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Secure sustainability


Alongside the ‘One Zurich’ initiative, CBRE and Corps Security’s shared embrace of Zurich’s social ideals has been vitally important to the success of the project and partnership. Notably, Zurich is one of Social Enterprise UK’s Buy Social Corporate Partners, with targets in place to embrace and actively work with social enterprises. Here, CBRE and Corps Security (itself a Social Enterprise) both align with the insurer’s commitment to environmental, social, and ethical best practices. CBRE itself is not an SEUK but, like Zurich, has signed up to the Buy Social Challenge, currently spending £1.4 million per year with social enterprises and pledging to increase this by over 150 per cent in the next two years.

CBRE’s relationship with Corps Security remains driven by the ‘security with a social mission’ directive that the security specialist prides itself in delivering, the pair’s shared values enabling seamless collaboration on ESG and CSR goals.

Several key initiatives are underway, alignment with the Living Wage Foundation being a prime example. Corps Security CEO Mike Bullock is Vice-Chair of the Living Wage Foundation’s Recognised Service Provider Leadership Group, actively driving awareness in the FM marketplace in the UK, alongside CBRE ESG Executive Director, Amy Brogan, who is also a member. Equally, Corps is also a recognised member of the scheme.

Corps actively promotes and practices inclusive excellence through Corps Together. Launched in October 2020, the scheme is designed to make the company a welcoming and inclusive environment, creating brave and safe spaces where colleagues may celebrate their uniqueness.

In terms of environmental commitments, CBRE UK has committed to becoming net-zero by 2035, while Corps is proud to be a carbon-neutral company, funding several carbon offsetting projects, including a tree planting scheme in the UK which helps to protect the Amazon rainforest. CBRE also supports Corps’ Cycle-to-Work scheme which has seen significant uptake, with more than 200 Corps colleagues engaged with the project.

Underpinning these initiatives is Corps Security’s trust status – the vital backbone to the success of the firm’s relationship with CBRE. This sees any profits that aren’t reinvested in the business being donated to charities such as Combat Stress, through which Corps has assisted over 1,500 veterans.


These aligned values and the close partnership between CBRE and Corps have enabled both firms to work with Zurich in implementing several shared CSR initiatives. These include:

  • Wellbeing Week: CBRE hosted a plant repotting event with Zurich and Flora-tec, its horticulture service provider. Employees were invited to Zurich’s office in Swindon to repot 100 plants in order for them to have a ‘health’ check and be brought over to the new office opening soon.
  • Litter picking: CBRE has stationed litter picking equipment onsite, available for Zurich and CBRE employees in Swindon to carry out litter picking sessions. This provides colleagues with the opportunity to get away from their desks and into the fresh air while keeping the local environment clean and giving back to the community.
  • Waste management education: CBRE visited the Veolia Energy Recovery Facility in Chineham with Zurich and its waste services provider, Encore Environment, to understand more about how Zurich’s general waste is managed. The plant processes non-recyclable household waste and recovers heat energy from the waste to produce steam. This is used to generate up to 8 MWs of electricity – enough to power 10,000 homes.
  • Colleague of the Month: A member of the One Workplace Team is awarded with Employee of the Month and a tree is planted in their name. The group has partnered with nine Trees for this initiative. 9 Trees is another social enterprise with the mission to plant 9 trees per UK citizen – the number required to balance the average UK citizen’s annual carbon consumption.

Critically, 34 per cent of CBRE’s total spend on the Zurich contract is tied into social enterprises including Tarem Cleaning Services, Encore Environment, Serious Tissues, Serious Soap, Hey Girls, Nuneaton Signs and Corps Security. Moving forward, the firm has committed to upping this to 50 per cent.

“I’m proud to be working with such a forward-thinking team on initiatives which really make a difference and I thoroughly enjoy engaging with members of Social Enterprise UK. Each business has a unique focus and often faces many challenges, however, their innovative approach to tackling pressing social and environmental issues is truly admirable.” CBRE’s Responsibility Manager, Faye Hargreaves.


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