General

  • Take time out to celebrate success! - The pace of business can be unrelenting, can’t it? We’re all so busy dashing from one meeting to the next, worrying about the bank reconciliation to the next VAT payment, bending over backwards to do a great job on time and within budget for those all-important-customers, whilst balancing the need for sustainability of the business ...
  • Responsible Reputation leads to Business Book Publication - We're always really keen to feature any success that our ORB Members have in their business endeavours. So we were thrilled to hear that Jacqui Burke from Flourishing People, a business specialising in management, leadership and governance training, had been approached to write a book about her experiences in Early Years education business. Here she ...
  • “Every Little [Bit] Helps” - It is so easy to be Responsible ORB believes that the best way to change the world is to look at the small-stuff. You know, the ‘toothpick’ sized changes that each and every business could make that would not only improve the business but also help the communities, the employees and the customers and the ...
  • “It’s nothing personal. It’s just business…” - We’ve all been on the end of that phrase at some point or other in our lives, haven’t we? It’s usually delivered with an indifferent shrug of a rather cold-shoulder. I know that when I’ve had that said to me, or felt able to say it to somebody else, it has never felt great. I’m ...
  • The Responsible Business Workbook - Why the Responsible Business Workbook can really help your business The following article has been provided by Jo Shaer, Managing Director of Lollipop Local, a digital agency based in Southend-on-Sea. Jo was eager to share how the Responsible Business Workbook had benefited her company. Lollipop Local is a member of ORB (Organisation for Responsible Businesses) ...
  • The Business Case for Ethics and Responsibility - The business of being in business is hard work – so why would you go and make it even harder by trying to make your business mindful of ethics and responsibility? This is a question we at ORB get asked a lot! And we understand why some people look at the idea of ensuring their ...
  • What’s the carbon footprint of your computer? - We often come across new terms and acronyms which are often easier to say than they are to fully comprehend. One of the most interesting and frequently referenced is the question of carbon reduction and carbon footprint. This article will look at the carbon footprint of computers, something that is often considerably underestimated. So let’s ...
  • Millennials and Business Leadership - What do the Millennials think about Business Leadership? People born between the early 1980s and the 2000s, often referred to as Millennials, will form half the global workforce by 2020. What they expect from businesses and business leaders is very different from the hierarchical approach currently adopted by most companies. To attract the best talent ...
  • Nurture the rise of the ethical entrepreneur - Entrepreneurship continues to grow and an increasing number of people start their own business every year. With this trend likely to continue, it is important to help nurture an enterprising mindset from an early age to ensure budding business owners of the future are successful in starting and sustaining new business models. Even if young ...
  • Passive solar – what can it do for you? - What is passive solar and what can it do for you? If you’re planning a new office space or other business premises, or indeed planning a retrofit of an existing building, getting the most bang for your buck will be a priority. Good design can cut operating costs, improve productivity and wellbeing and even provide ...
  • The cost-benefit of Health and Safety at Work - The cost-benefit analysis of Health and Safety at Work Last year, the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) published a research report that examined the economic aspects of occupational health and safety interventions in the workplace for small and medium-sized businesses. It is, of course, every organisation’s moral and legal duty to ...
  • Compliant with health & safety regulations? - Is your business complying with health & safety regulations? Health and safety regulations protect the wellbeing of employees and employers alike. If you’re an employer and not complying with this important legislation, you’re breaking the law and could face stringent fines or even prison. Protecting your employees Good employers want to protect their employees. If ...
  • It was more of a Triple Whammy……!! - Double Whammy Networking is the fundraising arm of ORB, currently operational only in Southend* (but with plans to expand - see below.) DW events are ad hoc business networking events, so called because: a) They provide good quality business networking; and b) They raise funds for the local community. To ensure good networking we don’t ...
  • Improve employee health and wellbeing - 7 changes to improve employee health and wellbeing   According to statistics from the UK Health & Safety Executive, over 27 million working days were lost to sickness and workplace-related injury in 2014/15. When businesses act to improve the health and wellbeing of their staff, it leads to:   Increased productivity Fewer days off sick ...
