Last week over 100 Irish Business Leaders gathered for the announcement of first Certified Responsible Companies in Ireland. The announcement came at a special CEO breakfast forum hosted by Business in the Community Ireland, at which Minister Richard Bruton T.D.revealed the first companies in Ireland to be certified with the Business Working Responsibly Mark. The Mark, which certifies excellence in responsible and sustainable business practices across company operations, was achieved by Intel, Microsoft Ireland, ESB and CRH. It is the first such certification in Ireland and is audited by the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI).
Announcing the recipient companies, Minister Bruton said: “I have been saying for some time that our mission must be to promote well run enterprises, developing innovative products and services, employing more people working to high standards within sustainable markets. While job numbers are of course crucial in today’s environment, it is important that we do not lose sight of the longer term view, the sustainability of businesses and the jobs they create, and the contribution they make to the communities in which they operate. Today’s certifications, the first independent assessment of corporate responsibility in Ireland, mark an important step towards that goal”.
The Mark was launched in March of this year and the certification itself extends over a two year period after which companies need to reapply to retain the standing.
“Sustainability, customer relations, supply chain management, workplace, community and environment are some of the areas assessed by the certification.” said Tina Roche, CEO of Business in the Community Ireland, the organisation responsible for the development of the Mark. “Having the Mark will allow companies to benchmark their responsible practices against others and finally gives a concrete definition to what excellence is in responsible and sustainable business.”
To achieve the Mark the companies must initially complete a comprehensive online questionnaire with over 290 questions analysing operations on over 26 different indicators. This is assessed by a Business in the Community Ireland expert who advises the company as to whether they have reached the standard to apply for third party verification. Verification is one of the requirements for achieving the Mark. The NSAI conducts the verification audit. All companies who participate—whether completing the questionnaire only or achieving the Mark, are provided with a comprehensive feedback report to assist the company to further develop their responsible and sustainable business strategy.
The Business Working Responsibly Mark has been over three years in the making and follows trends for global standards of a similar nature. It is one of the first in Europe to be third party verified and audited.
Pictured at last week’s event were Paul Rellis, Managing Director, Microsoft Ireland; Padraig McManus, Chief Executive ESB, Jim Mintern, Regional Manager, Europe West, CRH plc. and Brendan Cannon, Director of Corporate Affairs, Intel Ireland
About the Business Working Responsibly Mark
Since 2000 Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI) has been providing guidance on corporate responsibility to some of Ireland’s top companies. Drawing on its experience it has developed the Business Working Responsibly Mark which gives any organisation- across industry and service sectors- the opportunity to evaluate its achievements in sustainable and responsible practices across all operations. The Mark was launched in March 2011 and Microsoft was the first company to achieve the Mark.
About Business in the Community Ireland
Business in the Community Ireland is a network of Ireland’s biggest companies dedicated to corporate responsibility. One of its key services is to guide top companies through a process of measuring and evaluating the impact of their strategic community involvement programmes. Taking a strategic approach to community involvement can deliver benefits to the business while making a positive social impact. The benefits include greater market share and customer loyalty, enhanced employee skills and morale, improved supplier links and a better reputation. A business driven network, with major social initiatives, our membership is drawn from Ireland’s most progressive companies.
Intel is a world leader in computing innovation. The company designs and builds the essential technologies that serve as the foundation for the world’s computing devices.