Social and Environmental Responsibility of the Firm Santarelli
To meet the environmental, social and ethical challenges which have become primordial in our company, the Firm Santarelli has implemented a policy of Social and Environmental Responsibility.
Envisioned as a mark of progress and sustainability, it is emerging as key to shared, profitable growth for the Firm, its associates, suppliers and more generally the civil society and environment in which we operate.
Through every step in the history of Santarelli, its partners and staff have forged the essential values of the firm, guiding its conduct and development. These values are the foundation of our Firm, and although they may be refined over time, their purpose remains the same:
- To unite the partners with a shared vision of their professional practice while at the same time recognizing the need to continue developing the Firm to meet the latest expectations of clients.
- To enable clients to work with a Firm to which they feel close and in which they place their confidence thanks to its services of high quality and dependability.
- To unite the firm’s staff in working together through a strong sense of belonging.
Today, the firm consists of three branch offices, in addition to the head office based in Paris, and has some 135 staff.
Despite this breadth, the values which constitute our DNA remain the same in every respect:
- Fairness and dedication in the engagements made to our clients, suppliers and staff
- Team spirit and exemplary character of all our actions
- Dedication to our daily tasks Thus, the commitment of the Firm Santarelli in terms of social and environmental responsibility may be detailed as follows:
- Act with fairness, dedication and exemplarity
- Respect the dignity and rights of all, in particular the right to differ
- Protect the environment
- Through its action, participate in wealth creation.
1. Our commitments in human terms
The principles of social and ethical responsibility guide the firm Santarelli in its management of human resources and its actions in relation to its staff.
The Firm Santarelli has 135 staff.
These staff consist of 78.5% women and 21.5% men, and in terms of age distribution 15 staff are aged between 20 and 30, 36 are aged between 30 and 40, 40 are between 40 and 50, and 44 staff are older than 50.
The average length of service in the Firm is 10.21 years.
Our teams are located either in Paris or in one of our secondary establishments at Nantes, Marseille or Toulouse.
New appointments are for the most part intended to cater for the growth of the Firm, and concern not only new attorneys and legal advisors, but also staff to strengthen our administrative and support teams. We seek talented staff, which is why certain appointments require several interviews with the partners of the Firm, the General Manager and the head of Human Resources.
With regard to salary, the Firm Santarelli ensures it offers remuneration that matches the high level of qualification required for its activity. Salary rises are individual, and are based on merit according to objective assessment criteria, among which are financial indicators, participation in projects conducted in the collective interest, etc.
In addition to bonus schemes, the Firm Santarelli has signed a profit-share agreement giving staff a direct interest in the results of the company.
Furthermore, in order to ensure equity between professional and non-professional staff, cover for medical expenses and health insurance is the same for all.
1.2. Work organization
Engineers, legal advisors, secretaries and assistants are placed under the responsibility of a partner. All support teams are under the responsibility of the General Manager.
Work on strategic cases, the follow-up of client relations, prospection and supervising are all undertaken by the partners.
Staff carry out the follow-up and processing of cases conferred to them, with a degree of autonomy dependent on their experience and degree of qualification.
Each client has attributed to them a two-person team consisting of a partner and a member of staff, so as to ensure optimum quality and continuity of service.
Work for specialist professional staff in the firm is organized on a per-day basis.
For the “integrated professional” category and general staff, work is organized on the basis of a number of hours per week, with a degree of flexibility in the morning and evening.
The number of working days in the year is 218 (including “solidarity day”), and the number of rest days allocated in respect of the shortened national working week is 13 per year, except for staff on a per-day contract. Several members of staff work a variety of part-time arrangements, and some operate partly through teleworking.
The firm Santarelli undertakes on a daily basis to respect break times and maximum allowed durations of work.
1.3. Employment relations
The Employment and Economic Committee (CSE) will be set up by 1 January 2020, as newly required by law. Elections of the staff representatives will take place in the 4th quarter of 2019.
The Firm Santarelli has always allowed trade unions to operate freely.
1.4. Employment negotiations
The conduct of employment negotiations involving employees at rank-and-file level is a shared objective of staff, trade unions and the official bodies to which management and staff representatives are convened. Major decisions are thus taken, with the commitment to conduct negotiations in good faith with the aim of establishing agreements within a reasonable time-frame.
1.5. Health and Safety
The Firm’s Management ensures staff are able to work in a peaceful and safe environment, in spacious, well-equipped offices.
Grouping together by team has been promoted to enable better communication and the layout and arrangement of our offices has been studied at length.
A Committee of Hygiene, Safety and Conditions of Work watches over the physical and mental health of staff, and its safety.
