Everyone has a novel inside them - or at least a short story. Here's our CSR blog, which acts like a diary for our CSR programme. We hope you enjoy the mental meanderings of our CSR Manager.
Some of you will know that by the end of June, Marcus Jamieson-Pond will have left the building.
Did a bit (more) brown nosing yesterday.
So David Cameron is trying to tell us that volunteering and donating money to charity is a good thing. Vive le Big Society.
I was asked yesterday how I manage to do everything I do. I answered I just work. All the time. And usually during the few hours I get to sleep too
Am writing this on the penultimate day of my seven week sabbatical.
I'm on the way to BITC's Responsible Business Conference reading more about Japan in Metro.
Still around and still doing bits of work.
Thought I would just drop you a line from my "holiday".
I try to remain apolitical in the blog, so will let you come to your own conclusions about whether a paradox exists.
Seems that I have run out of "amusing" headlines. Today Metro tells us that UK greenhouse gas is down by 8.7 per cent in 2009. Cause for a non-wheezy cheer?
Leeds' HMV is pretty impressive. I found it by chance having asked the taxi driver to drop me and let me walk, rather than spend another 30 minutes on the Loop trying to get back to the office.
I met two larger than life characters yesterday, both joined by a passion for their subject.
We can all hope that with great age comes great wisdom.....
Been a while since I've given you any attention. Not for a lack of want, just a lack of creating the quality time to do something about it.
I've just left the House of Lords where I was at the Associate Parliamentary Group on CSR, along with such luminaries as Lords Newby and Hastings and Baroness Greengross, to name but three.
How often do you come away from a meeting with a page of notes headed "Prince Charles and David Cameron"?
So in about two hours we will know if Prince William. my mate Boris and the Davids Cameron and Beckham have secured a football fiesta for the poor people of good old Blighty.
On Tuesday morning I was at Cass Business School unveiling our joint project with Linklaters and Speechley Bircham.
Do you have a calling?
Been quiet, on holiday and absorbing what the Comprehensive Spending Review may mean to us CSR people.
Tomorrow CSR means something different.
Thought I would share this with you.
Despite what you may think, I have never before been to a party conference before.
Heading towards the Tory conference? Yes. You guessed it.
Had a great day on Tuesday at the Corporate Responsibility Group's (CRG) annual exchange.
Doing two jobs and launching two new volunteering platforms in the middle of Big Week Out?
Am on the train back to Watford from Manchester, having been in Manchester already this morning and Leeds this afternoon. At one point I forgot which City I was in.
Yesterday I spent the morning in the City and the afternoon in Canary Wharf. Tuesday the morning was in City Hall and the afternoon at 10, Downing Street. Feel the power!
Has it really been this long?
I had a week in Galicia last week debating whether the smoking ban in cafes and restaurants was an EU Directive or not. Lots of t-shirts with a certain pulpo selecting a Spanish footballing victory.
Well I got to shake Cherie Blair's hand again yesterday and had a chat with her about the last time we met.
I've known for a while that CSR is developing into a key element of business practice. I've also known for ages that having a good community volunteering programme isn't enough.
Regular blog readers will know that a week without an entry means one of two things - no long train journeys or just blooming busy!
Last couple of days have been out and about. So sorry to anyone who has been looking for me in the office, I've been busy plotting, building and scheming.
Busy week. Half term it may be, but no rest for the CSR Manager.
I should be catching up in emails, or reading the 250 page document prepared for the Goalball UK Board meeting tomorrow, but instead I'm sat here, late at night, blogging about today.
Malcolm McClean is the Managing Director of Bearhunt, the MyPlace Support team. Malcolm, a friend of the CSR Team, recently emailed an update on his recent fundraiser. And before he knew it he had become a guest blogger.
So we still don't know who is going to be doing what to us for the next five years.
So the Ethical Corporation Conference concludes.
Am on lunch at Day 1 of the Ethical Corporation conference in my old stomping ground of Hammersmith.
Saturday, having a coffee in a lull on the kids' taxi run.
So I'm on the train back to Watford having been fortunate to have had a lot of free wine today.
Ah the joy of being back in Britain - I see the large picture of Gordon Brown's face round the corner from home has developed a moustache and beard.....was I gone THAT long?
