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TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY.

Our charity is committed to upholding the highest standards of professionalism and integrity in all our activities. We strive to ensure a safe and respectful workplace culture, where everyone is treated with dignity and respect. To ensure our values are met, we have established policies and procedures which are regularly reviewed and updated as needed. We are committed to compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. We also strive to maintain a safe and secure environment for our staff and volunteers.

Governance 

 

TreeSisters is a UK-registered charity. The Board of Trustees is responsible for the effective governance of the charity and setting the strategic direction in line with the charitable objectives. The Executive Director is responsible for the strategic and operational leadership of the charity within the delegated authorities approved by the Board of Trustees.

 

Find out more about our Board of Trustees and Team

 

Annual reports

Policies and Positions:

TreeSisters aim to achieve our mission by adopting the most ethical approaches and operational best practices in our leadership, programmes and relationships. Our policies support this aim and describe how we will achieve it.

 

Some of TreeSisters key policies are summarised below. 

Safeguarding policy 

TreeSisters believes everyone has the right to live free from harm, abuse, neglect or exploitation regardless of age, ability or disability, sex, race, gender identity, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, or marital status. TreeSisters is committed to creating and maintaining a safe and positive environment and an open, listening culture where people feel able to share concerns without fear of retribution.

The purpose of this Safeguarding Policy is to protect people from any harm that may be caused due to their coming into contact with TreeSisters. Whilst not TreeSisters intended beneficiaries, this particularly applies to children, young adults and at-risk adults.

TreeSisters acknowledges that safeguarding is everybody’s responsibility and is committed to preventing abuse and neglect through safeguarding the welfare of all people involved. TreeSisters will not tolerate abuse and exploitation by our staff or associated partners. Therefore, our policy covers all Trustees, staff, volunteers, consultants and partners working for or with TreeSisters, whether or not they come into contact with vulnerable groups.  

TreeSisters commits to addressing safeguarding throughout its work through the three pillars of prevention, reporting and response:

Prevention: Including training for staff on their responsibilities, implementing safeguarding procedures and consideration of safeguarding within programmes and activities.

Reporting: Including ensuring that the means of reporting of safeguarding concerns is safe, appropriate and accessible for our staff and the communities we work with, protection in line with our Whistleblowing Policy for staff and accepting reports from external sources.

Response: Including prompt follow-up of concerns raised following policy and procedure as well as legal and statutory obligations, applying appropriate disciplinary measures to staff found in breach of the policy and offering support to survivors of harm caused by staff or partners led by the survivor.

If you would like to read a full version of this policy or have a question, please email the following address: support@treesisters.org  

 

Ethical Partnership Policy

All partnerships with and donations from businesses, major donors, and trust and grant-giving organisations should be consistent with and support our strategic and charitable objectives and align with our values. 

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance to help TreeSisters make decisions about opportunities to enter into partnerships and/or accept donations from businesses, major donors, and trust and grant-giving organisations. It is aligned with the Fundraising Regulator’s Code of Practice.

Any partnership must:

  • Be in the best interest of TreeSisters

  • Support the delivery of TreeSister’s vision, mission and objectives

  • Not act in contradiction to the interests of nature, forests, women and local communities

  • Provide income, gifts in kind, or other promotional support

  • Not prevent TreeSisters from meeting the requirements of existing contractual partnerships

  • Ensure that TreeSisters maintains credibility, integrity, and reliability 

  • Uphold our values

  • Respect the independent status of TreeSisters

  • Avoid any activities which will have a detrimental impact on TreeSisters, our work, our reputation and our ability to raise funds

  • Be based on shared goals and a commitment to making positive change together

  • Respect and support our zero tolerance for greenwash (defined as “disinformation disseminated by an organisation so as to present an environmentally responsible public image”)

We will not accept donations from or enter into partnerships with businesses, major donors, or trust and grant giving organisations where they are undertaking a damaging activity themselves or investing in or commissioning a damaging activity, including selling products or services which result from the damaging activity and which they could potentially profit from. Damaging activities include but are not limited to those which are directly harmful to the following areas: Protection and restoration of forests (and the wider environment), and Women.

If you have a question, please email us at support@treesisters.org 

 

Conflict of interest policy 

This policy sets out TreeSisters approach to avoiding conflicts of interest as part of our Financial Control Policy. The aim of this policy is to ensure that staff and trustees act transparently, honestly and with integrity by declaring any potential conflicts of interest.

 

Where a member of staff or Trustee has an interest in a supplier or potential supplier, either directly or through a family member or close friend, this will be recorded on the Register of Interests, and that member of staff or Trustee will exclude themselves from any related decision-making process. 

 

All gifts and hospitality above £25 must be notified to the Head of Finance and recorded in the Register of Gifts & Hospitality. Gifts or hospitality with a value above £100, or those where there is an indication that the person or organisation offering it may have a hidden intention, should not be accepted. 

 

If you have a question, please email us at support@treesisters.org 

 

Whistleblowing policy 

Our aim is to maintain the highest standards of integrity in everything we do in accordance with the ethical and legal standards required by law. Where an employee has concerns about misconduct within TreeSisters, this policy provides a supportive process to raise those concerns - known as “whistleblowing” - without repercussions.

The types of concern that should be raised under the whistleblowing policy include but are not limited to:

  • any activity you suspect is criminal

  • any activity you suspect puts health and safety at risk

  • any activity you suspect may damage the environment

  • any activity you suspect breaches our policy on bribery and corruption

  • any failure to comply with legal or regulatory obligations

  • any failure to meet professional requirements

  • any attempt to conceal one or more of these activities.

