Making a difference is good for business

Jo Fairley, founder of UK-based organic chocolate company Green & Black's, gave the keynote speech at an event at Nottingham Trent University (NTU) on Wednesday 11 March.

I really applaude what universities like NTU are doing... you've got this amazing symbiotic relationship between a university and local businesses.
Jo Fairley

Jo Fairley, founder of UK-based organic chocolate company Green & Black's, gave the keynote speech at a recent event at Nottingham Trent University (NTU).

Nearly 100 delegates attended Making a Difference, to learn more about ethical, social and sustainable business practices. The event brought together expert speakers from a variety of areas, from NTU and beyond.

Jo gave an inspirational insight into how Green & Black’s grew from a tiny company to a renowned global business through pioneering ethical practices.

Speakers from NTU gave an overview of some of the responsible practices that are embedded across the University. This included an outline of the University’s Employee Volunteering scheme, the importance the University places on sustainable procurement, and how NTU has become one of the 'greenest' universities in the world.*

External speakers included Jerome Baddley of Nottingham Energy Partnership. This charity-owned social enterprise helps devise, manage and deliver effective practical projects tackling fuel poverty, reducing carbon emissions and improving resource efficiency. Jerome gave some future insights into the low carbon economy.

Kelly Evans, MD of social research and campaign company Social Change UK, then spoke about the importance of social responsibility and the detrimental effect irresponsible practices can have on any brand, and ultimately the impact this can have on profit.

In the afternoon, delegates chose workshops that matched their interests on themes such as developing a sustainable supply chain, benchmarking and environmental indexes and sustainability.

NTU’s Head of Business Development, Jeremy Hague, said: "The number of delegates at today’s event showed that people genuinely want to learn more about ethical business. At Nottingham Trent University we recognise the important role we play in developing responsible practices in the local business community and we are committed to playing our part in helping the East Midlands economy to grow in sustainable way."

The event was well received by delegates who welcomed both the range of speakers and he networking opportunity. Howard Awbery, MD of Awbery Management said: "I think it's a super opportunity to look at the ethics of your own company and benchmark against the best around."

Presentations from the event can be found on the NTU website.

*Nottingham Trent University came fourth out of more than 151 UK institutions in the People & Planet University Green League 2015 and third in the UI GreenMetric World University Ranking out of 360 universities.

Making a difference is good for business

Published on 18 March 2015
  • Category: Business

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