A toolkit to embed value-based decision making into construction projects. An innovative diversity and inclusion committee. A pro bono project to support a social enterprise café and an inspired approach to charity. These four standout stories underscore RLB’s global commitment to corporate social responsibility.
Rider Levett Bucknall has announced the winners of its Global Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Awards. These annual awards allow RLB to celebrate the work of staff carried out over the previous year.
“The Global CSR Awards recognise RLB employees’ sense of social responsibility,” says Chairman of RLB’s Global Board, Kenneth Kwan.
“The awards illustrate that our people – at every level of our organisation – are keen to lead by example, whether delivering successful and sustainable outcomes for our clients, meeting environmental sustainability obligations, or giving back to communities.”
Managing Director of RLB’s North Asia region and CSR Committee Chairman, Eric Fong, said the awards “demonstrate that changes to our behaviour and our practices, however small, have a really powerful impact if we act collectively”.
Thank you to all entrants for your participation and inputs and congratulations to the 2021 winners.
The 2022 CSR Awards will be launched in January.
RLB UK Procure for Value Team including: Ann Bentley, Kate Davies and Rebecca Cutts
CSR Category: Delivering financial, social and environmental value
Project: Development of the Value Toolkit as a Way to Embed Value Based Decision Making and Procurement in the UK Construction Industry
The RLB UK team has contributed significant voluntary hours to the development of the Value Toolkit, which helps policy makers, clients and their advisors assess projects based on five key value themes: natural, social, human, manufactured and financial value. This pro-bono and voluntary work led to some fee commissions – which RLB UK carried out at a 50% reduction – as part of its contribution to this partnership between industry and government.
The Global CSR Committee recognises the significance of the Value Toolkit to industry best practice and as a different, holistic way of thinking and advising clients that can be shared globally. The Value Toolkit embodies the RLB values set out in the Global CSR Policy and is an exemplar for the construction industry, providing a process, tools and clear guidance on how the industry can deliver financial, social and environmental value. RLB’s UK team has been involved from the inception of the Value Toolkit and undertook key roles in the workstream defining value and supporting market engagement.
The CSR award recognises this transformational approach which will deliver wider value for clients, for the communities in which we live and work, and for the environment. The full measure of success of this work will be realised in the years to come, but the committee believes that the Value Toolkit is a credible example of RLB’s Global CSR values.
Global Board Director, Ann Bentley, commented: “The RLB UK team has been working on this since 2017 – well before it gained funding or government support. Helping clients understand and balance financial, social and environment value is critical if we want the construction industry to play its part in reducing environmental impact and improving outcomes for individuals and communities touched by the industry. The RLB team was delighted to contribute to the development of the Value Toolkit – both personally and corporately. I am passionate about the difference we can make in creating a better tomorrow and we will use this award as a platform to help inform and upskill RLB and our clients around the globe.”
RLB UK-wide Diversity & Inclusion Community
CSR Category: Fostering a safe, inclusive and equal working environment
Project: Diversity & Inclusion
The D&I Community was set up in July 2020 to ensure that every employee could bring their whole selves to work and have a safe space to speak up. This was particularly relevant following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis in 2020. The D&I Community consists of 12 volunteers, representing eight of the nine protected characteristics.
The role of the D&I Community is to promote, champion and encourage diversity, inclusion, and equality at RLB UK and monitor the key areas of performance. The Committee also advises and makes recommendations on relevant initiatives and activities that will help RLB achieve its diversity aims.
Sarah Draper, RLB’s Partner – Head of People & Culture, commented: “The work of the D&I Community has brought a heightened awareness of the value inclusion and diversity brings to business and all our employees, helping us recognise and embrace difference. From a business perspective the Committee has helped us create a level playing field and a voice for all, providing education and comfort to enable employees to bring their whole selves to work. At times the Committee’s members have shared difficult personal challenges for the greater good and to help others. It is a journey, but with their help, we are moving in the right direction.”
RLB China team including; Xiong Shen Lei, Cai Zhi Wei, Winnie Lai, Huang Ting
CSR Category: Purposeful stakeholder engagement
Project: Provision of pro-bono quantity surveying services for the International Nature Loving Association
RLB Shanghai provided pro-bono QS service to a non-profit organization, LN Fortunate Coffee, for the interior fitout works of its café. The team reviewed and negotiated contractor quotations, and undertook cost saving exercises and final accounts during the renovation process.
LN Fortunate Coffee is one of the platforms of the International Nature Loving Association (The INLA) which was established in Hong Kong in 2006. The INLA emphasises environmental protection, life education, health, humanity, moral values and ethics and the goal of the café chain is “to achieve one world one family”.
Café staff members are mostly young people with low education level who have had difficulties securing jobs. The café provides a decent working place for them and teaches them barista skills.
Iris Lee, North Asia’s Director and nominator of the team, commented: “Everyone in the project team including the contractors, The INLA representatives and RLB team has built an amicable work relationship since it’s for a good cause. When the café reopened after renovation, Shanghai office purchased party cakes and biscuits there several times for giving back to the community. We are delighted to provide intangible support to charitable entities with our professional knowledge.”
Elaina Weinstein, RLB Wellington Office & Financial Manager
CSR Category: Purposeful stakeholder engagement
Project: Family2Family Wellington City Mission Appeal
The Wellington City Mission runs the Family2Family appeal to keep its social supermarket stocked for winter to feed families in need.
Instead of the team’s usual annual monetary donation to the City Mission, RLB elected to divide the donation into 16 supermarket vouchers, attaching them to a Family2Family appeal bag. These were distributed to RLB team members who were encouraged to go out with their families and use the vouchers to shop for local families in need.
The filled bags were returned to the office, where an inspiring visual demonstrated how people can work together to achieve a better tomorrow for others.
RLB’s Wellington Managing Director, Tony Sutherland, said the initiative shows the power of small actions when embraced by the collective.
Wellington Office & Financial Manager, Elaina Weinstein, commented: “We learnt that working together as a team added fun and opportunities for family learning. The team working together, instead of offering a simple monetary donation, made everyone feel more connected to the difference RLB in Wellington makes to local charities.”
- Nikita Badesha
- Stephanie Batchelor
- Satnam Choat
- Sarah Draper
- Penelope Goubeti
- Andy Levy
- Jessica Maskrey
- Chekaila McCollins
- Samantha Mepham
- Natalie Patrick
- Andrew Reynolds
- Will Tobin
- Chris White
- Lorraine Williamson
- Huang Ting
- Cai Zhi Wei
- Xiong Shen Lei
- Ann Bentley
- Rebecca Cutts
- Kate Davies
- Elaina Weinstein