When Covid-19 hit, many of our local communities were hit too. Our staff and suppliers have worked together to raise funds, deliver meals to NHS staff and provide valuable resources for communities and vaccine research projects.
We don’t just want to do the best for our clients; we want to make a difference in society too. That’s why we supported over 140 charitable organisations last year, and have double offset our carbon emissions since 2018.
Our approach to supporting communities aligns with how we approach investment. We like to partner with organisations over the long term and gain a deeper understanding of their work and goals. When we consider supporting a charity or voluntary organisation, we assess their potential in a purely philanthropic way, looking to make long-term contributions that help them deliver sustainable services that make a lasting difference.
Importantly, we don’t tell organisations what to do or set any conditions on our sponsorship. We recognise and trust in their expertise to deliver the best results for the people they support. As we advance, we take a more proactive approach to our choices, asking communities what they need and seeking opportunities to support early intervention.
Our Sponsorship Committee, made up of partners and staff from across Baillie Gifford, takes an active interest in all our sponsorship efforts, ensuring they’re always fair, effective and diverse. Here are examples of how all our staff can get involved:
Charity of the Year
All of our employees can vote for our ‘Charity of the Year’, allowing us to offer longer-term support to a specific cause.
Employee nominated grants
In 2020 and 2021, due to the growing challenges in society, we increased our smaller grants initiative from three to four rounds per year and the amount of funding available. To decide on recipients, we ask our staff to write a short submission nominating an organisation of their choice. Our Sponsorship Committee review their suggestions and grants of between £1,000 to £3,000 are awarded to approximately 40 charities in each round.
We connect our staff to opportunities where their skills and knowledge could bring real benefits. Whether that’s our HR team providing careers coaching and mentoring through our Charity of the Year, or our Finance teams passing on their accounting knowledge to social enterprises.
BG: We give back to local communities because we believe it is the right thing to do, not because it might make us look good.
Me: I want to be part of an organisation that has a social conscience I can be proud of.
At Baillie Gifford, we’re always conscious of our impact on the environment, so we created an Operations Environment Group, comprised of eight voluntary staff members from across the business.
Together, they work to introduce targets and influence policies that will reduce the firm’s carbon footprint. Some of their current projects include adding software to printers to monitor paper usage and introducing the Pawprint app so employees can choose to monitor their individual carbon footprint. They have also consulted with the Construction Manager of our new office building to ensure that environmental concerns are part of the layout and fit-out of the new premises. In addition, they have implemented the company-wide decision to double offset our carbon footprint.
Our internal teams calculate the firm’s annual carbon footprint, verified externally by the Carbon Trust. Once confirmed, our Operations Environment Group works with an organisation called Climate Care to identify projects for offsetting.
Over the last few years, we’ve chosen to support initiatives that both protect and create natural environments. Some examples are "The Gola Rainforest Project" - a unique initiative in one of West Africa's last remaining hot spots. In addition, we support reforestation projects at Loch Eye and Glennochy Estate in Scotland, replanting native specifics such as Scots pine, willow, oak and hazel trees. We also support a reforestation prokect on the Isle of Skye that creates safe habits for endangered species, such as sea eagles