Business in the Community Ireland welcomes the Launch of the Government’s National Action Plan on Corporate Responsibility. On April 9th Business in the Community Ireland, Ireland’s national network for responsible business welcomed the launch of the Government’s National Action Plan on Corporate Responsibility (CR). The report entitled ‘Good for Business, Good for the Community’ is considered an important landmark in giving greater Irish policy agreement on responsible business behaviour by placing CR on the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation’s agenda. The Action Plan outlines the Government’s commitment to encourage good business practice by Irish companies both domestically and internationally. Ireland will be the 12h European country to develop a national action plan in line with successful and progressive economies such as Germany, Finland and Sweden.
Significantly, the Plan further champions best in class responsible business practices as an opportunity to market Ireland on an international basis as a CR Centre of Excellence. A key challenge for companies is in measuring their responsible business practices. BITCI’s Business Working Responsibly Mark, audited by the NSAI, not only gives third party endorsement of practices, it crucially demonstrates ‘excellence’ in line with the plan’s vision to market all Irish businesses as such.
Tina Roche, CEO, Business in the Community Ireland, commenting on the National Action Plan stated:
“Business in the Community welcomes the launch of the National Action Plan as a signal of Ireland’s commitment to corporate responsibility. Our organisation has been championing responsible business practices for a long time and its importance for making companies sustainable and successful. Resource efficiency, increased productivity, staff motivation, consumer confidence, trust and reputation are the main priorities for Irish business leaders. The need for growth, jobs, particularly youth employment, environmental sustainability and social resilience at a time of economic difficulty are the foremost priorities for government. CR is uniquely positioned to contribute to these priorities and a robust National Action Plan driving its benefits for both business and society will ensure its full potential is realised.”
In October 2013, research conducted by Business in the Community Ireland in partnership with Amárach revealed that three quarters of Irish adults think the Irish government should require its suppliers to prove they are behaving ethically in Ireland and in other parts of the world. A further opportunity exists within the National Plan to strengthen the government’s position on the responsible management of supply chains. This is an area where real impact can be made at a national policy level and where the government could lead by example through sustainable procurement practices. Critically the Plan also proposes the establishment of a CR Stakeholder Forum bringing business, government departments, state agencies and community sectors together to drive action, create awareness and achieve the stated vision.
Speaking at the launch of today’s report, Roche commented:
“We all know that our society, economy, and the environment are changing rapidly and enterprises which are most attuned to changing societal expectations are likely to be those that are most successful. Today’s report is a call to all Irish companies to put in place a process for integrating social, environmental, ethical and consumers’ interests in their business operations and strategy. We look forward to working with the Government and our members to implement these principles and we commit to promoting understanding of how addressing CR can help build business excellence.”