Moving your responsible business programme to the next level: a workshop for Heart of the City members

Both years one and two members joined us on 24 September at Hogan Lovells for our workshop on moving your responsible business programme to the next level. We invited experts in responsible business and communications as well as a year one Heart of the City member to share their insights and tips about developing responsible business programmes further.

Debra Hay, CR Manager at Hogan Lovells started the morning with an interactive session on using the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to take a strategic lens to your responsible business programme. Staring by sharing some adverts from Microsoft, Nike and Gillette, she asked us to consider what they show about those companies’ responsible business approaches and think about the SDGs they align to. After that, our members worked together on their tables mapping the 17 SDGs against their business goals to have a clearer idea of which goals are relevant. It was great to hear about Hogan Lovells’ responsible business strategy, how it aligns to SDGs and their inspiring partnership with Barefoot College!

Next, we heard from David Schofield, Group Head of CR at Aviva about how to define your company’s social purpose. He encouraged our members to think about why their businesses exist beyond profit – because profit alone isn’t enough! One of his recommendations for doing this is to think about the origins of your business. Often in small businesses, our members either are the founders, or they work closely with founders, so it could be easy to tap back into the origins to start thinking about your social purpose.

After a break, Jessica Marati Radparvar, Founder at Reconsidered encouraged to start the second part of our workshop with some self-care with a stretch! Focusing on behaviour change design, Jessica had lots of tips for how to communicate well about responsible business programmes, with great examples from Heinekin and Fashion for Good. One of Jessica’s tips: people are lazy, and they don’t like change! So it’s important to make changes easy to do, be honest and authentic and tell real stories. She finished with the Rainforest Alliance’s brilliant film ‘Follow the Frog’.

We finished the morning by hearing from year one member Fooditude. Cristina Covello, Marketing & Strategic Projects Manager and Swati Deshpande, Marketing Executive spoke to us about how they’ve incorporated responsible business into their communications and marketing plans, and how Fooditude has benefitted. After surveying their clients, they created a sustainability page on their website, used their social media to talk about responsible business and used their blog. They also recommended entering awards and developing a list of journalists who are interested in what you’re doing. Their three tips for using communications channels well were to be honest, find your cheerleaders and engage with your audience!

Thanks to Hogan Lovells for hosting us, and to all our speakers and table hosts – we hope you had a great time! Members can find the slides from the day here.

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