Responsibility to our community
A big part of being relevant to our clients and connected to our community and the wider world is being aware of the impact our business has on those around us. Our corporate social responsibility strategy allows us to have a positive effect on our people, clients and suppliers, community and environment. Some of the ways we do our part for those around us are by giving back through our pro bono work, having a dedicated corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme, and working in a sustainable way.
Corporate social responsibility
While we have long had all the elements of a CSR programme in place, in late 2014 we formalised and revitalised our programme to deliver maximum impact to our community partners and align with our firm values. We provide hands-on support to community organisations in the three core areas of youth and education, charitable trusts and business initiatives which support New Zealand’s sustainable growth.
We provide these organisations with pro bono work, funding and volunteering time. We are delighted to support our partners who inspire us with their work; they nurture and grow New Zealand talent, create opportunities for youth to succeed when the odds are against them and champion the concept of business as stakeholders in society and our environment.
Giving back through pro bono work
In 2003, we were the first major law firm to set up a formal pro bono programme, providing legal support for worthy causes. Since we first began our extensive pro bono programme we have provided legal support to more than 700 individuals or organisations and this work continues to be a practical way for us to give back to our community.
Environment & sustainability
We are committed to making our workplace and the way we approach work as sustainable as possible, by being aware of our footprint on the environment and what we can do to minimise it. Our Footprint project was established in 2007, and since then we have identified a number of ways we can make a positive difference, including careful consideration of the needs and methods of business travel, the reduction and recycling of paper and food waste throughout our offices and regular internal campaigns to encourage the firm and our people to be mindful of our environmental impact and how we can all work in a more sustainable way.
All of our people can take an additional day of paid leave each year to volunteer for one of the firm’s five community partners or a charity or community organisation of their choice. This is a practical and meaningful way for our people to demonstrate and develop leadership in our community. As part of the summer clerk programme, we take our clerks out for a day of volunteering for different organisations in each city.
Wellington – Zealandia
Keyboards for saws and corporate attire for sneakers, the Wellington summer clerks swapped office life for a day of eco-sanctuary volunteering at Zealandia. Zealandia is a protected natural area and conservation project nestled in a surprisingly urban part of Wellington, and is also responsible for bringing more birdlife back into the city. With a predator-free fence stretching 8.6km, the sanctuary’s 225ha native forest is thriving, alongside native bird populations, tuatara and weta.
To ensure Zealandia and its delicate ecosystem and growing biodiversity continue to flourish, pests need to be kept from making their way over, under or through the fence. Armed with some cutting equipment, gloves and packed lunches, the clerks spent their day cutting back bush from the fence to stop the pests using branches to make their way into Zealandia. Their guide was full of insights and they were even lucky enough to spot two tuatara along the way. The volunteering day was an amazing opportunity to contribute to what is a hugely important native wildlife project, and also a reminder of the difference we can make to future biodiversity if we continue to make these efforts.
“What sets Chapman Tripp apart is the genuine care they have for each unique individual; from their wellbeing to building a bright future.”Katie RiddleSummer Clerk
Auckland – Motuihe Island
In January, our Auckland summer clerks jumped on a ferry and headed over to Motuihe Island – a nature reserve 30 minutes sail from Auckland’s CBD.
They got stuck into weeding and planting trees to help the Motuihe Island Charitable Trust restore the island’s natural ecological environment – one area of focus in Motuihe Restoration’s wider initiative to help maintain the island and leave a positive footprint for future generations of visitors.
These tasks ensure native New Zealand flora and fauna, such as little spotted kiwi, kakariki, gecko and tuatara, have a safe and happy sanctuary to live in. Chapman Tripp has been volunteering on Motuihe for a number of years now and is proud to support the work of the trust.
Christchurch – Willowbank Wildlife Reserve
The Christchurch summer clerks spent their volunteer day at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve – showcasing one of New Zealand’s best displays of native species. Along with some of the firm’s junior solicitors, the summer clerks spent their day weeding and clearing overgrown planting in the wildlife enclosures to help protect our native species. Some of the material cleared was later fed to the wildlife at Willowbank. During the afternoon, the summer clerks helped the Willowbank keepers’ set up the new Kiwi enclosure – this was challenging work in the dark nocturnal enclosure! Despite the hot weather and hard work, the summer clerks had a great day and Willowbank were very appreciative to have their help!
Committees & groups
We have several committees here at Chapman Tripp that set staff events for the year, engage our people in different initiatives and look for opportunities to make our firm a more collaborative, inclusive and sustainable place to work. There are a lot of opportunities to be involved in these various committees and groups.
Supporting our people to be the best they can be is one of Chapman Tripp’s core values and wellbeing is at the forefront of that. We have a range of wellbeing activities and initiatives throughout the year that take an all-encompassing approach to our Hauora.
Our Project Footprint team are committed to improving our environmental and sustainability performance as part of the firm’s Corporate Social Responsibility programme. Project Footprint run initiatives such as power-saving and waste reduction actions, and organising environmental volunteer days.
Our Rainbow Committee promotes the wellbeing of the rainbow community at Chapman Tripp and the wider legal profession. They host informal events, speaker series, and advocate for LGBT+ friendly policies in the workplace. The group welcomes ideas to help support rainbow members in the firm, the legal community, and in society more broadly.
Our Social Committee organises various social events throughout the year – from taking on the Chapman Tripp partners in the annual quiz night to supporting our local and national sports teams, there is something for everyone!
Chapman Tripp has designated support people who are specially trained to listen and provide information, guidance and support if staff are concerned about any behaviour, including bullying and harassment. There are support people located in every office, from a variety of different roles and levels of seniority in the firm.