How the Mark helped William Fry embed sustainability in all areas of its business

BITCI News - Strategy - Feb 17, 2022

William Fry LLP is a leading, full service corporate law firm with more than 310 legal and tax professionals and over 460 staff. The head office is based in Dublin and they have offices in Cork, London, New York, Silicon Valley and San Francisco and a global law firm network to service their clients at home and abroad.  William Fry’s capability is enhanced by their alliance with Tughan’s, Northern Ireland’s largest law firm, through which they provide an all-island solution.

Business in the Community Ireland

Going for the Mark

Why did your company decide to go for the Mark?

Going for The Mark was a great opportunity for us to benchmark our programme against best practice, get a detailed road map for improvement, and ultimately receive external validation of the management systems we have in place to ensure sustainability is fully embedded in our business.

Working through the process

How was the process manged internally? How was the CEO & leadership team involved?

Our Responsible Business Manager was our Mark project manager, which really helped keep us on track. Our Managing Partner, who is also the chair of our Responsible Business Steering Committee, oversaw the progress and ensured the necessary resources and support were available to complete the process.Our senior sponsors, which includes eight partners along with our COO, Head of HR and Head of Marketing and BD, were also actively involved throughout the process, and their support was critical to our success.

What was the most challenging part of the process?

The most challenging part of the process was understanding how to look at our responsible business programme through The Mark’s management system lens. It’s about more than just having interesting initiatives. By using the management systems framework to review our programme and initiatives, we were able to create a clear, strategic direction and key efficiencies that will enable us to grow our impact in the coming years.

How did the process itself help the company?

Over the past several years we have invested a lot of time and resources in developing our responsible business programme. It had grown organically and so had its impact, but we were reaching a point where it was hard to know what to do next. There are so many great opportunities to promote sustainability, knowing where to focus our efforts had become a challenge. The Mark process really helped us focus our responsible business programme and transition our approach to sustainability from a 12-month plan to a strategic long term vision for our business.

Being certified

What is the business value to the company now that you have been certified? What are the benefits for the business?

Embracing sustainability has become a must have for successful businesses and The Mark provided us an objectively measured validation of our responsible business programme. Achieving The Mark enables us to demonstrate leadership in sustainability which is clear advantage in an increasingly competitive market for talent and clients/customers. It’s truly not just “the right thing to do”, it’s “the smart thing to do”.

The Mark has been a guiding light for us as we’ve worked to move CSR from something we do as an organisation to part of who we are and what defines us as a business. It has helped us to truly embed sustainability into every area of our business.

If a company was to start the certification process what’s one top tip you could give?

Embrace the process. Getting certified with The Mark is a great achievement, but the benefits of going through The Mark process itself cannot be overlooked. If you truly embrace the process there is huge potential not just to recognise the progress you have made, but also to take your approach to sustainability and responsibility to the next level.

To learn more about William Fry visit their website 

Check out the other Business Working Responsibly Mark certified companies and learn more about the Mark. 

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