Author Archives: annetteg745
Tuesday 11th February 2014 saw the inaugural CSR Showcase at Ragley Hall organised by Longden Ltd and Camden 360 Communications. The event, which featured 17 national and regional exhibitors and speakers from HS2, Carillion Plc, Pub Stuff Ltd, The New Optimists, The Co-operative Group and Greggs Plc attracted more than 100 micro, small, medium and large sized delegates.
Each participant, speaker or delegate was allocated a number of trees to mark their participation. As a result, 1,000 trees have now been planted in the Heart of England Forest to mark the event.
“Our goal was to create a forum and raise awareness about corporate social responsibility and the role we all have, as business owners, in collectively giving back to our communities and stakeholders” said Carole Longden, MD of Longden Ltd, one of the organisers.
“It was really encouraging to see the mix of CSR exemplars and companies new to the concept, willing to learn, talk and share, their experiences. With so many cuts to public spending – now is the time for business to step forward and make changes to so many different areas of society and environment” said co-organiser Annette Gann of Camden 360 Communications.
Talks incorporated discussions around employee engagement, community giving and volunteering, sustainable products and supply chains, community and stakeholder management, as well as interactive working and networking.
The event was part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) in conjunction with Coventry University’s Open innovation project at the Institute of Applied Entrepreneurship.
Exhibitors included regional and national companies including: Jutton Associates, Natural Solutions, Possage Design and Print, Baby Lifeline, City Year UK, Digital Energy, Educational Musicals, Heart of England Forest, The Forestry Commission, Camden 360 Communications, Longden Ltd, Orbit Heart of England Housing and Growth Accelerator.
Delegates included attendees from Eriks Industrial, Centrica Energy, The Phoenix Group, Finning (UK) Ltd, Goldcrest Cleaning, McFarlane Telfer and ADI Ltd.
– Ends –
- The UK CSR & Sustainability Showcase is in its first year and has been organised by Longden Ltd – www.longden.co.uk and Camden 360 Communications www.camden360communications.co.uk.
- For more information on the speakers or the event please contact Annette Gann, 07415 864429, firstname.lastname@example.org or Carole Longden, 07774 424404, email@example.com.
- Further information on the UK CSR & Sustainability Showcase can be found at csrshowcase.com.
- For more information on the Open Innovation project and how to get involved contact Louise Marjoram on 0797 498 4283 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coventry University’s Institute of Applied Entrepreneurship announce partnership for major business conference
Coventry University’s Institute of Applied Entrepreneurship (IAE) have announced their partnership of the inaugural UK CSR and Sustainability Showcase to be held at Ragley Hall in Warwickshire on Tuesday 11th February.
The one-day event, which is being organised by Camden 360 Communications and Longden Ltd, is aimed at sharing the best practice and business benefits of corporate social responsibility (CSR) for both small to medium sized businesses and corporates.
Louise Marjoram, Senior Project Manager, from the IAE said, “We are delighted to align with the CSR & Sustainability Showcase. The line-up of corporate speakers will address a wide range of CSR topics as will the exhibitors taking part in the complementary exhibition running in parallel. It’s a great opportunity to learn what CSR is all about or top up existing knowledge.”
“As early indications show improvements in the economy, interest in CSR is increasing as a business philosophy for doing good and also as a competitive differentiator when it comes to reputation building, attracting and retaining new employees and establishing sustainable business practices. These all positively impact the bottom line.” She continued, “Many corporates have a well-established and evolving approach to CSR which they will share at the showcase so we see this event as a great platform for small and medium sized businesses to not only learn from this but to share what they are doing too”.
The IAE will share its latest business support package – The Open Innovation Programme (Innovation University Enterprise Network), offering West Midlands SMEs FREE bespoke business consultancy. The IAE aims to forge new partnerships with large organisations as well as promote the programme to targeted SMEs. Interested companies will be invited to join the IAE network, enabling them to keep in touch with future support for small businesses. The exhibit will also showcase the new Open Innovation website – www.opentoinnovation.net – which acts as a hub for open innovation programme delivery, knowledge exchange and examples of work we are doing.
The Open Innovation Programme is a European Regional Development Fund-supported initiative devised to match up the innovative ideas of SMEs with the corporate might of larger organisations to bring benefits to both parties – and to the economy.
For more information on the Institute of Applied Entrepreneurship, visit www.coventry.ac.uk/iae.
Speakers at the CSR Showcase include national business leaders from HS2, Greggs plc, Tata Technologies, The Co-operative Group, Carillion, Pub Stuff Ltd and The New Optimists.