Believe it or not I was asked if I would like to meet Gordon Brown at Downing Street today and I'm not even a Gallagher (not Oasis, nor Shameless).
I sit in the London office looking at a building site next door and wonder where all that rubble they are removing is being taken to.
Spent today at the "BASE" conference in Docklands. A major feat of planning and execution on the part of Andrew Dowding.
Am sat in a very cold so called waiting room at Milton Keynes, waiting for a train to Manchester to then take me over to Leeds.
Despite still having some horrendous side effects from a course of antibotics (say no more), I made it into London last night for the monthly Convergence networking meeting.
Still running around like an idiot. Mainly due to the snow cancelled meetings from either side of Christmas kicking back on line. After this week I will have a couple of weeks with only the morning commute into town to look forward to. Joy.
Ha! I was in Leeds for most of last week,
Sorry it's been a while. My last entry was self-censored, as it was a bit rambling and started off on a tangent, which led to an even greater number of blind alleys. Which is never a good sign.
So today is Martin Luther King day. I have a dream etc about bringing people together to make a positive change in society.
I was chuffed to hear from two blog readers yesterday - one was touting for funding and the other is an old friend who uses this rambling column to keep up with my latest news/world domination plans.
So the blogging took a backseat over Christmas and New Year, but the world continued to turn without me.
The Legal Sector Alliance on Climate Change got together yesterday ahead of the Copenhagen Summit to talk about the legal sector's response to the issue.
I was at the Foreign office last night. First time I've been in there and I have to say that it is a lot more impressive than the Houses of Parliament. The buildings are full of high gilded ceilings - a lofty tribute to the Victorian Empire.
Actual official sign seen outside Euston Station, on top of a box, on a pole - "Polution Interceptor".
Grabbing ten minutes between meetings to reflect on the fact that I'm in Manchester and the weather is better than in London.
I see that Honda took out a big advert in last night's Evening Standard advertising their community creditials.
National Pro Bono Week is coming to an end and the Gods have been conspiring against my participation.
We've got our Charity of the Year relationship off the ground in London with a big Smarties session.
On the same day that Metro reports Mike Ashley is going to put £20M into the "business" he failed to sell, Tescos have announced that they are about to recruit 1000 people in Newcastle. Good for the Toon.
I see that Simmons and Simmons have set up a CSR blog. Bravo! Will be interesting to see if the original remains the best.
I read this morning that an ex-Sustainability Manager is fighting his employer who had made him redundant.
On the way back from Yorkshire having met Lucy, aka the new Kate, at Leeds Mencap and spending a morning in the company of a collection of CSR Managers, courtesy of Leeds Ahead.
My wife was commenting last night how the Watford planning people seem a lot more relaxed and able to interpret the rules in a way that is more favourable to the home owner, than our previous council in Rickmansworth.
I've started to take more interest in The Guardian - not only as it seems to be the newspaper of choice for Starbucks, but also as a result of my realisation that their journalists know a thing or two about CSR (10:10 til we do it again?). Of course it is also the part time home of my new found eco-hero, George Monbiot.
One of our regular readers responded to this morning's blog entry - here's her email. (I'm more a Lidl and Nandos person myself).
I spent a large chunk of last night worrying about energy.
So China has woken up to climate change and Barack has had his thunder stolen.
I was at the launch of the Attorney General's Youth Network this afternoon. Did she look like a rabbit caught in the headlines?
Am looking out at the Autumnal evening that shrouds the building site next to our new London office and have decided I need a break from the round of meetings and emails.
I got paid to talk about one of my other "passions" yesterday. Football.
It's now the weekly tradition of getting the train back from Manchester on a Friday evening and the collection of thoughts, whilst trying to contain the content of my stomach.
Sat on a stationary train, looking at a field of sheep.
Am sat drinking a Pelforth, in France on me hols, trying not to check emails.
The new building is filling up. Next door will soon be going up.
Have spent today working at home on a couple of papers that may change the way that we "do" CSR and who knows.....
Blimey my eyes are tired.
This week has been one packed with interesting theories.
Or I am just overcooking on the tube?
