This week we marked one year since the launch of the Good Business Charter with founder members Deloitte, Capita, Brompton Bikes and London City Airport. We were privileged to be able to mark our anniversary with an FSB webinar for businesses at the other end of the spectrum – some of the smallest now achieving GBC accreditation through our streamlined accreditation specifically designed for organisations with 50 employees or less.
Meanwhile today we are thrilled to welcome the University of York as our first university to the sign up to the GBC which we hope will only be the start of other public sector organisations joining us. From the outset we were determined to develop an accreditation that would work for all sizes and shapes of business and in spite of the pandemic we can now say we have over 200 members.
Professor Kiran Trehan, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Partnerships and Engagement for the University of York, said on receiving the accreditation:
“The University of York is delighted to be the first university to sign up to this initiative. The Good Business Charter provides an important benchmark for how we should enact our values as an organisation and as an employer. As educators of the next generation we also recognise that it is our responsibility to promote ethical leadership, nurture inclusive business and to help create a fairer society. And by working with the Good Business Foundation we will learn from one another”.
It has been so encouraging to see many small businesses join us in the past few weeks following our launch with FSB. Meanwhile, welcoming TSB as our first retail bank in the summer of 2020 and an opportunity to showcase the GBC at an Eversheds Sutherland webinar alongside representatives from Capita, Deloitte and TSB were real highlights. We also welcomed West Bromwich Building Society and developed our partnership with the Building Society Association as well as accrediting our first FTSE100 client, St James’s Place.
Another highlight for me was when a sole trader with 11 staff was able to accredit and was so grateful that we did not discriminate against sole traders, enabling him to proudly display our logo. That was also the case for those running a business but without any employees. We were delighted to see our brand on the side of Durness Bus Company minibuses and have big ambitions to see this really develop in the year ahead as we push brand recognition.
We believe our USP is the signposting for consumers that the GBC accreditation gives – it is easy for the general public to understand what the GBC accreditation means in practice and we are confident that those who want to support responsible businesses will start to look out for our brand. We have noticed the willingness of local media to write nice things about GBC members which is another very important benefit of joining. If you are considering signing up and need any PR advice or assistance, do get in contact with us directly.
We have a change of guard at the CBI and thank Josh Hardie for his commitment to getting the GBC designed and launched and look forward to welcoming John Foster, Director of Policy and Communications, as our new trustee representative for the CBI.
We anticipate growing momentum as we reach out to trade associations and business organisations as well as explore more place-based opportunities to see the GBC embraced at a city or regional level. In the FSB ‘In Conversation with Julian Richer’ webinar this week Julian quipped that February 2020 was the worst time to launch something new. However, we did at least get it launched – I suspect if we had been aiming for April 2020, we would have had to postpone things altogether.
Even though we had to stall somewhat during the first few months of the pandemic, we emerge with a tried and tested accreditation that really does fit the bill as the nation seeks to build back better and champion responsible business practices. In the end, the time was right in February 2020 to launch the Good Business Charter and we are excited to see what the next year holds.