Page 1


Foreword

N

Dear Forum member,

O

As you will be aware the Forum is a not for profit membership organisation that constantly re invests its profits into improving the products and services for our members.

SE

C

TI

We have been making some changes to the Forum "Hall of Shame" which now highlights questionable behaviour, as well as late payment practices usually involving larger companies and this led us to look at the whole area of ethical behaviour. This is something that Forum members are well aware of and we are pleased that many have already embedded ethical standards of operation within their own businesses. Our members, as small employers, are closer to their workforce, suppliers and the communities that they work in than many of the UK's larger organisations and multinationals, who frequently seem quite happy to work just within the law or occasionally outside of it.

have the same resources to deal with it.

So while lobbying Government about this and pointing out the inequalities in the system, we also feel it is important to encourage our members to maintain their own ethical stance.

PL E

With this in mind we have teamed up with the Organisation for Responsible Businesses to provide the “Responsible Business Guide� to help our members and to ensure that we set the standard, in showing that business can operate in an ethical manner and still be a thriving profitable business

M

This guide covers the requirements of The Responsible Business Standard which has been developed by The Organisation for Responsible Businesses and validated by Anglia Ruskin University. This quality system has been designed specifically for small businesses, franchisors and other organisations such as social enterprises and charities that wish to demonstrate good social and environmental practice, maintained and enhanced within a solid business foundation.

SA

There is an opportunity for Forum members to undertake a full audit and achieve Responsible Business Standard certification. But even if you feel an audit isn’t an option for your business, the Forum is confident you will find the Responsible Business Guide an invaluable toolkit.

Ian Cass Managing director The Forum of Private Business

The Responsible Business Workbook

3


Organisation for Responsible Businesses Ltd Tel: 01702 468387 E-mail: info@orbuk.org Web sites: www.orbuk.org www.theresponsiblebusinessdirectory.co.uk www.ResponsibleBusinessStandard.org.uk www.bccawards.org.uk www.dwnetworking.co.uk

N

Registered in England and Wales Company Registration Number 6830936 Registered address: 84 Wimborne Road, Southend-on-Sea, Essex SS2 4JR

O

Illustrations by: Abby Clapson Design & Layout: Caroline Janes based on an original design by Mike Wilson.

SE

C

Printed by: Green Light Print Solutions

TI

Paper: Printed on 200gsm LumiSilk paper. LumiSilk contains material sourced from responsibly managed forests, certified in accordance with the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) and it is manufactured to ISO 14001 international standard, minimising negative impacts on the environment.

Copyright

PL E

Unless otherwise indicated, no part of this publication may be stored in a retrievable system or reproduced in any format whatsoever without prior permission from the Organisation for Responsible Businesses (ORB). Š Organisation for Responsible Businesses Ltd. Version 4FPB : March 2016

M

Disclaimer

SA

Whilst there is a core ethos which remains unchanged, legislation and best practice do change and there may be modifications in the audit requirements. We accept no liability whatsoever for any this workbook, neither do we present the workbook as a definitive statement of the law.

4

Forum of Private Business in association with ORB


N

Dear Forum member,

O

We are delighted to be working in association with the Forum of Private Business. We believe the Forum provides an excellent range of products and services for its members, as well as being the realistic voice of small business when lobbying at Government level.

manner and still be a thriving profitable business.”

TI

Historically, ethics and profitability have been treated as being mutually exclusive. But we live in

C

Small businesses are the backbone of the British economy and we all need to help those businesses grow and prosper. We are passionate about small business, but we are equally

SE

but cumulatively five million plus small businesses have the power to make a huge positive that embed a value-driven, ethical approach to be business will be the most profitable and sustainable. To us, it’s just good business.

small steps.

PL E

We adopt a very pragmatic approach to ‘good business.’ By profession, I am a management accountant and I understand the challenge small business owners face. We are passionate about

By working with the Forum of Private Business, I believe we can help more businesses grow to their full potential and, in doing so, also make a very positive contribution to our society.

SA

M

We hope you will enjoy this workbook and that it will help set your business on a path to greater profits and an increased sense of personal satisfaction.

