Stansted Airport owner MAG receives Business in the Community honour

Andrew Harrison, managing director of Stansted Airport.

Andrew Harrison, managing director of Stansted Airport. - Credit: Archant

Manchester Airports Group, parent company of Stansted Airport, scored a four-star rating in Business in the Community’s 2015 CR Index.

The CR Index, the announcement of which was timed to coincide with BITC’s Responsible Business Week initiative, 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

The survey involves businesses being assessed 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, with a four-star rating representing a score of at least 96%.

Previous recognition for Stansted from BITC has included an award last year for Graeme Ferguson, the airport’s commercial director for cargo and general aviation, under the Sieff programme which is sponsored by Marks & Spencer.

The programme aims to support the next generation of leaders, providing recognition for those who have demonstrated an appetite to have a positive and sustainable impact within the business and wider community in their career.

Mr Ferguson was recognised for having played a key role in driving the development of a community involvement strategy for Stansted, which supports local communities alongside developing working relationships with the airport’s supply chains and partners.

Andrew Harrison, managing director, Stansted Airport, said: “This award recognises Graeme’s potential as an up and coming leader within the business and his work with our community relations team to drive forward education and outreach initiatives as part of our sustainability programme.”

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Among the most recent activities undertaken by Stansted in conjunction with BITC was an event hosted at the airport last month as part of a series of “Big Conversations” held across the country.

Employers based at and around the airport came together with local students to hear first-hand the students’ challenges in understanding the demands of the future jobs market.

Research has shown that that students that receive four or more real face-to-face contacts with employers during school are five times less likely to become “NEETs” – those “not in employment, education or training”.

With the youth unemployment rate more than three times that of other groups, BITC is working with its members and employers across the UK to encourage them to make these contacts earlier and more often.

The idea is that, by increasing the access young people have to real and inspiring experiences of the workplace, businesses will be improving the skills of future recruits and preparing more young people for the world of work.

“There is only so much students can learn in the classroom,” said Neil Robinson, corporate social responsibility director at Stansted Airport.

“Nothing beats getting face to face with businesses to hear from them what they really look for in candidates. This has a huge effect on the students so businesses need to start connecting with young people, providing positive experiences of work, careers talks, open days, mentoring – it all adds up. ”

In November last year, Stansted Airport produced a case study for BITC’s Business Action on Public Health programme to mark Alcohol Awareness Week, highlighting how it is working to raise awareness of alcohol in the workplace.

Alcohol Awareness Week, sponsored by Alcohol Concern, aims to raise awareness of alcohol issues and the impact they can have on people’s health and communities while BITC’s wider Business Action on Public Health programme asks businesses to support staff wellbeing in general and to use their influence to improve the health of the community.

Stansted Airport has implemented a programme aimed at tackling the negative impacts of alcohol misuse across the wider airport community, which involves around 10,000 workers including 2,000 direct employees.

A series of on-site activities has included talks on safe drinking limits, the provision of information and guidance on the health effects of alcohol and on-site health screening services.