North West based Be Ethical Training calls on business leaders to play their part in the kindness economy by doing business better
Be Ethical Training is on a mission to help business leaders formalise and recognise the value of their corporate social responsibility (CSR), to support their future sustainability and growth.
By structuring these activities into an environmental, social and governance (ESG) framework, and aligning them with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), businesses will be able to maximise their competitive advantage.
Be Ethical Training has a social mission of its own, donating the first month of each training membership to Girls Out Loud, a social enterprise that helps teenage girls in the UK to find their voice, by developing their confidence, emotional resilience, and self-esteem.
Founders of Be Ethical Training, Caroline Swailes and Heather de Groot, aim to donate £25,000 to the cause in the next twelve months.
North West entrepreneurs, Caroline and Heather set up Be Ethical Training during lockdown, to educate companies on how to properly capture, develop and report on their ethical activities. Often already taking place, but not yet formalised, these activities, when successfully structured, support a culture of responsibility and become part of the kindness economy, which highly-regarded and successful business leaders such as Mary Portas have been championing in recent years.
Speaking about their mission, co-founder and director of business development, Caroline Swailes, said:
“As we emerge from an unprecedented time in our history, our society has changed for good. Community and kindness have been a lifeline to many working from home or during furlough. We want to build on this good business practice.
“Pre-pandemic there were many businesses doing their bit, through fundraising, volunteering and health and wellbeing programmes, together with initiatives to support the planet, but many did not formalise these into an ESG framework. By recognising, capturing, and reporting this activity it can be used as a strong resource and differentiator within a business and industry.
“We are now seeing procurement frameworks measuring social value. We had clients who did amazing things but just didn’t get the marks as they had never measured and reported their social impact. We launched Be Ethical Training to educate these amazing SME businesses to maximise their competitive advantage through the work that they do in the workplace, their local communities, and for the planet.”
Co-founder and director of operations, Heather de Groot, added:
“Without a formal structure around your ethical activities, how can you truly understand your impact? And without knowing your impact, how can you grow your business? Monitoring this worthwhile activity brings countless benefits to an organisation, its employees, the communities in which it operates, and the planet.
“Businesses do incredible things when it comes to responsible activities. Our training is about helping them to formalise these activities and integrating them into business as usual. By understanding the impact, they can use this knowledge to support their business’ sustainability, growth and contribution.”
Caroline and Heather started their career in CSR while working for Sir Michael Bibby Bt DL, chairman of Bibby Line Group and celebrated philanthropist. During this time they developed and championed a successful employee engagement programme, supporting 5,000+ employees in 20 countries to raise in excess of £6 million for charitable causes.
Caroline explained: “Having worked for businesses that value and champion a culture of responsibility, we’ve seen first-hand the importance of accountability and engagement when it comes to CSR. And as women in business, we have also experienced the value of mentors in empowering us to lead in these areas. We certainly wouldn’t be where we are today without them or the experience we gained during our time at Bibby Line Group.
“Supporting Girls Out Loud really aligns with who we are as individuals and as women who are passionate about being in business. It makes a real difference that we can see the impact of the work we do and we look forward to inspiring the next generation of women in business.”
Be Ethical Training’s e-learning platform includes 12 months of ongoing support, with coaching calls, webinars, and access to a best practice community, to help companies develop and implement responsible activities within an ESG framework to strive for a better future and world.