BT Ireland is one of the world’s leading communications services companies, and they employ more than 670 people in sites across Ireland including Dublin, Donegal, Cork, Galway, Limerick, Meath and Waterford. Their purpose is as simple as it is ambitious – they connect for good. The connections they make are helping solve the world’s biggest challenges such as the global pandemic, climate change and cyber security. Through the power of technology, BT is supporting their customers, and communities, to live, work and experience better.
Why did the company decide to go for the Mark?
Having achieved the Mark in 2018, we made the decision to pursue a re-certification in 2021 because the external accreditation and recognition of our responsible and sustainable business leadership is valued by us and our key stakeholder groups.
How was the process managed internally? How was the CEO & leadership team involved?
Our Managing Director and leadership team fully recognise the importance of the Mark, and the validity of what is the top CSR and sustainability standard in Ireland. In addition, the Mark process supported BT’s commitment to continuous improvement, and each phase enabled us to identify opportunities to enhance what we do and the impact we make.
At the start of the process, a multi-functional team was formed and comprised of representatives from across the company including HR, Communications, Products, L&D, Health & Safety, Environment, Procurement, CTO, Legal, and Marketing. This collaborative team met weekly, and together worked hand in hand through the major milestones from March to September including Initial Assessments, Mock Audits and the Audit.
What was the most challenging part of the process?
The Mark is a root and branch review of the organisation, and therefore a lengthy process that requires commitment, resources and a passion to reach certification. The rigour of the process makes it all the more credible as a certification.
How did the process itself help the company?
The Mark Standard clarified for us the benchmark that is expected of an exemplar CSR and sustainability management system across 22 indicators. It provided an excellent framework from which we could take an holistic approach to responsible and sustainable business. With the BITC team consistently providing constructive challenge, it generated a prioritisation of topics that were truly material to our business, and a forensic analysis of how we perform against each aspect of the Mark management system. With the BITC team holding up an external lens to our Irish business, we identified opportunities to strengthen our organisation including removing organisational siloes, increasing our engagement with key stakeholder groups, and further embedding a sustainability culture right across our business.
What is the business value to the company now that you have been certified? What are the benefits for the business?
The remedies we have put in place as part of the end-to-end Mark process are advantageous to our business, and ultimately improve what we do, how we do it, and the value we provide. It’s not a tick box exercise that ends as soon as you are certified. It provides a structured system by which to design, deliver and measure an organisation’s responsible and sustainable business practices.
If a company was to start the certification process what one top tip you could give?
Form a strong multi-functional team, who have the full backing of the company’s leadership executives, and set out sufficient time to address any gaps identified in the Initial Assessments and Mock Audits.
For more information on BT as a responsible, inclusive and sustainable business, visit their website.
Check out the other Business Working Responsibly Mark certified companies and learn more about the Mark.