Best CSR Event at ICEAWARDS19

Case Studies
06.08.2019 21:45

The annual General Counsel Programme is Slaughter AND May’s flagship client-facing event for general counsel, the most senior lawyers within a business. The programme is designed to show core clients they can add value to them over and above providing expert legal services.





LOCATION: Victoria and Albert Museum, London 


The Objectives
The key objectives for the event was to enhance Slaughter and May’s reputation as a responsible business and to launch a new two year plan around a set of responsible business commitments that brought together the Firm’s environment, inclusion, pro bono and community initiatives.

They wanted to increase employee engagement via an internal campaign. As their flagship client event, they wanted to ensure they raised the profile of their responsible business commitments amongst staff and announce the two year plan through a series of internal communications and smaller events around the theme of sustainability and responsible business.

They also wanted to create a fully sustainable and transparent immersive culinary experience without compromising on quality and to deliver a nutritionally balanced menu with the concept of having low impact on the environment with sustainability at its core.

The Challenges
The environmental and sustainability challenges in creating a fully transparent dining experience of Michelin star quality were the sourcing and transporting of ingredients (including packaging) and the cooking methods used.

They needed to design a five course menu with the concept of low impact and sustainability as its core driver as well as being nutritionally balanced.

Events of this nature typically generate an enormous amount of waste and the menu needed to be created with the aim of generating zero food waste and maximum nutritional benefit, whilst not compromising on the quality of the food or the dining experience.

The Results
The dinner marked the beginning of a two-year plan. The plan was shared with core clients at the dinner which raised the profile of their responsible business initiatives. 

The internal campaign featured a staff restaurant pop-up where the Executive Chef delivered an event for all staff around how to live more sustainably, a comms plan with sustainably referenced content and a staff gardening club where Kale was grown for the menu as well as a herb garden. 

The team worked with the Executive Chef where they identified local suppliers and organic producers for all menu elements. The suppliers planted, tracked and harvested ingredients specifically for this event and documented the process. This narrative was shared with guests on the night via speeches from the chef along with visuals and an app.

The team identified a local organic chicken supplier and committed to thirty eggs. They tracked the chickens from birth to slaughter and ensured that every part of the bird was used in the menu (feather to feet) for zero waste.

Waste generated in other forms such as empty wine bottles, was also considered. Rather than being transported to a recycling facility, they were taken offsite by the Executive Chef to his food project in north London to be crushed down and used to create garden foot paths.

The Event
The aim of the evening was to create a live “food theatre” in the style of a chef's table dining experience. The five course menu was designed to be nutritionally balanced, with the concept of low impact and sustainability as its core driver. The dinner menu took guests on a journey through the five elements (wood, fire, metal, water and earth). The immersive elements of the event allowed guests to see, hear and taste each element during the evening.

Table centres were made up of living plants that were donated to local community projects and schools in Islington for replanting and they used some of the plants to create a herb garden on the office roof terrace.

The menu was predominantly vegetarian and only low impact cooking methods were used. Food was also pickled, fermented and wind dried in order to avoid unnecessary impact on the environment.

In order to create the ten individual chef's tables, the team sourced twenty chefs who were briefed and trained by the Executive Chef so that they could interact with guests and talk confidently and knowledgeably around the narrative of the evening. 

This event was a huge success and possibly the first fully transparent corporate dinner of this scale and demonstrates it is possible to deliver a high end corporate dinner with sustainability at its core. 

Judge Comments
This annual dinner is the company’s flagship client-facing event for their most senior lawyers and their clients. The event was unique with a clear focus on sustainability to enhance their reputation as a responsible business, launch a 2 year plan around their business commitments, increase employee engagement and create a fully sustainable and immersive culinary experience last November at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. 

It was a challenge and risk to stage but certainly worthwhile as the event clearly helped their clients, sponsors and staff to be more aware and engaged in their responsible business goals and, ultimately, what it means to live more sustainably. 

The dinner was attended by 120 guests and marked the beginning of a two-year plan that brings together the firm’s environment, inclusion, pro bono and community work. For the dinner, it was all about low impact and sustainability. They sourced local and organic suppliers for all menu elements, even planting, tracking and harvesting all the ingredients. They even tracked the chickens from birth to slaughter and ensured that every part of the bird was used! They generated zero food waste, focused on low impact cooking and clearly demonstrated how all dining experiences in the 21st century should be delivered.

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