PracticeAccounting FirmsThe Top 50 – CSR: a hard nut to crack

The Top 50 - CSR: a hard nut to crack

Firms are lagging behind the government’s drive to tackle climate change

Over half of the firms in this year’s survey have failed to implement company
policy on reducing their corporate carbon footprint.

Not only are these firms lagging behind the government’s drive to tackle
climate change in the UK, but the lack of enthusiasm for social responsibility
is evident from the fact that just six firms declared they operate a CSR service
line.

More firms in the bottom half of the table have been trying to reduce their
carbon footprint than last year. Recycling, energy efficiency and sourcing
renewable energy were the most popular emission-reduction strategies. Wingrave
Yeats has even gone so far as to implement ‘away days dedicated to
carbon-negative pursuits’.

Our survey also reveals that the average percentage of female partners in the
Top 50 firms is around 12%.Although this is a rise of two percentage points on
last year’s figure, female partners still lag way behind their male
counterparts.

The shortlist for the Accountancy Age Accountant of the Year Award
in 2007 contained four women: Catherine Burnet, Tanya Oliver, Julie Smith and
Adele Turner. But the glass ceiling remains very much in place.

Only 15% or less of Big Four partners are female, compared with smaller firms
such as Anderson Anderson & Brown, which headed the Top 50 with 27%.Mercer
& Hole was second with 22%,and 19% of Armstrong Watson’s workforce are
female partners.

The smaller the firm, the greater the proportion of female
accounting-qualified staff. Anderson Anderson & Brown led the way:56% of its
workforce are qualified women. The average number of qualified women in the Big
Four is 18%.

Only a quarter of respondents gave details on ethnicity, and the average
percentage of partners with an ethnic background in a firm is 4%.This compares
with 5.9% a year earlier, when 30% of firms surveyed responded to the question.
Simmonds Gainsford has the highest proportion of ethnic partners with 25%,
Haslers has 12%, DTE Group and UHY Hacker Young both have 10%. The Big Four
again lag behind in this category.

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