The policy documents are updated annually and made available to new joiners as part of initial orientation.
As an employee-owned, UK-based group, MSQ has developed a series of corporate policies to guide the operations of our individual agencies. Each of the MSQ agencies has taken specific actions to implement these policies.
MSQ, and all of our agencies, have a commitment to the highest standards of good corporate citizenship. This is manifested by publishing, updating and actively implementing our polices in the areas of:
- People (operating our workplaces)
- Environment (use of consumables)
- Ethics (the way we do business)
We believe having high standards makes good business sense because it helps us to:
- Attract and retain the best people in our agencies.
- Generate new business by being seen as good partners by our clients.
- Improve the efficiency of our operations to reduce costs.
We don’t view being a good corporate citizen as an obligation. We see it as an opportunity.
As professionals in marketing communication we recognise we have a responsibility to adopt high standards not only in the way we run our own businesses but in the content and nature of the campaigns we create and manage for our clients.
These areas of policy are often described under the heading of “sustainability” or “corporate social responsibility.” To see how MSQ approaches these issues please click through to the relevant pages on this web site.
Environmental policy in action
We believe that a lot of small, but visible, initiatives which allow all employees to be involved create a proactive culture of environmental awareness. These are the things that some of our agencies are doing to make our policies “real”.
Lighting: Lights in meeting rooms are on motion sensors so they turn off if the room is empty for more then 3 minutes.
Public Transport: Staff members are provided with travel cards like Oyster Card, Metro Card and London Bicycle Hire keys as a business expense on client service.
Paper and Ink: The default setting for our printers is to be set to double sided and Black and White. Board document sent out as PDFs to be read on laptops and/or tablets. Board meetings are mostly paperless.
Reducing air travel: Skype technology and appropriate hardware has been installed on many PCs. Air travel has to have prior, written approval.
Water re-use: Water left in drinking glasses after meetings is poured into a jug in the kitchen and used to water the office plants.
Food Recycling: Fruit and vegetable peeling placed in compost bag.
Packaging Recycling: Specific bins provided for all drinks cans bottles plastics pots etc are recycled. All carrier bags are collected and recycled.
IT Equipment: Mouse batteries are recycled. Toner cartridges are collected and recycled. All old IT equipment screen laptops etc are also recycled.
All agencies in MSQ are committed to providing a workplace which:
- Provides a working environment which is safe, civilised and stimulating; encourages creative and collaborative team work and conforms to all local regulations in terms of health and safety and employee comfort
- Creates a social environment of mutual respect and support in which staff treat each other in a professional and courteous manner
- Operates a policy of zero tolerance on all aspects of bullying, intimidation and sexual or physical harassment
- Operates as a true meritocracy where appointment and promotion is based on qualifications, merit and effort without any discrimination in respect of race, colour, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, age or disability
- Does not tolerate the possession, distribution or use of illegal drugs on company premises
- Offers training and counselling programmes to help all staff improve their skills and advance their career prospects
- Offers internships and apprenticeships which are paid at proper market rates and which include structured learning, supervision and mentoring
- Supports requests to allow our people to undertake appropriate pro bono and charitable projects and where appropriate to make a financial contribution from Company funds to support these projects
- Uses all personal data relating to clients, suppliers and employees in accordance with relevant legislation such as the UK’s 1998 Data Protection Act
MSQ agencies have adopted operating policies which are consistent with the best practices of sustainability and the preservation of the environment. To this end, each agency is expected to use their best efforts to achieve the following:
- To reduce energy use in our workplaces by investing in and using appropriate low energy lighting, heating and air conditioning
- To set timing and temperature controls on air conditioning and heating to achieve the lowest possible energy consumption
- To apply best practice in all aspects of thermal insulation and energy reduction by investing, where appropriate, in energy saving solutions
- To reduce consumption of paper, water and other consumables by monitoring use, displaying signage and encouraging a culture of sustainability
- To minimise the use of air transport by reducing face-to-face meetings, by employing technologies such as video conferencing, Skype and telephone conferencing. Air travel miles are monitored with the objective of attempting to achieve a controlled reduction over time
- To encourage the use of public transport by questioning the need to use cars and taxis and by encouraging staff to use services like Oyster cards (in London) and Metro cards (in New York)
MSQ and its agencies are in the business of providing creative marketing communications solutions for a wide range of clients. Our ethical policies reflect the nature of our professional services.