Turns out by leaving an hour later than usual and getting home a couple of hours later than normal, I can knock almost 3/4 of the price off the ticket. Even travelling on a Friday. Nicely!
Was at the HOP last night for the first Associate Parliamentary CR Group.
Maybe there is indeed a tube strike today, but that won't stop me getting to Chelsea
I'm sat waiting for my daughter to finish her piano lesson - I can hear Twinkle Twinkle as she tinkle tinkles.
One of our people asked me today if I could work on an environmental piece she's writing.
It's happening - BWO3 is on the road.
This one goes out to all you night owls out there.
Last night Chelsea were apparently being "robbed" by a referee (despite the fact that Barca still had to score and played with 10 men for 25 minutes).
Last year we won a prize for the best legal CSR microsite - this year there was no such category.
When a total stranger sends in her views of our website, our blog and our carbon footprint, as well as an outsider's view of the legal sector's position on climate change, there's only one thing that's likely to happen (with Sarah's permission of course!)
Spam emails create as much greenhouse gas as 3.1 million cars every year. The 33 billion kilowatt hours of electricity used globally each year to ask us if we would like to last longer could be used to power 2.4 million homes.
It's a programme designed (I think) to find the UK's best 14-18 year old public speaker. The panel of experts, including Jo Brand, a RADA tutor and a "motivational speaker" (always dodgy) argued the relative merits of each of the kids who got up and told (in some cases, acted) a short story about something that is important to them.
For today's opener - a special mention to Husnara and Corrine of The Lawyer and Lawyer 2B - and a big thank you for their kind words along the lines of "AG should have entered The Lawyer and Lawyer Human Resources awards!" I shall return from the House of Lords less cynical about the link between awards and table bookings.
I wore a bold pinstripe suit today in a post-credit-crunch-City-worker-ironic sort of way.
This morning I discovered that baby elephants develop at the same rate as human babies, so an abandoned 2 year old elephant is as capable of looking after itself as a two year old child, or not.
Funny how we've had almost as many volunteers sign up on the first day on the BWO3 campaign, as for the whole of the first BWO in 2007.
Just been to breakfast with the Lord Mayor (and a few others).
I had a strange dream last night. I dreamt that I was being asked to run a marketing campaign for the Atlantic Ocean (which apparently was getting bad press as a result of the Gulf Stream slowing down and the UK having perpetual winters).
Just thought I'd tell you about this film.
I watched some of Barack Obama's inaugural speech again last night. He is so CSR, with a very big R.
Back in the Western world having spent a week negotiating the many donkey carts and mopeds in the back alleys of Marrakech's souks.
Just been through Euston having had my usual delays from Watford.
They said it couldn't be done......
When does £123.50 not equal £123.50?
The snow has seemingly implanted most of us back into our cosy nests.
Poland the internationalist? Read on.
Just had some nice things said about the blog by James Risdon of RNIB.
Yesterday I was supposed to be in Manchester, but a combination of overhead wires at Watford, broken rails at Rugby and possibly the odd driver fancying a lie in rather than going out in the cold, kept me in London.
As you may have noticed, the CSR website has had a festive break, but that's not to say that the CSR Team haven't been making some resolutions.
Yesterday morning I made a trip to Linton Lodge school in Southfields.
Here's Paul Browne (Divisional Business Director in our Finance and Projects Division). He's got something he wants to tell you about.
When I got home last night, my wife said that the family had been laughing at me and my glasses. When I asked her what she thought of my enviro blog, she said, "I watched the first 20 seconds - I mean who wants to listen to you droning on for 4 minutes?"
Here is 4 mins 42 secs of me trying to sum up Kyoto/Poznan and the fact that I'm going to see Prince Charles at the launch of the Legal Sector Alliance tomorrow night. Enjoy.
Back to the typed word, having caused much mirth at home with the video entry.
Oh dear - there is a bloke who looks like he is in need of a good night's sleep talking on here. It's times like these that I wish I'd never said yes to the idea of using new technology.....
Like the cheeses down the hillside back home in Gloucestershire, GoalBall rolls on.
I'm pretty pleased with a new addition to the CSR family - video.
You may be wondering why the CSR website seems to have stood still this week. Well, it has a lot to do with the bug that put me out of action for most of it. Not good timing....
