Durham water retailer, Wave, has placed a key focus on giving back and seen a record response from employees keen to support their local communities and those of their customers.

Smashing its targets for FY23/24, Wave has increased volunteering hours by over 150%, a key focus of its Social and Sustainability Promise.

Wave’s volunteering activities span the length of the country and include regular beach cleans, litter picking and refurbishment projects for charities and trusts.

The team have planted a total of 1,600 trees this year, across three planting sessions, with a key highlight being the creation of ‘Wave’s Woodland’, which saw 600 trees were planted on the banks of the River Brownie.

The woodland includes one tree for every Wave employee and supports Wave’s sustainability efforts by strengthening natural biodiversity and aiding carbon capture.

Another target set by Wave was to uplift the number of goods donations by 150%, which has already risen by over 2300%, with 1,526 goods donated to charitable organisations across FY23/24.

After recently downsizing to a smaller office to support their sustainability efforts, Wave donated any furniture not included in the move to Crown Workspace. Its sustainable ‘Giving Back’ project ensures any furniture that cannot be reused or recycled is then donated to charities, schools and social enterprises.

To connect charities with willing volunteers from its team and record volunteering hours Wave uses Benevity’s Alaya platform, which allows employees to suggest and support causes that they’re passionate about and gain virtual points for the social and environmental challenges they complete.

Wave recognises that making positive sustainable change cannot be achieved by one business alone, which is why the team works hard with other businesses, customers, and communities to lead the charge.

Jane Austin, Director of HR at Wave, said: “For us, CSR has never been just a tick-box exercise. We’re always proactively building relationships with schools, organisations and charities to create opportunities where we can make a difference. This past year we’ve seen a fantastic uplift in both the number, and type, of volunteering activities our people have been part of. It’s something we’re really proud of and proof that CSR is becoming part of the fabric of our business.

“We’re not a multinational business, so to make the biggest impact we can, we’ve focussed on inspiring our employees, customers and communities to help us protect our world.”