1.6 Quality of life at work
Quality of life is at the heart of the concerns of the Firm Santarelli. This is why its teams have been provided with:
- Tea areas on each floor with free hot drinks,
- Air conditioned offices,
- Recent IT equipment (light-weight portable computers, vertical mice, pairs of monitors, etc.)
The firm has also set up discussions on sports activities facilitated by professional coaches, and the assistance of a physical therapist/ergonomist to improve posture while working.
The profession of IP attorney requires qualifications so as to be able to represent clients before French and European IP bodies.
More particularly, patent attorneys are required to obtain their diploma at the Center for International Studies of Intellectual Property (CEIPI, at Strasbourg), and then, a few years later, to take the qualifying examinations of the French IP Office (INPI) and of the European Patent Office (EPO, of which the headquarters are at Munich).
Similarly, after the CEIPI diploma or a Masters 2 in intellectual property, Trademark and Design attorneys must take the qualifying examination of the INPI, which also enables them to qualify before the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO, of which the headquarters are at Alicante).
All these qualifying examinations require extensive and substantial preparation, over a number of years.
The Firm Santarelli pays for the entirety of these qualifications, as well as covering associated expenses (travel, accommodation, documentation, etc.).
Candidates thus come to the various examinations well-prepared, and have a high success rate.
Internal training operations also take place, relating for example to points of case law or modifications of the law, whether in France or abroad.
For administrative staff, various types of training are requested and given throughout the year, in particular in relation to languages and the use of software.
On a standard basis, any newly recruited member of staff at Santarelli receives training in use of our dedicated professional software.
The firm has always been committed to the principle of non-discrimination and equality and has established agreements to that effect.
- Measures promoting equality between men and women
The firm Santarelli has established a plan of action to reinforce these principle of equality between men and women in the Firm, to set specific objectives in certain fields such as professional training, work-life balance and pay, and ensure these commitments are complied with throughout the term of their application.
- Measures promoting employment and the inclusion of disabled staff
The Firm Santarelli employs and promotes the use of contractors giving work to disabled persons.
The Firm Santarelli maintains the employment of staff in a situation of disablement. This is leads to special provision for work stations and working hours, organized in close collaboration with the staff concerned and with occupational health physicians.
- Diversity and equal opportunities
In order to develop and promote diversity, the Firm Santarelli has developed a culture of promoting equal opportunities and the respect of others and their differences. This commitment applies to all stages of human resources management such as appointments, training, advancement and the promotion of staff.
- The Right to Disconnect
Given that the work-life balance is important for the Firm Santarelli, a charter has been signed for the right to disconnect.
1.9. Policy against discrimination
The Firm Santarelli takes care that appointments, promotions and access to professional training are made without any form of discrimination any nature or any kind.
The Firm Santarelli has put in place a plan of action to promote the employment of youth and of workers at the opposite end of the age spectrum.
For this population of staff, the plan establishes target figures for appointment or maintenance at work, access to professional training and traineeships.
For example, the Firm Santarelli received 5 trainees in 2017 (including those on observation traineeships), and 2 professionalization contracts. Similarly, over the last few years, the Firm Santarelli has laid off no staff on the basis of age and it may be noted that 33% of staff are aged over 50.
The plan of action put in place by the Firm Santarelli also provides measures for promoting and improving working conditions, and for the transition between employment and retirement.
Throughout the working life of its staff, the Firm Santarelli avoids the 19 prohibited discrimination criteria:
- Political opinions
- State of health
- Trade Union activities
- Sexual Orientation
- Sexual Identity
- Real or assumed origin
- Physical appearance
- Religious belief
- Family situation
- Genetic characteristics
- Belonging to a particular nation
1.10. Developing best practice and the importance of management ethics
Management ethics are a major stake, not only in assessing the quality of human management, but also for the contribution of the overall and sustainable performance of the company. The main rules of management ethics of the Firm Santarelli are:
- Fairness in all its dealings
- Just treatment of staff
- Dependability for suppliers, investors and clients
- The quality of services to clients
- Responsibility to society
- Authenticity in human relations
Assistance Program by the main managers of the Firm Santarelli: the setting up of close working relations based on the respect of others in daily management of our teams remains one of our essential objectives.
A management charter, known to all teams, will soon specify best practice which our management will undertake to comply with.
This charter will comply with the 6 rules set out above.
2. Our environmental commitments
Waste reduction plan
When laying out its new premises, the Firm Santarelli chose to set up environmental procedures.
A simple way to reduce waste is to reduce the use of paper. We regularly remind our staff of good practice in this connection, i.e.:
- Not to print all emails,
- To use electronic format in office work rather than printing,
- To use scrap paper,
- To print on both sides, and/or to print two pages per face
- To conduct all internal communication via our intranet
All these small actions combined enable the consumption of paper and printer cartridges to be reduced.
