The Midcounties Co-operative achieves 4 star ranking in Business in the Community’s 2014 Corporate Responsibility Index

04 April 2014

The Midcounties Co-operative has been recognised with a prestigious 4 star rating in Business in the Community’s annual benchmark of responsible business, the Corporate Responsibility Index (CR Index).

Since 2002, the CR Index has provided unique insight into how companies are driving responsible business practice that will help secure a sustainable future. The Midcounties Co-operative was awarded a 4 star rating in recognition of its methodology for calculating the financial value CR activities bring to the business and its transparency and accountability through an externally assured CR report.

The accreditation also reflects the business’ three years of performance improvement for most environmental and social impact areas, together with development of publically shared specific and measurable targets for all CR issues.

The 2014 CR Index, which is being launched as part of Responsible Business Week, provided the most challenging criteria to date and its findings indicate that real progress is being made by UK companies to integrate responsible behaviour into their business, with two in three CR Index companies evaluating the economic value of corporate responsibility to the business.

The Midcounties Co-operative is committed to supporting and developing the communities in which it trades to establish a co-operative difference. In 2013 the number of colleague volunteer hours increased by 10% to 44,440, making the Society one of the biggest supporters of volunteering in the UK. It also smashed its annual fundraising target by raising £273,000 for charity partner Teenage Cancer Trust in just one year, and has revised its two-year target upwards to £500,000.

The CR Index 4 star accreditation comes after The Midcounties Co-operative recently improved its ranking in the Sunday Times ‘25 Best Big Companies to Work For’ initiative, climbing three places to tenth in the list. It also picked up the prestigious Sunday Times ‘Giving Something Back’ award for its commitment to colleagues, communities and members.

Pete Westall, Group General Manager for Co-operative Social Responsibility, said: “We are committed to making a difference and giving back to our local community, members and colleagues, and are constantly looking at ways to improve and enhance the support we offer through initiatives such as volunteering, community grants and training programmes.

“The CR Index is nationally acclaimed for recognising businesses that stretch themselves to drive sustainable change from within, and with the changes to the Index this year made to reflect the complexity of integrating this approach, our 4 star rating is an even greater achievement and reflective of the importance CR plays in our business’ success.”

Stephen Howard, Chief Executive, Business in the Community said: “The 2014 CR Index shows us that companies are making real progress to integrate responsibility throughout their operations. We know that companies are now increasingly discussing CR at board level, transforming company culture through embedding CR into training, and unlocking innovative products and services by looking ahead to the long-term challenges and opportunities of responsible business. Crucially, this shift is being driven by a tranche of responsible leaders that understand the new contract now required between business and society to drive change.

“I congratulate The Midcounties Co-operative for achieving this 4 star rating because it demonstrates a clear commitment to an integrated approach to being a responsible business. We look forward to working with the Society to challenge and support them towards creating a fairer society and a more sustainable future.”

Responsible Business Week (31 March – 4 April) is the only week dedicated to responsible business that is run by the charity Business in the Community. Responsible Business Week aims to inspire, equip and challenge businesses to do more to meet the world’s most pressing needs. You can follow the conversation at #RBWeek.

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