National Pro Bono Week started today. By all accounts day one has been a great success.
National Pro Bono Week starts on Monday 10th November - we thought we'd give a blog entry over to Catherine Reed of the Law Society, who explains what NPBW 2008 is all about in 10 easy steps.
On route to Leeds and the next award dinner.This one didn't involve a submission or us buying places at a table, but our Trainees in Leeds have been recognised by The Prince's Trust for a project that was undertaken earlier in the year. Two of the organisers, Simon Lofty and Corporal Taylor are up for "Volunteer of the Year" award. Recent form would suggest that we will be a close second.......
I've have a spate of readers congratulating us on winning "The Most Runners' Up Awards" award. It's really pleasing to see so many people out there taking an interest in what we do, even if the bacon we bring home tends to be made out of Quorn.
On an other trip home from another awards dinner, with nothing more to show than some very nice words in a glossy brochure.
This time last year I wrote a piece about one of my fellow dinner table guests and his liking of shooting elephants. This year the people around me exemplified the essence of Community Involvement - they were genuinely caring and interesting people.
The challenge I've put to this train is to get me to Leeds before England kicks off.
"When I write my blog at least I try to write it in English". He says to Mrs J-P, whilst reading one of her friend's columns. Blogging is after all a self indulgent, self congratulatory, activity. We can all become published authors, some of us even pretend to be writers!
The economy seems to be dipping once again. Billions of taxpayers money is being injected to save the banking business and global capitalism to boot. Where does that leave CSR?
Seems like a while since by blogging pen got immersed in paper - probably a sign of having had little time on the trains recently.
So the LHC has been turned on (with an electricity cost of £14M per annum). It does make me wonder if the world has gone mad - just think how many lives could have been improved with the billions spent to create a blip on an oscilloscope......
I've spent a week warning people that they may appear on this page. But before I tell you about the hordes of interesting brains, there are a couple of things I want to brag about.
Karen Phillips will be leaving Addleshaw Goddard in early October for new challenges in new pastures. Karen has been very much a driving force for the CSR programme over her time with the firm and her energy will be missed.
A week in the Umbrian sun (and a couple of days sanding the living room floor) and I have returned without hair, to take my seat at the CSR desk.
Here is our intrepid builder Victoria's last blog entry and a few more of her more interesting holiday snaps.
1000 breeze blocks? That's easy work for a couple of the Recruitment team.
Victoria "Bob" Richards has sent her latest report from our builders in Cluj. Shedtastic.
Guest blogger, Victoria Richards, has sent through her first blogs from the Addleshaw Goddard building site in Romania. Here's what's happening in the Big AG House.
Been a while since I've been on a train. Here's a round up of the stuff going on this week.
Today has been a day trip to Bradford, via Manchester for a client meeting - yes I'm allowed to meet them sometimes! Manchester was full of promo girls handing out free cans of drink. When I got to Leeds I had three more offered to me on the station, outside the station and even outside our office! World domination?
I'm off to see the B52s tomorrow night (at your age?), so it's good to find a connection in some stuff I was sent today.
Across the Pennines he goes after a recently rare day out in Leeds. Long journey home, so an appropriately long blog entry!
My room mate has a habitual sense of doom about him at the moment. As he didn't work through the last recession, being a young slip of a lad, he didn't enjoy the sensation of the bounce back afterwards (well, more a gradual dawning that job security had temporarily returned rather than a bounce).
Can I now be considered a guru in my own lunchtime?
Big Week Out 2 is done and dusted and now I've got other "stuff" to worry about!
Regular Blog readers will realise that there is a correlation between train journeys and entries. This time I'm sat at home.
Well the fact that countryside is rushing away from me would probably suggest I'm on a train. This time I'm making a flying visit to Leeds to spend part of a day at the Barnardos Access project. Yes, it's still going on and that's where I've been - deep in the Big Week Out Bunker.
On my way home from the Bollywood Nights event. What a performance!
On a train up to Leeds in preparation for tomorrow's eBay Challenge, followed by being the compare for our very own alive girls performance at the Bollywood Nights event at the Yorkshire Dance Studios later tomorrow evening. The saris are ready, the curry is in the oven and it promises to be a great night out.
