December 12, 2023

Why We Published Our Impact Report

This December we published our first Impact Report and we are pretty excited to share it with the world! As a UK Certified B Corp we are required to publish an Impact Report every year, but even for businesses that have not achieved B Corp status, it is a great way to communicate important information about your business and the impact it has on people and the planet. It’s an opportunity to celebrate your successes, outline your goals, and plan for the next year to come.


Purpose of an Impact Report

An Impact Report should provide quantifiable changes that your organisation’s activities have been responsible for in the last 12 months; reassuring your clients, suppliers, followers and supporters that your business is ultimately a force for good. It provides transparency, accountability and helps to identify areas for improvement.


There are lots of frameworks that you can use to create an Impact Report, but because Connect Three is a B Corp, we have used their 5-point framework to explore the meaningful changes we have made, and are planning to make.
So that’s the big reason we are doing it, but there are four other important reasons why we created an Impact Report:

  1. To Give Thanks
    We regularly make a point of showing gratitude to our people, clients, partners and supporters, and an Impact Report gives us a focused opportunity to say “thank you” to everyone who supported us as we worked to make a difference to people and the planet.
  2. To Provide Accountability and Transparency
    Each year our Impact Report will let us honestly tell our stakeholders about the good, the bad, and the ugly that we’ve faced as we have tried to implement actions in the year. We do our best to tell the story about what we have done in a compelling way, and give an honest account of the difference that Connect Three is making in the world. It also explains what we are learning from our outcomes, and what we are going to do to address our shortcomings.
  3. To Help Clarify Our Future Focus
    As part of our Report, we have identified areas where we can grow our impact, and where we are currently at on our journey to our biggest goals. Each Impact Report we produce will be an annual check-in on our journey and help to ensure we are on the right path.
  4. To Motivate Our People
    As much as the Impact Report is for our wider followers, the report also gives our whole team insight into how their work has contributed to our overall success, and what lies ahead for us as a team. The team has been involved in measuring our impact throughout the year, and this is the opportunity for them to see the big picture view of what we have achieved.

So that’s the why, and here’s where you can view the full report. If you have feedback, input, or ideas of things we can get involved in over the next 12 months, email curious@connectthree.co.uk and let us know.

April 19, 2023

Celebrating Earth Day with Ecologi

The climate crisis will not be solved overnight, and there is no simple solution for the problems that our world is facing, but as a committed B Corp, we work daily to do our part as a business to combat our own pollution.  One way that we are doing this is by planting trees to offset our carbon production.  Trees are an effective tool in combatting carbon pollution, and by partnering with Ecologi, we have a guarantee that we are giving back to our planet in return for the resources we use.

Why Do We Do This?

It’s in our nature.  As a company, and as individuals, our team is passionate about leaving the world better than we found it, and we are continuously looking into ways that we can further reduce our environmental impact.  From the office to our personal lives, we’re all making changes to help us live better and work better. We know that it’s a long road ahead, but it is a journey that we are happy to take together.

Calculating What We Need to Offset

It’s not easy to calculate carbon emissions. We are working to calculate our own output with Yi, our NetZero Coordinator.  It’s part one of the three sustainability efforts that she is driving including:

  1. Striving to improve the accuracy of our carbon-emission measurements to ensure that we have high-quality data.
  2. Conducting sustainability sessions to raise awareness among our team members.
  3. Creating a roadmap with three focal points: NetZero, waste management, and circular economy.

If you are not lucky enough to have a Yi of your own, then there are still ways that you can work out your carbon footprint through the online calculators available, your own company surveys, and even educated guesswork.  If in doubt, over-estimate!

 Why Did We Choose Ecologi?

We know that carbon offsetting isn’t a complete solution, but it’s one tool in our work towards Net Zero, and one that Ecologi helps us to achieve.  Like us, Ecologi is a B Corp, and a like-minded team coming up with inventive and responsible ways to make the world a better place for future generations.

Each month we commit a percentage of our profit towards planting trees and supporting projects with Ecologi.  We also ask our clients to match our commitment on larger projects to double the impact that we can have.

