For Pels Rijcken, Corporate social responsibility means: high-quality provision of legal services with consideration for business performance but also for social aspects and the environment. This vision is based on the idea that as an office, we are inextricably linked with the world around us. Corporate sustainability means that as an organisation, you pay heed to the effects of your conduct on the people who form your organisation and on your environment in the broadest sense of the word. You make a point of considering the longer term. We give expression to our vision by means of a sustainable business operation, a personnel policy in which a pleasant and stimulating work environment and diversity are central and social involvement.
One way Pels Rijcken cares for its working environment is by stimulating digital operation to reduce the amount of paper used. Furthermore, sustainability is an important criterion for sourcing products and services, and was also held in mind in the selection oflighting, office furniture and materials for the construction of the new premises. The office building is equipped with daylight sensors and a geothermal heat pump, which uses ground water and surface water to cool and heat buildings, is used for energy management.
Pels Rijcken has consciously chosen a central location in The Hague, close to the station and main roads, and in the vicinity of our largest clients. The majority (approximately 70 %) of our employees commute to the office either by public transport and/or by bike.
The welfare of our employees and a pleasant atmosphere in the workplace always have our attention, and employees in the firm are always invited to discuss these issues. All legal and non-legal staff are offered educational and personal growth opportunities that suit their talents. Pels Rijcken's educational agency designs the content of the internal courses, in consultation with the HR department, and gives recommendations for external education.
Pels Rijcken has signed the declaration of intent 'diversiteit binnen de advocatuur' (diversity within the legal profession) and the Charter Talent to the Top, and also takes part in 'Brug naar de Top' (Bridge to the Top). Of the ten largest law firms in the Netherlands, Pels Rijcken has the greatest percentage of female attorneys and of female partners.
Pels Rijcken's external social involvement reveals itself in a number of ways. In addition to working for several charities, the firm offers subsidised legal aid, particularly in appeals proceedings and civil law notary cases. Pels Rijcken's attorneys and civil law notaries also teach courses for professional permanent education purposes, thereby sharing their knowledge with other attorneys. They are also involved in volunteer work, for foundations such as IMC Weekendschool, 'Stichting Giving Back' (Foundation Giving Back) and the HUGO programme (Hague Utilities for Global Organisations). Furthermore, the firm is involved in the Law of the Future project, organised by The Hague Institute for the Internationalisation of Law (HiiL). This projects' purpose is to develop scenarios that describe law as it might have developed by the year 2030. Moreover, Pels Rijcken is an approved work placement company for secretarial work at the senior secondary vocational education level.
Pels Rijcken sponsors a large number of charities. For instance, it takes part in 'NL Doet' (The Netherlands Acts) and allows our employees to donate their Christmas gifts to charity. Pels Rijcken is also main sponsor of Nederlands Dans Theater.
Pels Rijcken intends to anchor the philosophy of corporate social responsibility firmly within the company's organisation. After all, corporate social responsibility only really works if it is part of a company's DNA, and if all our employees, whatever their position may be, reflect on ways in which they might contribute. Pels Rijcken wants to achieve this by involving a large section of the staff in the preparation and execution of CSR activities. Having set up a CSR task force, the firm has appointed twenty CSR ambassadors who call their colleagues' attention to, and engage them in, CSR.