Clarion Wealth Planning is accelerating its plans to become carbon neutral as part of a new initiative called Best Service, Best Workplace, Best World.
The company had been aiming for carbon neutral status by next April but is now expecting to achieve the milestone by the autumn.
Clarion, which is based in Alderley Edge, Cheshire, is working with Carbon Neutral Britain, an organisation which helps businesses and individuals to offset their environmental footprint and achieve carbon neutral status by investing in renewable energy sources, tree planting and other green schemes worldwide.
Alongside this, Clarion has made electric vehicle ownership more cost effective for staff by introducing a car leasing salary sacrifice scheme. Clarion also plants 10 trees for every new client gained, and has implemented measures to reduce energy usage at its offices.
Founder Ron Walker said: “We are committed to creating better lives for our clients, colleagues and our community. It’s at the very core of our values.
“As part of this, we recently launched our Best Service, Best Workplace, Best World programme, and our goal of becoming carbon neutral by the autumn forms part of this.
“We felt it necessary to stand up and be counted and accelerate our strategy to reduce our carbon footprint. Every step taken to tackle climate change is a positive one.”
Clarion, which has 20 staff, provides lifelong financial planning to business owners and families across the north west and beyond.
As part of its Best World strategy and alongside its green measures, the firm supports the Clarion Welsby Family Foundation charity, which donates to worthy local and national causes and community projects.
The charity has supported the Climb High project, run by Adventures Await, which introduces young people with disabilities from Cheshire and Greater Manchester to indoor climbing, helping to build their confidence and skills to improve their physical and mental health and employability.
Another charity to benefit is Dog A.I.D, which trains family pets to become specialist assistance dogs for their physically disabled owners.
Meanwhile, chartered financial planner Ella Davies has become a mentor to teenage girls on a programme organised by the charity Girls Out Loud.
Clarion has introduced a raft of new employee benefits under its Best Workplace banner, including more flexible working, private medical insurance, a doubling of matched pension contributions, and free gym membership.
Now, following a staff survey seeking suggestions for ways in which the firm could help them develop new personal skills, Clarion is introducing private Spanish and Italian lessons for employees during work time.
Ron said: “We work hard and get on with the job, and do fantastic things as a company for our clients, and we want people to enjoy the journey with us and develop as individuals.
“It’s not all about work or business in our drive to be the best workplace. No-one is under the thumb for 12 hours a day. We treat people as grown-ups and they are able to come and go and work flexibly.
“We see past the 9-5 and recognise the importance of looking after our team. We have good quality people, and we want them to enjoy a good work-life balance.
“As well as being known as the best financial planning practice, we want to be known as the best place to work.
“Our approach is key to ensuring the commitment and loyalty of the people who are here, and helps us to attract recruits of the highest quality.”
Ron added: “In the financial planning world, the service we provide to our clients is unrivalled in terms of depth, quality, and the degree of time and attention we give to them.
“We really work with them to achieve their life goals, and this is the Best Service aspect of our initiative. It’s central to our growth plans, as is the Best Workplace aspect.
“And it’s our responsibility to do what we can for the Best World.”