One of the reasons we chose Ecologi as our partner is that they’re fully transparent about where the trees are being planted. For trees planted in the UK, you can even get an image of your tree and its location on what3words! Ecologi will only partner with organisations that work to secure the longevity and safety of their trees. They do this by working with local governments, paying fair wages to all workers and hiring local villagers to help alleviate extreme poverty and establish economic incentives to ensure the well-being of the restoration projects.

Their Public Impact and Operations Ledger lists all receipts and certificates and they publicly publish quarterly financial reports.  Finally, decisions on which projects to fund are guided by a dedicated climate committee made up of experts from a range of climate organisations and projects.

 More Than Tree Planting

Working with Ecologi allows us to see the positive impact we have had every month and means we are part of larger projects that look after the planet and communities. Some of the projects we have helped to fund so far include:

March 16, 2023

B Corp Month 2023

Have we mentioned that we're a B Corp? Once or twice? OK, so we are very proud of the fact that in November 2021 Connect Three became part of the global community of B Corps. We are very open about the fact that we started Connect Three with a vision to do business differently, and now we encourage other people and organisations in our network to follow in the same footsteps.

Since certifying as a B Corp, we’ve been on a continuous journey to educate ourselves, understand our footprint and find ways to make new positive impacts around us.  We’re now on a mission to leave a positive impact in every continent, existing to make our planet a better place to live and work. 

Every year during March the global B Corp community join to celebrate everything it means to be a B Corp.  As part of that global community, throughout the month we build awareness and educate different audiences on the ways in which the movement is transforming the economic system for the better. 

B Corp Certification isn’t just a mark; it’s a global movement of people going beyond business as usual to make their mark on the world - recently we celebrated the 1,000 B Corp milestone in the UK and we’re delighted to see Scotland’s number increase too! 

Similar to how we work with our clients - supporting growth, change and developing people and business - it’s an evolving certification that is constantly growing and continually challenging the status quo without being afraid to handle feedback and embed change. 

It’s a network too.  The B Corp community demonstrates what’s possible when businesses think beyond profit. When they go beyond the expected.  When they come together to prove beyond doubt that there’s a better way to do business.   

WE GO BEYOND EXPECTATIONS 

Since becoming a B Corp:

  • We launched our internal ENERGYse campaign to educate and support our employees during the Cost-of-Living crisis with useful tools, products and gifts provided to everyone monthly. 
  • We cover public transport expenses for our employees to support greener commuting and cover rising costs. 
  • We’ve embedded giving back into every project we do. Through this we’ve planted nearly 20,000 trees and donated to community projects around the world to offset our carbon and give back.  
  • We’ve partnered with the local charity Project Ability through commissioning their artwork for our office, creating space for their skills to be showcased at our Strive to Thrive event and committing a percentage of our profits to them. 

And we have big plans to continue… 

  • Our Step Up to Net Zero Coordinator, Yi, has just started this month to help us achieve our Net Zero goals and challenge our current practices. 
  • We’re reviewing all our company policies including those on Parental Leave and Menopause. 
  • We’re investing heavily in Equity, Diversity & Inclusion – both in educating and supporting businesses around us and through our own internal work. 
  • We’re currently working on our first ever Impact Report and we can’t wait to share even more Connect Three updates with you. 

Behind the scenes 

December 14, 2021

The Great Christmas Giveback!

As much as we love our amazing Christmas gifts from Connect Three each year, every member of the team was even happier NOT to get one this year!

Instead we each got to nominate a charity to receive a donation on our behalf, totaling nearly £1000. Here are just some of the charities we've chosen with links so you can find out more about the causes we support and why we've chosen them.

A big THANK YOU to all of our customers for supporting us so we can support others.

David chose 38 Degrees
“They engage with people from all walks of life to encourage them to take action on issues that matter to them”

Susan McRoberts chose Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis
“My aunt has been diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis. She's an inspirational and brave woman who is fighting this lung disease to make the most of the time she has. It's not a well-known charity so this contribution is really special. Thank you to Connect Three for making this donation on my behalf.”

