Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

What is CSR?

There are many definitions of corporate social responsibility (CSR), but to the team in Chartered Accountants Ireland it means our efforts to manage our impact on society, the environment, and each other.

Why do we care?

As part of our Great Place to Work programme, staff identified a number of ‘getting great’ initiatives. One of these was to ensure that we are engaging with our community, society and the environment. We know that CSR isn’t PR; it’s about who we are.


What we do

We categorised our CSR activities into five types (many of us are accountants; we crave classification):

CSR Events

 Environment

Ever since we started researching the impact of businesses on the environment we have become obsessed. Luckily our Facilities team is excellent and already had most of it covered:

Lights

The lights in the office come on automatically when movement is sensed. This is a little nerve-wracking when you first walk into a pitch-black bathroom but the lights do come on after a second or two. Most of the time. Ok, always.

Water

We replaced battery-operated sensor-triggered taps in the bathrooms with the push-down variety, thereby reducing the run time from 23 seconds to 16 seconds per use. In a recent bathroom refurbishment we fitted sensors in the urinals to reduce automatic flushing, particularly overnight and when not in use.

Waste management

We separate dry recyclables from non-recyclable waste. We're planning to introduce compost bins in 2019. We expect the Great Sorting War of what can and can't be put in which bin to break out after full-implementation, but over time this will settle down.

Heating and air-conditioning

Our heating and air-conditioning is centrally controlled by Facilities' BMS (Business Management System), to ensure an ambient temperature of 16 degrees. If the air outside the building changes our BMS adjusts accordingly. Despite the best efforts of our Facilities team, there has never been a single recorded instance of everyone being happy with the temperature at their desk at the same time.

Christmas tree

We buy our Christmas tree from a member of the Irish Christmas Tree Growers. The Irish Christmas Tree Growers represents those growers who are committed to producing trees to the highest standards and in an environmentally sustainable and professional manner. We choose a real tree instead of an artificial one, because Conifer trees remove carbon from the atmosphere and release oxygen. Between 'oil' or 'soil', i.e. plastic (non-renewable resource) or real (beneficial to the environment), we choose the latter. Once Christmas is over, and we are miserably wondering why we ate so much chocolate, the tree is collected and mulched for compost.

Cleaning supplies

We examine the CSR charters of our suppliers, and pay particular attention to chemicals in products and request alternatives to be used instead.

Single-use plastic

We are road-testing 7oz compostable water cups to accompany the water coolers on all floors. In 2019 we are removing all non-recyclable, non-compostable cups from our tea station and canteen, and are working towards removing all plastic cutlery. The CSR team members have been known to shake their heads sadly at people caught using single-use vessels. (Rather awkward if any of the CRS team have forgotten to bring in their own keep cups and are reduced to using single-use cups for the day; we've had to hide in meeting rooms when drinking tea or coffee from these shameful containers).

The roof

We have two families of seagulls living on the roof of Chartered Accountants Ireland in Pearse Street. We’re not friends with them, as they try to steal our lunches (and they are unbelievably noisy), but we love them and like to think that they love us. For this reason, we have abandoned our plans to install a beehive on the roof or plant a roof garden. We leave the roof to them. If only they would leave the street and our sandwiches to us, but there you go. Can’t win them all.


 Social

We try to look after each other. There is reserved seating in the Luca Pacioli café on the ground floor where staff members can have lunch and coffees. Sometimes we even talk to each other. As well as our summer and Christmas parties there are celebrations for weddings, new family arrivals and achievements. Santa visits us in December, if we have been good, although we are encouraged to also bring our kids along with us that day. We have a quarterly newsletter in which new employees are encouraged to send in a bio and pics, and which includes news from all departments. Staff also hold other events like book clubs, book swaps, table quizzes, and department lunches. More than that there is just a nice atmosphere around the office, where people are friendly, hard-working and respectful of each other. (Unless it's first thing on Monday morning; we're like weasels on Monday morning. Don't even bother calling us then).


 Charity

My goodness, we’re worn out from being charitable. We can’t even list what we do on this page – there just isn’t the space. Take a look at our calendar of events.

You’d be tired reading it. But do take a look. We don't virtue-signal for nothing. Admire us.


 Health

We now have two yoga classes (Monday and Thursday) to facilitate more participants who need the get the benefits of a good stretch.

Movember is also dear to our hearts. In support of the charity that tackles prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention, five of our colleagues grew luxuriant facial hair to our thunderous applause. May there be more mos in the future (in November only. Let's not go nuts. Magnum PI was the 80s, dudes. Only ten men in the world can wear that moustache and Tom Selleck is nine of them.)

We also run out every now and then en masse to donate blood at our nearest blood donor clinic in D’Olier Street. Although this is to ensure that the blood supplies in the city’s hospitals are at a robust level, there is suspicion that our motivation actually stems from sweets, cheese and cold drinks that are given to donors, as well as the chance to lie down for a while. For shame. Would we be that venal? Apparently, yes.

Finally – well, not really finally, but we get tired of all this typing – we receive Wellness information from our Employee Assistance Programme providers via the HR department, from which links us to a whole site with webinars, and articles. We also get flu jab vouchers if we want one. Who wants the flu? Man flu is one thing, but the real thing? No.


 Community

Our building is based in Pearse Street, and we support local business and community groups when they’ll have us. As well as supporting local literacy projects by collecting money for Swearfree September, we support Dublin-based homeless-relief initiatives and take part in Culture Ireland by opening up the building for music and art events. The meeting rooms are also made available to local charities for their meetings, free of charge.


 News

We have many events going on through out the year, including Daffodil Day, VHI Women's Marathon, Pride March, Movember and much more.

Missed an event? No worries, check out our news to see what we've been up to!

Latest CSR news

Staff in the Belfast Office hosted a coffee morning for Macmillan Cancer Support and raised £400.  A big thank you to all the members and staff who kindly donated to this very worthy cause.

Nov 05, 2019

On Wednesday evening, 4 September, 18 staff dashed away from Chartered Accountants Ireland HQ on Pearse Street to join thousands of others on Dublin’s City Quay for the annual Grant Thornton Corporate Team Challenge 5km. As usual, it was a great event with a super atmosphere, perfect weather conditions and many happy runners crossing the finish line! The chosen charity for 2019 run was The Simon Community - all concerned were delighted to not only get some great exercise with the group but also to support this cause. We are already in training for the 2020 event, and looking forward to hitting some PBs. That’s ‘personal bests', to those among you unfamiliar with our highly competitive, though acronym-laced, jargon. (Next year, no one will beat us.)

Sep 09, 2019

On Wednesday the 31st of July, we held a 'New Year's Eve in July' party in aid of Down Syndrome Ireland (DSI). We saw in the new year with a raffle for a bottle of prosecco and other gifts, and managed to get through 15 pint blocks of raspberry ripple and Neapolitan flavoured icecream, stuffed into cones, shoved between wafers and mixed with soda.  As we struggled, bloated, back to our desks, we discovered that we raised €404.90 in aid of Down Syndrome Ireland (DSI).  

Aug 19, 2019

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