Furthermore, after having drastically reduced its number of individual printers, the Firm Santarelli aims not to have any at all within a maximum of 2 years.
The activity of IP attorney is by nature less polluting and energy consuming than an industrial activity. Even so, the Firm Santarelli is aware of the many improvements that may be made to reduce the impact of its activity on the environment. For waste management, the Firm Santarelli has established waste sorting and recycling of paper, of used printer cartridges and of coffee capsules.
There are 3 types of recycling:
- Packing boxes are placed in the appropriate recycling bin within the building;
- Non-confidential paper documents are disposed of in a recycling bin provided for that purpose on each floor,
- Confidential paper documents are disposed of in special boxes made available on request. These boxes are regularly collected to be destroyed or recycled.
We also provide regular reminders that we should optimize our energy consumption thanks to an energy saving plan.
This involves remembering to turn lights out when absent from one’s office, as well as in the cafeteria and tea areas of the Firm, and to turn off computers on leaving in the evening, not to mention heating and/or air conditioning.
The ideal temperature in a given place is 19/20°. Offices should not therefore be heated above this.
To save energy, Firm Santarelli strives to reduce its electricity consumption by the use of LED lighting, by the turning off of lighting in the evening and in case of absence from the office. Timer switches have been provided in certain common areas.
Furthermore, the Firm Santarelli is in course of progressively changing to electronic operation thanks to its digital Document Management Systems (DOMAINS), which will lead to very low paper use.
With regard to travel to work, most of the Firm’s staff use public transport; part of the cost of this transport is borne by the Firm Santarelli. Some staff travel by bicycle and part of the cost of this transport is borne by the Firm.
The Firm’s parking area is equipped with spaces having outlets for recharging electric cars.
The Firm Santarelli provides its staff with the necessary equipment to develop communication away from the office (portable PCs, VPN, video conferencing, etc.).
- Dedicated waste bins enabling selective sorting in each cafeteria – plastic bottles and cans for carbonated water will be progressively eliminated and replaced by glass water bottles
- Plastic cups will also be progressively eliminated to be replaced by glass and paper cups by mugs
The same applies for plastic stirrers which will be replaced by wood stirrers
3. Our commitments to charities
In addition to its financial support of charities, the Firm Santarelli organizes an annual blood donation campaign, supports charities such as the Heart Foundation through the “Hero’s Run” and organizes charity breakfasts at which staff sell cakes they have made themselves to donate the proceeds to a charity.
The Firm also organizes an annual collection of food and clothing for charities assisting the most needy.
Lastly, collections are made several times per year by the Company Committee, to aid charitable foundations and associations.
4. Our commitments in terms of business ethics
Business ethics form part of the fundamental values of the Firm Santarelli and are expressed by the compliance of each member of staff with best business practices within the Firm.
There are 6 ethical principle which we wish to see applied by all our staff in their relations with clients and suppliers. These principles are the following:
- Respect for clients
- Compliance with rules of fair competition
- Requiring the best from our partners
- Avoiding any conflict of interest
- Protecting company information, confidential information and intellectual property.
- Recording and keeping financial and non-financial information according to the IT security standards in force and in compliance with GDRP.
The dissemination of the 6 principle of business ethics of our Firm is part of our ongoing commitment to respect our clients, suppliers and business partners.
5. Our policy of responsible purchase
The Firm Santarelli does not merely purchase products and services from our suppliers.
Our firm takes particular care to respect their business, their culture, their growth and the individuals that compose them, taking into account economic, ethical and environmental considerations. The analysis of the whole cost (face value of the product, life-cycle including the cost of use and recycling) is a fundamental issue for our Firm.
Similarly, with regard to our suppliers, the quality of relations of the Firm Santarelli contributes to its long-term success. Maintaining strong and stable relations is a real advantage for the quality of our services. Our policy is to promote long-term partnerships with constructive dialog and shared commitment.
Most of our suppliers have an established history with the Firm Santarelli, based on years of cooperation: fidelity is based on a choice made over time.
The Firm Santarelli also works to develop relations with suppliers who are active against the exclusion and discrimination of disabled persons, and who have signed the Diversity Charter in order to further promote its actions for social equity and the principle of equal opportunities.
The compliance with commitments made under our SER policy is expressed first of all by communication to all staff by managers at team level. The present commitments also feature on our website in order for them to be known to our clients and partners outside. Any member of staff who observes a breach of one of the undertakings made under the present declaration must, in accordance with the principle of close communication, inform his or her line manager. If any such breach continues, members of staff are fully justified in informing the General Manager or Head of Human Resources, without there being any risk to them of disciplinary action.