Corporate Social Responsibility

CSR…No, it’s just the way we think and work

Legislation and regulation are forming an increasingly large part of the way that we all see our own business and its place in society. But, here at Fortus we believe that our value driven culture should influence not only how we comply, but combine this into the ’right’ way of doing things. This doesn’t mean only for our business and our team, but also for our clients, our stakeholders and the planet.

You will see that parts of our CSR policy are required by legislation, some originate from legislation from which we are exempt but we truly believe in them – and in the spirit of openness and honesty we have complied, and some parts are just the way we think.

We recognise that to be a successful sustainable business we need to direct our activity based on the responsible management of the impact that our activity generates; not only focusing on profit but also on people and the planet.

For many this would be a “Corporate Social Responsibility Statement”, around here it’s just the way we work.

People

We have an effect on all the people we come into contact with, our own team, our clients and their teams, and the community generally. We are committed to treating all people with respect and offering them equality of opportunity, and all that we ask of others is that they treat us in the same way.

Our team

Our team are our most important asset. Having a good business to us means having motivated and engaged people working with us in a supportive and inclusive work environment.

We believe in diversity through equality of opportunity rather than through positive discrimination. This includes all people of any gender, ethnicity, age, or sexual orientation.

Our team work in a variety of disciplines but every individual is encouraged to fulfil their potential through an inclusive training program, personal development plans and mentorship. We employ school leavers and graduates as well as experienced hires and financially support their academic training. We have a range of in-house and external training programs that can develop their personal expertise and career prospects. Importantly, we recognise that working with one company for life is no longer an expectation. So, we aim to play a part in our teams’ development and provide them with experience, responsibility and opportunity such that they benefit from working with us.

We are open and honest with our teams and hold full Quarterly Business Review Presentations as well as monthly update newsletters and regular surveys.

As you would expect we have a range of policies covering health and safety, diversity, equal opportunities and flexible working. Although not legally required to do so we have statements of compliance with THE MODERN SLAVERY ACT the BRIBARY ACT 2010 and CRIMINAL FINANCES 2017.

Equally due to our size and structure we are not legally required to provide gender pay gap details or ethnicity breakdown but our values of Distinctive, Inclusive, Valuable and Courageous support this being made available so that it can be measured, assessed and any anomalies addressed.

Our clients and their teams

We are proud to work with and support our clients. They deserve the best and that is what we hope to give them. We also recognise that however hard we try, sometimes things go wrong.

In the event of something going wrong or any dissatisfaction, then our clients have the right to contact the Director who looks after their account. In the event that this does not resolve matters to their satisfaction then clients can escalate this matter to a Head of Region. The details of our Heads of Regions can be found here:

Fortus North: Craig Herbert

Fortus Midlands: Gary Woodhall

Fortus East: Simon Laskey

Fortus London: Rob Quinn

If the matter is still not resolved, then you can raise your concern with the Chairman, Andy Minfie.  Should our complaint procedure not conclude the matter then you have the right to complain to ICAEW or email: complaints@icaew.com

You can be assured that things very rarely go wrong, and when they do we can normally resolve them; but as a last resort we do have Professional Indemnity Insurance and in accordance with the Provision of Services Regulations 2009, we advise that the territorial coverage of our professional indemnity insurance is worldwide (excluding USA and Canada) and our lead insurer is CNA Insurance Company Limited, 20 Fenchurch Street, London, EC3M 3BY.

Structure of Fortus

We are committed to being open and honest. Part of this transparency is around our internal structure. Fortus trades as 5 businesses each of which is a separate legal entity:

Fortus North Ltd (Company Number 12039572, VAT Registration Number 335958660, and ICAEW Registration Number C008304555) trades from Leeds, York and Scarborough.

Fortus Midlands Ltd (Company Number 10034352, VAT Registration Number 237395287, and ICAEW Registration Number C004578843) trades from Kettering, Northampton, Leicester, Flitwick, Glasgow and Southampton.

Fortus East Ltd (Company Number 12167234, VAT Registration Number 330129544, and ACCA Registration Number 4683674) trades from Peterborough and Huntingdon.

Fortus London Limited (Company Number 12039502, VAT Registration Number 343240435, and ICAEW Registration Number C008304105) trades from London.

