Guest blog: Clear Recognition for Good Business

Guest blog by Jenny Herrera, CEO, Good Business Foundation

Guest blog by Jenny Herrera, CEO, Good Business Foundation

The Good Business Charter is a simple yet effective way to recognise responsible businesses.  It has been set up by the Good Business Foundation, a charity registered in England and Wales, and has trustee representation from both the CBI and the TUC.  In spite of the plethora of different accreditations available in each sector, to the outside world, confusion still reigns about who is doing business in a responsible way.  The Good Business Charter seeks to bring clarity on this. 

The challenge facing businesses of all sizes has been effectively highlighted in think tank Re-generate’s recent report, ‘The Case for Purpose-Driven Business’.  According to their polling, 53% of people favour brands doing good in the world, but 55% of people say they cannot tell the difference between those acting responsibly and those who are not. 

The Good Business Charter measures behaviour over 10 components: real living wage, fairer hours and contracts, employee well-being, employee representation, diversity and inclusion, environmental responsibility, paying fair tax, commitment to customers, ethical sourcing, and prompt payment.  These components encompass the key aspects of what it means to be a responsible business, and what the public wants to see. 

A company must meet all 10 commitments to receive GBC accreditation which means it is crystal clear what a company displaying the GBC brand has signed up to.  

It has been designed to be not only for one particular size of business nor for certain sectors or industries.  This matters to everyone. Responsible and sustainable business is not just for the big companies that even have a department for it!  Every business can build back better by caring effectively for their employees, their customers and their suppliers whilst paying their taxes and caring for the environment.   

Some businesses miss a trick when they whole-heartedly adopt responsible business practices towards their employees, customers, suppliers and the environment whilst paying their taxes but don’t shout out about this.  There is no need to be coy –the public want to know who is doing this and we believe over time more and more people will be looking for evidence of this.   

We were delighted to welcome the West Bromwich Building Society as our first building society member earlier this year.  Chief Executive Jonathan Westhoff said on receiving the accreditation: 

We’re proud to be the first financial services company to be accredited by the Good Business Charter and would encourage others to commit to following the charter. We are committed to being a force for good and conducting business responsibly to benefit both our customers and our colleagues.” 

Join the West Brom, Brompton Bicycles, Capita, Richer Sounds, Deloitte and others in signing up to the Good Business Charter and proving you care about what matters to the public.  The accreditation process is done through an online self-certification and is free for the first year with annual costs after that kept low.  There is a real opportunity for companies to benefit from increased brand loyalty by obtaining GBC accreditation which shows they are upholding their responsibilities toward the environment and society. 

You can find out more about the Good Business Charter here