To mark the start of Responsible Business Week, it has been announced this week that The Midcounties Co-operative, the UK’s largest independent co-operative society, has achieved a coveted 5 star rating in Business in the Community’s Corporate Responsibility (CR) Index.
This comes after the group have invested significantly in local communities including over £11 million and 26,000 hours in volunteering.
The Society, which operates its Food, Post Office, Childcare, Travel, Healthcare, Funeral and Energy businesses across Swindon, has been given the coveted rating for its commitment to the communities it trades in.
It follows the introduction of The Midcounties Co-operative’s ‘Regional Communities Strategy’, which sees colleagues working in partnership with their communities, to identify what its local challenges are. As part of the programme, the Society supports in driving improvements in these areas, by making sustainable and long lasting differences through colleague and member involvement.
The Midcounties Co-operative has been credited with the coveted five star rating having invested £1.2million back into the community in 2015, and raising £1.4million for charity partners over the last eight years. A commitment of over 26,000 colleague volunteering hours and an impressive reduction in both waste and energy usage, were also praised by judges.
To mark the achievement, colleagues from across The Midcounties Co-operative have been cementing their commitment to working responsibly by focusing on a big food bank drive to collect 5,000 items for families in need in the local area.
The 2016 CR Index is published as part of Responsible Business Week (18-22 April), which is an annual campaign to inspire more businesses to create a positive change in society. As part of the week’s celebrations, the Society has also been reaccredited in the Responsible Business Awards for its commitment to Community and Sustainability.
Mark Ashby, leadership team ambassador in Swindon for The Midcounties Co-operative, said: “Supporting our local communities is at the heart of everything we do as a Society and so this achievement is one we are extremely proud of.
“We’ve worked hard to give the Swindon community significant time and investment to understand how we can help to make a genuine impact on their lives that we can all be proud of, and we’ll continue to work with our customers, members and colleagues in the area to create a better, fairer world.”
Stephen Howard, Chief Executive, Business in the Community said: “Genuine responsible business starts in the engine room of companies. It’s about how companies translate their values into behaviour and decision making, create the right culture and drive societal and economic value in the process.
“The CR Index helps companies take an in depth look at their business from the inside out and it’s encouraging to see companies increasingly integrated responsible business into business at all levels. This year’s Index also reinforces the opportunity companies have to think much longer term to address pressing issues such as climate change. I congratulate The Midcounties Co-operative for achieving its ranking and look forward to working together to create a fairer society and a more sustainable future.”