Here at Flying Butler Apartments, we’re firm believers that business has an increasingly important role to play in creating a positive social impact in the world. We’re dedicated to becoming a more socially and environmentally conscious company in everything that we do. We were delighted to be shortlisted for the Profit with Purpose award at this year's Serviced Apartment Awards. This special award was for companies who are embedding social and environmental values in their core business model - an ethos which is very important to us. Here are some of the initiatives we’ve been undertaking recently…
Our drive towards eco
Working with Enhabit, the UK’s award-winning provider of energy efficient houses, we built our apartment blocks in Richmond and Farnborough in recent years – buildings with low energy design yet comfortable and controllable living spaces. Since then we have been looking at Flying Butler's impact on the planet in all aspects of our business.
We have addressed our carbon footprint as a business by bringing our maintenance and housekeeping teams in-house; we have been able to manage the operational side of the business to reduce travel times between apartments.
Flying Butler has bought its first electric car to help plan operations and is committed to purchasing more as the business requires them.
We are looking at how to make our apartments eco-friendlier by rolling out eco products across our apartment network (a big undertaking but we’re pretty much there now!). Our cleaners are being supplied with environmentally friendly cleaning products and we’re providing our guests with bamboo paper products. Within the kitchens we are supplying products such as recycled bin bags, and eco washing-up liquid and dishwasher tabs.
To help our guests understand our drive, we are rolling out eco-tags hooked on door handles in all our apartments to explain Flying Butler's commitment to being an eco-conscious company. We encourage our guests to make green choices – using water responsibly, switching off electrical devices and lights when they are not in the apartment for instance.
As a brand, we are committed to only working with like-minded, socially conscious companies. For example, last year we entered a partnership with Abel & Cole to offer a discount to our guests to supply them with a grocery delivery service.
Last year, Flying Butler Apartments celebrated its 20th year within the serviced apartment industry.
As part of our 20th anniversary celebrations, we wanted to give something back to our community and decided to partner with the amazing charity Centrepoint, which provides homeless young people with accommodation, health support and life skills to get them back into education, training and employment. We provide occasional accommodation for Centrepoint staff when needed, who are sometimes required to travel to support their services across the country. The financial saving is then being used to directly support young people.
Where possible with good quality second-hand apartment inventory we send any extras as a 'starter pack' to Centrepoint, to be given when housing homeless people in their first apartment.
We also organise fundraising events for Centrepoint throughout the year such as bake sales and we promote the charity when holding corporate events.
As part of our branding to offer 'home comforts' to our guests we are always looking to make their stay as comfortable as possible. Times are increasingly difficult right now with the current Covid-19 crisis, but local communities will be valued more than ever once these challenging times are behind us.
Through our new website 'look and feel' we launched last year, we added a 'things to do' section to all of our property pages, which informs our guests of local bars and restaurants and interesting things to do to help our guest feel part of the community.
As part of this year’s strategy we are also trying to cement local community partnerships to add value to guest stays such as discounts at local restaurants, bars and gyms.
Evidence of diversity and inclusion in recruitment and operations
At Flying Butler Apartments, we take pride in the way we recruit and our recruiting process is simple. We seek to employ talented individuals based on their skills and experience relevant to the vacancy we need to recruit.
Our team is made up of around 70% female and 30% male employees across nine departments. As a hospitality business, we welcome varied cultures and diversity as we work with international guests and understand the importance and benefits of a multi-national team.
Two years ago, we made the decision to bring our housekeeping teams in-house, rather than outsourcing this leg of the business to an agency provider. This created more job opportunities directly with Flying Butler and enabled us to build a strong and inclusive team who we could work with and closely develop into brand ambassadors for the business.
There is such a strong sense of community within the Flying Butler team – we believe a happy, supported team leads to happy, supported guests.