Are you interested in implementing corporate social responsibility (CSR) into your place of business? For people living in the United Kingdom, there may be no better resource than Business in the Community (BITC). The organisation provides abundant information on CSR efforts, resources, programmes and events.
In 1980, British and American senior executives of prominent businesses participated in a conference together to discuss corporate involvement in the community. During the conference, the business leaders decided that there was a growing need for corporations to get more involved in helping out their communities. In combination with the increasing number of inner-city riots in England, this conference helped inspire the 1982 founding of Business in the Community. Since 1985, the Prince of Wales has served as the President of the organisation. BITC is also known as the Prince's Responsible Business Network and is one of The Prince's Charities.
What They Do
According to Business in the Community's website, "Our vision is for every business to act responsibly and so ensure a fairer society and a more sustainable future." The organisation is working toward its goal by doing the following:
- Supporting campaigns that help level the playing field for people facing disadvantage. One such campaign is Ban the Box, which seeks to prevent discrimination against people with past criminal convictions.
- Creating specific programmes to help people facing disadvantage find employment. Both Ready for Work and Get Ready! help secure jobs for homeless people and people at risk of becoming homeless.
- Connecting large corporations with smaller businesses and social enterprises to help these smaller organisations grow.
- Holding events that celebrate and promote social responsibility, including Give & Gain Day (20 May 2016) and Responsible Business Week (18-22 April 2016).
- Providing CSR training courses.
Business in the Community has an impressive website, but it also has office locations in Wales, Northern Ireland, and England. For those interested in finding an office located near them, there is a great map on the BITC website. This link also provides more information on each unique location. Additionally, BITC collaborates with a variety of international networks and programmes.
How Businesses Can Get Involved
So far, 850 companies are members of Business in the Community. Businesses can join by filling out a membership form online. Even if you are not interested in becoming a member, there are other great ways to help further corporate social responsibility efforts. On the BITC website, you can learn about diverse social issues that are in need of corporate assistance. The website also provides useful tools for businesses. Companies can evaluate their CSR efforts with the Corporate Responsibility Index and plan CSR strategies with the help of BITC's bespoke services.
Giva is pleased to spotlight Business in the Community's hard work and efforts toward making local and international businesses more socially responsible. BITC has existed for over 30 years and has made incredible progress during this time. We look forward to seeing what they will do in the next 30!