One practice that has taken a structured approach to address CSR is Tiwari Watson Dental Care, a mixed private/NHS practice in Glasgow, owned by husband and wife team Raashi Tiwari and Joe Watson.
Although they had a sense that they wanted to ‘do the right thing’, Joe admits that CSR was an elusive subject.
“When we started I didn’t really know what CSR was, but we were always trying to that type of thing but just I didn’t know that it had a label. So we were looking to do CSR type activities, but maybe just have more structure to it.”
The owners worked virtually with me to take a look at what kinds of CSR activity would fit for their business. Over a couple of lunchtime Skype meetings, we were able to design a simple structured approach linked to their values which have paid off in more ways than one.
“It’s definitely paid off. I think the staff have really enjoyed it, what we’ve done. Before we would do like, maybe a bit of stuff at Christmas time, or bits and bobs here and there, but never really affiliated with a proper charity as such, didn’t really have a proper environmental sort of policy or plan. And now it’s every month, we’re thinking about what we are doing in relation to helping out our chosen charity, or what are we doing in terms of environment, what are we doing for our own people. And the stuff I have been doing has been good fun.”
So what have the practice committed to? Here’s a summary:
People & Ethics
The practice reviewed its purchasing of refreshments to support fairly traded goods.
A structured commitment to train, support and develop its people, paying a minimum basic salary of the living wage and opportunities for the team to develop through volunteering.
Environment & Sustainability
Tiwari Watson comprehensively reviewed purchasing decisions in areas such as stationery and non-clinical supplies, favouring recycled and environmentally friendly options. It stepped up recycling the appropriate types of its own waste wherever possible and reducing the use of plastics. It also reviewed its energy supplier in favour of 100% renewable tariffs.
Community & Charity
The practice partners with a dental charity – Bridge2Aid, and a local one – Marie Curie Glasgow. As a dental business, they’re committed to helping people in those in parts of the world that have no access to any dentistry. They also wanted to promote good oral health and help young children avoid painful dental problems locally, and so they release dentist and nurse time to visit local schools in partnership with Brushup UK’s materials and framework. Finally, a fund of £50 per month is made available for the team to proactively select or respond to requests from small charities in the area.
As well as involving the team in creating this strategy, they continue to communicate the CSR strategy, plan and outcomes to the team and other stakeholders. They also use their platforms to share information about the causes they support, what they do, and what we do to help.
The team recognise that when it’s done well, CSR is like any other value-creating asset in the business. And as such, they committed to managing it effectively, including appointing a Champion to ensure everything stays on track.
Following their hard work on CSR in 2019, the practice picked up multiple awards, including Best Team and Best Practice at both the Dentistry Scotland and the Dentistry Awards.