Jane Wood on the UK-wide responsible business network

Jane Wood, MD of Business in the Community Scotland, writes about the power of being part of a UK-wide responsible business network following the recent Scottish merger.

The reaction from Business in the Community’s Business Emergency Resilience Group (BERG) to the devastating flooding across Scotland highlights the power of our organisation following the merger.

Large-scale corporate members assisted SMEs affected by unprecedented flood damage in Aberdeenshire, Perthshire, the Scottish Borders and beyond in partnership with the Prince’s Countryside Fund.

"There's always more to be done"

The BERG leadership group consists of businesses insurance and financial services, construction and disaster recovery specialists and communications sectors as well as third and public sector organisations. Together, BERG partners have been incredible in bringing their collective resources and expertise to the assistance of communities in crisis – as indeed have other members of BITC Scotland who have offered practical support where it’s been needed most.

Having visited Ballater in Aberdeenshire myself, an epicentre of both the impact of the weather and also the hub of the recovery effort, I’ve been tremendously proud to witness this most tangible demonstration of responsible business in action. But, of course, there’s always more to be done.

Business in the Community Scotland will be an excellent channel for UK businesses seeking to develop their responsible business activities north of the border, to the common good. As Managing Director of Business in the Community Scotland I remain committed to the development and expansion of our movement. 

An exciting year for Scotland

I’m supported by Mark Bevan, our Operations Director, who has been appointed as Deputy Managing Director of BITC Scotland. To support the strategic development of the responsible business movement in Scotland the Scottish Business in the Community board will become an advisory board for BITC Scotland, with the exception of the chair, Jayne-Anne Gadhia, who will become a trustee of the main BITC board.

And now I have a further role to play across the UK. As Director of External Affairs for Business in the Community, I’ll be leading and advising on UK key fundraiser, donor and grant-giving relationships and negotiations and also supporting UK public affairs strategy and implementation with a focus on key stakeholders.

So – an exciting year awaits us all in Scotland with the Scottish Parliament elections and the Scotland Bill on the horizon. The Scottish Parliament is set to become one of the most powerful devolved parliaments in the world with the devolution of around £11 billion of income tax powers and £2.7 billion of welfare powers.

2016 will undoubtedly be a year of challenge, opportunity and potential. Of social, environmental and economic problems in need of long-term solutions.

I look forward to the year ahead – together I know we can really make a lasting difference.

Find out more about Scottish Business in the Community's merger with BITC.