Jill Poet Managing director Organisation for Responsible Businesses

The Responsible Business Workbook

5


6

Forum of Private Business in association with ORB

This page is intentionally left blank.


Contents

Contents Foreword

1

Contents

5

Introduction

The audit process Agreeing the date On the day

SE

Introduction Certification and reports

C

Bronze, silver & gold

TI

O

Self-assessment What are the benefits of attaining the Responsible Business Standard? How will it help in the procurement process when only ISOs (International Standards) and BS (British Standards) are asked for? Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 Public Contracts Regulations 2015 Companies Act 2006, Sections 172 and 417

10 11 11 11 12

N

Why was the Responsible Business Standard developed? What does this quality standard cover?

12 12 13 13

13 14

14 14

PL E

How to use this workbook

M

Introduction Embedded ethics and values Working with consultants Three levels Action plan Continual improvement

14 15 15 15 16 17

Section 1 - The workplace

SA

Introduction HR (Human Resources) A motivated workforce Equality and diversity Health & safety Risk assessment Workplace wellbeing Contractors and sub-contractors Useful resources

21 21 22 23 23 24 25 25 26

The Responsible Business Workbook

7


The workplace - assessment criteria Part 1 – Meeting legal requirements

Part 2 – Striving for excellence

PL E

SE

5. Engagement 6. Rewards and incentives 7. Employee benefits 8. Workplace Wellbeing 9. Contractors and sub-contractor

30

C

1. Company handbook and / or other HR policies 2. Induction programmes

TI

O

1. Employers’ liability insurance 2. HSE Health & safety law poster 3. Health and safety policy 4. Risk assessments 5. Company vehicles – including vehicles used for company purposes 6. EU rules on driver’s hours 7. Employment contracts 8. Discipline and grievance policies and procedures 9. Eligibility to work in the UK 10. Equality & diversity

N

27

The workplace - self-assessment

34

Section 2 - The environment

M

Introduction Business opportunities

SA

The bigger picture Waste Water Energy Supply chain Transportation Legislation WEEE (The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) Getting started Environmental conservation The Built environment Useful resources

8

Forum of Private Business in association with ORB

39 39 39 40 40 42 42 42 43 43 43 44 45 45 46


Contents

The environment - assessment criteria Part 1 – Meeting legal requirements

47

O

N

1. Environmental permitting 2. Storage and handling of hazardous substances 3. Waste packaging legislation 4. WEEE legislation 5. Site waste management plans 6. General waste storage & disposal 7. Other industry specific environmental legislation?

PL E

SE

C

1. Identifying the environmental impacts of the business 2. Environmental policy 3. Environmental Management System (EMS) 4. Energy management 5. Renewable energy 6. Materials usage 7. Packaging materials 8. Waste management system 9. Water usage 10. Transportation 11. Employee engagement 12. Greening the supply chain 13. Communicating your environmental objectives 14. Positive contribution to environmental conservation

48

TI

Part 2 – Striving for excellence

The environment - self-assessment

52

Section 3 - Community

SA

M

Introduction A business benefit A small budget What kind of activities? Supporting youth employment Philanthropy

57 57 57 57 58 58

Community - assessment criteria Community – Striving for Excellence

59

1. Awareness of main social / economic issues and commitment 2. Business owners / directors involvement 3. Employee engagement 4. Philanthropy

The Responsible Business Workbook

9


5. Local sourcing 7. Youth employment

Community - self-assessment

61

Section 4 - The marketplace 65 65 65 65 66 66 66 67

TI

O

N

Excellent relationships Delighting the customer Suppliers as business partners Fair and ethical purchasing Bribery and corruption Disadvantaged customers Insurances Useful Resources

C

The marketplace - assessment criteria Parts 1 & 2 Legislation and striving for excellence

68

M

PL E

SE

1. Sector legislation 2. Public Liability Insurance 3. Professional Indemnity Insurance 4. General business insurance 5. Day to day business operations 6. Fit for purpose 7. Customer service 8. Customer information 9. Complaints handling 10. After sales service 11. Vulnerable people 12. Sales restrictions

