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Forster Communications' Impact report 2020-21

Forster Communications was founded in 1996 with one purpose - to use the power of communications to protect and improve lives. 25 years later and our purpose is still the same. Everything we do, inside our company as well as with our clients and partners, is designed to add positive value for people and the planet. This report details our impact for 2020-21 across three priority areas: 1. Tackling the climate emergency 2. Addressing inequality and building diversity 3. Promoting health and wellbeing

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FORSTER COMMUNICATIONS – IMPACT REPORT 2020-21 CREATING POSITIVE CHANGE FORSTER COMMUNICATIONS WAS FOUNDED IN 1996 WITH ONE PURPOSE – TO USE THE POWER OF COMMUNICATIONS TO PROTECT AND IMPROVE LIVES. 25 years later and our purpose is still As a founding UK B Corp, we’re the same. Everything we do, inside our independently assessed on how we INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT company as well as with our clients and perform as a sustainable business. We partners, is designed to add positive value measure and report on the difference for people and the planet. we make – through our own actions, We have always been transparent We believe that, as specialist sustainability our work with clients, and supporting about our performance, using third communicators, we can’t ask our clients and influencing our broader community. party accreditation to measure and to be brave unless we are doing the same. This report details our impact for 2020-21 benchmark progress, including: It means more than walking the talk, it’s across three priority areas: – B Corp about living and breathing it every day. 1. Tackling the climate emergency In a year of unprecedented challenges, 2. Addressing inequality and – B Impact Assessment it’s what drove our response to COVID-19, building diversity – Green Element as we helped NHS Charities Together and 3. Promoting health and wellbeing – Eshcon food businesses reach out to those in need. And it’s why we’re committed to becoming – ISO 14001 a climate positive business, and taking our clients on that journey too, through – Living Wage Campaign our Climate Positive Plan. 2

This extraordinary year – full of shock “ and sadness for so many – reiterated the role of business as a critical, connected part of society. From global policies to individual actions, what we do and how we do it matters. It’s been incredible to see colleagues, clients and the wider community pull together, working faster and harder than ever before. We’ve shown what’s possible and are now using these insights, commitment and optimism to maintain the pace of change. Amanda Powell-Smith, CEO, Forster Communications 3 © NHS CT

FORSTER COMMUNICATIONS – IMPACT REPORT 2020-21 MEETING CHALLENGES HEAD ON IN A YEAR LIKE NO OTHER, OUR DRIVE TO HELP, AS THE WORLD FACED THE SYSTEM SHOCK OF COVID-19, PUT US AT THE HEART OF THE EMERGENCY RESPONSE. TACKLING THE CLIMATE EMERGENCY Client Disclosure Report 2019-20 Our communications We increased our We continued to We produced our We were reaccredited helped high-profile pro bono support address the climate second Client by B Corp and fundraising for smaller charities, emergency and Disclosure Report delighted to increase campaigns, including recognising the strain received commitments and reduced our our score by 8 points NHS Charities on their funding and from the majority income from carbon to 110.2. This is the Together, reach resources. of our suppliers to critical industries highest score for PR their targets. cut emissions or from 9.5% to 1.5%. agencies in the UK. achieve net zero. 4

70% decrease in carbon emissions from our offices 57% of our suppliers committed to net zero or setting an emissions reduction target hours of pro-bono support for smaller 714 charities, up 224% on 2019-20 THE YEAR IN NUMBERS increase in our suppliers who are 6% members of the Living Wage Campaign And we were proud to win the edie Sustainability Consultancy of the Year award for increase in investment in employee learning the second time. 400% and development including one-to-one coaching miles of exercise by our team as part of Better by Miles, 2,000 raising money for Whitechapel Mission 5