Fortus Audit LLP (A limited liability partnership under number OC400241 VAT Registration number 216336917) trades from Scarborough, Leicester, York and Northampton and is registered by ICAEW which is a recognised Supervisory Body under the Companies Act 2006 to carry out audit in the UK. Details of this accreditation can be seen at www.auditregister.org.uk under reference number C004235745. Our audit work is conducted under the Audit Regulations and Guidance which can be found at www.ICAEW.com/regulations and the ethical guidance that they follow can be found in their standards & guidance. The firm is also registered by ICAEW as a Designated Professional Body and so they are able to offer a limited range of investment services to clients if they are incidental and/or complimentary to, or arise out of the other professional services that Fortus have been engaged to provide.

The registered offices for all the above are 1 Rushmills Northampton NN4 7YB and a list of the director’s partners and principles for each firm is available at its registered office.

The community as a whole

We know that we form part of a community, we also recognise that we’re lucky to have the support of the community, whether that be our internal or our local community. As a business we benefit from the support of our business community and local infrastructure; and as individuals we have benefited from our education, our contacts and our clients.

We recognise that with this privilege also comes responsibility. Responsibility to put something back. Something for others who may not be as lucky as we are, and something for the future generations. So, we are active givers, not just of money but our team give their time and effort to support a wide range of causes.

Together we have raised money walking up mountains, baking cakes, and jumping off towers. And used it to plant trees in Milawi, to research cancer treatments, and to give children a better start.

Together we have given time to dig gardens, help the disabled, support business organisations and to support fledgling business start-ups.

Together we have collected toys for children at Christmas; and eggs for children at Easter; and supported families with children in hospital.

It is our intention to mark our first anniversary of trading under our new brand by launching our own Charitable Foundation allowing the company; our team; and yes hopefully clients and contacts as well; to focus on one structure for all our giving.

The planet  

Never has there been so much concern about the planet. We have David Attenborough, Davos, Greta Thunberg, Extinction Rebellion and virtually all countries of the world finally accepting that there is a cause for concern. It’s easy to think that with everyone one else talking about it that it’ll all be ok, and besides, as a small organisation, what can we do?

BUT, regardless of grand statements from the above it is only if all people and all businesses like us make a change in our day to day actions that change will ever come.

The world has finite resources and we must preserve them by reducing our consumption, reusing things and recycling where possible.

Our objective is to minimise the impact of our business activity on the environment, wherever possible.  This includes ensuring that our suppliers do likewise and that we persuade our clients to consider environmental matters wherever possible.

A review has concluded that the most significant area of impact we have on the environment is in the use of natural resources.

Our significant natural resource usage includes power, water, travel, and consumables such as paper and I.T. equipment. We recognise our impact on the environment comes from:

  • Electricity to heat, cool and power office equipment.
  • Gas for heating
  • Travel by air, road and rail to conduct meetings.
  • Water in offices used for a variety of purposes.
  • Resources such as paper.
  • Waste including paper, plastic and consumable I.T. equipment.

Our objectives

  • Evaluate future energy usage.  During the next 12 months we will establish a base line of power usage and embark on a reduction program.
  • Avoid unnecessary travel on business. During the next 12 months we will consider our office footprint and monitor and report on business mileage per head.
  • Use the most environmentally friendly mode of transport.  During the next 12 months we will evaluate the possibility of installation of electric charging points at all our offices. And of the introduction of a car sharing scheme and bike storage
  • Aim for a paper-free office culture. During the next 12 months we will look to adopt paperless systems in offices that have not yet transitioned.
  • Reduce our letters and correspondence, where alternative electronic mechanisms can be used. During the next 12 months we will implement more electronic delivery systems for accounts and tax returns.
  • Reduce our hard copy marketing. During the next 12 months we will conduct much of our marketing by electronic delivery.
  • Use either recycled or FSC paper for all hard copy correspondence. All our new brand collateral will conform to this.
  • Consider environmental criteria when choosing services and goods.

Fundamentally we will reduce our impact on the environment and ask that our employees, suppliers and clients to do likewise.

The future

We will report on the all our commitments above formally at board level on an annual basis publicly and put forward our plans for the following year.