Corporate Social Responsibility
At John O’Conner, we are fully aware of our social responsibilities. We have adopted a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy that states our commitment to social justice and how our business practices positively influence employees, customers, suppliers and the environment.
Below are some of the initiatives that we have adopted which support many of our customers through with a fair, ethical and sustainable philosophy:
John O’Conner is committed to providing access to training and employment opportunities to local disadvantaged people. These initiatives encourage independence and allow those taking part to make valuable contributions to their communities.
We currently work with Shaw Trust to provide a 13-week placement program to disadvantaged people, such as ex-offenders, people with or recovering from mental health illness, and people who have disabilities.
In addition, John O’Conner supports ChoicES Supported Employment Service (part of East Sussex County Council, Adult Social Care, Learning Disability Directly Provided Services) to provide guidance and support for adults with learning disabilities who want to work on a full-time, part-time or voluntary basis. We also work with Groundwork Trust and Mind, the mental health charity
John O’Conner pays a fair price to our suppliers and we do not make unreasonable demands of them. We address barriers to entry so that SMEs and local suppliers are encouraged to bid for appropriate work. We also ensure that our terms of payments are not unfair and that payment is always received on time.
We respect our operatives and we reward their contributions in a fair and equitable manner. We pay all our permanent and seasonal staff a living wage and support them with training and development to equip them with skills they can use beyond their employment with us.
John O’Conner avoids the unethical application of pesticides or herbicides – whose residues damage the soil or the air – in order to protect the environment. We also minimise the use of chemicals by replacing blanket spraying with spot-spraying techniques.
We avoid any exploitative employment practices, such as employing illegal immigrants or cheap labour for our seasonal work. As a family run company, we pride ourselves on ethical practices and we work hard to develop the communities we work in. This is why we always strive to employ locally, working closely with the job centre and our clients to provide work experience for local people.
John O’Conner offers valuable opportunities to local young people (aged 16-25) through our apprenticeship scheme and have provided 100 apprenticeships and work placements to date. We are delighted that approximately 40% have been converted to permanent employees on our various contracts.
During every project we work to preserve the ongoing health of human and plant life. By avoiding the wanton destruction of plants, we protect existing plant life and avoid contributing to the extinction of certain species.
John O’Conner pays careful attention to the plants we introduce in our landscape designs. This involves avoiding plants – especially landscape ornamentals – which could be invasive and become a serious danger to people. We also encourage wildlife through different community planting projects.
John O’Conner endeavours to incorporate environmental and sustainability considerations into our working practices. We recycle 100% of uncontaminated green waste – with the exception of pernicious weeds – at source, using chippers and shredders where possible. This not only provides a great, locally sourced mulch product and soil conditioner, but also eliminates the need to transport the waste, further reducing our carbon footprint. Where it is not practical or acceptable to recycle at source, we work closely with our partner company to divert 100% of the remaining green waste from landfill. The material is screened and processed before being recycled as a mulch material and soil conditioner.
John O’Conner works closely with our clients to achieve a zero to landfill target by:
- Optimising the volume of recoverable recyclable material from co-mingled waste in litter bins
- Treating all waste with equal priority
- Merging like-for-like recyclables, where possible, to maximise recovery and treatment
- Recycling cans and plastics, etc.