How did we get on?
For 2017 we planned to be a better employer, achieve carbon neutrality and join the 1% for the Planet movement.
All-in-all we’ve achieved what we set out to do. We have an employee representative on the board, training and conference budgets, a profit-based bonus scheme and a new review process which includes help with personal and professional aspirations. We joined 1% for the Planet in early January and, despite some difficulty, have calculated our carbon footprint for the year and will be offsetting twice that, just to be sure!
On the environmental side, we spent our summer getaway in Wales, carrying out a beach clean on Newborough Beach and this Christmas, instead of gifts for our clients, we had trees planted for them in a wildfire regeneration project in Portugal.
Two things we didn’t manage were finding local suppliers for our kitchen supplies and finding greener hosting for our websites and applications. Feel free to get in touch if you think you can help with this!
What about this year?
Having resolutions for the year really helped us to focus our plans for 2017, so it’s no surprise that we’ll be setting some for 2018 too.
Kill the plastic
This is a serious objective for us, not just political positioning. After discovering how much plastic can be found on one of Britain’s clean beaches and seeing the issues our plastic waste is causing for the world’s sea creatures on Blue Planet II and elsewhere, we want to make 2018 the year that we stop using single-use plastics for good.
Shopping locally should help us in some way, as small suppliers aren’t as reliant on plastic packaging for freshness as the supermarkets, but we’re open to looking for more ways to help with this.
Improve the working environment
We have a nice office in the Birkin Building in Nottingham’s Lace Market but, as the saying goes, if it’s no moving forwards it going backwards.
We won’t be installing a slide or a football table, as our team are all fully grown up now. Instead we want to create an environment that is relaxed but professional and gives them the opportunity to do their best work.
As well as updating some of the furniture and sprucing up the decor, we’ll arrange regular Kind socials, focused on activities other than drinking (see below), celebrating our wins (whether that be new clients or a job well done) and having a free team lunch once a week with no phones and no shop talk allowed.
Share and share alike
The vast majority of our development work at Kind relies on using open source tools and software libraries. As a result of the contributions of other developers to open source projects like Vue.js, Babel and Webpack, we’re able to do work better and faster for our clients.
While we’ve open sourced projects in an ad hoc way in the past, this year we’re getting serious about putting back into the Open Source community that we get so much benefit from ourselves. Our development team will have ring-fenced time to both contribute to improving existing open source projects and for documenting, releasing and supporting the tools we build ourselves. And we’ll bring all of our open source projects together in a new developer-friendly website
A new year wouldn’t be be right without a resolution to be healthier, but everyone can benefit from eating better.
We’re not going to police our team’s lunch choices or anything like that, if they want a chip butty they can have one. What we will do is help our team with what we offer in the snack cupboard and the fridge. We’ll be replacing some of the biscuits and beers (everything in moderation) with fruit, nuts, yoghurts, popcorn, granola etc. All tasty things, but so much lower in bad fats, salt and sugar.
We're really looking forward to seeing how 2018 pans out.