If you would like to read the full version of this policy or have a question, please email us at support@treesisters.org 

 

Risk management policy 

The trustees and executive leadership of the charity believe that sound risk management is integral to both good management and good governance practice. Risk management forms an integral part of the charity’s decision making and is incorporated within strategic and operational planning. The purpose of the Risk Management Policy is to provide a strong risk management framework. The aim is to ensure that TreeSisters makes every effort to manage risk appropriately by maximising potential opportunities whilst minimising the adverse effects of risks. 

The risk management process includes:

  • Identifying risks

  • Assessing risks

  • Evaluating what action needs to be taken on risks

  • Periodic monitoring and assessment

If you have a question, please email us at support@treesisters.org 

 

Anti-bribery and corruption policy 

TreeSisters is committed to absolute integrity and fairness across all our operations and accordingly will not tolerate any activities involving bribery, fraud or corruption. This policy applies to employees, trustees, volunteers and any others engaged by TreeSisters or undertaking activities on our behalf in any way. It is the responsibility of all those working for or with TreeSisters to prevent, detect, and report anything that amounts, or could amount, to bribery, fraud or corruption.

 

TreeSisters' approach to bribery, fraud and corruption is communicated through this policy to all staff, trustees, volunteers, suppliers, contractors, consultants and partners at the beginning of the working relationship. We undertake the necessary and relevant checks and due diligence on all those working for or with us before entering into agreements or contracts.

 

We are also mindful that there are cultural differences and are careful not to impose a Western perspective around what we consider bribery or corruption, when working with partners outside of the UK. We encourage open and collaborative conversations with our planting partners, particularly where activities may be nuanced and require local understanding. 

 

TreeSisters acknowledges that no system of controls can completely protect against fraud. Having sufficient controls provides the best level of protection for the charity’s assets.

 

This policy covers fraud prevention measures in place to prevent and deter fraud including:

  • An assessment of the fraud risk in the Risk Management System

  • Robust internal controls detailed in the Financial Control Policy

  • A programme of raising awareness through policy sharing and discussion with trustees and the senior leadership team.

 

Any conduct or activity identified as a possible conflict with this policy should be reported as soon as possible. Employees must report to their Line Manager or Head of Department, volunteers must notify the Head of People, and Trustees must notify the Chair of Trustees. 

 

If you have a question, please email us at support@treesisters.org 

 

Procurement policy 

Procurement processes, as part of the Financial Control Policy, adhere to three key principles:

  • An ethical approach, seeking suppliers who ensure fairness and transparency in their operations and adhere to best practices as well as legislation;

  • Value for money which includes efficiency and effectiveness of the supply (i.e. an acknowledgement that the lowest cost is not necessarily the best choice);

  • Risk management to ensure the charity is not exposed to any unnecessary risk through the supply chain.

 

This policy applies to all TreeSisters purchases and must be followed by all staff. The procedures to be followed are determined by the value of the goods or services required.

 

If you have a question about this policy, please email us at support@treesisters.org 

 

Anti-bribery, fraud and corruption policy 

TreeSisters is committed to absolute integrity and fairness across all our operations and accordingly will not tolerate any activities involving bribery, fraud or corruption. This policy applies to employees, trustees, volunteers and any others engaged by TreeSisters or undertaking activities on our behalf in any way. It is the responsibility of all those working for or with TreeSisters to prevent, detect, and report anything that amounts, or could amount, to bribery, fraud or corruption.

 

TreeSisters' approach to bribery, fraud and corruption is communicated through this policy to all staff, trustees, volunteers, suppliers, contractors, consultants and partners at the beginning of the working relationship. We undertake the necessary and relevant checks and due diligence on all those working for or with us before entering into agreements or contracts.

 

We are also mindful that there are cultural differences and are careful not to impose a Western perspective around what we consider bribery or corruption, when working with partners outside of the UK. We encourage open and collaborative conversations with our planting partners, particularly where activities may be nuanced and require local understanding. 

 

TreeSisters acknowledges that no system of controls can completely protect against fraud. Having sufficient controls provides the best level of protection for the charity’s assets.

 

This policy covers fraud prevention measures in place to prevent and deter fraud including:

  • An assessment of the fraud risk in the Risk Management System

  • Robust internal controls detailed in the Financial Control Policy

  • A programme of raising awareness through policy sharing and discussion with trustees and the senior leadership team.

 

Any conduct or activity identified as a possible conflict with this policy should be reported as soon as possible. Employees must report to their Line Manager or Head of Department, volunteers must notify the Head of People, and Trustees must notify the Chair of Trustees. 

 

If you have a question, please email us at support@treesisters.org 

 

Volunteer policy 

Volunteers are an important and valued part of TreeSisters. We believe that the volunteer relationship is built on trust and mutual understanding, and our aim is to be flexible and supportive so that the experience is enjoyable and rewarding for volunteers.

We expect all TreeSisters volunteers to follow and operate within our policies and procedures, demonstrate positivity and commitment, and work in partnership with staff and other volunteers.

 

If you have a question, please email us at volunteer@treesisters.org 

If you have a question or would like to read the full policy, please email us at support@treesisters.org

Compliments & Complaints

We love to hear from you, both to celebrate the good things and learn from any not-so-good things. Share your thoughts with us at support@treesisters.org.

If you would like to make a complaint, please see our Complaints procedure.

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