Spotlight on Business in the Community

Spotlight on Business in the Community

Business in the Community is the largest business-led charity in the United Kingdom. It is committed to promoting resilient communities, diverse workplaces and a more sustainable future through responsible business and corporate responsibility. The organisation works to transform businesses and communities at the local, national and international level.

About Business in the Community

Business in the Community (BITC) was founded in 1982 as a business-community outreach charity. The organisation promotes and supports responsible business, corporate responsibility and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). It is one of The Prince's Charities and its president is Charles, Prince of Wales. BITC works with companies in the United Kingdom that are committed to responsible business. BCIT has approximately 850 members and has engaged around 11,000 businesses through local and global campaigns and programmes.

The organisation works with businesses to improve CSR credentials through customised advice and programmes. The organisation also hosts the annual Responsible Business Awards, which was launched in 1997 as the Awards for Excellence. The awards showcase and recognise innovation, creativity and commitment to corporate responsibility. The organisation also engages over 330 senior business leaders from UK companies through regional leadership teams and other campaigns. BCIT also leads the CSR360 Global Partner Network, an international network of non-profit organisations that promote responsible business. The network has over 120 members representing 64 countries and more than 6,000 companies.

Vision and Mandate

The vision of Business in the Community is for all businesses to act responsibly to ensure a sustainable future for everyone. The organisation promotes a number of values, including being pioneering, passionate, collaborative and focused, and to act with integrity. Working with its members, BITC focuses on five campaign areas in the workplace, marketplace and the broader community. These priority areas include education and young people, enterprise and culture, tackling unemployment, marketplace sustainability, and workplace and employees.

BITC envisions a role for business in supporting the broader community. It sees a role for companies in providing supports for young people and those facing barriers in order to obtain the skills and confidence needed to be successful and gain sustained employment. The organisation also sees a role for business in supporting the creation and growth of enterprise and arts, in promoting a diverse, skilled and healthy workforce that is involved in the broader community, and in offering products and services that contribute to a high-quality and sustainable lifestyle.

Activities

Business in the Community is active in a number of areas, including the workplace, community and marketplace. The organisation offers a range of services to help its members transform their businesses. Members have access to a dedicated account manager, expert advice and customised support, and networking opportunities. Customised advisory services support businesses in meeting sustainability goals and embedding responsible business practices in day-to-day operations. This advice includes strategic and issue specific supports, as well as assistance with coordinating and integrating individual business strategies at regional and international levels. BITC offers critical reviews, analysis and recommendations, and capacity-building support with implementing responsible business practices. In addition to supporting UK-based companies, the organisation also assists businesses in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe, particularly in China, India, South Africa, Brazil, Mexico and Ghana.

BITC also recognises and showcases innovation and best practices through its awards and recognition programme. The organisation has introduced the CommunityMark, the only national standard in the UK that recognised excellence in community investment. BITC organises the annual Responsible Business Awards, which singles out businesses that foster positive, sustainable and social impacts. The organisation also recognises individuals for their work within the responsible business field, and administers the European CSR Award Scheme.

Business in the Community uses its extensive network of members and affiliations to promote and support responsible business. The organisation also works with government, academics, media and other stakeholders to promote the responsible business agenda at the political level. It also engages in a variety of research activities and publishes a range of reports and other resources. In addition, BITC offers learning and training programmes, including accredited courses, workshops and self-directed learning. The organisation also offers benchmarking tools to assist businesses in measuring and reporting on corporate responsibility in a consistent and integrated manner.

Contact Information

BITC operates offices throughout the United Kingdom and is affiliated with sister charities in Scotland and Ireland. The organisation's head office is located at 137 Shepherdess Walk, London, N1 7RQ, UK. Additional information can be obtained by contacting BITC on 020 7566 8650, at info@bitc.org.uk or by visiting www.bitc.org.uk.