FORSTER COMMUNICATIONS – IMPACT REPORT 2020-21 TAKING CLIMATE ACTION OURSELVES OUR CLIMATE POSITIVE PLAN COMMITS US TO REDUCE EMISSIONS, NOT ONLY IN OUR BUSINESS BUT THROUGHOUT OUR VALUE CHAIN. Net zero commitments Measuring indirect emissions We set a target that by March 2022, We measured our indirect (Scope 3) all our suppliers would match our emissions for the first time, and commitment to achieving net zero identified pensions, banking and IT by 2030. Although COVID-19 disruption as our major contributors. We will delayed this work, by the end of the prioritise action to address this in the year, 57% had responded positively year ahead, working with B Corp and with 38% already committed to net zero. the Make My Money Matter campaign. 2.5 TONNES Reducing emissions Offsetting NET REDUCTION IN CO2 We achieved a reduction of 5.7 tonnes We offset all of our Scope 2 and 3 of CO2 from in-office energy, waste emissions through our carbon offsetting EMISSIONS 2020-21 and travel – a net reduction of almost partner – ClimateCare. This supports 2.5 tonnes when emissions from home renewable energy projects in India working are accounted for. and clean cookstoves in Ghana and Bangladesh, reducing the emissions produced from burning fossil fuels. 6

SOURCE OF OUR EMISSIONS* At Forster, initiatives like our Climate Positive “ Plan are made fun and run through everything that we do, helping us all to live better, healthier and safer lives and protect the planet. We’re now happily a vegan office to reduce our carbon impact and our pedal points scheme means that the majority of us cycle. Forster also helped us all switch to renewable energy suppliers at home which has been really important this year. Olivia Martin, Senior Consultant, Forster Communications Pensions & Banking (237) IT (8.39) Gas (2.8) Electricity (1.8) Flights (1.2) Employee commuting (0.029) Food & Drink (0.003) *Tonnes CO2 Data via Green Element 77

FORSTER COMMUNICATIONS – IMPACT REPORT 2020-21 Forster played an important role TAKING CLIMATE ACTION “ in helping us to launch our major sustainability initiative, Project Earth, to a global audience. Working in collaboration with the Selfridges team, OUR CLIENTS their knowledge and experience paired OUR TARGET IS THAT BY APRIL 2023, ALL OUR CLIENTS WILL HAVE with a results-driven approach helped us to deliver a truly impactful campaign PUBLICLY COMMITTED TO REDUCE THEIR CARBON FOOTPRINT. that we are extremely proud of. Reducing emissions Energy Saving Trust Laura Watt, Senior PR & Experience Manager, We tracked our clients’ commitments Providing specialist communications Selfridges to cutting emissions, finding 37% have to position the Energy Saving Trust as net zero targets: 71% of our business a leading voice in the transition to net clients and 15% of our not-for-profit zero and promoting energy efficiency. clients. These findings will help us target This has helped them to reach 1.3 million support for clients who want to deepen their households with 381,000 taking action climate commitments in the year ahead. as a result. Changing attitudes and behaviour ReLondon circular economy We also helped deliver climate action Working with ReLondon to increase with our clients through communications understanding of the circular economy programmes, including: among businesses and policymakers, to help reduce waste and increase reuse. Selfridges, Project Earth Supporting the launch of Selfridge’s Project Earth, which is changing the conversation about how people can shop sustainably, stimulating widespread discussion with media reach of 4.2 billion people (to date). 8 © Selfridges

Forster played an important role 71% in helping us to launch our major OF OUR BUSINESS sustainability initiative, Project Earth, to a global audience. Working in CLIENTS HAVE collaboration with the Selfridges team, NET ZERO TARGETS their knowledge and experience paired OUR COMMUNITY with a results-driven approach helped OUR CLIMATE POSITIVE PLAN TARGET us to deliver a truly impactful campaign that we are extremely proud of. IS TO DRIVE ACTION WITH OUR TEAM, Laura Watt, Senior PR & Experience Manager, PARTNERS AND THOSE AROUND US. Selfridges Developing climate advocates We provided all our team with tailored training to build their confidence in climate advocacy, helping them to speak up and drive action. Deepening our partnerships Over the next year, we will work closely with not-for-profit leaders including ACEVO, CharityComms and Third Sector to drive climate action across the sector. 99

