The recruitment agency that has sustainability at its core


ecruitment agencies, says David Holby-Wolinski (pictured above), have a reputation for “being money-driven”. So when he co-founded EllisKnight six years ago, he wanted to bring about a change in industry practices.

The Berkshire-based company is a certified B Corporation. “We wanted our business to be a force for good, and to set an example for the recruitment sector,” he says.

Last year, the company became the first recruitment agency to receive a Gold CSR Accreditation, which reflects its integration of social, environmental and ethical concerns into business operations and strategy, whether that’s through financial backing for sustainable development projects, or by lowering the company’s own carbon footprint.

The business also worked with Planet Mark, a sustainability certification group, to assess the company’s annual carbon footprint – 49 tonnes of emissions stemming from electricity and water use, travel, waste and printing.

Build sustainability into your business

Google has created a new free, simple and actionable training programme to help small businesses reduce their emissions through business growth.

Developed in partnership with the UK Government’s Together for Our Planet campaign, the programme covers:

  • Why sustainability is good for business
  • How to start your journey
  • Where to use sustainability measures to engage employees and customers

Planet Mark also provides key strategies on how to reduce emissions – in EllisKnight’s case, by purchasing carbon offsets and financially supporting sustainable development projects run by ClimateCare, an environmental company.

Becoming carbon neutral

EllisKnight also made carbon savings in its own operations – through waste management and flexible working practices that reduce the need to travel – and became carbon-neutral in December of last year.

“We strive to be lean, mean and green,” says Holby-Wolinski. “What you do on a daily basis can have a tremendously positive impact on the planet.”

What you do on a daily basis can have a tremendously positive impact on the planet

In addition, the ethical recruiter supports its clients’ sustainability goals by offsetting the carbon footprint of every permanent hire it places for the first 12 months of their employment. Through its partnership with Ecologi, a subscription service, EllisKnight last year planted 4,423 trees and achieved 103.7 tonnes of carbon offsetting.

EllisKnight took part in litter picking as part of the Great British Spring Clean initiative with Keep Britain Tidy

/ EllisKnight

“We create an impact certificate and the clients love that — sometimes they put it on social media or they add it into their sustainability report,” says Holby-Wolinski, citing a certificate that quantifies and verifies the social impact. “Job candidates want to work with a company that has a conscience.”

The company also posts this and its other sustainability achievements on its own social media channels and produces an annual sustainability report to highlight its green credentials.

“[Sustainability] has really helped to sustain our business during an insanely tough period for recruitment agencies,” says Holby-Wolinski. “Now that the economy is looking up, we are in a strong position to grow.”

To discover how to make your business more sustainable like EllisKnight, sign up for Google’s free training programme here.

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