Corporate Responsibility honour for Essex & Suffolk Water owner Northumbrian

Essex & Suffolk water maintenance technicians monitoring equipment at a water treatment works, ensur

Essex & Suffolk water maintenance technicians monitoring equipment at a water treatment works, ensuring there is no disruption to the high quality drinking water supply - Credit: Archant

A water company which supplies 1.8million customers in eastern England has been recognised as one of the most responsible business in the country.

Northumbrian Water Group, parent company of Essex & Suffolk Water, has been awarded four stars out of a maximum of five in the Business in the Community (BITC) 2015 Corporate Responsibility Index (CR Index) after scoring 96% in its assessment.

Other companies with strong eastern region links ranked in the 2015 CR Index include Manchester Airports Group, parent company of Stansted Airport, and Go-Ahead Group, owner of bus companies Hedingham, Chambers and Anglian Bus, each with four stars, and Sizewell B owner EDF Energy, with 3.5 stars.

Also included in the list are national household names such as Dairy Crest (five stars), Lloyds Banking Group (4.5), Marks & Spencer (4), Jaguar Land Rover (4), WH Smith (3.5), Barclays (3) and Greggs (3).

The CR Index, the announcement of which has been timed to co-incide with BITC’s Responsible Business Week initiative, which runs from April 20 to 26, was first launched ini 2002.

Is a benchmarking tool which helps hundreds of companies to measure the progress they are making to integrate responsible business practice into their mainstream operations by assessing them against a diverse range of factors, from how engaged their board and senior managers are with responsible business issues to the link between remuneration and CR performance.

This latest recognition for Northumbrian Water Group follows its success last month in retaining its title as the most ethical water company in the world, a title awarded by the Ethisphere Institute, for the fifth year running.

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Louise Hunter, Northumbrian Water Group’s director of corporate affairs, said: “We consistently deliver excellent environmental performance and have sustained support to our communities over many years.

“We achieved the Queens Award for Enterprise for Sustainable Development for the second time last year and I’m personally delighted that our ethical track record was further cemented by recognition as one of the world’s most ethical companies on the global ethisphere list, and then with today’s announcement that we have achieved four star rating in the CR Index,”

Analysis of the 2015 CR Index data suggests that significant progress is being made to shift responsible business up the corporate agenda with an increase in companies taking social and environmental issues into account when developing new products and making investments.

The overall average score of the CR Index has also increased, from 85% in 2014 to 91% this year, demonstrating the increased relevance of corporate responsibility to business operations.

Stephen Howard, BITC chief executive, said: “The 2015 CR Index shows us that we are moving in the right direction and companies are now increasingly integrating responsible business practice into decision making right across the business.

“To truly change business culture, companies need to engage their people to embrace a different way of doing business with responsible values at the core.

“So it is especially encouraging this year that we have seen a significant increase in the representation of corporate responsibility, both at board level and amongst the generation of future leaders that will shape the businesses of tomorrow.

“I congratulate Northumbrian Water Group for achieving its ranking and look forward to working together to create a fairer society and a more sustainable future,” he added.

: : For the full list of companies ranked in the Business in the Community CR Index, visit .