There is now increasing recognition of the fact that CSR can be used as source of competitive advantage through good corporate governance, effective execution of innovative social projects and ethical management. In order to maximise this potential, it is essential for firms to smartly communicate their CSR efforts to ensure that consumers view them as driven by intrinsic (genuine) rather than extrinsic (profit led) motivations.
Having been involved with the establishment and running of the International CSR Excellence Awards, which recognise and reward CSR best practice, we naturally wanted to look at a CSR Accreditation scheme. It was clear to us that organisations that deliver on their CSR promises needed a platform other than the CSR Awards to communicate their CSR success stories. Our research indicated that other than the International Standard Guidance on Social Reponsibility (ISO26000) absolutely nothing else existed in the UK.
We then embarked on a journey to define a CSR framework which we could use to establish a national CSR Accreditation scheme. With backgrounds in brand reputation and the establishment of Ecobrand we understood very early on that achieving a CSR Accreditation offers organisations the opportunity to talk about the positive CSR activity they are engaged in. It is an invaluable marketing tool that improves a company’s public image and relationship with consumers. The application process that resulted is a template for an organisations CSR Policy. A good CSR policy connects you with the community that surrounds you, ensures you act responsibly with regard to the environment and helps you value and look after your staff while ensuring that your products and services are delivered ethically and responsibly.
Challenging the ‘C’ in CSR
Increasingly the term ‘corporate’ has been challenged.
This is because it excludes a large number of stakeholders, specifically the third and public sectors and because ‘corporate’ does not encompass sole traders or smaller SME’s. For this reason we have defined the ‘C’ in CSR to be more inclusive. We now recommend that the ‘C’ has a wider focus of audience specific meanings.
- Large Companies – Corporate Social Responsibility (Private Sector)
- Sole Traders and SME’s – Company Social Responsibility (Private Sector)
- Local Authorities, Schools, Hospitals etc – Community Social Responsibility (Public Sector)
- Charities – Charitable Social Responsibility (Third Sector)
- Products & Services – Consumer Social Responsibility
- Training & Workshops – Citizen Social Responsibility
- All of Us – Collective Social Responsibility
We can then surround these meanings with a Caring, Cohesive approach Common to the wider Collective.
Following 18 months of development ensuring transparent processes and the establishment of a totally independent CSR Accreditation Assessment panel represented by organisations in the public, private and third sectors we launched the scheme in July 2018.
Meet the team
As an experienced brand strategist and creative I have pursued a passion for helping companies in the public, private and third sector promote their brand reputation to create differentiation and improved audience engagement.
I have helped organisations promote their CSR and sustainability efforts as an integral part of their brand personality. Ethical responsibility is becoming an increasingly important part of every organisations brand reputation.
I co-founded Ecobrand in 2012 with Paul Roberts. Ecobrand specialises in brand reputation and generating positive design and brand communication both online and in print.
I joined the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce in 2015 and am now the VP for the Bucks Chamber of Commerce Council. I am a member of the Society of Leadership Fellows, St George’s House, Windsor Castle and a Trustee for Heart of Bucks – Community Foundation.
With a background as a senior creative in
graphic design, I have held several senior positions managing design teams and latterly as a creative director. I co-founded Ecobrand in 2012 with Richard Collins. Ecobrand specialises in brand strategy and communications, specifically for clients with an environmental or CSR related focus.
I have a wide experience conceptualising and designing campaigns and managing clients from sole traders to large corporate accounts in all business sectors.
I strongly believe that all organisations from the smallest micro business to large corporations should be fully involved with CSR. We now live in a world where positive reputation is the only true measure of the value of a brand.
CSR Strategic Consultant
A commercially astute and innovative marketing leader with a proven track-record of generating significant return on investment and planning strategies to drive continuous improvements. I am experienced in directing commercial projects and apply an entrepreneurial mindset to generate revenue in challenging circumstances. My experience covers a wide range of sectors from technology to health and leisure with an emphasis on professional services.
My focus is for developing marketing strategies that utilise the latest technology to achieve results. This includes a passion for CSR which I have used as a marketing tool for nearly two decades. In the past ten years, this passion has evolved and has seen me working with many charities and organisations to help them develop CSR strategies to get the maximum benefit.
Jennifer is a seasoned sustainability leader, qualified coach and consultant with a pragmatic and empathetic approach to all sustainability and people challenges.
With 28 years experience, Jennifer was Director of Sustainability for Skanska UK leading them to being a leader in their field and winning Sunday Times Best Green Company. More latterly she was Senior Executive Vice President for Skanska construction at the global level and a non-executive on the board for Skanska USA Civil Engineering, driving sustainability strategy and combining it effectively with business goals.
Jennifer combines these two aspects to support and encourage people and companies to become more sustainable as she believes the urgency for change is becoming ever more apparent.
Umbreen has over 12 years’ experience in direct marketing and customer communications and has worked as a campaign manager across a number of industries including financial services, utilities and the weight loss sector.
An all-round marketer, she has significant experience in managing marketing projects using both digital and traditional media. She is also an accredited copywriter. Making sure key messages are on point at all times, she can produce creative web copy and online content which is written to engage and optimised for search.
Umbreen has an holistic approach to a client’s digital requirements. She will ensure your online marketing project is not considered in isolation but fits with your overall business objectives, your customers, and other marketing activities.
Lina has over 10 years’ experience working in a strategic digital role across a number of industries in the UK. From online training, to the weight loss and healthcare sectors.
Committed and professional, Lina has significant experience in every aspect of digital marketing. From building and designing web-sites, search engine optimisation, pay per click, social media strategy across all platforms, to web analytics and reporting.
Passionate about staying ahead of the game in everything digital, Lina is equally passionate about helping clients make the most of the opportunities available for growing businesses online. She will lead, guide and assist you to achieve your online objectives no matter how big or small your project requirements.
Peter has 30 years experience as an accountant, working predominantly in the creative industries supporting musicians, artists and live events. He has many successful and notable clients in his portfolio. He also specialises in helping start up business with compliance, advice and general support.
Peter has been involved in the judging for The Green Apple Awards and The Built Environment Awards for many years.
‘I set up my business to work for people I have respect for and empathy with, such that I could provide low cost professional services for those who have chosen to use their creative talents as a career despite the low earnings that involves’.