We believe good ethical behaviour in a company flows as much from a culture and observed behaviour as it does from specific rules or regulations. In this context, we expect all of our staff to adhere at all times to the statements made below:
- We will attempt to conduct our business in a fashion which is honest, open, in good faith, and free from fraud or deceptive activities
- We will respect the confidentiality of our clients’ information and all of our actions will be designed to be in the best interest of our clients and their marketing objectives
- We will not knowingly implement campaigns which contain statements or images which are offensive or which attempt to deceive or mislead. We accept that great campaigns may often be shocking and even upsetting but we will always attempt to maintain public decency and factual accuracy
- We will not offer any form of bribe or inducement in an attempt to gain or retain clients, obtain work or benefits. This will not prevent us offering hospitality to clients and potential clients but this must be of a type and monitory value that is proportionate to normal business practice
- We will not accept any form of bribe or inducement to undertake actions which are not in the interest of our clients
- We will ensure that all members of staff are aware of relevant legislation such as the UK Bribery Act and the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and ensure that our culture is one where this legislation is understood and adhered to
- We will be open and transparent about potential conflicts of interest which might arise from the business activities of the partners and relatives of employees and ensure that these are visible to clients and other interested parties
Our Process Management
The approach we have adopted to putting our policies into action includes the following:
Policy statements in the areas of People, Environment and Ethics have been developed by the senior management and then shared with all agency leaders who have modified and added to them.
The final policy statements were approved by the board of MSQ Partners and then communicated to each agency. Each agency makes these statements available to all their members of staff; they are displayed on internal notice boards and included in employee handbooks. Explaining these polices is an important part of the induction process for all new staff members. The policy framework is discussed with all staff in their annual appraisal interviews.
Data such as consumption of electricity, water and gas and air miles travelled on business are collected at an agency level as part of the normal financial reporting process. This data is analysed and will be reported on the MSQ website. Annual targets are set at an agency level for reduction of consumption. We believe you can only manage an issue if it is measured and monitored. Management control of these policies is part of the annual discussions on budget setting and performance appraisal.
A policy committee has been established (membership shown below) which meets annually to review policies and progress.
Roger Parry, Chairman MSQ Partners
Peter Reid, CEO MSQ Partners
Dan Yardley, CFO MSQ Partners
Tim Trotter, Independent Non Executive Director
Our Key Numbers
Although many of our agencies have been around for 25 years or more MSQ Partners, itself, is a new business (founded December 2011).
In 2012 we adopted a policy of monitoring the use of consumables on an annual basis as part of our audit process.
The bulk of our energy costs are in the operation of our offices and we have adopted a range of measures to reduce our use of energy and consumables.
We collect, analyse and report environmental data under the headings below. We use the Carbon Trust conversion factors to assess CO emissions.
The data collected includes:
- Oil / gas consumption (based on charges)
- Electricity use (based on charges)
- Water use (litres)
- Paper use (tonnes)
- Waste recycling (tonnes)
We use the office energy consumption data to calculate our Carbon Footprint.
The Carbon Trust conversion factors suggest our current carbon footprint (for the year 2015) is 0.85 tonnes per person per year which reflects that most of us work in modern buildings and we have high density of occupation.
Our individual office locations vary from a high of 1.96 to a low of 0.34 tonnes per person.
Our estimated footprint in prior years is 1.1 in 2014 and 1.3 in 2013 which reflects a number of office moves and consolidations resulting in more efficient use of space.
We do not currently monitor road, rail and air travel as most of our work happens quite locally to our agencies. We plan to capture air travel data in future years.