Cundall is an international multi-disciplinary consultancy operating from over 20 locations across the globe. Providing building services engineering, sustainable design, lighting design and acoustic services, our teams have designed industry leading buildings which have pushed the boundaries in sustainable design and have been recognised at various industry awards. We are the first consultant in the world to achieve a One Planet Company endorsement in recognition of the targets we have set ourselves to reduce our impact.
HOW HAVE THE EMPLOYEES RESPONDED TO THE JUST PROGRAM AND THE WILLINGNESS OF THE FIRM TO DEMONSTRATE TRANSPARENCY ON THESE SENSITIVE ISSUES? HAS THIS PROCESS AND JOURNEY HELPED ELEVATE EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT LEVELS?
Following the publication of our JUST Label, Cundall hosted an internal seminar to explain the process we went through and the level of performance achieved for each section of the label. Staff were incited to propose ideas to improve our performance and transparently discuss areas of weakness.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE THE MOST VALUABLE BENEFITS TO ANY ORGANIZATION PURSUING THE JUST LABEL?
Cundall has observed the following benefits:
- Quantifying social impacts to inform management board improvements to be made
- Our client’s supplier questionnaires are increasingly asking for evidence of reporting on items such as diversity and supply chain impacts. JUST can assist with our reporting on these issues
- Transparency is valued by existing and potential employees
Cundall is also involved in a number of Living Building Challenge® (LBC) projects. This program requires at least one major project team member to be JUST labelled. With JUST, this helps position Cundall as a valuable asset to LBC project teams. The WELL Building Standard also rewards JUST organizations through a compliance pathway for meeting the organizational transparency requirement. JUST can be utilized to earn a pilot credit for “Social Equity Within The Project Team” for LEED v4 projects.
LEVERAGING THE LABEL
IN WHAT WAYS ARE YOU LEVERAGING THE JUST LABEL? ARE YOU USING JUST IN YOUR SUSTAINABILITY REPORTING, BLOG ARTICLES, SOCIAL MEDIA OR CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS?
Cundall reports on various aspects of our Corporate Social Responsibility. Since our company is a One Planet Company, we already tracked environmental and social impact against ambitious targets. The JUST program, however, covers a broader range of social justice indicators and therefore extends our reporting scope.
Cundall has published a blog on our JUST journey and results, which was one of our top 10 blogs of 2016.
Cundall uses our JUST label when writing our capability statements as a differentiator when submitting bids or proposals.
ADVICE FOR PROSPECTS
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE PROSPECTIVE JUST ORGANIZATIONS?
We highly recommend that prospective organizations take the plunge! There is no pass or fail, and it is an excellent way to start the journey to being a more socially responsible business.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSONS LEARNED ABOUT YOUR ORGANIZATION AS A RESULT OF THE JUST APPLICATION PROCESS?
We gained greater awareness of:
- Our supply chain including size and location of our suppliers
- Our ethnic diversity
- Our gender imbalances
- The happiness of our staff
CHANGES IN POLICY
CAN YOU DESCRIBE SOME OF THE MOST CONSEQUENTIAL CHANGES TO ORGANIZATIONAL POLICIES AND PRACTICES AS A RESULT OF JUST?
We were already aware that our company had a gender diversity issue which is a common problem in the engineering industry. With the JUST process, we have now quantified this and identified specific aspects to be addressed. Cundall is rolling out unconscious bias training to all staff globally. In addition, our professional staff make visits to local schools providing education and awareness of sustainable engineering to students in an attempt to encourage more young people, in particular girls, to pursue engineering as a career.
WHAT WORKED WELL
ARE THERE SPECIFIC POLICY CHANGES THAT HAVE BEEN PARTICULARLY WELL RECEIVED? PLEASE DESCRIBE.
No specific policy changes were made prior to the application process.
PLEASE DESCRIBE HOW THE FIRM INTENDS TO USE JUST AS A MANAGEMENT TOOL AND FRAMEWORK MOVING FORWARD.
We have initiated quarterly meeting with senior managers of the business to discuss improvement measures that need to be implemented, setting short and long-term goals. This effort will help prioritize various initiatives that can be rolled out internally as well as the awareness training required. For example, those responsible for procurement will be trained to consider local small/local businesses with positive impact products and services first before choosing more well-known international brands.