SA

14. Relationships with suppliers 15. Bribery and corruption 16. Fair and ethical purchasing policy 17. Animal testing / animal welfare

The marketplace - self-assessment

10

Forum of Private Business in association with ORB

71


Contents

Section 5 - Ethics, values & transparency Introduction Company Details

75 75

Ethics, values & transparency - assessment criteria Striving for Excellence

76

TI

O

N

1. Code of ethics 2. Personal values 3. Senior management 4. Sharing and promoting business development 5. Promoting responsible business 6. Company details

Ethics, values & transparency - self-assessment

78

C

Section 6 - Business processes/continuity

81

SE

Introduction

Business processes/continuity - assessment criteria Striving for Excellence

82

PL E

1. Document control 2. Roles and responsibilities 3. Business continuity plan 4. Data back-up 5. Data protection 6. Insurance against business losses 7. Finances and reporting

M

Business processes/continuity - self-assessment

84

Action Plan

SA

Self Assessment Forms Responsible Business Template

These documents are supplied as printable downloads accessed by visiting

www.ResponsibleBusinessStandard.org.uk/HardCopy_Downloads.html

The Responsible Business Workbook

11


Introduction Why was the responsible business standard developed? Quite simply, there was a huge gap in the marketplace, both on the “normal” business level and relating to the CSR agenda (Corporate Social Responsibility), for smaller organisations.

N

The Organisation for Responsible Businesses has a vision which has inspired the development of The Responsible Business Standard:

C

This workbook is designed to help businesses ensure they are audit ready, but it equally valuable for ANY SIZE OF BUSINESS to self-assess their business and ensure they are operating ethically,

SE

local communities; contributing socially and economically, and setting an example of ethical and responsible business behaviour to corporate business in the UK and throughout the world”

TI

O

Our mission is to "Change the world - one small business at a time." We will create positive change for business and society by showing SMEs how ethical and responsible business can be the most profitable and sustainable. By developing a quality standard designed specifically for smaller “Thriving, vibrant cities, organisations, which also includes a requirement to towns and villages where continually improve, we increase aspirations and SMEs play a vital role in their continue to drive the CSR agenda forward.

PL E

Throughout the development of this quality standard we were very conscious that, when dealing with small organisations, a one size fits all benchmark is not appropriate: we have therefore adopted a very pragmatic approach.

We define this approach as the ASTI principle: Appropriate Size Type

M

A S T I

Impact

SA

Quite simply, when deciding whether or not a business meets the desired requirements and at what level they should be scored, we consider what is Appropriate to the Size, Type and Impact of the company. A web designer

risk assessments as a manufacturing company.

12

Forum of Private Business in association with ORB


Introduction

What does this quality standard cover? We look at legislation, where appropriate, and best practice in the following areas:

Workplace

N

Environment

O

Community

TI

Marketplace

Business processes / continuity

C

Ethics, values & transparency

SE

Additionally, SMART* objectives must be set in each section to ensure continual improvement. If you just happen to be perfect (is anyone?) then the objective will be to maintain perfection. *Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time specific,

PL E

Making it affordable money for even the smallest business.

Self-assessment

SA

M

If you don't wish to take the audit you can use the documents provided to self-assess. For maximum benefit, try and be as realistic as possible and don't rely on your own opinions: seek

The Responsible Business Workbook

13


What are the benefits of attaining the responsible business standard? • Internally it will become a driver for best practice helping to attract, retain and motivate

N

• Externally it will increase the reputation of the company by demonstrating to all stakeholders that the company is transparent, ethical and considerate of their responsibility to society.

O

• Throughout the supply chain questions are increasingly being asked relating to social and environmental practices. If a business cannot satisfy those questions they will not gain / maintain contracts.

TI

• In the procurement process businesses need to satisfy specific criteria. A tender application, particularly at local authority level, is more likely to be successful if the company has third party certification to demonstrate they meet that criteria. It is an added bonus if the certification also demonstrates the “added value” the company could bring to the contract.

C

• The Standard is an indication that the business is playing a pro-active role in combating the challenges society currently faces – something all business owners should be very proud of.

