Ipswich businesses urged to adopt Triple Bottom Line focus on ‘people, plant and profit’

From left, Mike Simpson of EPC Marketing, Renata Chester of Suffolk Life and the Rt Rev Martin Seel

From left, Mike Simpson of EPC Marketing, Renata Chester of Suffolk Life and the Rt Rev Martin Seeley, Bishop of St Edmundsbury & Ipswich, at the Christian Central event at the St Nicholas Centre in Ipswich. - Credit: Archant

Representatives from a wide range of firms attended a lunchtime event organised in Ipswich by Christian Central which focused on the role of business in the wider community.

Local church leaders and the Mayor of Ipswich, Glen Chisholm, were also at the event, held at the St Nicholas Centre, to hear a talk given by Renata Chester, finance director at Ipswich-based pensions company Suffolk Life.

The event was instigated by Swaraj Jeyasingh of Anglia Airborne Innovations, who was inspired by a similar initiative by the Ely Cathedral Business Group, and was hosted by Mike Simpson of EPC Marketing, with the Rt Rev Martin Seeley, Bishop of St Edmundsbury & Ipswich, introducing Renata Chester.

Guests were invited to consider the question: “Is the bottom line the only kind of profit in business?”. Renata Chester challenged the audience to look beyond the “red line” of financial profit to the “blue line” of adding value to the wider community, highling the “Triple Bottom Line” (TBL) concept now embraced by some major national brands which places the focus jointly on the trio of “people, planet and profit”.

She encouraged all businesses, regardless of size, to focus on TBL, citing some of the Sunday Times “Best 100 Companies to Work For” as examples of a re- focusing of management on to valuing clients and staff as much as financial success.

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Renata also urged businesses to invest in training and the general well-being of their staff, drawing on examples from her own company and elsewhere, and spoke about involvement with local charities, highlighting the link between a healthy business sector and the well-being of the community in which it operates.

Followiing the talk, guests spent a short time discussing the issues raised and then took part in a question-and-answer session.

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The event is intended to be the first in a series of talks aimed at affirming and challenging business people in and around Ipswich, and strengthening both commerce and the community. “Initial feedback from guests has been very positive.” said Mr Jeyasingh.

It was sponsored by Christchurch Solicitors LLP, Kingsfleet Wealth, KMA Solicitors, Orwell Housing Association, EPC Marketing Ltd, Anglia Airborne Innovations and Spinnaker PR, in partnership with the Diocese of St Edmundsbury & Ipswich, and the Methodist Church, Museum St, Ipswich.

The next event is planned for Tuesday, October 18, at 12.30pm. For further details, email david.pawson@cofesuffolk.org .

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