I am Clare Beavan and I have the great privilege to be the DWF Foundation and Community Investment Manager. I work within Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) and I am responsible for all things charity and community.
I joined the business over seven years ago as part of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) team to set up the DWF Foundation as an independent charity, founded by DWF. The Foundation has the sole aim of providing funds, resources and support to help individuals, groups and communities to achieve their full potential. To date DWF Foundation have given over £1 million to support charities working in the fields of education, employability, homelessness, health & well-being and more recently environment & sustainability.
To achieve this, it's been quite a fundraising journey from skydives to cake bakes, fashion shows and walking challenges, abseils and quiz night, really something for everyone to get involved in. I will also never forget the message I received of the amazing share donation when DWF went through its IPO, this meant a lot of changes for the Foundation but also secured its future of giving for many years to come. A fabulous legacy showing DWF's commitment to supporting its communities.
In addition to DWF Foundation, I am also responsible for the management and development of DWF's community investment activity including volunteering and school engagement, this includes our award-winning 5 STAR Futures, Speakers for Schools activities, The Canals Plastics Challenge, online volunteering and many more.
Prior to joining, DWF I had worked in the not-for-profit sector for over 23 years, with local, national and international charities. Moving into the private sector was a big decision for me and a huge career change but it's been a wonderful experience and I am inspired every day by the people at DWF and their passion and enthusiasm to help others and make a difference.
In the last seven years, I have seen many changes in how we deliver and communicate our community agenda from CSR to now ESG. Many elements of ESG have long been part of our various corporate initiatives (usually known as CSR) but managing environmental, social, and governance issues under one ESG umbrella is relatively new – and is fast becoming an integral part of us doing business. The goal of ESG is to capture all the non-financial risks and opportunities inherent to a company's day-to-day activities.
My area of work particularly focuses on the “S” in ESG and the way DWF treats its colleagues and the communities in which it works with. Our clients now evaluate businesses they work with on their social responsibility. Governments keep corporations like DWF accountable through taxes and other regulations, but ESG factors will make them all accountable to everyone including you and me.
I am delighted to say that DWF is very much a leader in the ESG space and I am very proud to be part of a business who wants to do things differently and help make a positive difference in the world.