SE

How will it help in the procurement process when only ISOs (International standards) and BS (British Standards) are asked for?

PL E

Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012

M

This Act, which became law in January 2013, requires public sector authorities to consider "how what is proposed to be procured might improve the economic, social and environmental well-being of the relevant area."

SA

Although implementation of the Act varies, it has generally been felt it is lacking in teeth because procurement professionals often proclaim it not to be aligned with EU procurement legislation. However, new public sector procurement legislation should overturn that situation.......

14

Forum of Private Business in association with ORB

that this new standard is not specifically asked for. The Public Sector will only ever stipulate International or British Standards, but they will always look at any alternative accreditation provided. I have been working in procurement for 30 years and can only stress how beneficial adding this sort of information can be. It will never guarantee you get the contract of course, but should certainly add extra points in the scoring process.” Helen Marini Tech IOSH, ACMI Senior Partner at Westminster Compliance


Introduction

Public Contracts Regulations 2015 These new provisions came in to force on 26th February 2015.

• social aspects can now also be taken into account in certain circumstances (in addition to environmental aspects which had previously been allowed).

O

• buyers can require certification/labels or other equivalent evidence of social/environmental characteristics.

N

A great deal of this new legislation will make it easier for SMEs to win public sector contracts, but there is also a big drive to encourage social and environmental considerations to be included in contracts for goods and works as well as services.

TI

Companies Act 2006

SE

C

Directors are increasingly required not only to promote the success of the company for the benefit of its members, but also to "consider the impacts of the company on the environment and the community." Legislation requiring directors' reports for quoted companies to include information about "environmental matters" and "social and community issues" was extended in 2013 to include many large and medium sized companies. These requirements continue to drive social and environmental requirements down the private sector supply chain.

Bronze, silver & gold

PL E

There are four possible results to the audit: standard not met, Bronze, Silver or Gold. You will receive a result in each section and then an overall result. You do not necessarily have to attain Gold in each section to achieve an overall Gold Award. Workplace, Environment and Marketplace are weighted sections and Business Processes / Continuity is a “bonus” section and can help add valuable points to the overall score.

SA

M

Each question is marked as 0, 1, 2, 3 or n/a reflecting the appropriate award levels. (Legislative questions that typically have a yes / no response will normally be scored 3) The award scoring structure is as follows:

40% = Bronze

65% = Silver

85% = Gold

Additionally, the auditors will want to ensure appropriate objectives are put in place in each section to ratify the calculated award. The audit report is checked by a 3rd party accredited lead auditor / validator before the award is finally issued.

The Responsible Business Workbook

15


Certification and reports

The audit process

O

Agreeing the date

N

Audit Report & Certification Summary and, if an award at any level has been attained, a Certificate. The Audit Report is particularly valuable as a submission in the procurement process.

When you feel you are ready to book the audit, either contact the consultant you have been

TI

auditor to you.

C

pre-audit background information.

On the day

SE

provided. This invoice should normally be paid not less than 7 working days prior to the audit

PL E

The MD / business owner or equivalent will need to be available throughout the day to answer any

a suitable room or at least desk space should be provided for the auditor, and there should be

M

The auditor will not give any immediate indication of the expected outcome of the audit as that could be misleading.

SA

How to use this workbook This workbook is designed to give organisations the opportunity of self-assessing and benchmarking their existing processes; and then working to improve levels of social and environmental responsibility throughout the organisation. It is essential that owners, directors and senior managers are committed to embedding these ethical standards which, for ease, we may refer to as CSR. Engaging the workforce in this commitment and any processes required for improvement is a

16

Forum of Private Business in association with ORB


Introduction

for feedback is always a very useful exercise and should be mutually rewarding. You might be surprised how often your perception does not match the reality. Of course, if you don’t have any

N

Most importantly, remember that this audit is not just a tick box exercise. The auditors will naturally want to see hard copy evidence where appropriate, but they will also want to feel that they are dealing with a company that has ethics and values at its very core. Looking at the premises and

O

Embedded ethics and values

C

Working with consultants

TI

We will assume you want to attain The Standard and preferably at Gold level, even if only to selfcertify, otherwise you wouldn’t be looking at this workbook. But first of all you must ask yourself (and fellow directors / senior management) what the culture of your business is: do you actually work to a code of embedded ethics and values even if at this stage that hasn’t been documented? Do you genuinely value the importance of considering people and the environment?