  • New technologies and business ethics - Using new technology to switch to a more responsible business ethic We often hear much lip service around ethics in business but what can actually be done as an organisation to take a more responsible approach to operations on a daily basis? If we break down what it means to be a responsible business there ...
  • Safety in the workplace - Your employees are a precious commodity. The right ones can be tough to find, take a long time to train and be very expensive to replace. That’s why you need to look after them. Protect your staff and you’ll have a safe, smooth-running business. In the UK, an estimated 4.1 million working days were lost ...
  • Living Wage Week - It’s Living Wage Week, but what does that mean? Did you know that the first week of November marks the annual Living Wage Week? Designed to coincide with the government’s yearly announcement of the revised Living Wage, the week consists of a range of events, from rallies to film screenings, all aiming to get more ...
  • Employee benefits: health insurance. - The Benefits Of Offering Health Insurance Packages To Employees As an employer it’s important to consider the benefits you provide for your people. It’s they after all who keep a business moving forward and keeps the wheels turning on a day-to-day basis. They certainly should be considered as your most valuable asset – and they ...
  • Following ‘Diesel-Gate’ - Following ‘Diesel-Gate’: What Are Other Car Manufacturers Doing To Be More Socially Responsible? The revelations that the world’s biggest car maker, VW, falsified some of its diesel-engine car emission tests has thrown the whole future of diesel power in cars into turmoil. The current emissions and fuel economy testing procedures have come into focus, and ...
  • Responsible Advertising: Marketing To Children - When advertising a product or service it is important to be careful, to avoid causing offence through a marketing campaign that could be seen as sexist, racist or even too suggestive. Commercials surround us; business owners use a number of ways to communicate messages including SMS marketing campaigns that ping directly to our phone; and ...
  • 8 ways to improve cyber security online - The challenges of cyber security, and the importance of proactive behaviours by businesses operating an online presence, have never been such a major issue in the UK. Such is the level of the threat out there that official guidelines on the topic of cyber security are now to be introduced into UK computer science and ...
  • Flexible Working: Why It’s A Must For Business - Flexible Working: Why It's A Must For Business in 2016 The opportunity to work flexibly has been made possible due to the rise of technology and more importantly, the Internet. ONS (Office for National Statistics) figures reveal that in Great Britain 39.3 million adults are accessing the Internet everyday and 86% of households have access ...
  • Is your Startup Compliant? - Need a van for your burgeoning business? Then there are a number of legal points you need to tick off on your list beforehand to make sure you don’t incur unnecessary fines and charges. Below you’ll find the major requirements you simply can’t afford to skimp on. Insurance You can drive a van of 3.5 ...
  • Social Enterprise – the darker side - Many people know that I have what I would call a Love / Hate relationship with Social Enterprise. I love the ethos of giving social value being more important than making a profit – although of course we must never forget that ALL organisations need to make a profit, even if they call it a ...
  • The Results of a CSR Internship -   I can’t believe that my time at ORB is nearly at an end! It has gone incredibly quickly but in that short time I don’t think I could have learnt a lot more than I have. From being well and truly thrown in the deep end I pretty quickly learnt how to network, pitch, ...
  • Engaged in the Community -Top 10 Tips! -   There so many benefits to be had for any business by engaging with the local community –but as with any business strategy it should be done correctly to maximise the benefits! Lacey Thayers CIC is a firm of consultants that we work very closely with. They are experts in optimising a business’s success by ...
  • The Millennials are Coming - There is a huge amount of research investigating the social changes in business all over the world and this survey is no different in believing that there will be big changes to come that companies all need to be ready for. The 2015 Deloitte Millennial Survey explored what the next generation of leaders, The Millennials, ...
  • The B Team! - Have you heard of the incredible B Team? Having only just come across it myself I am inspired by the efforts of the movement to change how the world does business and switch from ‘Plan A’ to ‘Plan B’ where it’s priorities are People, Planet and Profit (just like ORB!). The movement was Co-Founded by ...
