A Year of Sustainable Progress with Siemens’ Sponsored Cohort

Heart of the City | 13 March 2024 | News
A Year of Sustainable Progress with Siemens’ Sponsored Cohort

Heart of the City has recently celebrated the achievements of a special cohort of SMEs sponsored by Siemens through our Foundations for Responsible Business programme. This group of dedicated businesses including Staytite, Simkiss Control Systems Ltd, Baldwin Boxall, and RAMP. Global, have made remarkable strides in developing their first responsible business strategy, fostering employee wellbeing, reducing their carbon footprint, and strengthening community ties.

Siemens’ commitment to a Net Zero supply chain by 2050 has driven the company to extend its sustainability efforts beyond its immediate operations, recognising the significant impact of engaging with its supply chain. This initiative reflects a shift from traditional customer-supplier dynamics towards a more collaborative approach, especially in the realm of sustainability.

The year review, hosted in collaboration with Siemens, and led by Olivia Beecham, Programme Manager for the Foundations for Responsible Business at Heart of the City, provided an overview of the cohort’s achievements, milestones and challenges, and was followed by an open discussion on the businesses’ journey on board the programme.

From understanding the challenges faced by smaller suppliers in initiating their sustainability journeys, Siemens then partnered with Heart of the City to provide a comprehensive year of training and support in responsible business practices and climate action.

The online group sessions were particularly useful to share ideas and motivate each other. I also found the networking opportunities fantastic

Sheila Ashmore, Sustainability Manager at Staytite.

The Foundations for Responsible Business programme offered a blend of online workshops, in-person events, and invaluable group catch-ups, fostering a collaborative learning environment where SMEs could share experiences and motivate each other.

The event highlighted the critical importance of sustainability in today’s business landscape and the collective journey towards carbon neutrality.


Standout achievements expressed by one of the SMEs included the installation of a solar roof and setting the ambitious goal of becoming ‘off the grid’ within a year—a remarkable feat considering the initial absence of a dedicated sustainability budget. This shift was made possible by the proactive efforts of their Finance Manager, who has now integrated a budget for charities, volunteering, and other sustainable initiatives, making it an intrinsic part of the company’s ethos.

On the people and community side, the introduction of initiatives like wellbeing walks, paid charity days, themed group get-togethers, and carbon tree planting scheme, and resilience workshops during the festive season, have not only enhanced employee wellbeing but have also become key factors in staff retention, truly embedding these practices into the business DNA.

Reflecting on the programme’s success, Maggie Berry OBE, Director at Heart of the City, expressed her enthusiasm: “We have loved working with Siemens and their SMEs over the last 12 months. It’s been truly exciting to witness the progress these businesses have made in sustainability, and it’s commendable how Siemens has supported their SME supply chain in such a tangible way. We hope this programme will serve as an inspiration for other firms to consider the sustainability support they could offer to SMEs.”

Foundations for Responsible Business programme

The Foundations for Responsible Business programme is designed to unite SMEs from across the UK in a shared mission to develop responsible business practices and leverage their businesses as forces for good. Covering key areas such as the environment, people, community, and strategy, the programme offers SMEs the opportunity to learn from larger corporations, experts, and peers through a variety of formats, including live workshops, webinars, and insight sessions from responsible business leaders. Find out more about our Foundation for Responsible Business programme here.

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