Twelve months ago, at the time of our first Corporate Responsibility Report, we had just started understanding how to function in a COVID-19 world. Today, we are still operating in a very different world and in a very different way than we did before the pandemic, but we are starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel. As we move deeper into 2021 and look back at our performance in 2020, we are working to understand the ways in which our work and how we deliver it have changed, but we are making sure we remain true to our principles and values as a firm. Our core beliefs remain intact. Publishing this update to our Corporate Responsibility Report is an important step for ScottMadden to solidify our commitment to lead on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) issues.
This year’s report is structured differently than our initial report from last year. Though the landscape for our stakeholders is rapidly changing, the focus areas identified in last year’s CRR report remain vital to us and to our stakeholders. In years when we do not repeat a materiality assessment, we will issue a Corporate Responsibility Report update, which provides the significant events, initiatives, and progress of the past year, including our updated metrics and performance. Although our report is a few pages shorter, our commitment and effort have not wavered, as you will read in the following pages.
One significant action we took in 2020 was to name our first Director of Diversity & Inclusion, Kim Davenport. Kim is a successful partner within the firm and she excitedly accepted this increased responsibility. Kim already led our Diversity & Inclusion Team, which seeks to build a culture where everyone feels welcomed, valued, and respected. This is at the core of our business and values, from the work that the firm does with its clients to the impact that our employees have in their communities. Kim will continue leading the Diversity & Inclusion Team and ensure the firm is focused on attracting, supporting, educating, and retaining a diverse workforce with a variety of thoughtful and intentional initiatives, events, and activities along the way. Diversity, including differences in backgrounds, experiences, styles, and perspectives, is critical to the firm’s success, and Kim is committed to building and sustaining an environment that is diverse, collaborative, supportive, and fosters mutual respect and trust—internally and externally.
Even though things are improving, our industry and the economy are facing disruptions in myriad ways. Our priority is, of course, to ensure the health and welfare of our people and clients. Regardless of whether our delivery model is more travel-intensive or relies more on technology for engagement, we will always do what is in the best interest of our clients and our people. To us, sustainability means much more than just environmental impact. It is also about our people, the quality of our relationships, and is grounded in our core values of respect, trust, service, and accountability. In this report, you will see examples of our efforts to improve the lives of our employees and those surrounding them.
We are proud of what we have accomplished to date, but there is considerable work ahead. I am impressed each day by our team’s remarkable resilience and support for one another, and I look forward to sharing the progress we will continue to make for our clients, communities, and the environment.
Sussex Economic Advisors is now part of ScottMadden. We invite you to learn more about our expanded firm. Please use the Contact Us form to request additional information.