Friday night and on a train again. This time one that is taking me all the way to the Big Week Out.
Am on the way home from drinking white wine in the presence of two of the three most desirable women of my past 20 years (the other one being at home with the kids).
Believe it or not I am on my way to see Girls Aloud at the O2 as a guest of Jack Sparrow of Ballymore.
About three years ago I asked a good mate, who is married to Gordon Ramsay's wife's best friend, if he could get me in front of the big man for 10 minutes to pitch him a business idea I was working on at the time. The mate accused me of abusing a friendship and the rest of his reply was worthy of Mr Moderation himself.
Am on an early Leeds/Manchester train with a late onset hangover to look forward to.
Another train - this time early Sunday morning across the Pennines trying to get back to Watford from Leeds.
I'm on my travels again. This time I'm sat on a train in Welsh Wales. We've just been through a place beginning with C, which was called Newport the last time I ventured over the Severn. There appears to be a distinct lack of visible steel works - you can tell it's been a while since I was here.
Have you noticed the piles of fag ends piled up in our nation's gutters? I'm sorry, but as a non-smoker, I have to say that I think the inconsiderate nature of this practice is something I could never applaud. I wonder how many of those cigarettes' previous owners are aware that today is Earth Day?
I sometimes get to write articles for external websites and publications - here's one for all you latent bloggers out there, which will shortly appear on HRCircles.co.uk - one of the best in the business.
Hands to the pumps, no bilge, just an amazing response to Big Week Out 2 and more plastic bag theory.
I've just showed my wife something clever on Justgiving.com.
In Euston buying a ready meal on the way home. Display at the till read - "Bag for Life. For every purchase before 5 May we will be giving away a Bag for Life. After 5 May we will be charging 10p per bag - profits to environmental charity Groundwork". As my food was being put into one of the 10 billion+ plastic bags that supermarkets create every year, I thought "No, I want the Bag for Life!" And asked for one. The assistant hooked out a bag from under the counter - it felt like a seedy transaction..
I've just worked out that I've spent 35 hours asleep out of the last 48 and managed to lose over half a stone in the process! Anyone who saw Doctor Who last night may think I've been spawning Adiposes.
I read today that blogs are supposed to be daily diaries and that 59 per cent of American teenagers write one. Surely there's a limit to amount of random thought the world wide web browser can stomach.
It was Earth Hour at 8 pm on Saturday. And I had a surreal moment.
Today is one of those Leeds, then Manchester, then London days. It all started with a jolly interesting breakfast.
If the CSR industry is the Atlantic and an idea I have is a thimble of purple dye, how will the Atlantic change colour?
Those of you who read this blog on a regular basis will have worked out that there is a significant correlation between my North-South train journeys and when entries appear.
Today in Manchester has been one of those days when, after a long week of trekking around the country, things finally start to come together.
Some would say that Feb 29 should be the "global proposal" holiday.
Someone said to me the other day that they were watching my life unfold through this blog. Scary trousers.
This blog isn't exactly PC, but does have a point if you stick with it.
With Marcus Jamieson-Pond on his half term hols, the CSR team has invited guest blogger Mark Gould, AG's Head of Knowledge Management, to share his pearls of wisdom.
I'm off to Disney with the kids, but I'm sure the wheels of the CSR bio-fuelled bus will keep on turning.
Rhiannon Lewis contacted the CSR team to find out more about what it does. In the spirit of being open and honest, we invited her to spend a day with our CSR Manager, Marcus Jamieson-Pond, who got her to write a blog entry.
More trains. This time I'm sat on its an early morning one to Brighton. Brighton? Not a lot of law going on there, I hear you say.
Two blogs in two days? Eh?
Ever since I moved to Gloucestershire, 33 years ago, my father, an engineer, has looked at the tidal flow of the Severn and dreamt about putting an electricity generating project across it.
I met two blog readers earlier in the week and true to my word, I thought I'd tell the world about their work.
It seems that people have got over their New Year hangovers.
Bringing our resolutions together.
It's been a week of much excitement. Letters from royalty and news about potential glassware in February.
Sorry to my regular readers who were hoping for a shot of blog over the weekend - I had a touch of the flu.
