Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 24 September 2014

Social responsibility is new chief’s top priority

Paul Rooney, partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, receives the baton from Michael Ryan, Bombardier vice-president and general manager, as he takes over as new chair of Business in the Community, Northern Ireland

Keeping corporate social responsibility on the boardroom agenda is the top priority for the new chair of Business in the Community, Northern Ireland.

Paul Rooney, a partner at business advisors PricewaterhouseCoopers has taken over as chair of the organisation — which promotes responsible business practice — from Bombardier general manager Michael Ryan.

He highlighted the organisation’s inaugural CSR Week, beginning on October 2 at Belfast’s Waterfront Hall as his immediate priority. Marks & Spencer boss and national chair of Business in the Community Sir Stuart Rose will speak at the event on climate change and how businesses can make a difference.

Mr Rooney said: “CSR Week is intended to help businesses and business leaders to identify and build on workforce talent; to improve staff health and wellbeing and to identify the importance of employee volunteering both for the giver and the receiver.

“This is the first of a number of initiatives to encourage local businesses to become partners in responsible corporate citizenship and to engage with Business in the Community in expanding and extending our objectives.”

Mr Rooney said he is enthusiastic about his role and added that it is important CSR is not forgotten in these challenging times.

“The private, public and voluntary sectors are equally impacted by the current economic downturn. But as we strive towards recovery and economic regeneration, it is vital that we do not forget the pressing needs of local communities and those who recovery may leave behind,” he said.

Bombardier’s Mr Ryan will remain on the board of Business in the Community, which has more than 230 member companies in Northern Ireland.

He said: “I look forward to maintaining our company’s commitment to corporate responsibility, which not only makes sound business sense, but has positive repercussions for the wider community.” Other recent appointments to the organisation’s board include Mark Sweeney of FG Wilson and Gerry Mallon from Northern Bank.

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