Investing in our people
We care about our employees, not because it encourages them to work harder but because caring about people is the right thing to do. And we ask them, regularly, are we still doing the right thing?
We also believe in encouraging diversity and equality - and in making sure an excellent work-life balance is possible for everyone in our business.
Our employees take part in regular surveys, which tell us if we're getting the balance right. If someone needs flexible hours to chip in with the school run, for example, then we try to make that possible. Some of our people work remotely, which reduces our carbon footprint and – in our experience – can be the catalyst for great things. Not everyone is an early morning person. We also have a ‘well-being’ room in every office, which is a meeting-free quiet space they can unwind in, every so often.
Supporting the community
It's good to give back. We try to put the 'fun' into fundraising. Each year, we support a different charity. In 2019, we raised over £5,000 for Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice. In 2020, we raised almost £6,000 for Crisis. Smart is currently committed to supporting Mind, a charity that provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.
Our activities tend to reflect our team's interests, which could mean we're doing anything from taking part in Tough Mudders to baking cakes.
As a tech company, we also invest in developers of the future. We're a proud supporter of Rails Girls, which is a non-profit community making coding more accessible to women. Rails Girls has created many opportunities for women in tech and over 25% of their participants return to coach the next generation. We sponsor their annual London workshop and our engineering team also volunteer as coaches and mentors.
Caring about the environment
It's our planet. We all have to look after it. With that in mind, we do all we can to reduce our waste and the amount of energy we're using.
Our offices are fitted with motion sensors, for example. The lights switch off after 20 minutes of no movement to reduce the amount of electricity we're using - which means people stay active, too. Only one or two of them like working in the dark.
Plus, we try to do all our business online. We only print documents if it's absolutely necessary - and even then, we do so with responsibly sourced ink and paper. We also scan, shred, and then recycle any paper that's sent to us. We recycle over 90% of our waste, and we limit our use of single-use plastics by letting people use real cutlery and glassware.
Creating products with purpose
We're a business that acts as a long-term investor on behalf of hundreds of thousands of people. Sustainability is central to our investment ethos.
Our Head of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) works closely with our trustees to make sure we're making the right investment decisions. Fundamentally, your employees (and ex-employees) are in a supported position to make choices too, as members of our master trust. When it comes to 'ethical saving', pension contributions can be invested in the Smart Future Fund and/or the Smart Ethical Fund. Both funds invest in companies meeting positive standards of Corporate Social responsibility, while excluding underlying investments that don't meet our sustainability criteria (such as those violating the United Nations Global Compact).