Exhibitors will be present from the energy sector, charity, the environment, social housing and business growth and development and include Jutton Associates, Baby Lifeline, The Shakespeare Hospice, City Year UK, Possage Design and Print, The Green Organisation, The Forestry Commission, Camden 360 Communications, Digital Energy, Longden Ltd, Heart of England Forest, Educational Musicals, Natural Solutions, Art in a Sustainable World, Pub Stuff Lt, Growth Acclerator, Coventry University Institute of Applied Entrepreneurship, The Buzz and Orbit Heart of England.
High Speed Two (HS2) is an exceptional project, not least because it will be the first railway built north of London in 120 years. Its timescale, size, cost and complexity, both in construction and its eventual operation, make it one of the biggest rail projects in Europe, if not the world.
The rationale for the scheme is that it will help to meet our growing demand for rail travel for the long term. It will create economic benefits by improving connectivity between many of our key city regions. And it will release capacity on our existing network, helping to relieve pressure on passenger services and boosting rail freight.
HS2 will be built in two phases. The first will connect London and the West Midlands from 2026. The western and eastern legs of Phase Two will run from the West Midlands to Manchester, the East Midlands, South Yorkshire, Leeds and beyond from 2033.
The total length of track built in both phases will be about 350 miles. The budget for the whole scheme is £42.6 billion, including a contingency of £14.4 billion. When HS2 is complete, up to 18 trains an hour will run in each direction. Trains 400m long will provide 1,100 seats each and will travel at up to 225mph.
Inevitably, HS2 will have significant environmental impacts. It will cause disruption during its construction, as well as sound and visual intrusion. All this has to be fully understood and properly managed: this means talking and listening to those affected, as well as their representatives. This we call ‘community engagement’. It is a serious, long-term challenge, and is as important to the scheme’s success as its engineering and its finance. HS2 will build on best practice from High Speed One, the London 2012 Olympic Games and Crossrail to minimise environmental impacts during construction.
Why community engagement matters to HS2
In order to build the railway, we must secure the parliamentary powers to do so. We will need to demonstrate to both Houses of Parliament and a Select Committee that – among other things – we have worked to understand local people’s concerns about HS2 along the whole line of route, and that we have taken all reasonable steps to address the issues they have raised.
We are also fully committed to creating an exemplary project. Our sustainability policy sets out our support for sustainable economic development and the localism agenda for regeneration. We seek to avoid significant adverse effects on communities, businesses and the natural, historic and built environment. And we want to enhance the natural environment, as far as practicable, to ensure that there is no net loss of biodiversity.
Throughout its development, HS2’s success depends on our ability to talk to communities – and act on what they tell us.
To hear more about this, visit www.csrshowcase.com for further information on speakers at the UK CSR & Sustainability Showcase on 11th February 2014.
Sitting in one of the education streams at the #PRShow13, I must say I was delighted to hear Sky talk about one of my favourite philosophies.
When it comes to CSR, it’s not what you say it’s what you do that matters. “It’s frankly an old fashioned view,” muttered Graham McWilliam, Sky Group Corporate Affairs Director, “to think that your products or services alone speak for themselves. Businesses now have to do a lot more than that to win trust”. Very wise words and Sky have followed through admirably in this vein with their Sky Academy.
Trust certainly is a hot topic for stakeholders nowadays when we live in an increasingly transparent society. Enquiries into phone hacking, ‘Plebgate’ and non-payment of taxes are just a few cases in point. These are instances where a reputation can turn to dust overnight, particularly if there are no evident ‘CSR credits’ in the bank!
Your approach to engaging with your internal and external stakeholders will be a critical part of this. If your business practices an open, honest two-way communications philosophy then the channels will already be wide open and well lubricated for when a slightly less cynical ear can be counted upon during times of crisis.
This is not to say all misdemeanours will be forgiven regardless of ‘the crime’. Instead stakeholders will more readily believe you if an honest mistake has been made and openly declared.
Barclays recognised this after the heavy fines of 2012 rocked the bank. To an already unsympathetic audience, this was just another example of how the financial services industry appeared to have failed its stakeholders.
Yet for many years Barclays have actively supported UNICEF to the tune of at least £5 million per annum. To help shore up the economies of developing countries, they channelled funds to budding entrepreneurs who have now established small active businesses. Their goal was to help build healthy economies and they needed to engage in order to achieve this.
They hadn’t shouted about it – but should they have done? Would the time interval needed to recover the damage to their reputation through being fined have been smaller? It is an interesting concept – and harks back to another favourite of mine- doing well by doing good.
Talking to stakeholders in their own language, openly, honestly, actively listening and sharing knowledge constructively are also all worthwhile deposits in the bank of trust, goodwill and ethics.
Terry Stafford, Community and Stakeholder Manager at HS2 will be talking about their particular goals for building engagement with stakeholders at the UK CSR & Sustainability, Ragley Hall, 11th February 2014 – see csrshowcase.com for details.