SE

If you are working through this workbook on your own you may find specific areas of weakness such as health and safety, HR or environmental issues where you need specialist support and advice. We are happy to signpost you to appropriate information and advice, or recommend a consultant if you wish.

PL E

Don't forget that as a member of the Forum a huge amount of advice and support is readily available to you free of charge.

Three levels

SA

M

Although the three levels at which certification can be attained are Bronze, Silver and Gold, we suggest you think in terms of Satisfactory, Good and Excellent. Some of the scoring is quite subjective. Using the ASTI principle mentioned at the beginning of the workbook, the aim is to achieve the highest standard you can realistically attain, taking into account the capabilities and limitations of the company at the time of the assessment. Playing devil’s advocate and also ensuring an open achieve excellence. Of course, we don’t expect perfection, particularly on the first audit.

The Responsible Business Workbook

17


Action plan Select as appropriate

Date INITIAL

ENVIRONMENT

MIDWAY FINAL

COMMUNITY

O

MARKETPLACE ETHICS, VALUES & TRANSPARENCY

By when

SA

M

PL E

SE

C

Action required

TI

BUSINESS PROCESSES / CONTINUITY

Action no.

18

Forum of Private Business in association with ORB

N

WORKPLACE

By whom

Initial done


Introduction

Continual improvement The Plan, Do, Check and Act process should be used both to implement the objectives agreed in The workbook provides the opportunity for you to benchmark your current status using the SelfAssessment Summaries. You then need to develop action plans to deliver any improvements that need to be made.

O

N

Self Assessment forms, Action Plans and CSR Template can be accessed for download by visiting www.ResponsibleBusinessStandard.org.uk/HardCopy_Downloads.html

/ managers agree exactly what changes are required, who is responsible for ensuring they are completed, and include a realistic time frame.

C

TI

As with all plans, they are only a guideline. A number of factors could mean plans need to be re-assessed. It is therefore important that you regularly review development plans. Consider scheduling a regular meeting with key personnel to assess progress and set a target date to complete a mid-way Self Assessment Summary. Plan and implement any final changes and then complete a final Self-Assessment Summary.

SE

Once you are happy with your results we recommend you publish a CSR / Responsible Business report based on those results using your own format or the template provided.

PL

T C

SS PROCES SINE ES U B CO Y C N EN

E

CK

A

TY

S, VALUES & TRA NS HIC ET P AR

M

CONTINUAL IMPROVEMENT

CH

SA

D

RKETPLACE COM MA M U NI

AN

O

PL E

PL WORK ACE EN VIR ON T EN M

ITY U N TI

The Responsible Business Workbook

19


Section 1 The workplace

Section 1 The workplace would be really inauthentic.

O

regulations to abide by and sometimes people are not always easy to manage.

N

HR (Human Resources)

Think of your workplace as a league football club

TI

• The club endeavours to employ the best players: players that have the right skill sets but who are also team players and will fit in with the ethos of the club and the existing players.

C

• To ensure best performance, the right players need to be in the right position and they need to continually train to retain and improve their skills and fitness levels.

SE

• Every player knows exactly what their role is, how that interacts with their team mates, and how to cover other people’s roles if they need to. • Everyone needs to know and understand the rules of the game. • Referees ensure the rules of the game are adhered to and a system is in place to discipline unruly players.

PL E

• Managers should be able to engage, motivate and nurture players, and also deal with players that are underperforming. Understanding and managing people is a key part of a manager’s role. In summary, a good workplace has a solid foundation based on the rules (legislation and the company’s rules and code of conduct) and the implementation of best practice to ensure continual engagement and motivation.