FORSTER COMMUNICATIONS – IMPACT REPORT 2020-21 ACTION FOR EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY OURSELVES IN A YEAR WHICH SAW THE UNEQUAL IMPACT OF THE PANDEMIC ON PEOPLE IN THE UK, AND THE GLOBAL BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT, WE RECOGNISED WE NEEDED TO DO MORE. Building diversity and inclusion Achieving gender balance We created a new Diversity and Inclusion We are majority owned by women with Plan which is currently being assessed by a female CEO. However the majority of 33% industry experts to ensure it reflects best directors are men. This skews average practice. We also changed our recruitment pay and means we have an overall gender OF OUR SUPPLIERS practice, moving from blind CVs to no CVs pay gap of 34.6%. We are working to with three questions for initial selection. achieve a better balance through promotion ARE MEMBERS OF We expect these changes to impact the of talented female staff into senior roles. make-up of our team in the coming years. THE LIVING WAGE Providing work experience CAMPAIGN Paying a living wage Our work with the Social Mobility Foundation We have been members of the Living to provide work placements had to be put Wage Campaign since 2014, paying all on hold due to the pandemic. We are looking interns the London Living Wage. We at the most effective way to increase access encourage all our suppliers to join and our into the profession as part of our Diversity latest tracking shows that 33% are now and Inclusion Plan. members, a 6% increase from last year. 10

One of the greatest pleasures of being “ an employer is being able to reward hard work. We believe that ensuring we pay people well for the work they do is one of the core components of maintaining a healthy team over time. The Living Wage framework helps us ensure we are doing that fairly for people who are most vulnerable to exploitation. David Schluter, MD, Fluid IT (a fellow B Corp and Forster supplier) 11

FORSTER COMMUNICATIONS – IMPACT REPORT 2020-21 ACTION FOR EQUALITY 4M PEOPLE AND DIVERSITY HELPED BY NEIGHBOURLY DURING THE PANDEMIC OUR CLIENTS WE WORKED COLLABORATIVELY WITH OUR CLIENTS TO REDUCE THE IMPACT OF INEQUALITY THROUGH THE PANDEMIC AND EXTEND OPPORTUNITY IN DISADVANTAGED COMMUNITIES. Neighbourly pandemic response Working with Neighbourly and their national partners including M&S, Aldi, Lidl and Danone, we raised awareness of emergency pandemic support available. We also used our cross-industry networks to increase involvement, helping local causes in the Neighbourly network to support over 4 million vulnerable people in the UK. Penguin: It starts with a book We encouraged Penguin Random House to speak out about the lack of racial diversity in the UK curriculum and helped launch their #ItStartsWithABook campaign to get books into the hands of disadvantaged communities during the pandemic. This work secured over 200 pieces of media coverage and helped to double applications to its WriteNow programme, supporting a wide range of aspiring authors. 12

OUR COMMUNITY Supporting isolated and vulnerable people We developed the Community Action Response initiative for Eden Project Communities, helping to generate support for isolated and vulnerable people during the pandemic. This has been taken up across the country and is now a collaboration of 35 community-focused charities. Forster has played a key role amplifying Drawing on our networks “ Neighbourly’s work during the pandemic, In addition to newsletters, blogs and from highlighting the importance of local opinion pieces through our channels and causes to tackling food waste alongside sustainability media, we actively promote equality and diversity through our industry national retailers. They’re genuine partners, memberships and networks, including quick to spot new opportunities and sitting on the B Corp UK policy group. consistently adding real value to our team. Steve Butterworth, CEO, Neighbourly 13

FORSTER COMMUNICATIONS – IMPACT REPORT 2020-21 ACTION TO OUR CLIENTS OUR CLIENTS WERE AT THE FOREFRONT OF THE PANDEMIC RESPONSE. WE HELPED THEM SUPPORT HEALTH TARGET CAMPAIGNS AND GAIN TRACTION. NHS Charities Together appeal AND WELLBEING We managed communications for NHS Charities Together’s record-breaking appeal, playing a key role in raising over £150 million to support frontline workers, volunteers and patients. We continue to support them, for example raising awareness of the impact of the pandemic on healthcare professionals. OURSELVES RVS and NHS Volunteer Responders We pivoted our planned services to help RVS communicate around the NHS Volunteer Responders programme. They have WITH THE PANDEMIC RIPPING UP THE RULE already completed more than 1.5m tasks in their community. BOOK ON HOW WE WORK, WE HAD TO CHANGE OUR APPROACH TO PROTECT THE HEALTH AND MENTAL WELLBEING OF OUR PEOPLE. The world’s media knocked on the door when our appeal Supporting colleagues through lockdown “ – We bought and delivered desks, chairs, lamps and big took off at the start of the pandemic and we were a computer screens to ensure our team could work from team of four adjusting to working remotely. Forster home comfortably. came on board at 24 hours’ notice and took on all of our – As well as twice-weekly virtual team catch-ups, we communications, which was phenomenal. They were did one-to-one check-in calls to make sure people felt supported and part of a team. instrumental in helping us raise over £150m, getting our – We added access to a personal coach to our Employee message out to every corner of the UK and beyond and Assistance Programme to offer tailored individual support. turning NHS Charities Together into a household name. More than 70 hours of coaching has been delivered so far. Ellie Orton, Chief Executive, NHS Charities Together 14

