Corporate Responsibility is not an option, it is a Business Imperative

The following is a press realease from the recent Corporate Responsibility Conference, Bentley Motors, Crewe on Friday 10 October 2008.

At last we are getting a real focus on business taking a lead on alternative energy, lets hope its British business as well as the Germans. Also that the movement to this form of corporate responisbility manifests itself with real activity, not cheating through buying carbon offsets!

With expert business analysts predicting that by 2030, more people in Germany will work in environmental technology than in the car or machine tool industries* and that the worldwide transition to energy efficient buildings will generate between 2 – 3.5 million green jobs in Europe and USA*, it was not surprising that The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) attracted a healthy audience for its North West Region Corporate Responsibility Conference, held at Bentley Motors Ltd in Crewe.

North West Regional Director for the ICAEW, Mark Hale, commented:

“We were delighted with the turn-out for the conference and the inter-action between presenters and delegates. Corporate responsibility is no longer being seen as an option, but as a business imperative. We knew it would be a topic which attracts strong views from all sides and, given chartered accountants work at heart of every business across all sectors throughout the region, we felt it was incumbent upon us to start addressing the concerns, the problems and the solutions.”

Tomorrow’s World presenter Maggie Philbin was the conference chair and opened the day with a short presentation which reflected her personal commitment, instilled as she explained by her parents’ values and approach to life, to reducing our impact on the environment.

The keynote speaker was Mark Goyder, founder director of business-led think–tank Tomorrow’s Company, and an award-winning speaker with 15 years manufacturing experience.

He described the groundbreaking business report by eleven CEOs of major businesses   “Tomorrow’s Global Company: challenges and choices” . Businesses needed to redefine success, embed values, and collaborate with others to create new frameworks which allowed competition that did not harm the environment.

He spoke about the global financial crisis and drew this lesson for corporate responsibility. “Successful businesses need to balance their focus on results with a focus on behaviour. Every time we forget this we destroy value y destroying the conditions needed to build trust – as happened with Enron.”

Other speakers offered both impassioned and practical insights – Les Richards from the Carbon Trust explained how money and energy saving went hand-in-hand, Sue Ratcliffe and Richard Leopold from Bentley outlined the company’s CR strategy, Phil McVan from True Energy showed examples of successful renewable energy project

After lunch delegates heard from Robert Epstein (Microsoft) and Adam Hart from O2. The day ended with a Q&A panel session chaired by Maggie Philbin.

ICAEW North West Region would like to thank Bentley Motors Ltd and sponsors O2, Microsoft and financial recruitment firm Greenwood Gleeson.

The Institute’s new Business Sustainability e-learning programme (BSP) aims to raise awareness of the business case for Corporate Responsibility and the issues which face companies in becoming sustainable. For details visit www.icaew.com/businesssustainability

text provided by True Energy Ltd

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