As the largest privately owned property company in the UK, Telereal Trillium is an organization with great reach and power. What an institution does with this type of leverage speaks volumes about the people who shape its culture. One way to evaluate such a culture is through its charitable giving, an area in which Telereal Trillium receives top marks. And when looking to the people who shape a corporate culture, one’s gaze inevitably turns to the top. In this case, that would be CEO Graham Edwards. Read on for a closer look at Telereal Trillium’s charitable actions, as well as the impact Edwards has had on the company.
To really understand the philosophy of giving back that permeates Telereal Trillium’s actions, one need look no further than their Donation Matching Scheme. Since its founding in 2003, the Donation Matching Scheme has become one of the company’s largest and most successful corporate responsibility initiatives. The policy allows Telereal Trillium employees to donate money to the charity of their choice, with the company matching the amount of their donation up to the scheme’s maximum (FastTrack). That maximum itself is a reflection of the company’s increasing involvement in charitable giving. When the scheme was established in 2003, the maximum was set at £500, however, Telereal Trillium now matches employee contributions up to £2,500.
This increase in donation matching is also reflective of the growth that Telereal Trillium has experienced over the years under Graham Edwards. Taking on his role as CEO of the pre-merger Telereal in 2001, Edwards shepherded the company through various stages of growth, acquisitions, and large-scale transactions. A prime example of a transaction over which he presided is the 2007 deal by Telereal to purchase property held by the Royal Bank of Scotland. The deal was conducted with Prupim through a sale-and-leaseback transaction and ultimately resulted in the purchase of £750 million of property.
Of course, as CEO, Graham Edwards must remain focused on all of Telereal Trillium’s dealings, not just financial transactions. In this way, he has helped guide the company’s philosophy of giving back to those in need. Here is Graham discussing the company’s charitable works: “We believe it’s good business to be a good business – our charity matching, fundraising, and payroll giving scheme has been designed to support our employees and the causes that matter most to them.”
If one detects a hint of pride from Graham over the company’s philanthropic accomplishments, it is well-deserved. By many measures, the Telereal Trillium Donation Matching Scheme has been a laudable success. Staff participation rates in charitable efforts have increased from around 10% in 2009/2010 to 44% in 2015/2016, the latest year for which data is available. In this most recent year, the company’s staff donated and raised £131,663 to support 103 different UK registered charities. Telereal Trillium also made matching donations of an additional £81,708. As a result, the total contributions for that year amounted to an impressive £213,371.
Not only are the impacts of Telereal Trillium’s charitable efforts felt strongly by the charities that receive their donations, these acts also help shape the satisfaction of the company’s employees as well. Part of the company’s agenda for corporate responsibility is encouraging employees to feel engaged and proud to work for Telereal Trillium. From employee surveys, it is clear these efforts are succeeding. In a recent survey completed by company staff, the overwhelming majority of respondents reported feeling proud to work for Telereal Trillium (https://discoverorg.com/directory/person/Graham-Edwards/6465188).
This focus on employee pride and satisfaction is one of the priorities that Telereal Trillium holds dear, and once again we see the influence of CEO Graham Edwards in setting that priority. He is extremely aware of the importance of establishing a corporate culture centered not just around hard work, but of working toward goals that further one’s belief. Here he is speaking recently on the matter: “Telereal Trillium is committed to creating a strong ethos throughout the company, respecting people and the environment in all business practices. We aim to be a great company to work for and to work with.”
Awarded For Kindness
It’s not just donation recipients or those within the company who are taking notice of Telereal Trillium’s charitable efforts. The company has also received numerous awards for the work they do to support philanthropic causes. One example of this is their receipt of the Payroll Giving Quality Mark Award. This Government supported benchmarking system is designed to recognize companies who offer exceptional schemes to encourage employee donations from their payroll. The award is tiered based on the amount of employee participation in a given year. Telereal Trillium has received the Gold Award 7 times, and the Platinum Award 3 times.
Donation matching is not the only way that the company works toward contributing to the wellbeing of the world at large. The company also implements strategies of sustainable procurement and carbon reduction in its business dealings. These efforts work to minimize the environmental and social footprint of transactions and acquisitions conducted by the company. Telereal Trillium also encourages employees to participate in at least one day a year of volunteerism that supports their local community.
This overall focus on giving back is just another way the company and its executive team works to leverage the company’s influence. Since Graham Edwards led the 2009 merger of Telereal and Trillium, the company he helms has grown to encompass 8,000 properties across the UK with a square footage of 86 million and a portfolio valued at £6 billion. While Edwards devotes a sizable focus to growing the company and ensuring it makes sound business decisions, he’s always cognizant of the larger impact it has on the communities in which it operates.
With a large Donation Matching Scheme that is still growing and variety of other programs focused on corporate responsibility, Telereal Trillium continues to show that it recognizes the value of giving back. The company’s culture of philanthropy and sustainability is a legacy that contributes not only to the recipients of its efforts but also the employees who undertake them. With a strong grasp of the far-reaching benefits of this type of activism, Graham is continuing to set it as a priority for the company’s corporate culture. With so much opportunity to do good, it’s exciting to see what Graham Edwards and Telereal Trillium do next.