OUR COMMUNITY Combining fundraising and wellbeing Better by Miles combined our goals of colleague wellbeing and community support. Each mile completed by a team member unlocked a donation for the Whitechapel Mission, a charity supporting homeless and marginalised people living near our office. Collectively the team have walked, run or cycled 2000 miles. £150M RAISED BY NHS CHARITIES TOGETHER CAMPAIGNS DURING THE PANDEMIC © NHS CT 15

FORSTER COMMUNICATIONS – IMPACT REPORT 2020-21 BUILDING A BETTER FUTURE FOR ALL THE YEAR OF THE PANDEMIC SHOWED HOW CHALLENGING LIFE CAN BE – BUT ALSO WHAT If you are interested in driving CAN BE ACHIEVED IF EVERYONE WORKS change or would like more TOGETHER. AS WE MOVE INTO A POST-COVID-19 information on what we’re WORLD, WE ARE MORE COMMITTED THAN EVER doing, please get in touch. TO LEAD AND INSPIRE CHANGE. [email protected] +44 (0)20 74032230 We will continue to work towards the targets in our Climate Positive Plan and do more to help reduce inequality and promote diversity and inclusion. And we’ll use the power of communications to achieve a wider influence through our work and our industry networks, collaborating with our clients and communities to make a positive difference at every opportunity. 16


FORSTER COMMUNICATIONS – IMPACT REPORT 2020-21 2020-21 DATA – OUR TEAM IMPACT AREA 2019-20 2020-21 % CHANGE NOTES Sickness days / person 1.6 2.97 86% Includes COVID-19 cases EING% of team who smoke 0% 0% 0% WELLBCycling commuter journeys 37% 60% 62% Significant increase with employees avoiding public transport Training hours / person 26 30 15% Training spend increased by 400% Individuals having one-to-one coaching 12 12 0% in 2020-21 OPMENT 1 person Access to the profession (work (38 weeks 0 -100% Work placements paused during DEVELexperience / paid internships) total) COVID-19 Y Member of Living Wage Campaign Yes Yes n/a Continued membership since 2009 A AIR PHighest : lowest salary ratio 3.7 3.3 10% Increase of our junior employee’s F salaries % of team who are female 70% 58% 17% % of board who are female 33% 33% 0% DIVERSITY% of owners who are female 50% 50% 0% Bike miles / person 26 0 n/a VELTrain miles / person 294 0 n/a No face-to-face meetings with clients TRAFlight miles / person 668 0 n/a due to COVID-19 – all conducted virtually Commuter train miles / person 3,596 25 -99% 18

2020-21 DATA – OUR COMMUNITY IMPACT AREA 2019-20 2020-21 % CHANGE NOTES Number of clients 51 46 10% Reduced client numbers due to COVID-19, and targeting bigger projects Client Disclosure Report published Yes Yes n/a Available on our website % income from not-for-profit clients 56% 49% -7% Increased income from corporate clients, and impact on charities due to COVID-19 % total clients with Net Zero target n/a 37% n/a CLIENTS% not for profit clients with Net Zero target n/a 15% n/a Not measured in 2019-20 % corporate clients with Net Zero target n/a 71% n/a % clients who are B Corp 6% 11% 83% Using our network to increase income from progressive businesses % of income from carbon critical industries 1.50% 6% 4.50% 6% of income from Dairy in 2021-21 from B Corp client % of suppliers who committed to Net Zero target n/a 38% n/a % of suppliers comitted to reducing emissions n/a 19% n/a Not tracked in 2019-20, updated supplier screening took place in 2020 % of suppliers unresponsive n/a 43% n/a SUPPLIERS% of suppliers who are members 31% 33% 6% Two existing suppliers joined the foundation of Living Wage Foundation in the year % of suppliers who are B Corp 11% 10% -10% Fewer purchases for office, so reduced spend Pro bono hours / person 18.5 60 224% Pro bono includes NeverMoreNeeded, Volunteering hours / person 14.2 10 -30% NHS Charities Together, B-LAB, BBA COMMUNITYKnowledge sharing – number of events 9 7 -22% Reduced due to COVID-19 Knowledge sharing – number of articles 54 24 -55% 19

