Corporate Social Responsibility Statement
MEB Design Ltd does not exist solely for its own benefit; we are here also to contribute to the wider world in a responsible way.
MEB Design Ltd has a vision: ‘of building communities through creativity one design at a time’. Its mission is to ‘design inspiring places that bring people together to live, work, learn and worship’.
What does ‘Building Community’ require?
We have four principles that we follow: how best to look after our staff, how best to serve our clients, how to meet the needs of the wider world, and how to help the future of the architectural profession.
Our staff: we identify and provide career paths. Since inception in 1983, two long term members of staff have become company directors. We provide staff with regular training and support to help them develop. To facilitate this, the practice supports specific training courses, holds seminars, organises office events and ‘away days’ (including specific trips). Directors identify and manage training needs and requirements, but all members of staff can make suggestions and plan activities, via office meetings, staff appraisals and feedback sessions. We also look after our staff through a health and safety policy where the regular services of an external specialist are used to advise us on such matters.
Our clients: we exist for the sake of our various clients, solving their problems, facilitating their communities, designing imaginatively and contextually, demonstrating good environmental and sustainable design, and participating in an inclusive and consultative process throughout all of our projects. Many clients become friends.
Outside the office: directors and staff are encouraged to be involved outside office time in community projects. Where we can, we support local community initiatives while as a practice, we support charities, including various projects in Africa for which we do consultancy work on a “pro-bono” basis. A list of the many community related activities that involve our staff is included at the end of this document.
Future architects: we also share our knowledge and enthusiasm for architecture with the younger generation. As well as speaking at career days, we welcome students who want to complete their school and university work experience placements with us, and one director of MEB Design is a visiting lecturer and examiner at Oxford Brookes University.
Payment of Employees and Suppliers:
We want to treat others as they us, so fully support all policies relating to payment of a living wage and prompt payment of suppliers. As a RIBA Chartered Practice we are signed up to agree to pay our employees fairly, and as an organisation we believe in a prompt payment culture. We try where possible to maintain zero “aged-creditors”.
Our impact on the Environment:
We consider the environment in our working practices and in our designs.
The practice has an environmental policy by which we seek to reduce our use of natural resources through recycling, reuse and transport choices.
We are signed up to “Cycle Scheme” – see www.cyclescheme.co.uk – which encourages and helps to fund our staff to cycle safely to work, and use “Zipcar” – see www.zipcar.com/en-gb – a community shared vehicle scheme that helps to reduce vehicle ownership and the number of cars on the road. These provide a flexible way for our staff to attend meetings and visit sites.
We naturally consider the impact of our buildings on the environment. We have successfully completed, and are working on projects with strong sustainability objectives. We have achieved the highest benchmarking levels possible on a number of projects, and often use our projects as a way of educating and informing our clients and building users.
Community contributions made by directors and staff over the years:
Charities supported financially by the practice on a regular basis
- LARK (Kenya)
- Global Angels
- Child Action Lanka
Charities assisted with pro bono architectural advice and design by the practice
- Home Leone (Sierra Leone)
- LARK (Kenya)
- Gua Africa (South Sudan)
- Youth With A Mission (various Africa)
Other charities assisted with pro bono architectural advice and design by employees
- Thinking Development (Haiti)
Charities or similar where directors are or have been Trustees or Directors
- Habitat For Humanity
- Global Angels
- Silver Lining (a Youth Theatre)
- Schools (various) as Governors
- Youth Music Theatre (UK)
- Pleasance Theatre, Edinburgh and London
- Kent Youth Theatre
- Woodbrooke Quaker Study and Conference Centre
- The Oxford & Bermondsey Clubs
Architectural bodies supported by directors and employees
- St Albans Diocesan Advisory Committee (member)
- LBAC (Listed Buildings Advisory Committee) for the United Reformed Church (previous member)
- Oxford Brookes University (lecturer / external examiner / mentoring)
- National Trust (membership)
- Transition Town Letchworth (membership)
Other causes supported e.g. by participation in sponsored events: marathon running, walking and cycling, or volunteering etc.
- Various school fundraising charities
- River Warden
- Hospital Gardener
- Cats Protection League
- End Hunger – Fast, supporting the Food Bank Movement