Yvonne chose Alzheimer Scotland
“Thank you so much for this lovely gift, I’m certain it will make a difference to those in need of support”

Susan Earle chose Ayrshire Cancer Network

Jill chose Beatson Cancer Care
“My brother Mark lost his battle with cancer this year at just 42. The Beatson is an amazing charity that were here for us and him and I’m really glad for any chance to support them.”

Laura chose Glasgow Children's Hospital
“In memory of Rosie Veronica Mitchell who gained her angel wings on 23rd January 2019”

Gregor chose Harris Trust
“A family friend committed suicide last year and the family set up this trust to help neurodivergent kids and teenagers in the Scottish Borders improve their mental health.”

Barbara chose Homeless Project Scotland
“It’s a Glasgow based charity taking homeless people off the streets to safety every day. There are a lot of problems in this world but a home is a basic need that everyone should have and not have to worry about.”

Nicola chose Kerith Counselling
“Kerith Counselling aim to provide free counselling for people who can't afford or can't get access to support.”

Mike chose Marys Meals

Vicky chose Quarriers
“I already support them, and they do lovely things like give gift boxes to homeless people based on an amount of money.”

Gordon chose Refuweegee        
“They are doing amazing work to welcome people in their moment of need to Glasgow - 'we're aw fae somewhere'”

Ajeya chose RSPCA
“I love animals and hate to see them mistreated.”

Fiona chose Samaritans
“My nominated charity is the Samaritans. It always has been. Thinking of my nephew Liam who we lost last month.”

Katy chose Say Women
“I have been lucky to meet some of the epic young women this charity supports and the good they do always tugs on my heart.”

Shona chose the Shona Project
“The Shona project exists to educate and inform girls that they are enough.  I have worked with them for a couple of years to take their important messages out to some of the less developed countries I volunteer in to enable girls to feel more self-empowered and confident in who they are and who they want to be.  While it is not my project when you find an organisation that has got your name and is all about something you’re passionate about it is a no brainer!”

Teresa chose Social Bite

July 28, 2021

We’re Breaking the Cycle with Sir Chris Hoy

Connect Three is proud to have taken up the challenge laid down by Sir Chris Hoy and Social Bite to do our part to Break the Cycle of homelessness.  We are joining the race to raise £1million to help build two new Social Bite villages in two new cities in the UK.

On his bike…David will be taking part in a 60 mile cycle on Sunday 5th September.  He will be setting off from the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow, and pedalling a challenging 60 mile route across Scotland’s central belt, crossing the finish line in Edinburgh – just along from Social Bite’s flagship village in Granton.

On our feet…The rest of the team will be taking part in the virtual challenge, and walking the equivalent of John O’Groats to Lands End…and back again!  That is 3.4million steps…yup, 3.4million steps in the month of August.

Get involved…We are aiming to raise £1000 as a team, and anyone who would like to sponsor us, or just make a donation to the SocialBite cause, can get involved here.

February 12, 2021

Employee Volunteering – Why we pay our team to work for other people

When the organisers of the UN Climate Change Conference UK 2021 (COP26) in Glasgow reached out for volunteers there was a backlash online almost instantly.  Volunteers will be expected to work six shifts over the duration of the event and attend training but, unlike at the delegates who will be well renumerated for their attendance, these hard-working volunteers will be repaid in ‘civic pride’.

As a city committed to achieving the Living Wage for the employees of their local businesses, why can we not offer a fair wage as repayment for their hard work - especially during this time when the pandemic is a major stress on people in the city’s income?

Of course, I’m not armed with all of the facts, so my opinion is based purely on the news I have heard, and perhaps there is good reason (other than financial ones) for COP26 to request volunteers rather than staff.  So instead, I offer another option where COP26 gets a high standard of help, and the volunteers still get compensated for their time - employee volunteering.

Connect Three offers all of its employees the chance to spend four days during the working year volunteering for causes that they believe in, and still get paid their normal wage.  Why on earth would they encourage us to work for other people while they pay us?  Easy, it makes us happy - and that’s not all...

The benefits of Employee Volunteering

Employee Volunteering (EV), also known as Corporate volunteering, is a great way for businesses to contribute to their community.  By giving their employees an annual allowance of paid time to be used to volunteer at a cause of their choice, it has been proven to increase their wellbeing and engagement with their organisation.  It can also be a useful way to attract and retain talent – after all, what organisation would not be made better by hiring employees who care about the world around them?

