Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

People, planet and profit, a motto for success

Csr or corporate social responsibility involves a business acting responsibly in all its activities with due consideration for the environment, consumers, employees, communities and all other stakeholders.

It proactively encourages community growth and development and the voluntary elimination of practices that are harmful. Ultimately CSR benefits the triple bottom line: people, planet and profit.

Graham Construction, a Business in the Community member, is an award-winning, multi-skilled company with its very recent new eco-friendly headquarters based in Hillsborough, Co Down. It is innovative in its approach to new ideas and opportunities, with sustainability high on its agenda.

Graham is successfully addressing its CSR through investment in local businesses, recruitment of the long-term unemployed and responding to the climate change agenda.

The new headquarters serve as a flagship of sustainable construction with a biomass wood pellet boiler, orientation of the building to maximise solar gain and shading, rainwater harvesting, ecological green space, use of carbon neutral concrete and cycle facilities to reduce transport emissions among employees, and has provided employment to over 200 people in Down and Antrim during its two year construction period.

Its partnership with the Prince's Trust Foundation has helped some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged youths in Northern Ireland obtain NVQs through the Get into Construction Programme.

A multi-faced employment support programme to recruit local, long-term unemployed persons is already underway.

The hope is to effectively integrate local unemployed and disadvantaged persons, including working mothers and the disabled, into the workplace.

So, don't leave your Corporate Social Responsibility to chance. I would encourage all organisations to build in CSR as policy. It really is a win-win situation for both your company and the wider community.

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