Corporate and Social Responsibility Plan
As a global company, we know that even the smallest of actions can help to make a big difference. Wherever you find us in the world, every member of the McQueens Flowers family is helping to deliver our global action plan.
Our vision to be ‘the best flower business in the world to work for’ was created by our people at the frontline, not in the boardroom, and delivering on our CSR plan is vital in helping us to achieve our vision.
This plan applies to all members of the McQueens Flowers Group of companies worldwide and has two guiding principles - compliance and positive action. For McQueens, compliance is our commitment to legality, best practice, and national and global standards while positive action is every initiative that promotes the rights and wellbeing of people, helps our communities, and protects the natural world.
Our plan is designed to be achievable, and focuses on four areas of action – our company, our people, our suppliers and our community
Opportunities for all
Ours is a people business, and however much we develop strategies, systems and structures to improve and grow our business, it’s our wonderful and talented team that deliver the services we provide with dedication, determination, creativity and resourcefulness.
We are proud of our track record of building diverse teams with varied backgrounds, abilities and skill levels - providing opportunities for enthusiastic and talented people to join the McQueens family and then continue to grow and develop with us.
Action: Introduce a Flower School Tutor Training programme by April 2020, recruiting and training a minimum of 8 tutors per year.
As a growing business, we are able to provide rare and valued opportunities for practising florists to remain active within the floral design sector by retraining as flower school tutors – talented, skilled and experienced people who would otherwise often disappear to other employment sectors in the second half of their career.
Action: Continue to offer enhanced parental benefits.
For all eligible employees on becoming a parent, (including surrogacy and adoption), we provide full pay to both the primary and secondary parents for a period of time – over and above statutory entitlement.
Action: Introduce more flexible employment opportunities for parents and carers by April 2020
As a nearly 24/7 business, we’re well-placed to provide opportunities for people to work in ways that enable them to juggle the demands of work and family life, and we actively encourage this. As a relatively small business, we aren’t able to provide all of the flexibility that large companies can and do, but we’re determined to play our part in enabling skilled and experienced people to contribute to our success.
Action: Improve employment opportunities for local young people by April 2020.
Provide four full-fee bursaries each year to young people living in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets – enabling them to join the McQueens Flower School 4-week vocational course and learn valuable skills.
Action: A minimum of 15% of our florists are recruited to join our Talent Development Programme (TDP) and are progressing through it successfully by April 2021.
As one of the largest floral design businesses in Europe, we have a responsibility to recruit and develop raw talent. The McQueens Flowers TDP provides opportunities for people with the potential to gain the skills they need in a structured manner.
We work closely with our flower and foliage suppliers, many of whom have been partners since 1991, to achieve the highest standards of ethics, sustainability and social value creation throughout the supply chain. In 2018, 90% of our flowers and foliage came from suppliers who are members of the Floriculture Sustainability Initiative (FSI) and certificated through MPS.
We continue to increase the amount we buy directly from growers, increasing the amount paid to the growers for the valuable work they do, and enabling communities to flourish and prosper.
Action: Increase the quantity of flowers and foliage we buy directly from growers to 50% by April 2021
The range of flowers and foliage available for us to buy direct from growers is still somewhat limited although expanding rapidly. We propose direct-from-grower choices to our customers as much as possible and actively encourage them to support us in making a difference to those growers’ communities.
Action: Increase the quantity of flowers and foliage we buy from UK growers to 15% by April 2021
We are pro-actively working with UK growers to encourage them to grow more of the flowers and foliage we need, providing the necessary commitment to volume they need to do this.
Action: Eliminate the use of tropical and out-of-season flowers grown in faraway places by April 2021.
An increasing number of tropical and out-of-season flowers historically grown in faraway places are being successfully grown in Europe, and we already use these as much as possible. We are committed to eliminating the use of higher-carbon footprint options where alternatives exist.
Action: Establish a social enterprise to collect flower waste (biomass) in London and convert it to ethanol for use in biofuels by September 2020.
Much of the flower and foliage waste collected in London goes directly into landfill while some is composted. We want to change this by setting up or supporting a social enterprise that provides opportunities for ex-offenders to work by collecting biomass waste and converting it into ethanol which can in turn be used to run vehicles. Quite literally, ‘flower power’!
Action: Continue to promote pollinator-friendly planting and habitat development through our partnerships with Bees for Development, the British Beekeepers’ Association, and the Cambridge University Botanic Gardens.
Our large-scale bee-themed installations at The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019 were a great success – giving us the opportunity to meet with thousands of visitors and promote the urgent need for gardeners to plant more pollinator-friendly planting to reverse the rapid decline in bee populations. Bees are directly involved in pollinating as much as 70% of the food we eat, and without them we’d have far fewer of the flowers we love so much.
We are thrilled to have been able to donate part of our installation to The Cambridge University Botanic Gardens, where many thousands of schoolchildren visiting the gardens each year can learn more about the role of bees and pollinator-friendly planting.