Speech given on the launch of “Winning with Integrity”
When I first took over as Chairman of Business in the Community, I was very clear that there needed to be a great deal more clarity for business about how impact on society should be measured and managed.
There is a growing level of expectation on business by a variety of interested groups, from customers and shareholders through to local communities and regulators. These groups have long moved on from the time when they were prepared to give their trust to major institutions – including businesses – and now expect to see real transparency covering the areas of social responsibility.
But a bewildering plethora of codes, guidelines and standards across the world have shown just how complex the process of measuring and reporting has become.
As a business-led organisation, Business in the Community has sought to cut its way through morass to provide simple and straightforward guidance.
Two years ago, we set up the Business Impact Taskforce, to explore the issue and to provide a range of resources that would help find the path forward. The taskforce has done its job well, producing a starter pack aimed at smaller businesses, the Business Impact website as a key part of Business in the Community’s web presence, and now its final report, “Winning with Integrity”.
This final report is the result of a fruitful collaboration, with inputs from the Centre for Tomorrow’s Company, the Institute for Social and Ethical Accountability and the Prince of Wales Business Leaders Forum. Many businesses and interested parties have been involved with the taskforce, and with the top level editorial panel. They are all credited in the report, and we owe them all our thanks.
Bill Cockburn will say more about the report and its recommendations.
But I should underline that for Business in the Community this is an absolutely seminal report, that reshapes the landscape within which we operate.
We will now be relentlessly focused in all our work about how we measure the real impact of what businesses do, in the marketplace, in the environment, in the workplace and in the community.
We are keen to work with leading companies to support and develop their experience of working with the report framework, and to inform how Business in the Community can develop further tools that will be available to its members in the future.
Business in the Community is a major movement of UK businesses who have committed to continually improve their positive impact on society. This report now gives a routemap through on how this should be achieved.
In conclusion, can I make one further special mention. Bill Cockburn, as Group Managing Director of BT, has chaired the working group admirably well.
But BT has also played a leading role in developing the thinking behind the report, and supporting its production – both in print and on the website. I would like to therefore extend a special thanks to them for their contribution, and invite Bill to address you now to introduce the report.
Sir Peter Davis
Sir Peter Davis is the Chairman on Business in the Community and the Chief Executive of J Sainsbury. This speech was given on November 6th at the launch of the Business Impact Taskforce report.