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University endorsement of CSR Accreditation

University endorsement of CSR Accreditation

Buckinghamshire-based company CSR-Accreditation (CSRA) – which helps organisations to demonstrate their positive impact on society and the environment – has been reviewed and endorsed by a scrutiny panel at Buckinghamshire New University

The University was ‘highly impressed’ by the company’s processes, and made recommendations including helping schools to report on their corporate social responsibility (CSR) which CSRA has welcomed and implemented.

Richard Collins, Managing Director of CSRA, said:
“We’re delighted to receive the University’s endorsement after a rigorous assessment during which they scrutinised our processes and overall approach.

“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. It’s a really great way to show what good looks like.”

Established in July 2018, the firm has already endorsed the CSR activities of local organisations including Seymour Taylor, B P Collins LLP and Bucks Business First to name a few. Each was assessed by an independent accreditation panel, representing the public, private and third sectors, across the CSR Four Pillars: environment; philanthropy; community, and workplace.

CSR-Accreditation is a great way to pull together what you are already doing with regard to CSR. It helps you easily report on your organisations sustainable and community engagement. The Accreditation application process provides a simple and straight forward template where you can record your organisations activity against the CSR Four Pillars. For every accreditation a tree is planted as part of the Green Earth Appeal and 5% of the application fee goes to charity.

In December 2019, Bucks New University was the first university in the UK to achieve a Gold award in CSRA’s scheme, as ‘visible testimony of its excellence’.

Bucks New University scrutinised CSRA as the CSR Accreditation needs to be independently endorsed and recognised by a reputable educational body, such as a university, to show due diligence.

Professor Nick Braisby, Vice-Chancellor at Bucks New University, said: “The scrutiny panel was highly impressed with CSR-A’s visionary approach and the way that they are working to integrate and embed CSR into all levels of education, and for their commitment particularly to support small to medium enterprises.

“As a higher education provider, we look forward to working with them to encourage the sector to embed CSR into the curriculum so that future generations are inspired to make a difference and positive contribution in their local communities and the wider world.

“Being a responsible corporate citizen is very important to us at Bucks. Everyone was thrilled to receive the Gold Accreditation, and I’m very proud of the positive impact our staff and students make to the environment, in the community and across our campuses.”

Bucks New University also recommended that CSRA review its marking criteria and develop benchmark exemplars to represent each level of accreditations and size of company. They also recommended that CSRA should provide an advisory report to all applicants to ensure that even those awarded the highest levels of accreditation could be assisted to improve their rating for a future reaccreditation application.

Richard Collins added: ‘’It’s clear that the University takes its sustainable and ethical responsibilities seriously, and is determined to set a good example as a leading local organisation and beyond to the wider education sector. Achieving a CSR-A Gold award is not easy and is a visible testimony of its excellence.

“We are looking forward to working with more companies and wish to encourage a culture of sustainable and social purpose with profit.”

Since the scrutiny and assessment process CSRA has gone on to develop a one and two-day CSR Training Course, endorsed by the Institute of Administrative Management (IAM), produce processes and a template for CSR Impact reporting and have introduced a CSR scheme for primary and secondary schools including learning outcome for school councils.