Sarah Borien, Social Value Lead (L&Q as of 2016), gives us some insights into the CR Management Programme.
Can you tell us a bit about your role at L&Q?
I am the Social Value Business Lead at L&Q, responsible for the social responsibility strategy across our supply chain. This includes creating social value plans for each contract that provide education, employment, community investment and education projects to L&Q residents and beyond.
Why is responsible business important for L&Q?
L&Q was founded on a pillar of social responsibility, and this ethos has been carried forward over half a century. The political, social and economic landscape may have changed beyond recognition, but we have never lost sight of where we came from and why we exist.
We are now integrating this ethos throughout the whole organisation. We want our people to grasp that social responsibility has to be considered in every aspect of how we do business.
Why was it important for you to go on the CR Management Programme?
I’ve worked in social housing for the last five years and have spent this time running employment and community projects, but I was new to the broader issue of corporate responsibility. Not only did I want to gain new knowledge in other areas of CR, but I also wanted to gain the tools I needed to embed this strategy across the organisation and our supply chain. Plus, it helped that the course is accredited – I was keen to get a qualification to evidence my knowledge and skills in this area of work.
What were the highlights of your experience of the Programme?
I liked that the course was staggered throughout the year; it allowed me to practically implement the things I had learnt in the course piece by piece.
It was also really helpful to meet other like-minded people who are facing the same challenges as I am. We were able to support each other with common issues and share best practice, which proved to be really useful.
What impact has the Programme had on your work at L&Q?
I feel much more confident about my work and know that I am covering all areas of the corporate responsibility agenda. I have been able to implement some of the recommended processes, as well as creating my own strategy based on the broad knowledge that I gained during the course.
Would you encourage others to take part in this Programme and who do you think is best suited to go on the CR Management Programme?
Yes, I would definitely recommend the course. I think it’s best suited to those looking to start a career in CR management, or for those who have worked in one specific area and need a broader range of knowledge.