The Midcounties Co-operative has achieved full marks in Business in the Community’s (BitC) Corporate Responsibility (CR) Index 2016, after investing over £11m and 26,000 hours volunteering in local communities.
The highest-possible five stars for the society was announced as part of Responsible Business Week (18-24 April), which gives organisations an opportunity to demonstrate the different ways in which they can work together for a fairer society and a more sustainable future.
BitC’s CR Index is the UK’s leading voluntary benchmark of corporate responsibility, and has been run by BitC since 2002, providing businesses with a framework to systematically measure, manage and integrate responsible business practice into mainstream business strategy and operations.
Midcounties, which operates Food, Childcare, Travel, Healthcare, Funeral and Energy businesses, has been given the rating for its commitment to the communities it trades in.
It follows the introduction of the society’s Regional Communities Strategy, which sees colleagues working in partnership with their communities, to identify what its local challenges are. Through this, Midcounties helps drive improvements in these areas, by making sustainable and long lasting differences through colleague and member involvement.
Ben Reid, CEO at The Midcounties Co-operative, said: “Supporting our local communities is at the heart of everything we do as a Society and so this achievement is one we are extremely proud of.
“We have already established strong relationships within the community, and we will continue to work in partnership with our customers, colleagues and members to help make a sustainable, long-term impact in each area we trade.”
In 2015, Midcounties invested £1.2m back into the community (bringing the ten-year total to over £11m), and has raised £1.4m for charity partners over the last eight years. The BitC judges also praised the society’s reduction in waste and energy usage – including increased recycling levels to 85% – and the commitment of over 26,000 colleague volunteering hours.
To mark the achievement, colleagues from across the society have been cementing their commitment to working responsibly by focusing on a big food bank drive to collect 5,000 items for families in need.
Central England Co-operative and Southern Co-operative also achieved success in the Index, as did mutuals Nationwide Building Society and the John Lewis Partnership.
- You can find all of our coverage from Responsible Business Week here.
A 5 star rating in the CR Index means an organisation:
· Has a vision that encompasses social and environmental challenges and its values are embedded throughout the entire workforce
· Has achieved high standards of corporate governance and board effectiveness through robust practices that allow for review, monitoring and public reporting of relevant business issues such as tax, remuneration and diversity
· Has a clear understanding of how the global mega trends will affect the strategy of the business and understands the necessity of balancing the short-term needs with the long-term
· Has made long-term investments to improve the sustainability of its current products/services and has clear plans to scale this up
· Has launched new and/or more environmentally and socially beneficial products and/or services
· Has a comprehensive customer engagement programme that allows for a wider communication of the company’s sustainability agenda
· Has trained its senior managers and board members in a conversant way with a sustainable growing economy
· Has a clear methodology to measure the financial value that CR brings to the business.