Speaking in the week that Finance Wales hosted the judging day for the Wales Responsible Business Awards 2017, Giles Thorley (Chief Executive, Finance Wales) reflects on the importance of responsible business.
Finance Wales is proud to be a Member of Business in the Community Cymru. Our membership represents one of our core business values – responsible and sustainable investment in Wales. As a responsible investor, we believe responsible businesses are better businesses.
We believe that responsible business practices positively impact a business’ current and future commercial success and ultimately its value. They can do this through increased;
- brand value and reputation – customers and procurers want to do business with, and prospective employees want to work for, responsible companies
- new business opportunities and financial performance – responsible business practices can be a powerful unique selling point (USP)
- operational effectiveness – with a more cohesive and engaged workforce
- organisational and employee development – through different and varied engagement opportunities
These final two points go hand in hand. Working with BITC Cymru is a great way to give back to Welsh communities – helping to build a more sustainable future. Just one aspect of being a responsible business is taking part in employee volunteering. By encouraging volunteering, a business enables staff to make positive impacts where they work and where they live – it boosts morale as well as fostering good relationships. 93% of participants in Give & Gain Day 2016 said they felt more connected to their community and 83% said their perception of their employer improved due to taking part. Give & Gain Day has allowed Finance Wales the opportunity to volunteer and support organisations as diverse as Maerdy Tenants & Residents Association, Down to Earth, Baden Powell Primary School and Cwmbran Centre for Young People. It allows us to give back to the community in an enjoyable and practical way. (Find out more about Give & Gain Day 2017 and how you can take part online here)
Welsh companies are ambitious, both in their growth plans and in their commitment to their communities. Nothing highlights this as much as the Wales Responsible Business Awards. The Wales Responsible Business Awards recognise the very best of companies; those which are making a positive difference to economic, environmental and social challenges we face as a nation. At Finance Wales we are delighted to be hosting the Awards judging again in 2017. Being part of the Awards is always a great honour and privilege. We see so many different and exciting initiatives being put in to practice by Welsh companies for the betterment of their staff and communities. It is truly inspiring.
Reading the Award submissions shows what the business community here in Wales can achieve – regardless of the scale, sector and size of company you are.
Judging the Awards is always a tough task, but extremely rewarding. We, along with the rest of the responsible business network in Wales, wish every luck to all who are shortlisted and look forward to finding out who the Category Winners are in June.