  • Win Fruit for Your Office! - British Heart Foundation: Fruitful Office Heart disease remains the single biggest killer in the UK, it’s responsible for around 73,000 deaths, an average of 200 people each day. All too often these deaths could be prevented by positive lifestyle changes that look after your heart.   Why not kick-start your 2015 (and keep that New ...
  • ‘The Values Revolution’ - The Values Revolution evidences a major public shift towards more socially concious behaviour. This exciting research was conducted by ‘Global Tolerance’, a leading global social change consultancy that helps organisations harness this social attitude shift and to do well while doing so. This  research identifies significant implications for all business sectors in order to survive the ...
  • Entrepreneurs ARE a noble bunch…! - Oh dear. Editor-in-chief Jeremy O’Grady normally delivers words of wisdom in his weekly musings in The Week - a weekly paper /magazine providing an unbiased summary of the week’s news. But this time he’s got it horribly wrong. Entrepreneurs across the country need to ask him to reconsider his comments! Jeremy says: “the entrepreneur is ...
  • Oh oh! Here comes the consultant! - I don’t have a problem per se with consultants, but the type of “business expert” who hasn’t adapted to today’s changing business world drives me nuts! And sadly, I think far too many business consultants fall in to that category. You know the type I mean? Guys, and it is mostly men, who are still ...
  • DON’T HIDE YOUR LIGHT UNDER A BUSHEL! - We recently launched the Southend Business and Community Charter, an initiative we are working on with local authorities and other organisations to encourage businesses to get more involved in their local communities, and celebrate and acknowledge those that do via a rolling awards system. What has been an absolutely amazing discovery is the number of ...
  • Sustainability and the IoD - In November, the Institute of Directors (IoD) held an event in conjunction with the British Standards Institute (BSI) relating to sustainability. I was pleased to attend and naturally delighted that the IoD is encouraging it’s members to consider sustainability. But, as always, the question is what is sustainability? One of my frustrations is that events ...
  • Time is money, so the saying goes… - When I worked as a chalet host in a French ski resort, time was my nemesis; I never had enough of it. On changeover day our workforce had to turnaround twenty to thirty separate residences by the time new clients were ready to check-in at 4pm. When we were fully booked, the company employed part-time ...
  • The Responsible Business Conference - On Monday 18th November people will start arriving in Southend for the Responsible Business Conference, heralding the start of Global Entrepreneurship Week.
  • ‘Set your destination to amazing’ - Everyone in the country has favourite memories from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Now there’s a chance to capture the spirit of that amazing time by taking part in Britain’s Personal Best.
  • Do away with waste paperwork - Would you prefer to record your waste transfers online instead of having a pile of paperwork? Edoc, a UK-wide system being developed by government and waste industry organisations, goes live in January 2014. It will enable you to do away with paper and create, share, sign and store waste transfer notes online. You will be ...
  • Embedded Core Values - A CODE OF PRACTICE TO ENSURE YOUR ORGANISATION MEETS CORE VALUES
  • Take a break to boost business - A change is as good as a rest I’m told, but only if it involves a change of scenery, perhaps a sunny beach as opposed to my computer screen. I’m not work-shy, but I do know how important it is to take a break.
  • Alternative Models to Micromanagement - Managerial snooping is a tell-tale sign of a dysfunctional office environment. Supervisors’ constant need to keep tabs on their employees’ activities is not exactly the benchmark of an existing and competent management style. These chronic supervisory practices may come in various guises such as website activity tracking, e-mail monitoring, and other modes of employee scrutiny. ...
  • NLP in business: client benefits for the taking - A competent entrepreneur is aware of one basic business principle: in every investment, there should be a definite, or at least a potential, reward or profit. This is equally true when it comes to considering the value of shelling out a considerable amount of money for leadership trainings and seminars. There are many organisations that ...
  • Success through Emotional Intelligence - Intellectuals and creatives abound. In a corporate setting, for instance, there is no scarcity of talented and intelligent people who adequately know their trade and efficiently accomplish their tasks. But the most curious thing happens when some of these people are given a managerial role; for some reason, not all of them are able to ...