I recently took a stroll into the heart of the more colourful part of Soho - all in the name of CSR.
One of those days when the job throws up things that put me in my happy place.
On the Transpennine service from Leeds to Manchester, looking at rain lashed hills and thinking about Christmas.
Yesterday a lot of people gave up a Saturday to attend a pro bono conference at the QEII centre in London.
Last week saw the Yorkshire Forward Business and Community conference and our people out for Leeds Legal's environment week.
Halloween and I've been thinking about big scary issues.
There are two types of people in the world - those who talk about half term and those who don't, but I'm hoping that together we can help others.
It was a glorious black tie event. The great and the good gathered to celebrate CSR success.
This week has been an education for me - not least as I discovered that whilst I thought I was a part of Generation X, it turns out I may be younger than I think.
In my previous blog entry I made reference to a contact formed via FaceBook, Christine Lu. Christine replied to the story and has very kindly given me permission to print her reply.
I'm playing a game of Scrabble with someone I've not spoken to since 1975......
Regular blog readers may recall that a while back there was a chap called Steven Vincent who used to have some vague association with the CSR website......
In Leeds, talking to the trees. It's all a CSR man needs.
Google Analytics is great - it's a chance to find out some interesting "stuff" about a website readership.
This week I've been mainly wearing my charity hat.
Sometimes emails arrive from the USA. I thought I'd share this one with you.
Yorkshire Business Insider magazine, August. Guru-tastic!
Like most people at the moment - I'm on my holidays enjoying the Devonian sunshine and think you may have enjoyed a break from my random thoughts too! Here's some more photos from Romania instead, sent to us by Dan Sabau of Habitat 4 Humanity.
It's over 30 degrees on the building site and still the work goes on. Here is Jessica Hill's latest email home.
Jessica has sent us a few more words about wood, plus some pictures of progress on our housebuilding project, which is making great progress.
Jessica Hill, our Graduate Recruitment Advisor and Guest Blogger, reports back after her first day on the building site.
Yep – it’s the Leeds/London train and blog time again. Just on the third arm of a tour of the offices talking about charity choices. A triangular trip between Manchester, Leeds and now back home.
After a year of trying, BITC have hooked us.
Today I spent lunch sat between two "blog" readers, talking about our success in a Lawyer magazine survey. For once, first place meant doing as little as possible!
Leeds - London. On a train that is trying to improve its carbon footprint by not turning the air conditioning on. Despite the earlier storms, it is still hotter than July (...should be).
My latest trip has opened my eyes to the world of dance.
Yes. You are right. I am indeed sat on another train. This one is Manchester to Watford after a couple of days in a very rainy city, even by the standards of the North West.
Our CSR programme made the news three times in one day on Tuesday. Quality!
One community centre, one enormous gardening project and three schools. We did it.
The Big Week Out kicks off tomorrow - weather pemitting.
Another day, another GNER trip
I had started to think that having launched the website, the pressure would be off. How wrong was I? So I'm beginning to think that perhaps my time management is poor.
I had a very humbling experience in Leeds last week.
Today I was mainly in the Leeds office and spent time talking to positive people. I wonder if the CSR project attracts them, or creates them? Either way, it's good to be surrounded by people who want to make a difference.
Lift off! The CSR website went live today.
I've just walked past millions of pounds worth of art in Deutsche Bank, having shared the lift with Jennifer Saunders.
A couple of days ago I was asked by Michelle Milnes at Freshfields if I fancied meeting up for lunch.
On my holidays last week and yes, I flew.
Marcus has asked me to step in to keep the blog content flowing in his absence.
This comes to you on a late night train to Watford (not Georgia).
The bulk of my working hours in recent days has been spent writing the forthcoming CSR website. It promises to be a great source of information and ideas for anyone who strays onto the pages.
At the weekend I was nearly killed in an RTA. When driving along a country road, a car came hurtling towards me.
Now for something that shows how one person can make a difference to the Environment.
Now here is a completely weird thing.
Everything we do has a direct impact on the community around us. We can sit back and absorb it, or we can actively engage with it.
As you know, we have identified our CSR as having four strands: People, Community, Marketplace, and the Environment.