SA

M

Whilst we might agree that some legislation is excessive for a small business, and the Government is indeed taking steps to lessen that burden, compliance is nonetheless essential otherwise it puts the company at risk. More general HR regulations are continually changing and keeping up to date with legal requirements can be particularly challenging. In order to ensure you remain compliant and reduce the risks of being taken to an employment tribunal for example, it may be worth considering using an HR consultant to make sure you are compliant, and / or an online HR service to ensure all your policies are automatically updated as necessary.

The Responsible Business Workbook

23


Don't forget The Forum provides a comprehensive Employment Guide, including access to essential document templates, plus a 24/7 legal advice line. It is a legal requirement for employers to have written disciplinary and grievance policies in place and all employees should have written contracts of employment.

O

N

Although it is not a legal requirement to have a full suite of HR policies, it is important that employees know “the rules of the game” as in the football club analogy. The clearer you can make those rules so employees know what is expected of them and what they can expect in return, the less chance there is of misunderstandings. Polices help to ensure issues are dealt with fairly and consistently. And don’t forget, policies don’t have to be huge documents. Often a paragraph or

A motivated workforce

C

TI

It is worth developing a company handbook which would typically include a welcome, background information about the company and the company culture, company rules and general workplace information, legally required policies as above plus a full range of other appropriate policies. Handbooks / policies may be in hard copy or online format and should be

SE

Rules must be in place to protect both the employer and the employee and to ensure fairness and consistency, but a dedicated, motivated and productive workforce will owe more to “best practice” than to rules and regulations.

PL E

them so that they can play a role in the company’s development.

M

cost involved, even if only in time, statistics show that benefits such as increased productivity and customer satisfaction far outweigh those initial costs. Even self-development courses that appear to have no direct correlation to an individual’s job role may produce surprising benefits in terms of increased confidence and therefore improved performance. implement a programme for your own training and self-development.

SA

Other areas such as regular appraisals, rewards and incentives, company benefit schemes, flexible working options, and regular social activities can all play an important role. None of this has to be expensive. Use a little imagination. Most people agree that genuine appreciation for a job well done, sometimes manifesting in just a simple thank you, is often worth more than financial reward. And if finances are

24

Forum of Private Business in association with ORB


Section 1 The workplace

However, if circumstances allow, it may be worth considering more tangible rewards for good performance, providing rewards are fair and consistent and do not discriminate against particular employees. Such rewards might relate to a specific project, or linked to a regular appraisal system, plaque or even a funny t-shirt as the prize.

N

Equality & diversity

O

A good workplace also promotes equality and diversity. It isn’t a legal requirement to have an Equality & Diversity Policy, but it is a requirement not to discriminate against anyone (including employees and anyone else the company deals with) on the following basis: Age

Race, ethnic or national origin, colour and nationality

Disability

Religion / belief or lack of any religion/ belief

Gender reassignment

Sex

Marriage and civil partnership

Sexual orientation

Pregnancy and maternity

C

TI

SE

Not only is it good practice to have a written policy that is understood and followed across the business, it is essential if trying to win public sector contracts. It may also be worth considering The Common Standard for Equalities in Public Procurement. www.wmf-commonstandardforequalities.gov.uk

PL E

Health & safety

Health and Safety in particular is often seen as an unnecessary burden on small businesses, and yet a healthy and safe working environment is every employee’s right and therefore essential for any

M

on the bottom line.

SA

importance to all companies. Even sole proprietors should consider their own wellbeing. Evidencing good health and safety provisions is also always one of the key criteria when tendering for contracts. It is a legal requirement to have a written health and safety policy if five or more people are employed. The policy should contain the company’s general policy on health and safety at work and the arrangements in place for putting that policy into practice. It may contain all the appropriate risk assessments.

The HSE has an easy to use policy statement template and most organisations will be able to work through the process of developing their own policy. The Forum provides a comprehensive Health and Safety Guide as well as a 24/7 legal

The Responsible Business Workbook

25


The Forum of Private Business / The Responsible Business Workbook  
The Forum of Private Business / The Responsible Business Workbook  

This is a preview section of this comprehensive guide to business ethics, working with the Forum of Private Business and ORB. For costs and...