Principles

It’s important to us that we run our business in a way that’s sustainable. We’re not a charity, or a social enterprise, but that doesn’t mean we can’t run a commercial organisation in a socially useful way.

That means treating people (customers, suppliers, staff and associates) fairly, honestly and with respect, being sensitive to our impact on the environment, and playing a meaningful role in the communities we work in.

This is a working draft set of principles that describe the standards we set ourselves, last updated August 2019.

Environmental

  • Energy use & sources: we prefer low carbon energy sources, and will carbon offset the footprint of our servers.
  • Travel: we prefer trains to planes, buses and bikes to taxis or cars. We’ll carbon offset our mileage.
  • Resource use (paper & recycling): we print the minimum, and try and use recycled or sustainably-forested paper.

People, suppliers & materials

  • Copyright, licensing & credit: we respect copyright, abide by the terms of licences, and always give attributions where requested. Where we can, we make our outputs available under licences that permit reuse.
  • Ethical purchasing: we prefer Fairtrade, sustainable and local suppliers and pay a premium for them.
  • Fair dealing with associates: we work with people we trust and respect as professionals regardless of age, race, gender or sexuality. We pay our associates and suppliers promptly, and are flexible when we can, accommodating our team’s commitments to balance work and home life. We go above and beyond legal commitments for holiday and parental/compassionate benefits.
  • Living Wage: we’re accredited London Living Wage employers, committed to paying our staff, associates and contractors well above the Minimum Wage to help ensure they can enjoy a decent standard of living

Craftsmanship & professionalism

  • Conventions & standards: we do robust, reliable, well-founded work, aiming to follow industry conventions where they exist, especially for technical projects (e.g. accessibility and security)
  • Areas of expertise and competency: though we stretch ourselves and try new things, we are honest with clients and prospective clients about our skills, experience and capabilities
  • Warranties and quality assurance: we honour the moral commitment arising from work we deliver: if our outputs fall short of what we agreed, we aim to rectify things quickly. If requirements change, we will be flexible with and helpful to our clients.

Marketing & Sales

  • Honesty about products and services: we describe the things we do clearly and honestly, without overclaiming. We never denigrate our competitors, and bid fairly for work. We are transparent about reliability and admit mistakes.
  • Delivery capacity: we are honest about our capacity to take on work and try and deliver projects to agreed timescales.
  • Pricing strategy: we aim to make a reasonable profit, but remain competitive. We find our clients are happiest working on a fixed price, largely fixed scope basis, with a small contingency.
  • Choosing and working with clients: we won’t take on clients with whom we would be ashamed to be associated, or where we cannot sustain mutual respect.

Community

  • Volunteering: we volunteer a proportion of our staff time to help charities, friends and good causes with their digital projects and skills.
  • Support for open source: we benefit hugely from the work of the open source communities whose products we use, particularly WordPress and PHP, and we contribute financially (e.g. sponsorship of WordCamp UK, donations to the WordPress Foundation) and by releasing  project outputs or byproducts under open source licences where projects allow.

Financial

  • Banking & investments: we file the financial and corporate documentation required with HMRC and Companies House promptly and transparently. See our Tax and Financial Disclosures page for more detail, including copies of our annual accounts and Corporation Tax returns.
  • Financial goals: we aim to build a business which can sustainably support comfortable lifestyles for directors and employees, so we favour self-financing steady growth over rapid investment-backed expansion.
  • Tax: we pay the normal corporate and personal taxes our firm is liable for in the countries where we operate. Where we can, we aim to minimise our tax exposure to keep prices lower, but won’t use convoluted means to avoid tax.