. We are delighted to support our partners who inspire us with their work; they nurture and grow New Zealand talent, create opportunities for youth to succeed when the odds are against them and champion the concept of business as stakeholders in society and our environment.
One of the initiatives in our programme has been to award First Foundation scholarships to female students of Pasifika descent. First Foundation sponsors young people who are, in many cases, first-in-family to university. This scholarship is made up of financial support and practical work experience which is offered to the student during school holidays over a period of four years.
Support for the arts
We are a longstanding and proud supporter of the arts in New Zealand. In addition to New Zealand Opera, we work closely with a number of organisations including:
Arts Access Aotearoa which advocates for New Zealanders who experience barriers to participation in, or enjoyment of, the arts
Christchurch Symphony Orchestra which plays an important role in the cultural landscape of the community, and
Circa Theatre which has been championing theatre in New Zealand for more than 40 years.
2 Giving back through pro bono work
In 2003, we were the first major law firm to set up a formal pro bono programme, providing legal support for worthy causes.
We work with pro bono clients in a number of sectors but focus our efforts for maximum impact on three core areas; youth and education, business initiatives which support New Zealand’s sustainable growth; and charitable trusts.
Since we first began our extensive pro bono programme we have provided legal support to more than 700 individuals or organisations and this work continues to be a practical way for us to give back to our community.
3 Being a responsible employer
Our people are our biggest asset and we are committed to making Chapman Tripp a great place to work. We recognise that each employee brings their own unique capabilities, experiences and characteristics to their work. We actively promote fairness and equality of opportunity from career development, wellbeing, flexible working hours and investing in learning and development programmes, such as coaching on customs and cultural norms, which provide the tools for our people to be effective in their client and community relationships. You can read more about our Wellbeing at Chapman Tripp programme here, and our Diversity & Belonging at Chapman Tripp programme here.
Practical, personal support
All of our people can take an additional day of paid leave each year to volunteer for one of the firm’s five community partners or a charity or community organisation of their choice. This is a practical and meaningful way for our people to demonstrate and develop leadership in our community.
Staff also nominate charities they personally support, to receive donations from our monthly 'Casual Friday' fundraiser. Gold coin donations from staff are matched by donations from our partners. SPCA New Zealand, Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand, Youthline, the Cancer Society and Muscular Dystrophy Association are some of the organisations we are proud to have supported.
4 Working in a sustainable way
Part of being a good business is being aware of our footprint on our environment and doing what we can to minimise it. We’ve identified a number of ways we can make a positive difference. They include the careful consideration of the needs and methods of business travel, the reduction and recycling of paper and food waste throughout our offices and regular internal campaigns such as including recycling of office and personal e-waste items.