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Northumbria and Newcastle Universities host Responsible Business Week

21st April 2015

Northumbria and Newcastle Universities are joining together to host landmark Responsible Business events, bringing together key business leaders and third sector organisations from across the region.

The events support Business in the Community’s (BITC) national Responsible Business Week, a week for businesses, charities and other responsibly-minded organisations to collaborate, share good practice and learn from one another.

In the first of two events, both being held on 23rd April, Northumbria’s Newcastle Business School brings business leaders together in one room to host conversations between the private, public and charitable sectors to promote partnership working and responsible practice in the North East.

Dr Jane Turner, Associate Dean for Business and Engagement at Northumbria said: “Given our reputation for partnerships alongside our research focus, we are keen to engage in the Responsible Business agenda and recognise that it is a great opportunity to collaborate with partners from other sectors.  Business schools play a vital role in catalysing conversations on responsible business and using their research to inform practise.”

The keynote address will be given by Peter Walls, BITC’s North East HRH The Prince of Wales’ Ambassador and CEO of Gentoo, a large North East based social enterprise with a vision to improve the Art of Living.

Their activity is focused around people, planet and property and this week they have topped BITC’s annual benchmark of responsible business, the Corporate Responsibility Index (CR Index). They are the only organisation in the Index to achieve a full score of 100%, representing a 5 star rating.  This maximum score shows the Group has fully integrated responsible business practices in to everything it does, right through from its strategy, to its operations and impacts.

Peter Walls, Gentoo Group Chief Executive said: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to share our knowledge and experiences with other like-minded businesses, who want to have a positive impact on society. The way we do business has changed, we have nothing to lose and everything to gain by sharing best practice and working together to address the issues that are common to all of us who live and work in the North East. At Gentoo, being a responsible business is at the heart of everything we do and by encouraging others to be responsible together we can make a bigger impact.” 

Brian Manning, CEO of Esh Group and Hannah Underwood, CEO of social enterprise, The Key, will also be speaking at the event. Brian’s leadership is integral to the success of corporate social responsibility (CSR) at Esh Group as well as the North East region, holding roles at the North East Chamber of Commerce and the BITC’s Regional Advisory Board. Hannah’s transformational leadership has led to numerous personal and organisational awards and accolades, including The Key being selected on one of only 26 charities worldwide to benefit from the Royal Wedding Charitable Gift Fund.

Other partners involved in Responsible Business Week will also be present at the event including St Oswald’s Hospice, Cranfield Trust and SkillsBridge.

This event contributes to Newcastle Business School’s growing research agenda on Responsible Business in partnership with St Oswald’s Hospice. The School is hoping to run additional Responsible Business events throughout the course of the year as well as writing a book on the subject of which all proceeds will go to St Oswald’s.

The event will take place on Thursday, 23 April 2015 at Newcastle Business School. To book a place, please click here.

Following this event, Newcastle University will host an EXPO event at the Great North Museum to showcase local grassroots community groups and third sector organisations in and around Newcastle as well as the wider region.

Students and staff from Newcastle University and Northumbria University, as well as CSR practitioners and operational level managers across the region, can find out more about volunteering and getting involved with community work to enhance their CSR links and personal CV.

The event is free to attend but registration is required. 

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