  • Reviving our timber industry - Up to 80 per cent of wood used in the UK is imported. According to forestry experts we are simply not taking advantage of opportunities to create a thriving wood industry, and all the economic benefits this could bring.
  • The Need for Radical Monetary Reform - The way money is created is at the root of the environmental and economic crisis.
  • The European CSR Award Scheme - The European CSR Awards scheme presents a wonderful opportunity for the EU to join together and recognise the importance of CSR and celebrate great initiatives.
  • Mentors for Cleantech Companies - Following the soft launch of the London Cleantech Cluster in the late summer (www.londoncleantechcluster.co.uk), Eventure Media Ltd are linking up with the Wax Chandlers Livery and developing a free mentoring arrangement for those that wish to participate. This is not limited to Greater London at all and is very much a nationwide activity.
  • What’s your biggest weakness? - Cars aren’t my thing. But there are some fabulous cars on the market now with impressive environmental credentials, so surely it makes sense to save money and consider the environment at the same time?
  • A culture of Trust - Mike Jennings, the chairman of Jennings of Garsington, has built a very successful business based on mutual trust.
  • The church and business working together. - It is heartwarming to see the church and business working together. Ely Cathedral Business Group provide an excellent example of how this works.
  • Adding Social Value - local councils have been freed from excessive and prescriptive guidance and duties in return for a “social responsibility” deal which asks that they continue to give support to local voluntary and community groups and small businesses.
  • Green Office Week 2012 - Green Office Week (GOW 14th-18th May is an action-packed week full of fun and simple ideas to make your office greener.
  • ‘Focus on Enforcement – food manufacturing - ‘Focus on Enforcement’ - opportunity for small businesses in food manufacturing to have their say on the way regulations are enforced
  • A great training weekend - We delivered another training session this weekend – our first two day course. Everyone was particularly excited about the potential for new CSR initiatives emanating out of the EU – and the impact the new Public Services (social value) Bill 2012 will have on public sector procurement.
  • A new language in the construction industry - I attended a local business breakfast event on Thursday and was particularly impressed with the presentations from Mark Potter and Rachel Johns of national construction company Morgan Sindall.
  • National Leader of the Year Award! - I have been shortlisted for the prestigious BusinessGreen Leader of the Year award for the development of The Responsible Business Standard, our auditable accreditation designed specifically for smaller businesses.
  • Focus on Enforcement - The Government has already acknowledged that small businesses are over burdened with inappropriate legislation and have adopted a process of eliminating red tape.
  • B1G1 – Be Inspired - I have just attended one of Paul Dunn’s Inspire! seminars – and my goodness, it really was inspiring!
  • Versatile Training CIC – a social enterprise I love. - I was delighted to present a discussion on CSR – Corporate Social Responsibility – at the official launch of Versatile Training CIC last night. I was particularly pleased to do so because I have a bit of a love / hate relationship with social enterprises – but Versatile Training is one I love! Let me ...
  • “Unemployment Day” in the high street. - The recession continues to bite, unemployment is rising and businesses are closing. The struggle is particularly intense in our high streets as they not only have to contend with a downturn in the economy, but also changes in purchasing habits
  • Are they listening? - A radical overhaul of burdensome employment legislation is desperately needed to encourage firms to recruit and thereby help stimulate the economy. But is the Government listening?
  • Your Brand–Your Reputation - When starting a business, one of the big considerations is the “corporate image.” Choosing a logo, the company colours, the style of literature and web sites is all part of that initial branding exercise. And without doubt, that early stage branding plays a very important part of a company’s image and potential development.
  • The Royal Households – setting a green example. - It is essential to operate the Royal Households like a business: standards do clearly have to be maintained but expenses must be justified. While cynics might perceive otherwise, the public purse used to maintain the Palaces is certainly not a bottomless pit!
  • Sustainability – bottom up or top down? - In my work with SMEs, I invariably find that the sustainability journey is very much top down: that is, it is led by the owner / managing director who has personal aspirations in that direction. Similarly, I find it virtually impossible to profile the type of company or industry, apart from the obvious eco-businesses, that ...