Today we are delighted to announce the first GBC city in the UK! Huge congratulations to York where the City of York Council last week approved championing the Good Business Charter throughout the city. This marks the launch of a movement for change, and we are excited to see where it leads for the people and employers of York.
But what exactly is a GBC city?
Vision for a GBC City
The vision of the Good Business Foundation, the charity that runs the Good Business Charter, is to see the GBC promoted across all sectors in a particular town, city or region as something to aspire to and sign up to. We see the local council as essential to this being embraced as a place-based initiative, alongside other key organisations who can give the accreditation the necessary credibility to inspire others to join.
The local NHS trust, a University within the town/city if applicable, and one or two of the largest private sector employers would form a good foundation to then promote it to other organisations, large and small. We would envisage a town or city would need at least 3 of the following achieving GBC accreditation:
- Local Council (essential)
- NHS Trust
- A large private sector employer
These would then form the core, working with the Good Business Foundation, and connected into the regional TUC, CBI and FSB offices to help promote it. This would be our definition of a GBC town or city, rather than specifying a percentage of businesses signing up. If there was interest to adopt the GBC at a regional level, at least one of the Councils in the area would be expected to accredit and champion the GBC.
In York the City of York Council, the York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the University of York, and Aviva (one of the largest private sector employers in York) have all joined the Good Business Charter. We also welcome the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Housing Trust which are York-based and speak out nationally on issues of poverty. Alongside these York-based businesses we also have over 20 smaller businesses and charities in the city.
For GBC York, today is only the start. We now hope to create momentum for hundreds of organisations in the city to commit to our ten components and raise standards in regard to treatment of employees, suppliers, customers and the planet, alongside fair payment of taxes. We believe this will make York an even more attractive place to work, visit and invest in.
Benefits of a GBC City
Adopting the Good Business Charter across a town or city will have all the benefits of a local initiative like the Employment and Fair Work Charters that have been developed in some areas which focus on better working conditions for employees, but our model would come without the administration and resource required to set up one’s own individual scheme. The Good Business Charter also goes wider than these employment-based charters by including reference to paying taxes, the environment, customers and suppliers which we believe are all important to responsible and ethical business.
The Good Business Charter is business-led and already tried and tested with over 500 members and growing rapidly. This makes it much easier for a Council to market it to the businesses in their town or city. Through our partnerships with the CBI, TUC and FSB, we are also well placed to bring increased leverage at the local level through their networks.
The GBC is more beneficial for a company whose operations straddle more than one city as they do not need to submit applications to a myriad of different local schemes, each with its own process and criteria. At a time of limited resources this type of consistent approach has huge benefits, avoiding a patchwork of different Charters across the country.
Being a GBC city promotes that town or city as a great place to work in where employees are valued, taxes and paid and suppliers, customers and the environment are treated responsibly. It would provide excellent PR for the city and its businesses.
How can my town or city get involved?
We would love to see other towns and cities across the UK replicate what is happening in York. This could also be extended to regional or county level depending on how the local authorities work in a particular area. To receive an information pack about the GBC Town or City model, please email CEO, Jenny Herrera firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07703 453862.