FORSTER COMMUNICATIONS – IMPACT REPORT 2020-21 2020-21 DATA – OPERATIONS IMPACT AREA 2019-20 2020-21 % CHANGE NOTES Office electricity KG CO2 / person 279 93.95 -66% ICE Decreased due to office closures F Gas KG CO2 / person 0 0 0% during COVID-19. Emissions include OF boiler and servers Total KG CO2 from office 3,772 1,117 -70% KINGHome electricity KG CO2 / person 1.39 41.66 2997% S OR Home gas KG CO2 / person 7.64 229.42 3003% COVID-19 had a huge impact on home working emissions SSION HOME WTotal KG CO2 from home working 108.36 3,253 3002% GHG EMIVELBusiness travel KG CO2 / person 254.79 0 -100% TRACommuting travel KG CO2 / person 136 1.2 99% S Includes Scope 2 emissions – office Total Scope 2 emissions Tonnes CO2 3.5 1.49 -57% heating and electricity, business travel SSION AL EMITotal emissions Tonnes CO2 255.01 247.37 -3% Includes Scope 3 emissions – pensions, TOT banking, suppliers Recycled : non recycled 66:34 85:15 19% ASTE Waste to landfill 0 0 0% Reduced office waste with employees W working from home KG / person 35 1.6 -95% APER KG / person 6.3 1.0 -84% Less printing due to office closure P 20


FORSTER COMMUNICATIONS – CLIENT DISCLOSURE REPORT 2020-21 OUR INCOME BY % INCOME BY SECTOR CLIENT SECTOR The percentage of our work from the private sector is growing and in 2020-21 it comprised 50%. Our work for large corporates (for profit businesses) dropped from 41% previously to 40%. Small corporates made up 10% of our income. KEY Civil Society (50%) Business – large (40%) Business – small (10%) 22

OUR INCOME BY % INCOME PER SECTOR INDUSTRY SECTOR LARGE CORPORATE CLIENTS Regardless of sector, all our work is focused on improving social and environmental outcomes for our clients, their stakeholders and society overall. The pharmaceutical industry accounted for the highest proportion of our income from large corporate clients. Food was our second largest industry sector growing from 4% in our last report. Energy was a new industry for us to work with and our fourth biggest source of income from corporate clients. KEY Pharmaceutical (38%) N/A: Food (22%) Logistics and transportation (0%) Clothing (18%) Finance (0%) Energy (7%) Paper (0%) Publishing (6%) Law (0%) Property (5%) Water (3%) 23

FORSTER COMMUNICATIONS – CLIENT DISCLOSURE REPORT 2020-21 OUR INCOME FROM % % CARBON CRITICAL 5.95 0 MEAT & DAIRY* COAL, OIL & INDUSTRIES NATURAL GAS Our income from carbon critical industries grew from 1.5% of our total income in our previous % % Client Disclosure Report to 5.95% in 2020-21. 0 0 We worked for a leading B Corp in the diary industry*, helping them to push new boundaries on sustainability within and beyond their industry. CONCRETE AVIATION & CEMENT % % 0 0 TRUCKING PLASTICS & SHIPPING 24

% % % PUBLISHING OUR CLIENT 0 0 0 DISCLOSURE REPORT IS CORE TO OUR CLIMATE COAL, OIL & PRIVATE CARS IRON, ALUMINUM & POSITIVE PLAN AND LIVING NATURAL GAS STEEL MANUFACTURE OUR PURPOSE OF USING COMMUNICATIONS TO PROTECT AND IMPROVE LIVES. % % % 0 0 0 As we work with clients and the wider sustainability and communications AVIATIONCHEMICALS & TIMBER, PULP communities, it is critical we continue to take pioneering actions – using PETROCHEMICALS & PAPER ourselves as a test bed to see what works and helping others to accelerate change. We are happy to share and welcome discussion. We urge more communications agencies to quickly commit to climate % action and publish client disclosure reports 0 as a sign of genuine intent. For further information, please contact PLASTICS us on [email protected]. Thank you. 25

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