What is responsible business?

What is responsible business?

Business responsibility can mean a lot of things. At Heart of the City, we see business responsibility as a process through which companies choose to take responsibility for their actions and encourage positive impacts through their activities on the environment, consumers, employees, shareholders, communities and all other members of the public who may also be considered as stakeholders.

Some people call this Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).  Others may call this “corporate conscience”, “corporate citizenship”, “social performance”, “sustainable business”, “responsible business”…Whatever you call it, we encourage every company to do it because it makes sense.

We believe in the case for responsible business practices and its endless benefits both for business and society.  This is a constantly evolving field, accommodating for changes in business, society, and the environment.  As it progresses, new relevant pieces of research are published; new tools emerge for developing the strands of social and environmental responsibility; and new examples of the impact businesses are making through business programmes are set.  With the many resources available to our members, you can stay ahead by keeping informed and discovering the work of other companies in our network.


Businesses make visible positive impacts through  engaging with the community for mutual benefit. Taking steps to address social issues is win-win: it’s great for business, enhancing brand reputation, improving staff cohesion and morale, and attracting (and retaining!) employees and customers, whilst making positive impacts on individuals and whole communities.  Our businesses make a positive impact on the community through financial and in-kind (non-monetary) giving, including:

  1. Employee volunteering
  2. Corporate giving
  3. Staff and matched giving
  4. Payroll giving


All businesses can contribute to protecting the environment. There are plenty of simple changes businesses can make that will reduce their carbon footprint and ultimately save them money. At Heart of the City, we help businesses set up environmental initiatives to address many of the key issues, including:

  1. Energy consumption
  2. Sustainable travel
  3. Water consumption
  4. Waste disposal
  5. Green procurement

This list is by no means exhaustive, and with the information and advanced technology available today, it has never been easier for businesses to monitor and change their environmental impacts.


Most companies recognise that their employees are their most valuable asset. Our businesses find that assisting staff with managing a good work-life balance, managing their health and fostering an inclusive environment can result in direct cost savings to the business by increasing staff retention, productivity and creativity. Some of the areas we cover with our members include:

  1. Workforce diversity
  2. Work-life balance
  3. Employability initiatives
  4. Local recruitment


This strand relates to a business’s products, services and supply chain and their impacts on society and the environment. There are many ways in which a business can improve its behaviour in the marketplace. Some of the key areas to address include:

  1. Supplier diversity
  2. Ethical procurement
  3. Developing socially responsible products and/or services
Find out how Heart of the City can help your business set up responsibility programmes in these areas.
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City of London Corporation

Heart of the City London Limited, company number 5973126. Registered charity number 1117212.
Registered office: Atlantic House, 21 Holborn Viaduct, London, EC1A 2FG
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