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Responsible Business Through a Rural Lens

An overview of the key issues facing rural areas and an adaptation of BITC's key messages on responsible business for a rural audience.
Includes:
  • Why rural communities matter
  • Why businesses build rural sustainability and environmental services
  • Why it pays to be a responsible business partner in the rural marketplace
  • Why take action in the rural workplace
  • A step by step 'how to guide' on the actions to take

I only hope that companies find this a valuable tool to guide them in their corporate responsibilty activities and, in doing so, help to secure as durable a future as possible for rural areas od the U.K. and the nation as a whole.

- HRH Prince Charles,
Prince of Wales
Business and community and urban and rural are all interdependent. We rely on a thriving rural economy for the most essential things – from the food we eat to the open spaces where many of us enjoy our spare time. These things should matter to any business that is serious in taking the long term view.

The rural economy is hugely important to the UK, turning over £300bn, employing 5.5m people and offering an estimated untapped potential to generate another £236bn to £347bn per year.

This publication has been written to reflect the feedback we received following a series of workshops run by BITC across the country, during which we consulted with large and small businesses, community groups and public sector organisations on how business could contribute to improved rural sustainability at the grassroots level. It highlights those businesses that are aware of their ‘rural footprint’ through their supply chains, employees and customers and are excelling in supporting the communities in which they trade. It looks at responsible business through a rural focused lens and considers how prioritiesand methods of business engagement differ in a rural setting. The ‘How to Guide’ at back of the document sets out clearly how businesses of any size can minimise negative and maximise positive impacts on rural areas.