In 2015 AF Blakemore completed BITC’s CR Index on a private basis as a baseline assessment around its responsible business activities and performance. The CR Index was used as a management tool to further integrate responsible business into all parts of the organisation.
AF Blakemore wanted to get an overview of its responsible business performance. The company did have an existing CR programme and knew of varying degrees of engagement throughout the business. The next step was to pull all existing information together, to understand how much information was being collected and how this information could help the company going forward.
AF Blakemore wished to use a tried and tested tool to conduct a gap analysis of its programmes and to understand their strengths and areas for improvement. The aim of conducting this strategic and holistic assessment was to create an action plan and take the company's approach to corporate responsibility to the next level with a focus on the core business and on opportunities instead of risk mitigation.
What we did
BITC identified the CR Index as a perfect management tool for AF Blakemore to assess, measure and report on their responsible business performance in a systematic and integrated way.
First, AF Blakemore conducted a self-assessment using the CR Index survey. BITC then reviewed the provided information in detail and compiled an in-depth management report outlining providing expert feedback on key strengths, areas for improvement, key recommendations for next steps as well as good practice examples.
BITC noted, for example, the strength of AF Blakemore’s community programme and encouraged it to continue the good work in this area. It BITC also suggested they enforce the leadership around its community investment to ensure accountability from the top as well as setting more impact orientated performance targets.
To engage the Leadership team at AF Blakemore, BITC presented the key findings and recommendations to the Managing Director, Peter Blakemore, and other key decision makers. On the basis of the management report and presentation, AF Blakemore has identified core recommendations for the company to focus on in 2016/2017.
The project has already demonstrated impact. For example, significant changes have been made in the way corporate responsibility is governed throughout the organisation as a result of the CR Index project. Some of AF Blakemore's nine divisions already had divisional CR Committees which had been key drivers in building a culture of responsible business, but which were not greatly integrated due to being separated by division. Furthermore, they weren’t part of the core business decision making process.
To increase integration, AF Blakemore is now establishing cross-divisional steering groups for workplace, marketplace, environment and community. This supports collaboration between divisions on common risks and opportunities. The steering groups will also provide regular update reports to the main AF Blakemore Board and thus be better integrated into the strategic decision making process.
What we delivered