University backs Responsible Business Week

Portsmouth Business School

Portsmouth Business School

The University of Portsmouth Business School is showing its support for Responsible Business Week, the high-profile annual awareness week that is dedicated to profiling the contribution of business to society.

Responsible Business Week 2016 (18–22 April), coordinated by the charity Business in the Community, was created to increase awareness of the powerful difference that business makes to the economic, social and environmental challenges we face as a nation.

Portsmouth Business School is one of hundreds of organisations across the UK taking part in the campaign, which this year has the theme ‘ideas for good get better when shared’.

Through debates, events, and conversations, Business in the Community is asking businesses to be more vocal in sharing how they are putting ideas into action to tackle pressing issues: from supporting employees and the future workforce, investing in local communities to developing small businesses and taking action on the environment.

Portsmouth Business School hosted a mini conference at the University this week, which aimed to share success and best practice.

Representatives from the private, public and voluntary sectors participated, including key representatives from the University of Portsmouth, Fujitsu, Southern Co-op, Wiggle, and Portsmouth City Council. They joined thousands of people across the country participating in the week.

The Dean of the Business School, Professor Gioia Pescetto, said: “We’re delighted to support the Responsible Business Week. It’s a great opportunity to shine a spotlight on how companies and universities can collaborate for the benefit of society, the environment and the economy.

“As educators we hold the responsibility of graduating people who are empowered to make a full contribution to society. We fully subscribe to the Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRiME).”

The keynote speaker at the conference was Tom Levitt, former MP and Director of Sector 4 Focus, which works to promote cross-sector partnerships between business and charities. He spoke about how the resources of business can best be used to deliver mutual benefit for business and society.

Other guest speakers were: Councillor Donna Jones, Leader of Portsmouth City Council; Shannon Woollcott, Fujitsu’s EMEIA Responsible Business Lead; Gemma Lacey, The Southern Co-operative’s Director of Sustainability and Communications; and Professor Matthew Weait, Dean of the University’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

The conference included two breakout sessions on fairness and sustainability.

David Williams, Area Director for Business in the Community, said: “Responsible Business Week is an opportunity to raise the profile of business as a force for good and give some much needed visibility to the positive difference business is making to our communities, environment and economy. By creating this space to share ideas that are working, we’re able to challenge and inspire many more organisations of all sizes to be part of a movement transforming the way business is done. We all know trust in business is a challenge. Responsible Business Week is also an opportunity to help business build dialogue with the public by being more transparent about how it does business.”

To find out more about Responsible Business Week visit www.bitc.org.uk/rbweek or search for the hashtag #RBWeek.

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