Leading in responsible business practice


A North East water company has been recognised as one of the most responsible businesses in the country.

Northumbrian Water Group has achieved a score of 96% in the Business in the Community’s Corporate Responsibility Index (CR Index) and been awarded four out of five stars.

This year’s index has been the most challenging since its launch in 2002.

The CR Index is a robust benchmarking tool and has helped hundreds of companies’ measure the progress they are making to integrate responsible business practice into their mainstream business at all levels.

It is a rigorous process which assesses companies against a diverse range of factors, from how engaged their Board and senior managers are with responsible business issues to the link between remuneration and CR performance.

This latest success for Northumbrian Water Group follows its announcement made last month that it has maintained its title as the most ethical water company in the world, awarded by the Ethisphere Institute for the fifth year running.

Today’s announcement of the 2015 CR Index has been timed to coincide with Responsible Business Week (20 - 26 April 2015), an annual initiative to increase awareness of the positive contribution of business in society.

Louise Hunter, Northumbrian Water Group’s Director of Corporate Affairs, said: “We consistently deliver excellent environmental performance and have sustained support to our communities over many years.

“We achieved the Queens Award for Enterprise for Sustainable Development for the second time last year and I’m personally delighted that our ethical track record was further cemented by recognition as one of the world’s most ethical companies on the global ethisphere list, and then with today’s announcement that we have achieved 4 star rating in CR Index”

Analysis of the 2015 CR Index data suggests that significant progress is being made to shift responsible business up the corporate agenda with an increase in companies taking social and environmental issues into account when developing new products and making investments.

The overall average score of the CR Index has also increased from 85% in 2014, to 91% today, demonstrating the increased relevance of corporate responsibility to business operations.

Stephen Howard, Chief Executive, Business in the Community said: “The 2015 CR Index shows us that we are moving in the right direction and companies are now increasingly integrating responsible business practice into decision making right across the business.

“To truly change business culture, companies need to engage their people to embrace a different way of doing business with responsible values at the core. So it is especially encouraging this year that we have seen a significant increase in the representation of corporate responsibility, both at board level and amongst the generation of future leaders that will shape the businesses of tomorrow.

“I congratulate Northumbrian Water for achieving its ranking and look forward to working together to create a fairer society and a more sustainable future.”

For further information about the 2015 CR Index including the full list of 2015 ranked companies, visit www.bitc.org.uk/crindex.

For more information contact Janine Scott on 0191 301 6713

About Northumbrian Water Group

Northumbrian Water Group contains the following companies and divisions:

Northumbrian Water Limited (NWL) provides water and sewerage services in the north east of England under the brand name Northumbrian Water and water services in the south east under the brand name Essex & Suffolk Water. It serves 2.7 million people in the north with water and sewerage services and 1.8 million people in the south with water services.

About the CR Index

Business in the Community′s CR Index is the UK’s leading voluntary benchmark of corporate responsibility. It has been run by Business in the Community since 2002, providing businesses with a robust framework to systematically measure, manage and integrate responsible business practice into mainstream business strategy and operations. It also allows businesses to benchmark against competitors and to transparently communicate progress to stakeholders.

The CR Index takes the form of an online survey where companies follow a self-assessment process intended to help them identify both the strengths in their management and performance, and the gaps where future progress can be made. The CR Index is evidence based where participants are asked to provide relevant evidence as part of their submission which is validated by Business in the Community’s expert reviewers.

The 2015 CR Index scores participating companies against the following areas of responsible business, Corporate Strategy, Integration, Management, Performance and Impact. This year 68 companies participated publicly. www.bitc.org.uk/crindex

About Business in the Community

Business in the Community is the Prince’s Responsible Business Network. Our members work together to tackle a wide range of issues that are essential to building a fairer society and a more sustainable future.

We are a business-led, issue focused charity with more than 30 years’ experience of mobilising business. We engage thousands of businesses through our programmes driven by our core membership of over 800 organisations from small enterprises to global corporations. www.bitc.org.uk

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