The traditional perks of health plans and bonus schemes are not enough anymore.  Great people are looking for a great workplace, somewhere they can feel rewarded, engaged, and like they are part of something meaningful.

So, it’s not entirely selfless!  Employees at firms with volunteer days are proud to tell others where they work.  They’ll probably even share their EV work on social media.  It can be great for your brand, for team building, leadership development, and for upskilling your employees.

How to do Employee Volunteering well

A successful EV strategy should not just support an employee’s own efforts, but also give them opportunities.  It does not have to be a solo activity; team volunteering events are becoming more and more common, and there are even ‘brokers’ who will do all of the organising for you.

There is always fear of controversy when it comes to choosing a charity – especially in larger companies where you are likely to cause offence by selecting the ‘wrong’ cause, but charities are not the only option.  You can volunteer for environmental events (like tree planting or COP26), or even school, college and university mentorships.

To find out more about Employee Volunteering, this free CIPD resource is a great place to start.

 

February 12, 2021

Connect Three’s work with SAY Women

For the last two years Connect Three has proudly offered what we can to support the work of the incredible SAY Women charity.  SAY Women offers safe semi-supported accommodation and emotional support for young women aged 16 to 25 who are survivors of sexual abuse, rape or sexual assault and who are homeless, or threatened with homelessness.

As well as attending their fundraising and networking events, we have offered our professional support to their training team.  Katy says "I have been lucky enough to visit their Bell Street site, meet some of the young women, and see first-hand the atmosphere of belonging that they create.  This is a charity that is forged on so much passion and compassion, but also respect for the young women. The things I value most in life are what this charity aims to give to women when they need it most and that can only be a great thing."

While the pandemic means we are currently unable to support the team in person, each Christmas we have also donated practical gifts for the women who are taken care of by the charity.  In 2020 we were pleased to be in the position to increase our donation and give gifts to every young woman and young person supported by SAY Women.  We gifted a self-care pack with journals, slippers, selection boxes, toiletries, and other small gifts to over 65 of the residents and service users.

Our donations allowed these young women to have a Christmas present, in most instances it was their only one, and showed them that someone who didn’t know them, still cared enough to give them something small to smile about, even during their current forced isolated situation.

When Shona spoke to Pam Hunter, SAY Women’s CEO, she shared how difficult the pandemic has made face-to-face support and mentioned that the gifts gave the SAY Women team the reason to check in on each of the women in person.  Although unable to go into details for reasons of confidentiality, Pam mentioned that when she delivered one of our gifts, the visit triggered a series of events that may never have happened without that opportunity.  Shona says “It was wonderful to hear these small acts of kindness can actually be the catalyst for larger, more important events.  It means so much to all of us at Connect Three to know that by living out our values we can play a small part in creating these kind of moments.”

Speaking about the work of the charity Pam said: “Women in homelessness are uniquely vulnerable. The trauma they have experienced means that often they are unable to make decisions which support their safety and wellbeing, and will take more risks based on survival needs and so their trauma continues. This pattern is not inevitable and with just a little additional support from the public we can change this together.”

During the pandemic and lockdown, SAY Women and similar charities have faced more demand than ever before.  In November, the charity Refuge released data that showed there were 50 abuse related killings in the UK during the first lockdown.

As Pam says: “The COVID-19 pandemic places crippling pressure on the lifeline services our young women receive, as their support needs increase dramatically alongside their anxieties.

“It can be more difficult to ask for help and support in the current lockdown, meaning we are seeing our young women potentially repeating the pattern of being a victim of sexual abuse once again, a situation which we are working hard to help them recover from.  The support from Connect Three is very important to SAY Women and we are delighted to be recognised and valued by them in our work with vulnerable young women.”

We will continue to do what we can for SAY Women, and we’d like to take the opportunity to reach out to our clients, suppliers and partners reading this, and ask you to support the cause with us.  You can make a donation to their urgent COVID appeal here.

Or find out more about the charity here.

 

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