A festive message from Business in the Community Scotland Director, Alan Thornburrow

A man in a blue suit smiles at the cameraAs we all wind down towards the festive season, head our separate ways and take time to be with our loved ones, I wanted to share a few thoughts with you and give you a heads up on our plans for early in the new year.

Firstly, let me wish you all a very Merry Christmas and all every success in 2019. I’d also like to thank you all for your support throughout a busy 2018. It has been an important year for us as we refocus in Scotland, develop meaningful partnerships and drive collective impact on the challenges facing us.

As we reflect on the past year and look ahead to the new year, we probably feel uncertain as to quite what the future holds, especially beyond the end of March. One thing is clear – we will continue to passionately build the case that responsible business is the only option. Companies are more alert than ever to the economic case that responsible business clearly makes good business sense. Whilst this is positive, there is much to be done and we will continue to work hard to shine the spotlight on the critical issues of our time.This year has seen a groundswell of interest in issues of mental health and wellbeing at work and a gradual but visible reduction in the stigma around mental health. We will continue making the case for parity with physical health, working in partnership with organisations from government, business and civic society as we do so. We produced a report about mental health at work that you can read here in case you missed it.  

We have also witnessed the stark reality of our need to act now on the environment as we reach a tipping point in our consumption of the planet’s resources and climate change. We are the last generation who can change the current course before it’s too late. The. Last. Generation. There is no Planet B if we don’t get this right. So, a major, game-changing new BITC initiative - Waste to Wealth -  will be an important area of focus. 

To bring this focus to life in Scotland we will be hosting an event centred around natural capital and the circular economy on 19 February 2019, working closely with partners already doing great work in these areas. You can register your early interest in Scotland’s Waste To Wealth now. We’ll have more information on this critical business issue to share with you very early in the new year.

Whilst we all look ahead with a degree of trepidation and uncertainty, I think it’s important to hold on tightly to hope and optimism.  We know we can make an impact in our work and we must believe fully in our commitment and collective determination to make a difference to lives across Scotland. As we recently wrote in The Scotsman we are broadly all facing in the same direction in Scotland. Whether business, government, third sector or wider society; we all want a more just and sustainable future. Let 2019 be the year where we really drive collective impact on that mission.

Wishing you all the very best this festive season,

Alan.