Head of Ethics & Sustainability
Business against Poverty
There is this thing called Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). You’ll find a lot about it on the internet. People talk about it increasingly, with the suggestion that it should in some way be formalised. By that, I mean that it would be made the subject of, let’s say, some ISO standard akin to ISO 14001. Some people even go so far as to suggest that it should be made a legal requirement. For me, however, that makes about as much sense as trying to legislate that all British citizens should be of good moral character: not a lot. CSR is one of those things that a company does because of what it is and not because of what it is compelled to do; and however you define CSR, no company is likely to garner much in the way of trust if people come to realise that CSR is not part of its DNA. Sorry about all the abbreviations, but there you go (TYG). In other words, what you do about CSR depends on your moral compass and what makes it swing.
There are more ethics and sustainability issues out there in the world than I could possibly hope to list; and it’s daft to imagine that any company can reasonably be expected to take all of them into account in its operations. However, help is at hand. The Doughty Centre of the Cranfield School of Management has produced an excellent guide entitled How to Identify a Company’s Major Impacts – and Manage Them (June 2012), which can be downloaded from www.csrinternational.org – registration is free.
We are also holding our 2 day seminar in June and July covering Ethics & Sustainability in Business with 3 guest speakers. Who should attend? Business against Poverty members, Growth Business Owners, Directors, Entrepreneurs or Future Entrepreneurs, Marketing and HR professionals and Business Coaches.
Book you place here.
Since the last HR post, more details have emerged about gender pay gap reporting.
The legislation will be formally enacted in October 2016, and employers of more than 250 souls will need to report every April, starting in April 2018. The six months between October 2016 and April 2017 could and should usefully be spent ironing out any anomalies in pay between men and women – and it’s not just pay: bonuses (and eligibility for them) of all kinds are also included.
Companies with an annual turnover of more than £36m will soon have to produce an annual anti-slavery and human trafficking statement, directed as much at supply chains overseas as at UK operations – though sadly these are not exempt from such dubious practices. The statement must set out steps taken to ensure that no slavery has been involved in supply chains; companies with subsidiary operations must cover the activities of those subsidiaries also. The statement is mandatory – any failure to take measures against slavery and human trafficking must be clearly spelt out: non-action does not mean non-reporting.
On a more positive note, and one more relevant to BAP members, with our very much smaller headcount and turnover, there has been a bit in the business press about the gig economy. This is an initiative piloted by no less a giant than PWC – they set up an online market place of skills amongst their employees as a database, so that anyone looking for particular expertise for a given project [gig]could easily find someone possessing it. As well as the obvious benefit of putting together unbeatable project teams, this initiative had the added plus of keeping employees engaged and stimulated by their work by the opportunities to expand their professional horizons – without having to move employers. Wonderful for retention, and present day importance placed on notions of autonomy and variety at work. But the advantages of smaller employers or sole traders using it would be massive too – how about it BaP??
It was a sunny day taking off from Luton. We were heading East across Europe to meet Val Huxley – husband Damyon, my two teenage daughters Kate and Molly and me. None of us knew what to expect. I had been involved with Business/People against Poverty for many years and understood the concept of helping people out of poverty – but on a day to day basis on the ground – I was not sure. Continue reading
Legendary designer teams with award-winning bespoke jeweller.
Zandra Rhodes is among the world’s truly iconic fashion designers. From her beginnings in the late 1960s, where her early textile designs were considered too outrageous by the traditional British manufacturers, to the punk-era of the 1970s, Zandra has always been ahead of the curve. Continue reading
I had the pleasure of working with the BaP team at the Bath Business Expo on 17th March and we had a really good day (albeit rather short), meeting new business contacts, sharing our values and vision and raising awareness of the work BaP has been doing. Continue reading
Congratulations to husband and wife team John and Debbie Williams the founders and owners of John Williams Heating Services for achieving our Member of the Month. Continue reading