Responsible Business Week

Suzanne Baxter

Suzanne Baxter

A number of events took place across the country last week to mark Responsible Business Week, an annual awareness campaign run by Business in the Community (BITC), HRH The Prince of Wales’ responsible business charity.

The initiative aims to increase visibility of the positive contribution business is making to society and inspire businesses of all sizes to learn how they can work together to tackle pressing social, environmental and economic challenges.

Thousands of people from business, the voluntary and public sector took part, running debates, events, online discussions and internal communications to bring to life how businesses are addressing issues such as inspiring young people on careers and creating diverse workforces.

Suzanne Baxter, Finance Director at Mitie, was recently appointed as the new Chair of the South West Strategic Board for BITC. Here, she explains what her new role will entail and what Mitie is doing to support responsible business practice.

“I’m extremely proud to have taken on my new role with BITC, an organisation I have been involved with for over 10 years now through their gender diversity and internal governance committees.

“BITC is a hugely influential organisation that encourages businesses to work together to create a fairer society and a more sustainable future, objectives that I support both personally and through our work at Mitie.

“In my new role, I will be working closely with the board, the BITC team and other local business leaders and stakeholders to support sustainable business practice and to encourage our regional businesses to share best practice and support the communities in which they work. I have already seen some great work in action.

“I will be focusing on the direction of the charity in the region, raising awareness of the benefits of responsible business and helping other businesses and organisations to develop and share their corporate responsibility and sustainability agendas.

“At Mitie, sustainability is a core consideration for our business model and supports our long term agendas around our people, our clients and future growth.

“Whether it’s championing diversity and equality amongst our 70,000 people to ensure we can attract and retain great talent, working with clients to optimise the interaction with their supply chains, saving energy, reducing carbon emissions, ethically sourcing or minimising waste – it’s all important to us.

“The South West business community is hugely diverse, from household name public companies to rural enterprises and entrepreneurial start-ups, and there are many opportunities to learn from each other.

“Many businesses are already doing incredibly important work in the area of sustainability and responsible business practice and I look forward to encouraging more to do the same. Responsible business practice makes good commercial sense and is something I feel passionate about.

“It has a positive impact on our local economy and in our local communities, as well as creating huge value for businesses and the people working in and with them.”